Portal:San Francisco Bay Area

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The San Francisco Bay Area Portal

California Bay Area county map
SF Bay area USGS.jpg

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.

The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)

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View from Berkeley
Mount Tamalpais (/tæməlˈp.ɪs/; known locally as Mount Tam) is a peak in Marin County, California, United States, often considered symbolic of Marin County. Much of Mount Tamalpais is protected within public lands such as Mount Tamalpais State Park and the Mount Tamalpais Watershed.

Mount Tamalpais is the highest peak in the Marin Hills, which are part of the Northern California Coast Ranges. The elevation at the East Peak, its highest point, is 2,574 feet (785 m). The West Peak, the mountain's second highest peak, where a radar dome currently stands, is at about 2,563 feet (781 m). It stood over 2,600 feet (792 m) before the summit was flattened for the radar dome construction. The mountain is clearly visible from the city of San Francisco and the East Bay region. (more...)

Selected biography

John Muir 1912.jpg
John Muir (/mjʊər/; April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. The 211-mile (340 km) John Muir Trail, a hiking trail in the Sierra Nevada, was named in his honor. Other such places include Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier.

Muir's biographer, Steven J. Holmes, believes that Muir has become "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity," both political and recreational. "Muir has profoundly shaped the very categories through which Americans understand and envision their relationships with the natural world," writes Holmes. Muir was noted for being an ecological thinker, political spokesman, and religious prophet, whose writings became a personal guide into nature for countless individuals, making his name "almost ubiquitous" in the modern environmental consciousness. According to author William Anderson, Muir exemplified "the archetype of our oneness with the earth", while biographer Donald Worster says he believed his mission was "...saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism." (more...)

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Foster City Aerial.jpg
Foster City is a planned city located in San Mateo County, California, 94404. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 30,567. Forbes ranked Foster City #10 on their 2009 list of America's Top 25 Towns to Live Well. Money has also recognized Foster City multiple times as one of the Best Places to Live. Foster City is sometimes considered to be part of Silicon Valley for its local industry and its proximity to Silicon Valley cities.

Foster City was founded in the 1960s on engineered landfill in the marshes of the San Francisco Bay, on the east edge of San Mateo. The city was named after T. Jack Foster, a real estate magnate who owned much of the land comprising the city and who was instrumental in its initial design. His successor firm, Foster Enterprises, run by his descendants, is still active in real estate affairs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. (more...)

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The Bay Area by year

1946
Alcatraz shelling damage
SRI International building
Southwest Airways plane

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Did you know...

Emiko Omori and Victor Wong
Tim Stearns
The Oceanic, 1871
Ghost Ship warehouse interior

 • ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
 • ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
 • ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
 • ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
 • ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
 • ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
 • ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?

Previous Did you know...

Hua Mulan


September - December 2011

Selected periodic event

30th anniversary t-shirt

CAAMFest, known prior to 2013 as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival is presented every March in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the nation’s largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian films. It annually presents approximately 130 works in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. The festival is organized by the Center for Asian American Media.

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Lennons by Jack Mitchell.jpg
~ John Lennon and Yoko Ono
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

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