San Francisco, California
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San Francisco Business Signs
The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people initially inhabited the region in Northern California now known as San Francisco. Europeans first settled in the bay area on June 29th, 1776, when Spanish colonist Jose Joaquin Moraga Francisco Palou established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission called St. Francis of Assisi nearby. San Francisco translates to ‘Saint Francis’ in Spanish.
The modern day city of San Francisco, according to a 2013 US Census estimate, has a population of 837,442 people. This makes it the fourth-most populous city in California (after Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose) and the 14th most populous city in the country. The city and its surroundings are often referred to as the San Francisco Bay Area, which is part of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area. This CSA is estimated to have a population of 8.5 million people.
In 2013, the Gross Domestic Product for the five-county San Francisco metropolitan area was estimated as being $388.3 billion. The city and the bay area region in general is home to many Fortune 500 companies. These include McKesson, Wells Fargo, PG&E Corporations, CNF, Gap, Applied Materials, Charles Schwab, Levi Strauss, Maxtor, Golden West Financial, Clorox, and Ross Stores.
The city is also located at the heart of Silicon Valley, so the metropolitan area is also home to various technology companies like Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Intel, Solectron, Oracle, and of course, Apple Computer.
San Francisco is also well known as being a hub for the counter culture. The Haight-Ashbury district is world-renowned for its role in the Summer of Love and the city at large prides itself on being LGBT-friendly. San Francisco is the home of the first lesbian-rights organization in the country, the Daughters of Bilitis. The citizens of San Fran were the first to elect an openly gay man to a public office in the US (Harvey Milk), the first to appoint an openly lesbian judge (Mary C. Morgan), and the first city to have a transgender police commissioner (Theresa Sparks). Since 1972, San Francisco hosts San Francisco Pride, one of the oldest and largest gay pride parades in the country.
The most iconic piece of the San Francisco skyline is undoubtedly the Golden Gate Bridge. This red suspension bridge spans the Golden Gate strait, which is a mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It links the city to the county at large. The bridge is 746 ft (227.4m) high and opened on May 27th, 1937. Joseph Strauss, Irving Morrow, and Charles Ellis designed it. The American Society of Civil Engineers have declared the Golden Gate Bridge to be one of the Wonders of the Modern World.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. (It is the oldest out of the four notable Chinatowns in the city.) It was established in 1848. Chinatown is also a huge draw to the city, attracting more tourists annually than the Golden Gate Bridge itself.
San Francisco is home to three major professional sports teams. The NFL’s San Francisco 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium and have won five Super Bowls. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors play in Oracle Arena and have three championships to their name. MLB’s San Francisco Giants moved to the city in 1958, play their home games at AT&T Park, and have won three World Series since arriving.
Do you own a small business in the San Francisco Bay Area? Are you considering it? These resources could help you:
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