CITINERARY: San Francisco – SE

Day trip by train… from Yerba Buena to Chinatown… around Union Square… and back:

Yerba Buena is where it all began. As one of San Francisco’s first neighborhoods, the district has seen times as a gold prospector’s camp and as a place where dockworkers and merchant seamen filled boarding houses.

San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco.

  1. IT is the north end of the Caltrain commuter rail line to the San Francisco Peninsula and Santa Clara Valley, and is a major area transit hub. IT is next to a Muni Metro light rail station, which provides connections to downtown San Francisco and Bay Area Rapid Transit. IT opened on June 21, 1975, replacing a station built in 1914 at 3rd and Townsend.

  2. Constructed in Rhode Island in 1906, IT was intended to be installed in San Francisco, however due to the great 1906 earthquake and fire it could not be installed. In 1907 IT was installed at Luna Park, Seattle. In 1913 IT moved to San Francisco’s Playland-at-the-Beach until 1972 when Playland-at-the-Beach closes. IT was purchased by the City of San Francisco in 1998, fully restored, and opened in its current location at the Children’s Creativity Museum in Yerba Buena Gardens.

  3. THIS interactive sculpture by artist Chico MacMurtrie follows the movement of the observer in the area. When a person of at least 100 pounds sits on a bench facing the globe, the kinetic element of the sculpture is activated. As the bench slowly lowers, it engages a large underground lever which activates a series of link rods driving the counterweighted figure’s movement. When the observer on the bench sits, the figure on the globe also sits. When the observer stands, the figure slowly rises.

  4. After four decades, IT moved from Hallidie Plaza to a new home in the expanding Moscone Center. The new location will give San Francisco a modern, high tech, state-of-the-art facility with a very “San Francisco” atmosphere.

  5. THIS newly opened serene passage provides easy, unimpeded access to the Children’s Garden and through to Third Street.

  6. THIS life-size bronze statue created by Terry Allen presents a multi-dimensional business executive who greets visitors to Yerba Buena Gardens near the western edge of the terrace level of the Esplanade. Toting a brief case and split into interconnected figures, the statue conveys a sense of motion with many feet and hands appearing to reach out to those who pass by. How many interconnected figures do you see?

  7. THESE gardens along the entire length of the Upper Terrace feature flowering plants from San Francisco’s 18 Sister City relationships around the world. The result is a global quilt of colors, smells and vibrant contrasts, that remind visitors of community connections beyond the Bay Area.
    Do you know any San Francisco Sister City?

  8. The vision of peace and international unity is enshrined in this memorial featuring a majestic waterfall and shimmering glass panels inscribed with Dr. King’s inspiring words, poems and images from the civil rights movement. Artist and sculptor, Houston Conwill, created this memorial in collaboration with poet Estella Conwill Majoza and architect Joseph De Pace.

  9. What do you get when you combine a late nineteenth-century landmark building with contemporary architecture? A former Pacific Gas and Electric Power Substation, IT embodies the history and innovation of San Francisco. Architect Daniel Libeskind’s whimsical angles and hidden symbols create an intentional space that houses contemporary art, culture, and ideas, and fosters a multifaceted conversation about tradition and innovation in contemporary society.

  10. IT was originally a tall sand dune, and the square was built and dedicated by San Francisco’s first mayor John Geary in 1850. IT got its name from the pro-Union rallies held there on the eve of the Civil War. The monument itself is also a tribute to the sailors of the United States Navy. Today it forms one of the most notable outdoor spaces in the world, functioning as a major “urban room” in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

  11. Inspired by the classic Tony Bennett song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and the international exhibit CowParade—a worldwide display of cow sculptures commissioned by different artists—THEY are San Francisco’s city-wide artistic contribution and a fundraising platform for San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.

  12. After two years of work, world-renowned San Francisco sculptor Ruth Asawa finished this intricately detailed monument to San Francisco in 1972, featuring whimsical bas-relief scenes of the city. IT is comprised of 41 individual bronze panels overflowing with San Francisco landmarks, all arranged relative to their location to Union Square, along with fantastical fictional characters.

