9 Interesting Tidbits About San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco, California, one of the megacities in the U.S., is a well-known global hub and power city. Few people are not aware of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge, Alcatraz Island, and cable cars have long been popular subjects depicted on items around the world.

But aside from these major landmarks that have introduced San Francisco to the world, what are some of the most interesting things about SF you probably didn’t know about?

This post highlights 9 interesting tidbits about the city of San Francisco.

1. The Great Depression

The Great Depression was one of the most difficult periods in the history of the United States. Still etched in the memories of those who experienced it, the Great Depression remains the worst economic disaster ever to hit the country.

However, while the impact of the depression was felt not just in America but the entire world, San Francisco seems to have fared pretty well. The city was in good shape financially, enough to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

2. Yerba Buena

If you’re a resident, how much do you really know about San Francisco?

Well, the city didn’t always go by the name San Francisco. From around 1776 to 1847, when the city was renamed, it went by the name Yerba Buena, which means ‘Good Herb’ in Spanish.

However, the old name isn’t totally lost to history as it’s still used in reference to various locations in the city, such as the Yerba Buena Gardens and Yerba Buena Island.

3. The San Francisco Fog

San Francisco can be quite foggy, but that’s not the interesting part. Besides being a unique fog, unlike the kind that creeps in at night only to burn off when the sun rises, the SF fog also has a name.

Locals call the advection fog Karl. It’s part of their lives and visits throughout the year, so why not name it?

4. Theft and Burglaries

San Francisco was known for its serious crime rates, but there has been a steady decline in criminal activity in recent years. Still, crime rates higher than the national average hardly favor the city.

It’s interesting, however, that compared to other major cities, SF enjoys below-average rates of violent crimes but maintains seriously high rates of property crimes.

If you move to SF, you need to beware of thefts and burglaries and explore measures to safeguard your property.

5. The Painted Ladies

While Alcatraz would be pretty interesting to any visitor (it’s a former island penitentiary, after all), an equally exciting location is what’s known as the Painted Ladies.

Painted Ladies refers to well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian homes representing the city’s historical and architectural charm. The houses are generally featured in postcards, so don’t be surprised if you come across one in the remote corners of the world.

6. Cable Cars

Few people can say they have witnessed a moving national historic landmark. The San Francisco cable cars are a designated National Historic Landmark, and they move!

The cars are a relic of the city’s heritage, offering a peek into the old days as far back as the late 1800s. And if you didn’t know, the SF cable cars are the last of their kind in the world that are still operational.

7. Oldest Chinatown

If you have watched the TV show Warrior, you noticed it is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Tong Wars of the 1870s. You can probably guess that the SF Chinatown is the oldest in the country.

The SF Chinatown is also the most populous neighborhood in the city and the second largest of its kind outside of Asia.

8. The Summer of Love

It all began with the Beat Generation of the ’50s, which paved the way for the Hippie movement, a huge cultural phenomenon in the ’60s.

At the height of the Hippie counterculture was the iconic Summer of Love that took place in San Francisco in 1967. Thousands of young people converged in the city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to celebrate hippie culture.

The event revolved around hippie music, artistic expression, peace, freedom, and anti-war sentiments. Today, that long ago summer can still be felt in the city’s vibrant art scene, eclectic boutiques, and bohemian spirit.

9. Fortune Cookies

When you think about fortune cookies, San Francisco is probably the last thing on your mind.

However, the famous Chinese fortune cookies with tiny slips of paper containing a message have much to do with San Francisco. It is believed that Makoto Hagiwara introduced the modern fortune cookie at the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park.

Final Takeaway

The reality of San Francisco is seen not only from its iconic landmarks but also from the many interesting tidbits that have shaped the city. From the unusually high cases of property crimes that paint a negative picture of the city to the bohemian spirit of the Summer of Love that reveals the positive and timeless charm, each aspect tells the story of San Francisco.

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