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San Francisco is the central city in the Bay Area Sprawl. It's situated at the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula that forms San Francisco Bay. Since Los Angeles annexation by Pueblo, San Francisco is the largest city in California.

Vital Statistics (unofficial) Edytuj

(This population figure, as well as the demographic figures below, represent the Bay Area Sprawl including the cities of Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Rafael, Halferville, and other communities arounf the Bay)

Population: 7,242,358 
  Human: 73%
  Elf: 7%
  Dwarf: 11%
  Ork: 10%
  Troll: <1%
  Other: <1%
White: 17%
  Jewish: 38%
  Irish: 9%
  Italian: 7%
  English: 5%
  German: 8%
  Polish: 2%
  Russian: 4%
  French: 2%
Black: 9%
Hispanic: 11%
  Puerto Rican: 5%
  Aztlaner: 75%
  Cuban: 2%
  Peruvian: 2%
Asian: 62%
  Chinese: 3%
  Vietnamese: 2%
  Asian Indian: 1%
  Japanese: 83%
  Filipino: 9%
  Korean: 1%
Amerindian: 0%
LTG Numbers:
 San Francisco: 1415
 San Mateo: 10650
 Palo Alto: 8650
 San Jose: 8408
 Los Gatos: 3408
 Oakland: 9510
 Berkeley: 3510
 Hayward: 5510
 Concord: 2925
 Pleasanton: 10925
 San Rafael: 3415
 Novato: 6415
 Vallejo: 2702
 Napa: 7707

History Edytuj

In 2036 after California seceded from the UCAS, San Francisco hosted a contingent of Japanese Imperial Marines as a part of a defense agreement with Japan. These troops were recalled only in 2061. Colonel Keiji Saito in charge of the "rear guard", refused the order, establishing with the remaining troops a secured zone in central California known as the California Protectorate.

SAN FRANCISCO proper occupies just 80 hilly square kilometers at the tip of a slender peninsula, almost perfectly centered along the California coast. Arguably the most beautiful, certainly the most liberal city in North America, it remains true to itself: once a funky, individualistic, surprisingly small city whose people prided themselves on being the cultured counterparts to their cousins in LA – the last bastion of civilization on the lunatic fringe of America, San Francisco is not pinned under the oppressive thumb of Japanese Dictator general Saito.

It's a compact and inaccessible place, where downtown streets rise on impossible gradients to provide Saito and his troops several vantage points of surveillance around the city, the bay and beyond, and blanket fogs roll in unexpectedly to envelop the city in mist to conceal troop movements. This is not the California of monotonous blue skies and slothful warmth – the temperatures rarely exceed the 23-degrees Celsius, and even during summer can drop much lower.

The original inhabitants of this area, the Ohlone Indians, were all but wiped out within a few years of the establishment in 1776 of the Mission Dolores, the sixth in the chain of Spanish Catholic missions that ran the length of California. Two years after the Americans replaced the Mexicans in 1846, the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills precipitated the rip-roaring Gold Rush. Within a year fifty thousand pioneers had traveled west, and east from China, turning San Francisco from a muddy village and wasteland of sand dunes into a thriving supply center and transit town. By the time the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, San Francisco was a lawless, rowdy boomtown of bordellos and drinking dens, something the moneyed elite – who hit it big on the much more dependable silver Comstock Lode – worked hard to mend, constructing wide boulevards, parks, a cable car system and elaborate Victorian redwood mansions.

In the midst of the city's golden age, however, a massive earthquake, followed by three days of fire, wiped out most of the town in 1906. Rebuilding began immediately, resulting in a city more magnificent than before; in the decades that followed, writers like Dashiell Hammett and Jack London lived and worked here. Many of the city's landmarks, including Coit Tower and both the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, were built in the 1920s and 1930s. By World War II San Francisco had been eclipsed by Los Angeles as the main west coast city, but it achieved a new cultural eminence with the emergence of the Beats in the Fifties and the hippies in the Sixties, when the fusion of music, protest, rebellion and, of course, drugs that characterized 1967's "Summer of Love" took over the Haight-Ashbury district.

