San Francisco Arts Market kicked off on June 16th, 2011 with quite a bang! United Nations Plaza came alive with over 30 unique artist and artisan vendors, live music, and delicious lunch options from Off the Grid Food Trucks. Crowds joined the Plaza to see what was going on, eat, shop and join the fun. Now, we do this every Thursday!
A project of the Mayors Office of Economic Workforce and Development and nonprofit Independent Arts & Media, SF Arts Market continues to partner with city agencies and nonprofits in support of bringing art, culture, and liveliness to the mid-Market area.
The Neighborhood Empowerment Network visited a number of Market Thursdays to see what we were up to and document how the Market is making a difference for all involved, including artistic vendors, performers, local community and all visitors to the Plaza. We are very thankful to have this video and many photos to share with the public produced by Michael Pawluk of NEN.
In 2007, residents, merchant associations, non-profits, neighborhood agencies, faith-based organizations, academic institutions, and SF foundations created NEN (The Neighborhood Empowerment Network) to focus on one simple mission: the empowerment of the SanFranciso neighborhoods and help them towards resilient conditions. The alliance was named “Neighborhood Empowerment Network” (NEN), and during the past decade, it has created numerous methodologies, tools, and resources to advance the communities through a bottom-up approach.
One of the reasons for San Francisco’s popularity is the City’s frequent choice to shoot popular movies and legendary television shows. Besides the City’s popular destination in the 1960s and ’70s, the choice for many a legendary movie made SF’s landmarks recognizable on a worldwide scale. Tourism is the true backbone of San Francisco’s economy with over 18 million people visiting the City each year and making Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf the third most popular tourist attraction in the U.S.
The climate of San Francisco has made it ideal for outdoor activities with more than 320 km of bicycle paths and bike lanes throughout the city. Skateboarding has two homes in San Francisco at Marina Green & Embarcadero and on the San Francisco Bay its all about Sailing, Windsurfing, and Kitesurfing.
The city’s Major League Baseball team “San Francisco Giants” can be found playing at Oracle Park just next to South Beach Park which was opened in 2000 as part of a redevelopment of the area.
There are more than 200 parks within the San Francisco area but the biggest and best-known park is Golden Gate Park which reaches from the Pacific Ocean east to the center of the city. The most famous of the national parks is the island of Alcatraz which is located 1.5mi (2.4km) offshore from Pier 33.
San Francisco is a rare American city where you don’t need a car to see everything. In fact, given the chronic shortage of parking downtown, horrible traffic and zealous meter maids who love to give expensive parking tickets, going carless makes sense.
The public transportation system, though much maligned by locals for its unpredictable schedule, covers every neighborhood inexpensively via its system of cable cars, buses, and trolleys. Bikes are a good option, as marked bike routes – with lanes – direct riders to all major points of interest.
Walking the compact metropolis is the best bet, with each turn revealing surprises. Often these are in the form of stunning homes and bustling marketplaces, but on killer hills, some angled at 30 degrees and all punishment on the legs. Wear comfortable shoes.
The San Francisco Visitor Information Center, on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza at the end of the cable car line on Market Street (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat & Sun 9am-3pm; tel 415/391-2000), has free maps of the city and the Bay Area and can help with lodging and travel plans.
San Francisco Tourism Information
You can get San Francisco tourism information from the San Francisco Visitor Information Center at Market and Powell streets, on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza, near the Powell Street BART station.
If you’re driving, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the traffic reports, as things tend to get hectic around rush hour. When parking, look out for permit-only areas, bus zones, colored curbs and street-cleaning hours, and remember to curb your wheels on hills. The City’s Parking & Driving page has more info. In the city, it may be better to take Muni, BART or a cable car.
Helpful Phones and Area Codes for San Francisco Tourism
The area code for San Francisco and Marin County is 415, Peninsula cities use 650, the East Bay is 510, eastern Contra Costa County is 925, and San Jose is 408.
San Francisco is changing, and it is not weird or freaky as it once was. People in the artsy environment can feel this immediately, and rather than being able to just go out and be weird, today there’s more a sort of lamentation that fills the air in the City. So is “Weird San Francisco” good for education in the City or has lamentation gotten the best of this, too?
One of the obvious culprits is the phenomenon of money. There are quite a few individuals that are worth tens of millions of dollars who still think they are some sort of revolutionary or counter-cultural renegades, but they’re in too good standing.
The extreme differences in the level of education is another weird thing, from a super high number of people without any High School or GED® diploma to the smartest people who attend the USF. I recently joined a workshop for volunteers who want to bridge this educational gap.
There are some pretty good online GED Prep Resources, so we just need to reach out to as many people as possible. Check out these GED Free Online Prep Classes in San Francisco: www.BestGEDClasses.org/California. Sure, we may bash the software generation as much as we want as they’re the cause of a lot of bad going on, but the fact of the matter is that internet nerds form a crucial element to the phenomenon of ‘weirdness.‘
In a few months, the fine San Francisco Spring will be here so let’s take a closer look at some interesting San Francisco Tours that you may want to explore for when you’ll be visiting the City by the Bay.
