San Francisco

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San Francisco

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GPS N37.763116°,W122.423401°
San Francisco is the fourth largest city of California and fourteen largest in whole US. It is situated on the tip of San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its nicknames are: The City by the Bay; The City That Knows How and Golden Mountain. The whole area of the city is somewhat larger than 600 square kilometers, unusually, the larger part takes water (approximately 480 square kilometers). The vast majority of the city and county of San Francisco is located on the US mainland. However, several of the islands of San Francisco Bay are included, notably Alcatraz Island, Treasure Island, and most of the Red Rock Island. Also included are the uninhabited Farallon Islands. San Francisco is famous for its hills. A "hill" in San Francisco is an elevation that is over 100 ft (30 m). There are a total of 42 hills within city limits.

As well as San Franciscan Hills, also summer fogs are characteristic for the city. Its climate is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean. Winters are usually rainy.

San Francisco is the second most densely polluted major American City after New York. There were 739 426 inhabitants in 2005, as far as the whole urban area is concerned it was around 3.4 million. The density is more than 6000 inhabitants per square kilometre. The racial makeup of the city is 49.66% White, 30.84% Asian, 7.79% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.49% Pacific Islander, 6.48% from other races, and 4.28% from two or more races. The ethnic makeup is 19.6% Chinese, 8.8% Irish, 7.7% German, and 6.1% English. Just out of curiosity, San Francisco has the highest percentage of gay families.

Spanish people were the first Europeans to settle the area of present-day San Francisco in 1776 and they named it St. Francis. It started to grow rapidly during the California gold rush in 1848 and the Comstock Lode and silver mines in 1859. However, in 1906 it was damaged by the earthquake and fire. Soon it has been rebuilt and it became one of the most recognizable cities in the US. The most famous milestones belong years after WWII, when San Francisco accelerated its transformation into a center of alternative culture and lifestyles. Movements instrumental in this change include the beat generation or beatniks, the San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s, hippie culture, women's liberation, gay civil rights, and the Summer of Love in the Haight Ashbury in the 1960s.

Famous hallmarks and landmarks include the San Francisco cable cars, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

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