In a conservative America, by the end of the 20th century, San Francisco's reputation as a liberal oasis continued to grow, attracting waves of re-settlers from all over the US. It was estimated that over half the city's population originated from somewhere else. It was a city in a constant state of evolution, fast gentrifying itself into one of the most high-end towns on earth – thanks, in part, to the disposable incomes pumped into its coffers from its sizeable singles contingents. San Francisco has also been the scene of the dot-com revolution's rise and fall. The resultant wealth at one time made housing prices skyrocket – often at the expense of the city's middle and lower classes – but the closure of hundreds of start-up IT companies has brought real-estate prices back down to (almost) reasonable levels by the turn of the century. Despite the city's current economic ebbs and flows as well as its occupation, your impression of the city likely won't be altered – it remains one of the most proudly distinct places to be found anywhere.

Geography Edytuj

Earthquakes, hills, climate

Neighborhoods Edytuj

The following are neighborhoods strictly in the city of San Francisco. Neighborhoods in other districts and cities in the Bay Area Sprawl such as Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, and other communities may vary. Balboa: Middle Class (A-B)
Bay View: Low Class (High percentage of Ork and Troll residents) (C-D)
Bernal Heights: Middle Class: (B)
Chinatown: Middle Class (B)
Crocker Amazon: Low Class (C)
Diamond Heights: Upper CLass (AA)
Dubose/Castro: Middle Class (B)
Excelsior: Middle Class (C-B
Forest Hill: Luxury (AAA)
Glen Park: Upper CLass (AA)
Haight-Ashbury: Low Class (This area still retains much of its old reputation as home of the counter-culture. Low-cost housing is used by shadowrunners and similar dregs of society. (E)
Ingleside/Ocean View: Middle Class (B)
Western Addition: Middle Class (Formerly "Japan Town," Western Addition has been renamed and is home to many Japanese Middle Class workers and sararimen.) (B)
Lake Merced: Middle Class (B)
Marina: Upper Class (Exclusive and expensive, the Marina is owned mostly by the corporate types) (AA)
Mission: Middle Class (B-C)
Noe: Middle Class (B-C)
Outer Mission: Low Class (D-E)
Parkside: Middle Class (B-C)
Potrero: Low Class (D-E)
Presidio Heights: Upper CLass (AA)
Richmond: Middle Class (B-C)
Sea Cliff: Upper Class (AA)
South of Market: Upper CLass (Many exclusive bayside homes are found here – small and unassuming, but very, very expensive, and very, very well guarded) (AA-AAA)
Sunset: Low Class (E)
Sunset Heights: Middle Class (B-C)
St. Francis Wood: Luxury (AAA)
Twin Peaks: Upper Class (AA)
Visitation Valley: Low Class (D-E)

Downtown
The Embarcadero: Middle Class (A waterfront neighborhood with numerous warehouses and docks) (B)
Financial District: Upper Class (AA)
Lombard District: Upper Class (AA)
Nob Hill: Upper Class (AA)
North Beach: Middle Class (A-B)
Russian Hill: Middle Class (B)
Tenderloin: Middle Class (B)
Union Square: Upper Class (Mostly a business district) (AA)

Other Bay Area Communities
This is where we get to the OTHER parts of the Bay Area Sprawl, the parts Sato and his goons don't want you to see.
Alameda: Upper Class, High Security Zone (AA, AAA in the Yard)
Berkeley: Lower Class (B-C)
Emeryville: Low Class (B-C)
Halferville: Low Class (C-D)
Marin County: Upper CLass (A-AA)
Oakland: Low Class (D-E, sometimes Z)
Tiburon: (AAA)

Unofficial Download
SAN FRANCISCO proper occupies just 80 hilly square kilometers at the tip of a slender peninsula, almost perfectly centered along the California coast. Arguably the most beautiful, certainly the most liberal city in North America, it remains true to itself: once a funky, individualistic, surprisingly small city whose people prided themselves on being the cultured counterparts to their cousins in LA – the last bastion of civilization on the lunatic fringe of America, San Francisco is not pinned under the oppressive thumb of Japanese Dictator general Saito.

