Saturday, October 26, 2013

Exploring San Francisco

Last Saturday Brian and I had the whole day to explore San Francisco.  On the downside, we were not able to travel as freely around the city as we had expected to due to the BART strike.  We made the best of it, and hoped on the Alameda/Oakland Ferry into the city for a walking tour.

 Alex selling hot dogs

First stop was Union Square, where Brian's niece, Alex works at a hot dog stand right in front of Macy's.  She's a hard worker, just like her late father and really seems to enjoy her job.

Union Square was set aside as a public park in 1850.  The square got its name from the pro-union rallies held there on the eve of the Civil War.  Today, it refers to the central shopping, hotel and theater district of San Francisco.

We then walked back to the Embarcadero Region and to the Ferry Building Marketplace.  Opening in 1898 on the site of the 1875 wooden ferry house, the ferry building became the transportation focal point for anyone arriving via train from the east. 

From the gold rush until the 1930's, arrival by ferry was the only way to get into the city of San Francisco.

With the opening of the Bay Bridge in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937, the mass use of automobiles rendered the daily commute by ferry obsolete.  
In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused extensive damage to the building.  Extensive renovations took place and in 2003, the ferry building redevelopment represents approximately 65,000 square feet of first floor marketplace space and and additional 175,000 of second floor office space.

The Ferry Building Marketplace is organized along a dramatic indoor street called the Nave.  It runs the entire 660 foot length of the building and natural daylight fills the nave from the street trussed glass ceiling.  Dozens of specialty shops line the Nave - everything to fresh fruits and vegetables, pottery, restaurants, wine and olive oil merchants and meat, poultry and seafood vendors.

Raw Oyster Bar at the Ferry Building Marketplace

Being a foodie this was one of my top places in San Francisco to explore.

We ended our day, back on the Alameda Ferry after having one last glass of wine at Sinbad's.  Our weekend was filled with family and friends, but it was nice that Brian and I had a few hours, in the glorious sunshine to enjoy the city.