  13. Located just off Union Square, ITS distinctive arched brickwork was designed to lure passers-by into the shop’s airy interior. ITS interior has similarities to the Guggenheim Museum. How would you describe this shop’s entrance? How do you think Frank Lloyd Wright humorously referred to it?

  14. IT is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. IT is one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco. IT is a “city within city,” changing constantly to reflect new waves of immigrants bringing new customs and experiences to America.

  15. IT is a small factory store that has been in the same Chinatown alley for some 57 years. IT is a popular spot for tourists from all over the world. For children, it’s part of their field trip. Did you know that the fortune cookie originated in the US? Until the early 1990s, you would not find fortune cookies in China or within the Chinese culture.

  16. Invented here nearly 150 years ago and named a national historic landmark in 1964, THEY are kept in tip-top shape and have come to symbolize San Francisco alongside another world-renowned transportation icon (hint: it’s a suspension bridge painted an International Orange color :-).

  17. In celebration of his 90th birthday (August 3), and in recognition of his many contributions to the City, Bennett was honored with a new statue, a new ice cream flavor, and the title of Mr. San Francisco, bestowed on him by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who also declared August 19 as Tony Bennett Day. The statue was created by San Francisco Bay Area sculptor Bruce Leslie Wolfe.

  18. IT was established as a result of the nation’s most famous gold rush. It’s survived challenges from earthquakes, fires and production demands that tested its capacities. Hailed as the “Granite Lady,” it got its name for its massive two-story structure built out of granite to handle the heavy minting equipment.

  19. The sound of water, the scent of flowers and the warmth of sunlight unfolds in these gardens. Each unique area of the gardens combines design and plantings to reflect the diversity of cultures in San Francisco and the world. The open sky and the backdrop of buildings and bridges create a serene oasis in the middle of the bustle of downtown. Can you find the butterfly garden?

  20. IT was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to modern and contemporary art. IT opened on January 18, 1935 and recently underwent a major expansion that nearly tripled the museum’s gallery space. IT has four collecting areas: Architecture + Design, Media Arts, Painting + Sculpture, and Photography. Which area is your favorite?

  21. At 30 feet high and 4,400 square feet in expanse, IT is the largest living wall in the US. IT provides a green backdrop to the sculptures installed on the third-floor terrace. IT has 19,442 individual plants, 38 different species, 21 of which are native to California and/or the San Francisco Bay Area (41 percent of the wall).

  22. HE created works for diverse venues in San Francisco during his lifetime. THIS outdoor sculpture Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) (1989), located at Third and Howard Streets, is a prominent feature of Moscone Convention Center. Do you know or can you discover who is the artist?


  1. San Francisco 4th and King Street station
  2. Children’s Creativity Museum Carousel at Yerba Buena Gardens
  3. Urge to Stand – Amorphic Robot Works
  4. Visitor Information Canter at the Moscone Center
  5. Children’s Garden Allée
  6. Shaking Man
  7. Sister City Gardens
  8. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  9. The Contemporary Jewish MuseumTHE CJM BUILDING: DESIGN & SYMBOLISM
  10. Union Square
  11. Hearts in San Francisco
  12. Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco Fountain
  13. Frank Lloyd Wright’s San Francisco Gift Shop
  14. Dragon’s Gate entry to Chinatown
  15. Cable Cars
  16. Tony Bennett Statue
  17. Tony Bennett Statue
  18. The San Francisco Mint: The ‘Granite Lady’
  19. Yerba Buena Gardens
  20. SFMOMA
  21. SFMOMA Living Wall
  22. Keith Haring, Untitled (Three Dancing Figures), 1989.


This entry was posted in .Chinatown, .citinerary, .International_Cat_Day, .SAN_FRANCISCO, .train, .Union_Square, .Yerba_Buena_Gardens, Keith Haring, Ruth Asawa and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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