It's a compact and inaccessible place, where downtown streets rise on impossible gradients to provide Saito and his troops several vantage points of surveillance around the city, the bay and beyond, and blanket fogs roll in unexpectedly to envelop the city in mist to conceal troop movements. This is not the California of monotonous blue skies and slothful warmth – the temperatures rarely exceed the 23-degrees Celsius, and even during summer can drop much lower.

The original inhabitants of this area, the Ohlone Indians, were all but wiped out within a few years of the establishment in 1776 of the Mission Dolores, the sixth in the chain of Spanish Catholic missions that ran the length of California. Two years after the Americans replaced the Mexicans in 1846, the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills precipitated the rip-roaring Gold Rush. Within a year fifty thousand pioneers had traveled west, and east from China, turning San Francisco from a muddy village and wasteland of sand dunes into a thriving supply center and transit town. By the time the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, San Francisco was a lawless, rowdy boomtown of bordellos and drinking dens, something the moneyed elite – who hit it big on the much more dependable silver Comstock Load – worked hard to mend, constructing wide boulevards, parks, a cable car system and elaborate Victorian redwood mansions.

In the midst of the city's golden age, however, a massive earthquake, followed by three days of fire, wiped out most of the town in 1906. Rebuilding began immediately, resulting in a city more magnificent than before; in the decades that followed, writers like Dashiell Hammett and Jack London lived and worked here. Many of the city's landmarks, including Coit Tower and both the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, were built in the 1920s and 1930s. By World War II San Francisco had been eclipsed by Los Angeles as the main west coast city, but it achieved a new cultural eminence with the emergence of the Beats in the Fifties and the hippies in the Sixties, when the fusion of music, protest, rebellion and, of course, drugs that characterized 1967's "Summer of Love" took over the Haight-Ashbury district.

In a conservative America, by the end of the 20th century, San Francisco's reputation as a liberal oasis continued to grow, attracting waves of resettlers from all over the US. It was estimated that over half the city's population originated from somewhere else. It was a city in a constant state of evolution, fast gentrifying itself into one of the most high-end towns on earth – thanks, in part, to the disposable incomes pumped into its coffers from its sizeable singles contingents. San Francisco has also been the scene of the dot.com revolution's rise and fall. The resultant wealth at one time made housing prices skyrocket – often at the expense of the city's middle and lower classes – but the closure of hundreds of start-up IT companies has brought real-estate prices back down to (almost) reasonable levels by the turn of the century. Despite the city's current economic ebbs and flows as well as its occupation, your impression of the city likely won't be altered – it remains one of the most proudly distinct places to be found anywhere.

Chinatown (B)
Its 24 square blocks smack in the middle of San Francisco make up the second-largest Chinese community outside Asia. Almost entirely autonomous, with its own schools, banks and newspapers, it has its roots in the migration of Chinese laborers to the city after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, and the arrival of Chinese sailors keen to benefit from the Gold Rush. The city didn't extend much of a welcome: they were met by a tide of vicious racial attacks and the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. By the end of the 20th century, they have been joined by Vietnamese, Koreans, Thais and Laotians: by day the area seethes with activity, by night it's a blaze of neon. Overcrowding is compounded by a brisk tourist trade – sadly, however, Chinatown boasts some of the tackiest stores and facades in the city, making it more similar to shopping in a bad part of Hong Kong than in Beijing. Indeed, Chinese tourists are often disappointed in the neighborhood's disorder, and the new, some say true, Chinese neighborhood is in the Richmond district along Clement Street. General Saito’s troops patrol these streets heavily, ready to bust dissidents and put down revolts.

Gold ornamented portals and brightly painted balconies sit above the souvenir shops and restaurants of narrow Grant Avenue; pass under the entrance arch at Bush Street to be met by an assault of plastic Buddhas, cloisonné "health balls," noisemakers and chirping mechanical crickets in every doorway. Old St Mary's Church, on Grant and California, was one of the few San Francisco buildings to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire, and they have a good photo display of the damage to the city in the entranceway of the beautiful church.

