Blogs from Union Square, San Francisco, California, United States, North America


In the late 1980s, url= Shaw, a staff physicist, tinkerer and media specialist at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, came up with what may be the world’s nerdiest holiday: Pi Day. Now celebrated globally each March 14, Pi Day salutes the popular mathematical constant pi, an endless decimal representation used in the measurement of a circle whose first three digits are 3.14. What makes pi so intriguing? Divide any circle’s circumference by its diameter and the answer is always pi, no matter the size of the circle. Oh, and to sweeten up the holiday a little more, March 14 is also the birthday of Albert Einstein. Competing for bragging rights on who can recite the most digits is a popular Pi Day activity in many schools. How many digits of p... read more
How many can you do?

Though I once considered myself a "frequent flyer", I would say that I am now a rather infrequent flyer. In other words, I don't have the same good habits that made flying easier for me. Everyone has hints for making flying easier, as does Travel & Leisure's most recent article. Here are seven of their suggestions, along with some of my own: Hire airport greeters-I have never done this before. It might be a good idea in a foreign country, particularly if you don't know the language, airport layout, and have severe time constraints and too much baggage. Pack like pros-I am pretty good at this. I have travel specific clothing and sundries. I use a color theme, usually blue, sometimes black, and once in a while, brown. But as I get older, I tend to ... read more
Get those FF miles
New rules travel

The worst: Bucket lists are kind of a ghoulish way to go about travel planning. It also puts destinations uncomfortably into weird categories. Which are “bucket lists” and which are “casual travel”? And is it really productive to think of destinations as “bucket list” entries, so they’re so built up in our minds we’re actually disappointed when we arrive? (It’s a real thing–called url= Syndrome). Get excited about a destination no matter what the reason is for going. A troubling new trend surfaced over the summer, as the New York Times reported–Amazon and other online booksellers were flooded with self-published guidebooks with a mysterious number o... read more
Fridge magnets

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » Union Square September 23rd 2023

I wrote last week about the city, San Francisco, that many of us fell in love with during the 60s. Today, everything is much different, challenging, dangerous, filthy, politically divided, and in many areas, a quagmire. First some facts (from A Piece of Travel) to back me up: The rising cost of living and lack of new housing developments has led to an increase in the number of unhoused people on San Francisco’s streets. url= drug use among the unhoused population is commonly blamed for the uptick in city-wide property damage and petty theft. As of 2022, San Francisco has the third-highest rate of homelessness in the nation, after Oakland and Los Angeles. According to the url= read more
Dirty and sad SF
Our beautiful city

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » Union Square September 17th 2023

I started visiting San Francisco as a teenager in the Sixties. Our high school honor society rewarded us with a three-day weekend in the late winter/early spring. We took the yellow school bus to the City, often stopping at places like Cal, Stanford, IBM, and the Ford assembly plant. But the highlight was always the City itself. We stayed in an old hotel (Golden State Hotel) on Powell and Ellis Streets, near the cable car turntable, Woolworth's, and the famous John's Grill. I still recall sharing the bathroom with an adjoining room. I doubt anything like that exists any longer. But we enjoyed being on our own, away from our small town, and determined to act like sophisticated kids in the big City. The memories are too numerous to mention, but I will relay some of ... read more
Sears Fine Food on Powell

A new state forecast from the Department of Finance shows a grim possibility: San Francisco saw one of the highest percentage population losses in the country during the first year of the pandemic, and it may not recover from that decline. The forecast projects a stagnant population through 2060. Fewer pregnancies and an aging population mean that deaths are projected to outpace births starting in 2024. And while net migration is expected to turn positive next year, the natural decrease in population means the city is projected to fall to about 828,000 residents in 2023, followed by slow growth. By 2060, the city’s population is projected at 845,000, still around 25,000 people or 2.9% below 2020 baseline levels. A permanently shrunken population in San Francisco could mean a weaker economy, as businesses are already struggling to ... read more
The world is shrinking?
Incentives to have children??

Dans tous les aéroports de l'Amérique du Nord, c'est le méga bordel. Il y a des tempêtes de neige partout, de Vancouver à Halifax. Les gens étaient prisonniers pendant plusieurs jours, en transit. Les gens dans le sud ne décollaient pas, comme les autres. Les bagages se perdaient, et s'empilaient. En Californie, ce sont les pluies diluviennes et le Déluge. Moi, aucun problème. J'ai eu la chance d'avoir un pilote. Je voyais les gens et les bagages, c'était impressionnant. En arrivant à SF, je suis entrée dans le centre d'achats pour dîner. J'ai mangé de l'Indien. Très bon comme d'habitude. J'avais loué plusieurs hôtels pour mon séjour. Ce n'est pas dans mes habitudes. Ce voyage n'a rien d'habituel, en commençant par la décision de partir impulsivement. Premier hôtel, en bas de la côte, sur le coin ... read more
Coin Union Square
Centre-ville avec les tramways.
Photo pas rapport.

Je savais que j'irais souvent au Chinatown pendant mon voyage. Pas le choix: j'étais à-côté et c'est le plus grand en Amérique du Nord. Je ne pouvais pas ne pas prendre de take-out et mes pâtisseries. ... read more
2023 : année du lapin
Du vrai take-out chinois.

Many of you, including Gen Z, Millennial's, and such, have lost interest in the great American pastime, watching baseball during the summer. But growing up in the 50s and 60s, baseball was about the only activity we could enjoy and participate in. Long, hot summers in the Valley were punctuated by our youth baseball, and later with high school and college teams that traveled the Valley and State. But what I refer to mostly is the "great move west" by the Dodgers and Giants to the west coast. All of a sudden, we had baseball on the radio most every day during the long, hot summers. And soon, my Dad, brother and I would drive to LA or San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon for ball game. Needless to say, it was the highlight of our ... read more
I am a star?

I wrote this back in 2014. Let's see how much our favorite city has changed. 2014: Borrowed from the Concierge at the Handlery Hotel: Where to find local wildlife: sea lions at Pier 39, elephant seals at Ano Nuevo State Park. harbor porpoises under the Golden Gate Bridge near Fort Point. What about the much maligned fortune cookie? Though they came originally from Japan, they were introduced to America at the Japanese Tea Garden out at Golden Gate Park in the late 1800s (about when my grandfather came to America). And if you go to 56 Ross Alley in Chinatown, you made watch them being made at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. So, who really care's about Ben and Jerry's in the City. Not people who prefer the local varieties, like Mitchell's, Bi-rite, or Swenson's. ... read more
Coit Tower at night
Fog on the Golden Gate Bridge

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