Pleasanton in California

28 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Michael C. Berch/cc-by-sa-2.5

© Michael C. Berch/cc-by-sa-2.5

Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. Located in the Amador Valley, it is a suburb in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 79,871 at the 2020 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Safeway, Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Other major employers include Kaiser Permanente, Oracle and Macy’s. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices are located in Pleasanton. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town.   read more…

Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World

27 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  8 minutes

Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gilroy is a city in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. Gilroy’s origins lie in the village of San Ysidro that grew in the early 19th century out of Rancho San Ysidro, granted to Californio ranchero Ygnacio Ortega in 1809. Following Ygnacio’s death in 1833, his daughter Clara Ortega de Gilroy and son-in-law John Gilroy inherited the largest portion of the rancho and began developing the settlement. When the town was incorporated in 1868, it was renamed in honor of John Gilroy, a Scotsman who had emigrated to California in 1819, naturalized as a Mexican citizen, adopted the Spanish language, and converted to Catholicism, taking the name of Juan Bautista Gilroy.   read more…

The San Francisco Bay Area

19 March 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  10 minutes

San Francisco Cable Car on California Street © Fred Hsu/cc-by-sa-3.0

San Francisco Cable Car on California Street © Fred Hsu/cc-by-sa-3.0

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun estuaries in California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is generally accepted to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Other sources may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or include neighboring counties such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz. Among locals, the nine-county Bay Area can be divided into five sub-regions: the East Bay, North Bay, South Bay, Peninsula, and the city of San Francisco. Although geographically located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, the city of San Francisco is not considered part of the “Peninsula” subregion, but as a separate entity. San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area, while San Francisco is clearly the culturally dominant one.   read more…

Theme Week San Francisco

19 June 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  24 minutes

Market Street and Downtown from Twin Peaks © Vincent.bloch

Market Street and Downtown from Twin Peaks © Vincent.bloch

San Francisco (Spanish for Saint Francis) officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. It is the birthplace of the United Nations. Located at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula, San Francisco is about 47.9 square miles (124 km²) in area, making it the smallest county—and the only consolidated city-county—within the state of California. With a density of about 18,451 people per square mile (7,124 people per km²), San Francisco is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in 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 13th-most populous city in the United States—with a census-estimated 2015 population of 864,816. The city and its surrounding areas are known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and are a part of the larger OMB-designated San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area, the fifth most populous in the nation with an estimated population of 8.7 million. Several picturesque islandsAlcatraz, Treasure Island and the adjacent Yerba Buena Island, and small portions of Alameda Island, Red Rock Island, and Angel Island—are part of the city. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands, 27 miles (43 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean. The mainland within the city limits roughly forms a “seven-by-seven-mile square”, a common local colloquialism referring to the city’s shape, though its total area, including water, is nearly 232 square miles (600 km²). San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís named for St. Francis of Assisi a few miles away. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was the port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the “hippie” counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman’s Wharf, and its Chinatown district.   read more…

LivingHomes Completes 3 Unit Ray Kappe-Designed Multi-Family Residence in Los Altos

13 March 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, San Francisco Bay Area Reading Time:  4 minutes

Los Altos © LivingHomes

Los Altos © LivingHomes

Modular prefab builder LivingHomes just completed their latest project – a 3 unit multifamily residence in Los Altos, California. The homes, which were designed by Ray Kappe, AIA, should be the first LEED Platinum project in the area. LivingHomes builds steel and wood-framed prefab homes with a strong focus on healthy and low impact materials. Their latest project is Kappe’s first multi-family rental with 2 three bedroom homes and an affordable one bedroom unit.   read more…

The Silicon Valley

17 July 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, San Francisco Bay Area, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  8 minutes

Stanford University © Zadonix

Stanford University © Zadonix

Silicon Valley is the southern region of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. The region, whose name derives from the Santa Clara Valley in which it is centered, is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations as well as thousands of small startups. The term originally referred to the region’s large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually came to refer to all the high-tech businesses in the area; it is now generally used as a metonym for the American high-tech sector. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States and the world, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development, accounting for one-third (1/3) of all of the venture capital investment in the United States. Geographically, the Silicon Valley encompasses all of the Santa Clara Valley including the city of San Jose, the southern Peninsula Valley, and the southern East Bay. However, with the rapid growth of technology jobs in the San Francisco Metropolitan area, the traditional boundaries of Silicon Valley have expanded North to include the rest of San Mateo County, San Francisco County as well as parts of Marin County.   read more…

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