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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NeXTstation.jpg
Next, Inc. (later Next Computer, Inc. and Next Software, Inc. and stylized as NeXT) was an American computer company headquartered in Redwood City, California, that developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations intended for the higher education and business markets. NeXT was founded in 1985 by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, after he was forced out of Apple, along with a few of his co-workers. NeXT introduced the first NeXT Computer in 1988, and the smaller NeXTstation in 1990. The NeXT computers experienced relatively limited sales, with estimates of about 50,000 units shipped in total. Nevertheless, its innovative object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment were highly influential.

NeXT later released much of the NeXTstep system as a programming environment standard called OpenStep. NeXT withdrew from the hardware business in 1993 to concentrate on marketing OPENSTEP, its own OpenStep implementation, for several OEMs. NeXT also developed WebObjects, one of the first enterprise web application frameworks. WebObjects never became very popular because of its initial high price of $50,000, but it remains a prominent early example of a web server based on dynamic page generation rather than on static content. (more...)

Selected biography

Maxine Hong Kingston, 2006

Maxine Hong Kingston ( Chinese: 湯婷婷; pinyin: Tāng Tíngtíng; born October 27, 1940) is a Chinese American author and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a BA in English in 1962. Kingston has written three novels and several works of non-fiction about the experiences of Chinese immigrants living in the United States. She has contributed to the feminist movement with such works as her memoir The Woman Warrior, which discusses gender and ethnicity and how these concepts affect the lives of women. Kingston has received several awards for her contributions to Chinese American Literature including the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1981 for China Men. (more...)

Selected city

Oaklandatnight02192006.JPG

Oakland is a major West Coast port city in the U.S. state of California. Oakland is the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth-largest city in California, and the 45th-largest city in the U.S., with a population of 413,775 as of 2014. It serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port for San Francisco Bay, all of Northern California, and fifth busiest in the United States. Incorporated in 1852, Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. It is also the principal city of the Bay Area Region known as the East Bay. The city is situated directly across the bay, six miles (9.7 km) east of San Francisco. (more...)

Selected image

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Reflections of the Golden Gate Bridge in raindrops
image credit: Brocken Inaglory


The Bay Area by year

1935
Woman with a Hat, from the SFMOMA collection
Former capitol building, Benicia
1941 trolleybus model

 • The San Francisco Museum of Art opens at the War Memorial Veterans Building on Van Ness Avenue in the Civic Center ( Woman with a Hat by Matisse, from the museum collection, pictured, left)
 • Benjamin Franklin Davis, grandson of the man who helped develop Levi's jeans, opens his eponymous clothing store in San Francisco
 • Benicia Capitol State Historic Park opens at the site of California’s third capital building (pictured, right), where the California State Legislature convened from February 3, 1853 to February 24, 1854
 • San Francisco Junior College is established
 • Lucky Stores is founded in Alameda County
 • Trolleybuses (pictured, right) begin operating in San Francisco

Selected historical image

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...

Oakland City Hall

October 2009

Selected periodic event

Police Officer on duty at the fair

The Castro Street Fair is a San Francisco lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT street festival and fair usually held on the first Sunday in October in the Castro neighborhood, the main LGBT neighborhood in the city. The fair was founded by Harvey Milk, and the group he led, the Castro Valley Association, in 1974. ( San Francisco Police Officer on duty pictured)

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~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962)
* more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote

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