The San Francisco Bay Area Portal
The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world with 8.80 million people.
The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500
companies in the United States, after the New York metropolitan area
, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal
politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity
. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, after the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income
and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States
. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance
, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties. (more...)
Mary Jane Rathbun
(December 22, 1922 – April 10, 1999), popularly known as Brownie Mary
, was an American medical cannabis
activist. As a hospital volunteer
at San Francisco General Hospital
, she became known for illegally baking and distributing cannabis brownies
patients. Along with activist Dennis Peron
, Rathbun lobbied for the legalization of cannabis for medical use, and she helped pass San Francisco Proposition P (1991) and California Proposition 215
(1996) to achieve those goals. She also contributed to the establishment of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club
, the first medical cannabis dispensary in the United States.
Rathbun was arrested on three occasions, with each arrest bringing increased local, national, and international media attention to the medical cannabis movement. Her grandmotherly appearance generated public sympathy for her cause and undermined attempts by the district attorney's office to prosecute her for possession. The City of San Francisco eventually gave Rathbun permission to distribute cannabis brownies to people with AIDS. Her arrests generated interest in the medical community and motivated researchers to propose one of the first clinical trials to study the effects of cannabinoids in HIV-infected adults. (more...)
The Bay Area by year
Selected historical image
Did you know...
• ... that filmmaker Emiko Omori (pictured, left, with Victor Wong) began her career in 1968 at KQED, becoming one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries?
• ... that Fisher Creek is tributary to the largest freshwater wetland in Santa Clara County, Laguna Seca, a seasonal lake important to groundwater recharge and migratory birds?
• ... that San Francisco based architect Jack Hillmer is known for his meticulously hand-crafted Modernist homes built from redwood, and was an exponent of what Lewis Mumford called the "Bay Region style"?
• ... that Stanford University Department of Biology chairman Tim Stearns (pictured), together with his wife, medical researcher Susan Cleveland, tend a fruit tree orchard at their home in Redwood City?
• ... that the Occidental and Oriental Steamship Company's flagship, the Oceanic (pictured), set a Pacific crossing record of 16 days and 10 hours, 8 days less than the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company?
• ... that the building consumed in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire had at least ten complaints filed on it since 1998? (interior damage pictured)
• ... that after Agnes Fay Morgan conducted a nutritional study with foxes, she presented her data wearing a stole made from the fur of her subjects?
Previous Did you know...
Selected periodic event
~ "San Francisco, from the Sea", Bret Harte (1836–1902)
|“ ||Serene, indifferent of Fate, |
Thou sittest at the Western Gate;
Upon thy heights so lately won
Still slant the banners of the sun;
Thou seest the white seas strike their tents,
O Warder of two Continents!
And scornful of the peace that flies
Thy angry winds and sullen skies,
Thou drawest all things, small or great,
To thee, beside the Western Gate.
*more quotes about San Francisco from Wikiquote
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Bay Area regions, geographic features and protected areas
Things you can do
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San Francisco Bay Area categories