The following video from 2015 gives you a pretty good idea of what San Francisco has to offer. It is made by Join Scott and he gives you here a great tour of past and present-day San Francisco highlights. In the video, you’ll see San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Warf, Chinatown, Downtown, Mama’s, Coit Tower, Ritual Coffee, Golden Gate Bridge, Treasure Island and some other places typical of the San Francisco area:
So let’s take a look at some of your options if you think about booking a San Francisco tour:
San Francisco Then and Now
925 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109, Phone: (415) 317-8687
Peter Moylan amassed an incredible amount of knowledge about the history of San Francisco through years of involvement in local politics, so it was only a matter of time before he became a one-man San Francisco tour machine. Unique storytelling is Moylan’s claim to fame, and his humorous thematic approach keeps learning fresh, while you absorb how the city became what it is today.
San Francisco Opera
301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, Phone: (415) 864-3330
Founded in 1923, this world-renowned company has resided in the Civic Center’s War Memorial Opera House since it was built in 1932. Over its season, the opera presents approximately 70 performances of 10 to 12 operas from September through January and June through July.
The opera uses supertitles: translations are projected above the stage during almost all non-English operas. See also this fantastic 2012 video starring Luciano Pavarotti in Verdi’s Aida:
Long considered a major international company and the most important operatic organization in the United States outside of New York, the opera frequently embarks on co-productions with European opera companies.
Ticket prices range from about $32 to $215. Standing-room tickets are sold at 10 a.m.for same-day performances, and patrons often sell extra tickets on the Opera House steps just before curtain time at face value or less. The full-time box office is at 199 Grove Street, at Van Ness Avenue.
If you travel across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll enter Marin County, a rather wealthy and laid back area. Marin County is beautiful and varied peninsula with on the bay side expensive and exclusive Sausalito while the wild Pacific coastline stretches north to Stinson Beach, a popular destination, and Point Reyes National Seashore Park which is actually one of the best locations in California for whale watching.
When you travel between the Bay and the Pacific ocean, the hills are rise to the over 2500ft (750m) peaks of Mount Tamalpais that overlook Muir Woods. From Mount Tam, you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of cities, bay, ocean, and hills. More than 210 miles (330 km) of biking and hiking trails are winding around the area where fox, deer, bobcat, fox, and even a few mountain lions are dwelling in the dells and forests.
Marin is situated just across San Francisco’s world-famous Golden Gate Bridge: California 101 is cutting directly through the area and Highway 1 turns left at Mill Valley to head out to the Pacific coast. Many buses can take you from the City into all corners of the Bay Area and you can find plenty of ferries that will bring you from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf to Larkspur, Tiburon. and Sausalito.
There are so many great San Francisco museums and there is something for everyone in this great City by the Bay. Spend a little time on this section of the site and you can make the next time you travel to San Francisco especially memorable. Let’s take a closer look:
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-3159, Phone: (415) 357.4000
The San Francisco Museum of Art was the first museum on the Calofornisá West Coast that was devoted exclusively to 20th-century art. It opened its doors in 1935 and became a world-class and prominent museum under the guidance of Henry T. Hopkins in the 1970 and 80s.
The word “Modern” was actually added to the name in 1975 for the purpose of more accurately describing its purview. The museum has played a prominent role in active special exhibitions programs and the podium it offered to traveling exhibitions.
In early 1995, the SF Museum of Modern Art opened another facility in the City’s Market district which was designed by Mario Botta, the world-famous Swiss architect. The Museum has over 44,000 members and its permanent collection includes more than 23,000 objects of art.
Living in The City means you always have the opportunity to experience something special, or go to some stimulating place….or just wander around and see where your legs are carrying you. This a city full of people who always try to get the best out of their situation and they seem to be enjoying themselves at doing that. But there’s always this strange tension between the city’s classes of residents, and this becomes more visible and apparent by the year.
San Francisco weather is often windy and cold, especially during the early months of summer. Mind you, though, the weather could be totally different not even half a mile from where you’re at.
Expect moderate San Francisco weather, where cool summers and mild winters almost blend into one. Temperatures in the City seldom rise above 70 F/21 C or fall below 40 F/4 C. Morning and evening fog is common during summer months for San Francisco weather but it rarely remains through the day. (Little or no rain falls from June to September are attributes of San Francisco weather.)
Winter average maximum temperatures for San Francisco weather are in the high 50s F/10 C and only drop to the upper 40s F/4 C at night. Rain showers can be common November through March. San Francisco weather literally varies from neighborhood to neighborhood — it may be sunny and pleasant in one area and foggy and cool in another. No season in San Francisco is really out of the question for a visit, though September and October are the warmest and driest.