Parallel to Grant Avenue, Stockton Street is crammed with exotic fish and produce markets, bakeries and herbalists. Inside the Ellison Herb Shop at no. 805 Stockton St, Chinatown's best-stocked herbal pharmacy, you'll find clerks filling orders the ancient Chinese way – with hand-held scales and abacuses – from drug cases filled with dried bark, roots, sharks' fins, cicadas, ginseng and other staples. Here, between Grant and Stockton, jumbled alleys hold the most worthwhile stops in the area. The best of these is Waverly Place, a two-block corridor of brightly painted balconies that was lined with brothels before the 1906 catastrophe and now home to three opulent but skillfully hidden temples (nos. 109, 125 and 146), their interiors a riot of black, gold and vermilion, still in use and open to visitors. North of Waverly Place, between Jackson and Washington streets, Ross Alley features the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, no. 56, specializing in X-rated fortunes, and, next door, a barber who will cut your hair to resemble that of any Hollywood star's.

Some of the hundred-plus restaurants are historical landmarks in themselves. Sam Wo, at 813 Washington St, is a cheap and churlish ex-haunt of the Beats where Gary Snyder taught Jack Kerouac to eat with chopsticks and had them both thrown out with his loud and passionate interpretation of Zen poetry.

Financial District (AA)
North of the city's main artery, Market Street, the glass-and-steel skyrakers the Aztechnology Pyramid, Federated Boeing, Kenshi Electronics, Nippon United, Renraku Corporation, and Tokugawa Technologies of the Financial District have sprung up in the last sixty years since the Shiawase Decisions of 2001 and 2002 to form its only real high-rise area. Sharp-suited sararimen clog the streets and coffee kiosks during business hours, but after 1800 hours, the area pretty much shuts down and Saito’s troops impose a strict curfew. Stop at the corner of Kearny and Market streets to admire Lotta's Fountain, San Francisco's most treasured artifact. It was around here that people gathered to hear news following the 1906 earthquake and fire, and also where famed soprano Luisa Tetrazinni gave a free concert on Christmas Eve, 1910.

Once cut off from the rest of San Francisco by the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway – damaged in the 1989 earthquake and finally torn down in 1991 – the Ferry Building, at the foot of Market Street, was modeled on the cathedral tower in Seville, Spain. Before the bridges were built in the 1930s it was the arrival point for fifty thousand cross-bay commuters daily. A few ferries still dock here, but the characterless megacorp units inside do little to suggest its former importance. The area in front of the Ferry Building is the site of the much-loved Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market (Tues 1100–1500 hours, Sat 0800–1330 hours), a great place to buy or merely gawk at the colorful local produce.

The area around it, known as The Embarcadero (B), is an area of charmless warehouses and docks. There are attempts to regentrify the area, such as the construction of the multi-level Embarcadero Center, but the area is still not safe enough to walk after dark. Many gaijinElves live here in the few residential blocks.

From the vast and unimaginative Embarcadero Center shopping mall and the fountains of Keiji Saito Plaza at the foot of Market it's a few blocks down to Montgomery Street, where the grand pillared entrances and banking halls of the post-1906 earthquake buildings era jostle for attention with a mixed bag of modern towers. For a hands-on grasp of modern finance, the World of Economics Gallery in the Federal Reserve Bank, 101 Market St (Mon–Fri 0900–1800 hours), is unbeatable: computer games allow you to engineer your own inflationary disasters, while exhibits detail recent scandals and triumphs. The Wells Fargo History Museum, 420 Montgomery St (Mon–Fri 0900–1700 hours; free), traces the far-from-slick origins of San Francisco's big money, right from the days of the Gold Rush, with mining equipment, gold nuggets, photographs, and a genuine retired stagecoach. Tucked discreetly in a nondescript building at 121 Steuart St is the little-known Jewish Museum San Francisco (5¥, free first Mon of month and Thurs 1800–2000 hours; Sun–Wed 1100–1700 hours, Thurs 1100–2000 hours), which, far from being the somber trudge through history its name suggests, has an impressive collection of contemporary work by Jewish artists. The museum moved to a new building in Nagasawa Akihiko Gardens in 2003.

