What is Great to Visit and Great to Leave?

Yesterday it was time for another trip to “The Rock” the term for Alcatraz Island that the children who grew up there abhor to this day. (See Chapter 18 of my book Chronicles of Old San Francisco to learn more about the juveniles who roamed the island during its famous penitentiary phase. The exhibit of…

Barracks and Cemeteries and Lover’s Lane – Oh My!

The Presidio (Spanish for fort), which lies to the south of the Golden Gate Bridge, emerged in the mid-90s from its long military history which dates back to the Spanish settlement in 1776. Part of the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area), it is run by the Presidio Trust and the NPS. You can visit…

Check out SF’s Cartoon Art Museum

Near Market St. in the Yerba Buena district at 655 Mission St. is the Cartoon Art Museum. It’s “About Us” page declares it “the only museum in the western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms.” On display are old Sunday comic strips such as The Yellow…

Check out Books, Building and More at SF’s Main Library

It took an act of the California congress – the Rogers Act of 1878 – and the advocacy of Andrew Hallidie, inventor of the cable car, to create San Francisco’s first public library in 1879. In those days, only men were hired as librarians. Today – a few buildings and librarians (both male and female)…

A Walk in the Park: Kew the Conservatory

The Conservatory of Flowers, which resembles a huge wood and glass bird cage, was modeled after the greenhouse at London’s Key Gardens. Located in Golden Gate Park and opened in 1879, it’s the oldest glass-and-wood Victorian greenhouse in the Western Hemisphere. Dracula plant (Named for its “fangs.”) The Conservatory is a living museum comprised of…

Christmas Comes to the Castro – and More

If you hurry, you can still catch the tree at the SE corner of the 18th and Castro – an intersection as famous locally as Haight-Ashbury. Speaking of that famous crosswalk, it’s now adorned with rainbow stripes. And the sidewalks fanning out from it area studded with bronze plaques of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Christine…