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...)

Selected article

Point Reyes Lighthouse
Point Reyes is a prominent cape and popular Northern California tourist destination on the Pacific coast of northern California. It is located in Marin County approximately 30 miles (50 km) west-northwest of San Francisco. The term is often applied to the Point Reyes Peninsula, the region bounded by Tomales Bay on the northeast and Bolinas Lagoon on the southeast. The headland is protected as part of Point Reyes National Seashore.

The cape protects Drakes Bay on its southern side. The headland is largely drained by Drakes Estero. Drakes Bay and Drake's Estero are named after English seafarer Sir Francis Drake who possibly hauled his ship, the Golden Hinde, up onto the beach for repairs in June 1579. Inverness Ridge runs along the peninsula's northwest-southeast spine, with forested peaks around 430 meters (1,400 ft). West of the ridge, the land flattens out and the vegetation turns to scrub. The Mount Vision fire in 1995 burned part of Inverness Ridge. Point Reyes lends its name to the town of Point Reyes Station, California.

The point may once have been known as Lobes Lighthouse by the sailors of clipper ships on the meat trade. (more...)

Selected biography

Leo Ryan.jpg
Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr. (May 5, 1925 – November 18, 1978) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He served as a U.S. Representative from California's 11th congressional district from 1973 until he was shot to death in Guyana by members of the Peoples Temple, shortly before the Jonestown Massacre in 1978.

After the Watts Riots of 1965, Assemblyman Ryan took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, he investigated the conditions of California prisons by being held, under a pseudonym, as an inmate in Folsom Prison, while presiding as chairman of the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform. During his time in Congress, Ryan traveled to Newfoundland to investigate the practice of seal hunting.

Ryan was also famous for vocal criticism of the lack of Congressional oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and authored the Hughes–Ryan Amendment, passed in 1974. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously in 1983. (more...)

Selected city

SF From Marin Highlands3.jpg
San Francisco /sæn frənˈsɪsk/, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural center and a leading financial hub of the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

The only consolidated city-county in California, San Francisco encompasses a land area of about 46.9 square miles (121 km2) on the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, giving it a density of about 17,867 people per square mile (6,898 people per km2). It is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in the state of California and the second-most densely populated major city in the United States after New York City. San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California, after Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, and the 14th-most populous city in the United States—with a Census-estimated 2013 population of 837,442. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of the larger San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area, with a population of 8.5 million. (more...)

Selected image

Recently in the Bay Area

2017
Warm Springs BART station on opening day
The United States of America, Arthur Szyk (1945)
Robert Taylor in 2008
Customers waiting to purchase the Tesla 3 in Walnut Creek, California
Satellite image of smoke from California wildfires

The Bay Area by year

1854
Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 1866
Union Ironworks shipyard, Alameda, ca 1918

 • Mare Island Naval Shipyard (pictured, left), the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean, is established in Vallejo, Solano County
 • The Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room is founded in San Francisco
 • The city of Alameda is incorporated in Alameda County (Alameda Works Shipyard pictured, right)

Selected historical image

First women to attain rate of Electric Welder, 3rd class, were Alyce R. Sawyers (on the left) and Josephine L.... - NARA - 296887.jpg
"First women to attain rate of Electric Welder, 3rd class, were Alyce R. Sawyers (on the left) and Josephine L. Hollingworth, in 1942. US Navy Yard, Mare Island., CA."

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...

the statue Ashurbanipal in April 2011
Liberty Head double eagle
SONOMA STATE HISTORICAL PARK - CALIFORNIA.jpg

 • ... that critics complained that a bronze statue (pictured, left) of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal standing in San Francisco's Civic Center more closely resembled the Sumerian king Gilgamesh?
 • ... that the twenty-dollar Liberty Head double eagle (pictured, right) was minted after the California gold rush as the "most efficient way to coin a given quantity of gold bullion"?
 • ... that the Blue Wing Inn (pictured, right), started as a one-room hotel in Sonoma, California, in 1836, was also a saloon, a gambling hall, a stagecoach depot, a grocery store, a winery, a museum, and a retail center?
 • ... that Mike McCormick was the first San Francisco Giants pitcher to win the Cy Young Award?
 • ... that First Lady of California, Anne Gust has served as both an Executive Vice-President for Gap Inc. and on the board of directors for Jack in the Box?
 • ... that Bay Area Bike Share, the first large-scale bike sharing service deployed on the West Coast of the United States, opened to the public in five cities on August 29, 2013?


August - October 2013

Selected periodic event

Mariachi band at the flea market

The San Jose Flea Market, open on weekends, is the largest open-air market in the U.S. and has over four million visitors each year. In addition to merchandise vendors, it features a produce market, prepared foods, and two bandstands, one traditionally reserved for a mariachi band (pictured).

Quote

John Steinbeck 1962.jpg
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley (1962)
  • more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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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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