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, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California, United States. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, 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 7.44 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 urban area of San Francisco and San Jose is the second largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth largest in the United States, and the 56th largest urban area in the world.

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) does not use the nine-county definition of the San Francisco Bay Area. The OMB has designated a more extensive 12-county Combined Statistical Area (CSA) titled the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area which also includes the three counties of San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, and San Benito that do not border San Francisco Bay, but are economically tied to the nine counties that do. The southernmost portion of Sacramento County has direct access to Suisun Bay, which lies immediately to the east of San Pablo Bay, but is not counted as one of the counties of the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area has high incomes, performing 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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UCSF logo.png
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is a center of health sciences research, patient care, and education; located in San Francisco, California. UCSF is widely regarded as one of the world's leading universities in health sciences. Though one of the 10 campuses of the University of California, it is unique for being the only University of California campus dedicated solely to graduate education, and in health and biomedical sciences. Some of UCSF's treatment centers include kidney transplants and liver transplantation, radiology, neurosurgery, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, gene therapy, women's health, fetal surgery, pediatrics, and internal medicine.

Founded in 1873, the mission of UCSF is to serve as a "public university dedicated to saving lives and improving health." The UCSF Medical Center is consistently ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, who also ranked UCSF's medical school as one of the top 10 in a number of specialties, including a specialty program in AIDS medical care ranked first in the country.

UCSF is administered separately from Hastings College of Law, another UC institution located in San Francisco. In recent years, UCSF and UC Hastings have increased their collaboration, including the formation of the UCSF/Hastings Consortium on Law, Science, and Health Policy. (more...)

Selected biography

Beatriz Michelena (February 22, 1890 – October 10, 1942) was an American actress during the silent film era, known at the time for her operatic soprano voice and appearances in musical theatre. She was one of the few Latina stars visible on the silver screen in the United States in the 1910s. She was always the lead actress in film projects and a production company co-founded with her husband producing four of her own movies.

She wrote popular articles for newspapers, including an advice column for girls, describing what it was like to be an actress, and answering questions from readers. For adult readers, Michelena wrote other pieces such as a history of the moving picture industry. In 1920 when she stopped making films, she returned to her career as a singer.

Michelena faded from historiography for many years, but her place in history has recently been re-examined; she was mentioned in 2002 in a presidential proclamation and her film, Salomy Jane, is enjoying a limited re-release. (more...)

Selected city

Old fire station, Livermore
Livermore (formerly Livermores, Livermore Ranch, and Nottingham) is a city in Alameda County. The estimated population as of 2011 was 82,039. Livermore is located on the eastern edge of California's San Francisco Bay Area.

Livermore was founded by William Mendenhall and named after Robert Livermore, his friend and a local rancher who settled in the area in the 1840s. Livermore is the home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for which the chemical element livermorium is named (and thus, placing the city's name in the periodic table). Livermore is also the California site of Sandia National Laboratories, which is headquartered in Alburquerque, NM. Its south side is home to local vineyards. The city has also redeveloped its downtown district. The city is considered part of the Tri-Valley area, including Amador, Livermore and San Ramon Valleys. (more...)

Selected image

Feeding pigeons.jpg
Pigeons, Golden Gate Park
image credit: Brocken Inaglory

Recently in the Bay Area

Kearny Street, San Francisco
Protesters against Donald Trump, San Francisco
Oakland "Ghost Ship" warehouse fire
Uber self driving car (October 2016)
Kevin Starr
Trump inauguration protest SF Jan 20 2017
"Bridge Together Golden Gate"
San Bruno explosion and fires, at night
Protesters at San Francisco International Airport, 2017
Representative Mike Honda speaks at a San Francisco protest of Executive_Order_13769 in February 2017
Series of Storms Battering California Tracked by NASA's AIRS Instrument
Third Street, San Francisco
Anderson Lake dam and spillway

The Bay Area by year

Oakland Harbor Light

Selected historical image

Did you know...

El Cid Campeador
Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel rooftop
"Cheese Cake" by Sheana Davis

 • ... that Charlotte L. Brown was one of the first African Americans to legally challenge racial segregation in the United States, when she filed a lawsuit against a streetcar company in San Francisco in the 1860's, after she was forcibly removed from a segregated streetcar?
 • ... that Bay Area restaurateur Juanita Musson often argued with and insulted her staff and customers, and was involved in a number of physical altercations, but was despite this still well-liked?
 • ... that a copy of El Cid Campeador, a sculpture of El Cid by artist Anna Hyatt Huntington, is displayed at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco? (sculpture pictured)
 • ... that in 1969, artist Alfred Young helped create a public environmental art piece, using a non-toxic yellow dye to spell out the word "OIL" in large capital letters in the San Francisco Bay? (artist's sketch of later work pictured)
 • ... that San Francisco columnist Herb Caen dubbed the Persian Room at San Francisco's Sir Francis Drake Hotel “The Snake Pit” because, he wrote, “You never heard such hissing or saw such writhing"? (rooftop pictured)
 • ... that cheesemaker and restaurateur Sheana Davis produces her cheeses at a cooperative in Berkeley, and provides them to the French Laundry and Kendall-Jackson? (Cheese "Cake" by Davis pictured)

Previous Did you know...

Ina Coolbrith portrait with signature.jpg
Maynard Dixon - The Apparition of Cuchulainn.jpg
1907 Cremation of Care.jpg

 • ... that Ina Coolbrith (pictured), the first woman granted honorary membership in the Bohemian Club, was also the first California Poet Laureate?
 • ... that the California-based donut shop Psycho Donuts has generated controversy for its mental health-themed products, such as the "Manic Malt" and "Bipolar"?
 • ... that Horace Barker was awarded the National Medal of Science for discovering the coenzyme of vitamin B12, which Barker had isolated from mud taken from San Francisco Bay?
 • ... that England-born American composer Wallace Arthur Sabin was the first dean of the San Francisco chapter of the American Guild of Organists? (painting of work presented at the Bohemian Grove pictured)
 • ... that the Cremation of Care ceremony (pictured) is performed on the first night of the Bohemian Club's annual summer encampment at the Bohemian Grove?

July 2009

Selected periodic event

Winning pumpkin at the festival

The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival is an annual free festival held in the coastside community of Half Moon Bay, California for one weekend during pumpkin harvest season, and includes a contest for the largest pumpkin (pictured). It is one of the oldest and largest local festivals in California. Proceeds go to local civic causes and to the beautification of the downtown area.


~ Robert Louis Stevenson, in The Wrecker (1892)
  • more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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San Francisco at night
credit: "Editor"

Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas

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GoldenGateBridge-001.jpg You are invited to participate in the San Francisco Bay Area task force, a task force dedicated to developing and improving articles about the San Francisco Bay Area.

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