Total Pageviews

Sunday, May 9, 2010

*GOODBYE 'FRISCO...ALOHA 'LULU


(SEE JEANETTE MACDONALD TO THE LEFT?  AMAZON ASSOCIATES ADDED THIS TO MY SITE.  IF EVERY READER OF THIS BLOG CLICKS ON IT, AND SUBSEQUENT OTHER REFERRALS OVER THE NEXT YEAR, I COULD BE SENT A CHECK FOR, PERHAPS, A DOLLAR, IF THAT MUCH. DON'T WORRY, YOU WON'T BE CHARGED ANYTHING, UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY BUY AN AMAZON.COM PRODUCT.  LIKE GOOGLE, THIS BLOG SITE IS NOW A MONEY-MAKING ENTERPRISE, AT, OH, ONE MILL--THAT'S ONE TENTH OF A CENT, NOT A MILLION DOLLARS--A DAY.)




A great Green Safari.  Mahalo, Kenji.  Goodbye San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, but, first, a few thoughts about my second favorite city.


Even though Conquistador Cortez (that's Hernando on the left) sent expeditions to various parts of California in the 1500's, it was not until 1769 that Gaspar de Portola (on the right) became the first (actually, some crew member did) European to view what is now the city hills. He was there on the order of Spanish King Carlos III to eliminate the area of Jesuit priests. Of course, there were Indian tribes already here, collectively known as the Ohlone.

San Francisco was founded by the Spanish in 1776, of all the years, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Gold was discovered in 1848, attracting the 49ers, who mostly came, yes, in 1849, zooming the population from a thousand to 25,000. The pro football team formed about a century later in 1946. As crummy as they have been as of recent, we forget that they were the first NFL team to win five Pro Bowl championships.

The Great Earthquake struck in 1906, saluted in a reprise by Jeanette MacDonald.  She only sang this song a half dozen times in the movie, and she asked San Francisco to open your Golden Gate, not Golden Gate Bridge.  The quake was more than a century ago, so much of this remains debatable, but the Moment Magnitude has been estimated to be 7.9, and the epicenter was two miles offshore of what later became the Golden Gate Bridge. A tsunami of a tenth of a meter (this is about 4 inches) has been suggested, amazingly tiny for such a major upheaval of the San Andreas Fault. Up to 3,000 died and three-fourths were left homeless.

The bridge, incidentally, is 1.7 miles long, and was opened in 1937. As iconic as it is, I find it disappointing that the color GOLD was not used. Instead, it is International Orange.  Tourists driving into the city pay $6 (the Bay Bridge charges $4, also incoming).

Returning to the history, it was only nine years later in 1915, that San Francisco hosted a world expo (remember, the Shanghai Expo just opened and will continue until the end of October). The Palace of Fine Arts is the only remaining structure from this Panama-Pacific International Exposition. See how expos can change the nature of a city?  Hawaii needs something similar.  Otherwise, we will be hit with the Peak Oil / Global Warming equivalent of a 9.0.

After World War II, America became the champion of freedom and liberalism, with San Francisco  leading this movement. Many (call them conservatives) might refer to the reality as moral degradation (hippies, drugs, gay rights, anti-militarism, environmentalism, embracement of immigrants and much more). In any case, compared to my days at Stanford and the decades that followed, San Francisco largely cleaned up, but remained as the unquestioned moral inspiration for the X, Y and Z generations.

The city and county is only the fourth largest (809,000) in California (12th in Nation), but the larger metropolitan area is about 7.5 million. As part of this upward adjustment, the area south of Market Street has become fashionable. As only one example, there are four relatively new Starwood (W, Westin, St Regis, Luxury Property Palace) hotels within a block or so off Market and Third.

So come to San Francisco, for I haven't even mentioned Napa Valley (I like Sonoma better), top universities, romance of that fog, Fisherman's Wharf, catalyst for high and bio technology, Silicon Valley, architecture, museums, culture, Giants and other sport teams...but...I'm now home, so...

Hello, Honolulu:

In Chapter 6 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, San Francisco was #2 as the best place to live, with Hawaii #1.  I would not be surprised if SFO replaces Hawaii in my next assessment.  The only hope for the 50th state is to find a solution for jet fuel or the current jetliner, or do something magnificent to make a quantum leap for the future.  Unfortunately, general indecision means we are heading straight towards a major local depression.

-
Total visitors to blog site 38631
Visitors this week 740
Number of countries 151

-


No comments: