By Lee Foster

(Update Note: My ebook “‘SF Travel & Photo Guide” has been released on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2qS9QtG. The ebook parallels my app on this subject available from Apple http://apple.co/2ow44IC and Google http://bit.ly/2o9sWKJ. See an Announcement on my website at http://bit.ly/2qXg8Zf.)

I am releasing here the content in my new travel ebook/app titled “SF Travel & Photo Guide” in ten alphabetical “clusters.” Each cluster will have 12 sections of the total 120 in the app. This is alphabetical release 2 of 10. (Other clusters released now include: cluster 1.)

The app has been announced on my website. I have also answered some questions about the app on my website. The app works on smart phones and tablet devices, but not on laptops or desktops. I have released earlier cluster 1.

This release on a website will not have the full functionality of the app structure, including its Google maps showing you contextually all the subjects around you. The release will show the text and photo of all the items, the full “SF A-Z” listings, but will not be able to present, as the app does, all subjects as grouped in an area (such as Embarcadero) or in the themes/subjects (such as Culture/Museums). After the 120 subjects are released, I will add the Outline that works seamlessly in the app and can be manually figured out on a website presentation.

Eventually the app will likely be published also as an ebook and a printed book, but that will take a little time.

The formal name of the app is San Francisco Travel & Photo Guide: The 100 Top Travel Experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, the Search that locates the app is the shorter title “SF Travel & Photo Guide.”

These folks have secure dated voucher tickets, no wait in line and some discounts, for Bus Tours, Boat Tours, Alcatraz, Muir Woods/Sausalito, Attractions/Museums, Wine Country, and more. See their All San Francisco Tours.

So, here is the second release:

SF A-Z, Alphabetical cluster 2 of 10, subjects 13-24:

Area: Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park
The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is an ample green strip of land in the western part of the city. It is one of the great urban parks of the world and has been carefully laid out with multiple attractions.

At the center of the park there are five big draws, all within a short distance of each other. They are a good place to start. Each of the blockbuster attractions of Golden Gate Park has its own write-up.

The top attraction is the de Young Museum, a great repository of historic European art in San Francisco.

Your Best Shot: Your photo of a fountain at the edge of the de Young, with the museum’s tower in the background, captures one of the newer architectural masterpieces in San Francisco. The de Young had to be rebuilt due to the earthquake of 1989, and the designers made this repository of art also an art object in itself.

Across from the de Young is the progressive Academy of Sciences, a leading proponent of the presentation and conservation of nature worldwide.

Just north of the Academy is the Conservatory of Flowers, a lacy Victorian glass greenhouse to display flowering plants from around the world.

Immediately south of the de Young is the Japanese Tea Garden, a cozy and tranquil stop for a reflective pot of tea, especially at the spring blossom time.

Across the street and slightly west from the Tea Garden is the Botanical Garden, formerly called the Strybing Arboretum. There you can walk through a fairly mature forest of redwood trees, one of the signature plants of California.

This is all right in the center of the Golden Gate Park. It’s easy to get there by taxi or Uber from anywhere in The City. Just ask the driver to drop you at the de Young.

The other area of the park especially engaging is its west edge. There a restaurant/brew pub known as the Beach Chalet and its adjacent twin Park Chalet restaurant. Both offer tasty meals. The Beach Chalet ground floor also happens to house some special art treasures from the WPA (Works Progress Administration) era of the 1930s. Be sure to check out the WPA murals.

Across the Great Highway from the Beach Chalet is wide Ocean Beach and the Pacific. This is the place to take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the Pacific surf. The breakers here are usually moderate and the beach slope is gradual.

Glance to your right, looking north and up to a bluff, and you will see the legendary Cliff House restaurant. From there you can see the remains of the historic Sutro Baths, which once was the place for the younger set, who wanted to see and be seen.

Inland a few blocks from the Cliff House is the Palace of the Legion of Honor, another art museum in the same league as the de Young. The Legion of Honor focuses on the San Francisco-Paris cultural ties that have flourished, especially since WWI.

For all these options, many explorers in San Francisco put a visit to Golden Gate Park near the top of their travel list.

Area: Mission/Castro 

Murals in the Mission
Murals in the Mission

The Mission/Castro area southwest of Downtown and Civic Center is the oldest and one of the most culturally rich areas of San Francisco. The 16th and 24th Street BART Stations locate you in the area.

All the subjects mentioned below have write-ups of their own in this presentation.

The Mission area is the “oldest” because it was here that the Franciscan friar Junipero Serra chose to locate his Mission Dolores. Today the church is in good shape, well maintained, with an adjacent garden, and a local community of worshippers.

The Hispanic influence in the area has continued to deepen, with new migrants and their visions. A significant art form has arisen, parallel to the mural artists of Mexico. For more on the Murals of the Mission District, see information at Precita Eyes Gallery. 

Your Best Shot: The dramatic wall murals of the Mission are a special art form. Walk down Balmy Alley, one of the main mural streets, with your camera at the ready. Get some shots of the art objects by themselves and of you with a mural. 

The Castro District has been the congenial place for gay people to live and flourish. Here you will find the location of the camera shop of Harvey Milk, the first gay Supervisor of San Francisco, who was shot by Dan White in 1978. A GLBT Museum at 18th and Castro documents the story of the movement.

Each years the Mission celebrates with a Carnaval Parade. Participants represent the total Hispanic presence, from Mexico to Argentina, plus a Caribbean flair.

Finally, the Mission/Castro area offers one of the more stunning views of San Francisco, from Twin Peaks. There you can look north to see the entire downtown urban skyline of The City.

Area: Northern/Western Oceanfront 

Northern Waterfront at Baker Beach
Northern Waterfront at Baker Beach

The northern and western perimeter of San Francisco locates you in publicly owned oceanfront real estate. Many enticing stops can make a visit to this area meaningful and memorable.

Each of these suggested places merited a write-up of its own in this presentation.

Baker Beach, west of the Golden Gate Bridge, presents an unsurpassed view of the Bridge with waves crashing on a wide and sandy beach in the foreground, the white foam inching up closer to your shoes. The Bridge is on your right and a huge container ship may be entering the Bay. If overjoyed, this is one allowable place where a lot of San Franciscans go naked, on the section of the beach closest to the Bridge.

Your Best Shot: Get a midafternoon image of the crashing waves and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background at Baker Beach.

Lands End/Outlook is on the northwest corner of San Francisco. It includes the ever-developing Lands End Trail, with native plantings now replacing the “invasive” plants from foreign areas that escaped their expected horticultural boundaries. The National Park Service’s Outlook Visitor Center can provide details for your exploration.

Cliff House/Sutro Baths offers fine dining and a glance out to Seal Rocks, where pinnipeds escape their alpha predators, such as sharks. Alongside Cliff House is the now forlorn Sutro Baths, just a stone shell of its former greatness. In its heyday, the saltwater swimming pool complex was the happening place where boy-meets-girl.

Ocean Beach/Great Highway is a stretch of miles of wide ocean sand with a gradual slope into the water. A dog or human can run freely here. Wiggle your toes in the Pacific.

Zoo is the San Francisco Zoo, on the east side of the Great Highway. This Zoo and the Oakland Zoo, and Safari West in Sonoma are among the great zoos. My last encounter here was reptilian, with a newcomer on display, a komodo dragon from Indonesia. For a species closer to home, the Zoo has restoration programs that give the endangered red legged frog of California a better opportunity to avoid extinction.

Fort Funston’s Hang Gliders linger lyrically on the updrafts coming off the cliffs, passing close to the wooden viewing platform built for your observation enjoyment. A walk down the bluff to the ocean can take you to a pristine area for a picnic.

Pacifica Hikes/Pier alerts you to a nearby lodging option in northern San Mateo County. Even without a car, it is only 12 Uber minutes from the Colma BART Station, or 20 minutes from SF Downtown with your own vehicle. Lodging is possible at Rockaway Beach where the ocean can lull you to sleep. There’s fine dining at Nicks or the Moonraker. A hike at Mori Point gives you an elevated perspective featuring wildflowers in spring and migrating whales in summer or winter.

All of these ocean-side options, while hugging the perimeter of San Francisco, can produce memorable moments.

Area: On the Bay 

On the Bay, view from Marina Green
On the Bay, view from Marina Green

If you can arrange to get out on the Bay, your experience in San Francisco will include another enjoyable dimension of the area.

The Bay defines many of the joys of the San Francisco region. When you think of “around the Bay” there is so much to consider. Standing at the Ferry Building and thinking clockwise, the Bay strongly defines the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39, Crissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge, the charming Marin cities of Sausalito and Tiburon, and the hefty metropolises of the East Bay, Oakland and Berkeley.

All these “around the Bay” subjects merit your attention.

But three “on the Bay” possibilities is our special focus here.

They include two islands and ferries and tour boats–the main mode of transportation to get you onto this cherished body of water, San Francisco Bay.

Your Best Shot: From the top of the most accessible island, Alcatraz Prison Island, you can survey a huge amount of the Bay. If nothing can please you in this view, you are a tough customer. Zoom out to get the details, zoom in to get a selfie shot of you and your favorite Bay feature. 

See the detailed write-ups on the three entities. 

The first of the two islands is Alcatraz Prison Island, which you can get to easily. Take a National Park Service boat out from Pier 33 and participate in a ranger-led tour. Then explore on your own, before returning. Though Alcatraz is best known for its draconian prison period, when law-and-order and organized crime were competing, the island also had an earlier military history.

The second island is Angel Island, accessible from Tiburon or from San Francisco by the Blue and Gold Fleet at Pier 41. Angel Island is more rustic than Alcatraz, with a pleasant walk on its level perimeter path as the major appeal. Angel Island also has a poignant human story, the tale of the Immigration Station, now restored. This was a kind of Ellis Island West for immigrants from Asia, but without the welcome of its East Coast counterpart. Asians had to endure major discrimination.

The third subject in this intro to On the Bay is the mode of transport that gets you out on the Bay, the tour boat operators. Check out what the Blue and Gold Fleet, Red and White Fleet, and Hornblower Cruises offer. Typical tours offer a two-hour outing and go out beyond the Golden Gate. Tours emphasize the time of day, such as twilight or sunset, or emphasize a route, such as the Bridges. Hornblower is the most posh, with classy brunches.

Another “on the Bay” option is the ferries leaving for Marin and the East Bay from the Ferry Building. Some small fishing boats at Fisherman’s Wharf see tourists as the “catch of the day” and take folks out for a small-boat view of the scene.

Each of the entities emphasized here has its own write-up.

Areas of San Francisco to Explore! 

Turing the Cable Car around at the foot of Powell Street
Turing the Cable Car around at the foot of Powell Street

San Francisco is a fairly compact city (7 x 7 square miles) with a dense number of extremely interesting places to explore.

This travel guide presentation will help you use your time wisely. Chances are you will also want to get some photos of the places you see and of yourself enjoying the scene.

If you have no idea where to start, you should use my “Lee’s Top 10 SF Experiences.” See the listings for them. These 10 blockbuster places please many travelers every day. You can’t go wrong experiencing them.

Besides the Top 10 you will be able to find many special San Francisco subjects. Maybe a friend has said, “Be sure to see the sea lions that hang out at Pier 39.” You will be able to find them under Pier 39 Sea Lions in the “SF A to Z” list. The list contains 120 subjects.

Another useful way to explore San Francisco is to ask yourself, “Hey, Lee, I’m at Fisherman’s Wharf. What should I see here?” I have divided the city into areas. For example, the Pier 39 Sea Lions are in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. This travel guide will tell you what else is of interest in that area and others.

No technology equals an app to guide you in such an area situation, working from the digital map. No printed book, ebook, or website can locate you contextually to show what’s around you. App technology can do this easily. Other forms of this travel guide presentation (coming later) may also be of interest to you.

My 10 areas of SF, with several subsections for each area, are:

Embarcadero: All along the San Francisco waterfront, starting at the Ferry Building, then moving west or east.

Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39: A perennial favorite, here visitors find everything from Dungeness crab dining to the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39.

Downtown: This is the heart of The City, including Union Square and the great Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Chinatown/North Beach: There’s lots to explore in the Asian/Italian neighborhood, and all easily walkable.

Civic Center: Site of City Hall, the Asian Art Museum, a Farmers Market, the landmark energy-efficient Federal Building, and more.

Golden Gate Bridge/Presidio: The bridge—one of America’s most recognized symbols—is a must-see stop, with perhaps a stroll at nearby Crissy Field.

Northern/Western Waterfront: This area offers dining with an ocean view at the Cliff House and a walk in the headlands, which are maintained by the National Park Service.

Golden Gate Park: San Francisco’s great greenscape contains the landmark de Young Museum and the nearby Academy of Sciences, which celebrate art and nature globally.

Mission/Castro: Here the Hispanic heritage of San Francisco began and continues, and the LGBT community found its gravitas when camera store owner Harvey Milk became a City Supervisor.

Besides the areas, you will find these relevant thematic subdivisions:

Iconic Photo/Views

Nature/Hikes

Culture/Museums

Restaurants/Bars/Hotels

Annual Celebrations

Sports Teams

You may also want to venture beyond San Francisco and experience the best nearby subjects in:

North to Marin County

East to Oakland/Berkeley

South to San Mateo Coast/Bayside

Asian Art Museum 

Asian Art Museum Detail
Asian Art Museum Detail

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco houses one of the great Asian art collections in the world today.

A vigorous exhibit schedule also draws from other prominent collections for special presentations.

Your Best Shot: A delicate close-up photo of some treasure in the collection can be a satisfying memory. Both you and a lovely antiquity can pose together, given the low-light competence of modern phone cameras.

Located in the central city on the wide Civic Center Plaza, opposite City Hall, the museum is easy to access. The building once housed the San Francisco Public Library. The museum was careful to retain its historic façade and grand staircase in the conversion.

Anyone wishing to experience the cultural richness that only a great city can offer, with superb museum holdings, will want to encounter the Asian Art Museum.

San Francisco, as an Asia-facing city, is also a logical place to house this great collection.

The notion of “What is Asia?” may surprise a visitor. Asia also includes Iraq and Iran, with their ancient and magnificent cultures.

The early years of the collection were strengthened by generous donations from Chicago construction magnate, Avery Brundage, who was also an amateur athletic sports enthusiast and Olympic Games president.

Brundage donated 7,700 pieces of his Asian art to the museum collection.

In recent years, other patrons have stepped forward, including Larry Ellison, of Oracle and America’s Cup fame. He provided many of his Japanese art holdings.

If You Go:

Area: Civic Center

Website: http://www.asianart.org/

Address: 200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Phone: 415-581-3500

Price: Admission charge, moderate

Baker Beach/Golden Gate

Baker Beach and Golden Gate Bridge
Baker Beach and Golden Gate Bridge

Some of the most stunning views of the Golden Gate entrance and the Bridge are found on a long swath of sand on the north side of the city, west of the Bridge.

The place is known as Baker Beach, and it is worth a walk, and it will likely provoke a photograph.

The choicest time is from midafternoon to sunset, as the western-advancing sun falls generously with its golden aura on Baker Beach and on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Your Best Shot: You will likely want to make some photos of the beach and the Golden Gate Bridge, with and without you in it. These images may become some of your most satisfying memories of San Francisco.

You can capture spectacular views here in your mind and/or with your phone camera or DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera.

The crashing waves, the beach, the rocks, Marin County greenery north of the Golden Gate, and the Bridge all figure into the scene.  Maybe a surfer or a salmon fisherman will show up.

If the sky is clear, the afternoon light will be golden. If it’s cloudy or foggy, the interplay of atmospherics and the setting sun can be dramatic. The dynamism of clouds or fog interacting with the bridge can create momentary beauty.

You might want to take with you a tripod and rubber boots to allow yourself to stand in the shallow surf and make careful stills or video of the incoming white foam and waves.

Note: In warm and sunny weather, a section of the beach nearest the Golden Gate will attract hundreds of clothing-optional San Franciscans.

Baker Beach is part of the overall Presidio National Park in San Francisco. It is also a segment in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes choice coastal elements north and south of San Francisco.

If You Go:

Area: Northern/Western Waterfront

Website: http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park-sites/baker-beach.html

Address: 1504 Pershing Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129

Phone: 415-561-4323

Price: Free

Bank of America Building

Bank of American Building, 555 California
Bank of American Building, 555 California

This striking building in the Financial District at 555 California St, built in 1969, was formerly the headquarters of the Bank of America.

After a merger with NationsBank in 1998, the headquarters moved to Charlotte, N.C. But the name stuck to this San Francisco architectural masterpiece.

Your Best Shot: Position yourself, if you can, with the sun behind you as you face the building. Pleasing photos can be made close up to the structure with a wide-angle lens, looking up, emphasizing its verticality.

The 52-story, 779-foot skyscraper is now the third tallest building in San Francisco   (surpassed only by the Salesforce Tower and Transamerica Pyramid).

The towering monolith lends gravitas to the city’s Financial District.

If You Go:

Area:  Downtown

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555_California_Street 

Address: 555 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: None

Price: Free

 

BART/MUNI/Uber to Get Around

Historic Trolley at Ferry Building
Historic Trolley at Ferry Building

San Francisco and the surrounding territory can be explored with a mix of public transportation and Uber or other ride-sharing services. In the City by the Bay, visitors can get around by bus, streetcar, train, or cable car.

In central San Francisco a private car can be cumbersome and difficult to park. It can also be prone to get parking tickets.

Your Best Shot: One charming aspect of MUNI (the municipal transportation entity) is its collection of working vintage trolley cars from around the world that have been lovingly restored. The F Line, for instance, begins in the Castro and travels down Market St and along the waterfront. Get a classic shot of one of these trolley beauties in front of the Ferry Building, with or without you in the image, as is your pleasure. Just wait and they will parade past every 15 minutes or so.

The celebration of the trolley car continues at the free San Francisco Railway Museum, on Steuart St kitty-corner from the Ferry Building (http://www.streetcar.org/museum). Be sure to see the video made of the trolley cars on Market St shortly before the cataclysmic earthquake and fire that destroyed much of the city in 1906.

The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is the modern subway system that makes life livable here. With its dense population and choke points, such as the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge during rush hours, the Bay Area gets relief from BART.

BART can take you diagonally through central San Francisco and to both of the major airports, SFO and OAK. For a trip from The City to Oakland or Berkeley, BART is an excellent option.

The MUNI is a parallel rail and bus system that operates efficiently throughout the city. Fans of BART and the MUNI sing its praises, especially for the QuickPlanner element on the website (http://www.bart.gov).

Uber and other ride-service competitors now add a remarkable new layer of transportation opportunity. For example, you could Uber quickly up to the Marina Green in the morning and walk one-way the full length of Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge, pausing for lunch at the Warming Hut Restaurant. From the South End Vista Point of the Bridge, you could Uber over to Baker Beach, enjoy an afternoon walk, and then Uber back to the central city. This is as good as it gets in San Francisco.

If You Go:

Area: Downtown

Website: BART (https://www.bart.gov/) and MUNI (https://www.sfmta.com/)

Address: Throughout San Francisco and region

Phone: See the websites

Price: Transportation charge, moderate

Bay Bridge, Day and Night 

Bay Bridge Lit Up at Night
Bay Bridge Lit Up at Night

The Golden Gate Bridge may be the prettier sister, but the Bay Bridge is the greater achiever. Both were born around 1936. The Bay Bridge carries more traffic.

In its mature years, the Bay Bridge, with its new face-lift and tower on the eastern span, has come into its own.

At night, the Bay Bridge now rivals the Golden Gate’s beauty, due to Leo Villareal’s light art installation, known as Bay Lights, along the western section entering SF. After dark, walk the waterfront along the Embarcadero and observe the ever-changing lights in this computer-driven light-art installation on the bridge. The public pier immediately east of the Ferry Building is one of the best places to pause and savor the light show.

Your Best Shot: With the Bay Bridge now lit up so artistically at night, your loveliest photos might well be at dusk or night from the Embarcadero. Putting your camera on a tripod can help. The public pier immediately east of the Ferry Building would be a choice location for the image. Go to the end of the pier, putting you close to the Bridge.

This entire subject of “light arts,” meaning art objects created with light for night-time viewing, is a relatively new artistic subject in San Francisco. See more from me on this subject at http://bit.ly/1iXsYMZ.

The Bay Bridge is your path to the East Bay. It is also the only way to drive to Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Treasure Island offers a pleasing sunset view of the San Francisco skyline.

The ferry between San Francisco and Oakland passes under the western span of the Bay Bridge, which allows a close-up view and photo op. This is one of the most beautiful early-morning view experiences possible of the city skyline. 

If You Go:

Area: Embarcadero

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco-Oakland_Bay_Bridge

Address: Bay Bridge, connecting San Francisco and the East Bay

Phone: None

Price: Bridge toll for crossing

 

Bay to Breakers Run

Bay to Breakers Festive Run
Bay to Breakers Festive Run

Bay to Breakers, one of the most famous footraces in the world, occurs on the third Sunday in May each year.

If you want to run or walk yourself, or if you want to photograph wacky runners–such as the Elvis contingents–in a festive mood, this is the event for you.

Your Best Shot: A pedestrian bridge at the Moscone Center on Howard St makes a good elevated shooting platform if you are not running. From this pedestrian overpass you can capture the surge of humanity proceeding near the start of the race.

The name reflects the traditional course, from the Embarcadero near the Bay to the end point west in Golden Gate Park, near the surf along the Great Highway at Ocean Beach.

The 12K (7.46-mile) event attracts world-class athletes, bunched at the start. It also draws ordinary folks, out to have fun on a sunny day. Participants run up the iconic Hayes St Hill, along the Panhandle, and through Golden Gate Park.

Bay to Breakers is primarily a party event for many fun-loving runners and walkers who delight in parading—many in ingenious fantasy costumes—through The City. The fun race is known for teams dressed as Elvis Presleys, as centipedes (runners linked in a long bag), or runners wearing nothing at all. It’s like Halloween in May.

It takes more than an hour for the 65,000 annual participants in this pageant to cross the starting line.

If You Go:

Area: Embarcadero

Website: http://baytobreakers.com/ 

Address: Main and Howard Sts, the start

Phone: 415-231-3130

Price: Registration charge to run, free for observers

 

Beach Chalet

WPA Mural at Beach Chalet
WPA Mural at Beach Chalet

The Beach Chalet and Brewery is a restaurant at the western edge of Golden Gate Park, opposite Ocean Beach.

The two-story establishment is a good rest stop while exploring the area and a refuge from the wind, cold, and rain that may be part of an excursion to this terrain.

Besides food, the restaurant offers a major cultural element—WPA Murals.

Your Best Shot: The most interesting subjects here for a photo are the colorful WPA murals that wrap around the entrance lobby area. Get shots of them with and without you in the image.

During the Depression of the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration hired artists and writers as part of the mandate to create new employment. Artists were assigned to create something beautiful at the Beach Chalet. Lucien Labaudt received the main assignment, as did others at Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill and at the Rincon Annex, a former post office in downtown SF. WPA murals are a significant SF cultural legacy. The murals portray an idealized and comforting view of that contentious time.

The current Beach Chalet facility actually has two restaurants. One, in the front and upstairs, is called the Beach Chalet, and faces the ocean. A second, in the back, called the Park Chalet, looks out on Golden Gate Park. Both are open daily for lunch and dinner.

At the Beach Chalet you can gaze out at the ocean, beyond the parking lot, from seats near the second-floor windows. The menu is contemporary and tasty.

The Park Chalet features ground-floor dining and window views of Golden Gate Park’s greenery.

If You Go:

Area: Golden Gate Park

Website: https://www.beachchalet.com 

Address: 1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94121

Phone: 415-386-8439 

Price: Mural viewing free, moderate prices for restaurant

Berkeley Downtown/Arts District/Restaurants 

Berkeley Restaurant Ajanta
Berkeley Restaurant Ajanta

Downtown Berkeley is a hotbed for the arts and for culinary adventures (See Gourmet Ghetto Berkeley).

Among the star attractions, Berkeley Repertory is a substantial arts effort. Located at 2025 Addison St, close to the Berkeley BART station, Berkeley Rep is a Tony Award-winning professional theater company. With two stages and a school, Berkeley Rep produces seven shows in a year-around cycle.

Your Best Shot: Besides people photographs, the façade of the Berkeley Rep building is a symbol of the arts in downtown Berkeley.

The Aurora Theatre Company is a smaller and more experimental company, also an icon for those following the live-performance scene. 

Jazzschool is a robust music school, offering a large array of instruction and performances, which are open to the public.

Freight & Salvage is a music nightspot that has acoustic music playing nearly 300 nights a year. Freight & Salvage calls itself the “home of traditional music.” The setting is at 2020 Addison, opposite the Berkeley Rep, and the venue offers a coffee house and cafe.

Cal Performances is the UC Berkeley cultural program, bringing in a diverse range of dance, music, and theater presentations on the campus, north of downtown.

The major new entity on the scene is the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, 2120 Oxford St, http://www.bampfa.org.  The website announces new art shows and film offerings.

A downtown block-square greenery park, bounded by Milvia, MLK, Center, and Allston, officially named the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, features festivals, protests, a weekly farmers market (Saturday), and a daily ongoing parade of humanity.

The Berkeley restaurant scene flourishes in the downtown, north in the Gourmet Ghetto on Shattuck, and in other more remote sections of the city. For example, on Solano Avenue, the Indian (as from India) restaurant Ajanta has a substantial patronage. You can get on the proprietor’s monthly email newsletter about what’s new on the menu for the coming month. If you want to learn about Indian food, this is the place, as documented in the proprietor’s cookbook.

If You Go:

Area: East to Oakland/Berkeley

Website: http://www.visitberkeley.com for the local tourism office 

Address: 2030 Addison St, #102, Berkeley, CA 94704

Phone: 510-549-7040

Price: Charges at performances, museums, otherwise free

See Lee’s four Northern California books/ebooks on his Amazon Author Page.
See Lee’s books/ebooks
on his Amazon Author Page and in Independent Bookstores

Aside from the app, I publish books/ebooks about San Francisco and Northern California. One is titled The Photographer’s Guide to San Francisco. My main book/ebook on Northern California is Northern California Travel: The Best Options. Those volumes, including some more on California, can be seen on my Amazon Author Page. My further books on Northern California are Back Roads California and Northern California History Weekends. One of my California books, Northern California Travel: The Best Options, is now available as an ebook in Chinese.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here