Haight-Ashbury (E)
The fame of Haight-Ashbury, three kilometers west of downtown San Francisco, far outstrips its size. No more than eight blocks in length, centered around the junction of Haight and Ashbury streets, "The Haight" is a run-down Victorian neighborhood home to many shadowrunners and San Francisco’s, anti-Japanese, counter-culture. This is also The People’s University’s main underground hub on the inside. It retains a collection of radical bookstores, simsense shops, laid-back cafés, and secondhand clothing emporia, not to mention a collection of characters still flying the counterculture's rather worn flag.

All there is to do in the Haight today is to stroll around what is one of the best areas in town to shop. It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to update your record collection, dress yourself up and blow money on chips and synthahol. The eastern end of Haight Street, around the crossing with Fillmore Street, is the funkiest corner of the district. Known as the Lower Haight, and for decades a primarily black neighborhood, it also a stomping ground for young hipsters. Though its trend appeal has since been surpassed by the Mission, it remains home to a small glut of VJ shops and a boisterous Brit-heavy population of club kids.

Jackson Square and the Barbary Coast (AA)
Two centuries or so ago, the eastern flank of the Financial District formed part of the Barbary Coast, an area of land that grew due to the hundreds of ships that lay abandoned by sailors heading for the Gold Rush. Enterprising San Franciscans used the dry ships as hotels, bars and stores. This then-rough-and-tumble waterfront district gave The City an unsavory reputation as Baghdad by the Bay, packed as it was with saloons and brothels where hapless young males were given Mickey Finns and shanghaied into involuntary servitude on merchant ships. William Randolph Hearst's Examiner lobbied frantically to shut down the quarter, resulting in a 1917 California law prohibiting prostitution. Remains of the cradle of San Francisco can still be seen in the Jackson Square Historic District, not an actual square but an area bordered by Washington, Columbus, Sansome and Pacific streets.

The landmark Hasegawa Pyramid, at the foot of diagonal Columbus Avenue and Washington, serves as a useful dividing point between the various downtown areas. The 48-story structure, capped by a colossal 212ft hollow spire, arose amid a city-planning furor that earned it the name of "Pereira's Prick," after its LA-based architect William Pereira. Since then it's been indisputably the signature of San Francisco's skyline up until the rabid frenzy of the invading Japanacorps and their taller skyrakers. In these days of plump speculative buildings, it is still a rare example of architecture that sacrifices the pragmatic for the symbolic. From a real-estate perspective, the building is a nightmare – as the structure tapers upward, the floors that fetch the highest rents diminish in area – the pyramid would be far more valuable upside down. Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain and William Randolph Hearst all rented office space in the Montgomery Block that originally stood on this site, and regularly hung around the notorious Tokyo Bank Exchange bar within. Today, various A and AA-Rated Japanacorps rend office space within the Puramid Tower. Legend also has it that Sun Yat-sen – whose statue is in Chinatown, three blocks away – wrote the Chinese constitution and orchestrated the successful overthrow of the Manchu Dynasty from his second-floor office here. Next door is the pleasant Hasegawa Park with fountains perfect for an outdoor lunch. Across the street from the park, Hotaling Place's winding brickwork and antique lamps recall the past, and some original redbrick buildings can be seen, now serving as office space for upscale Japanese design firms. Heading west on Jackson or Pacific streets from the area leads you back to Columbus and the green-copper siding of the Columbus Tower, 906 Kearney, the de facto beginning of North Beach. Director and San Francisco native Francis Ford Coppola owned the building, now owned by Japanese financier Akutagawa Hidetoshi-san, and Coppola’s Neibaum-Coppola Café (renamed Café Daishi-Akutagawa) on the ground floor now serves Sukiyaki, Gyoza and his Rice Wine from the nearby vineyards.

Nob Hill (AA)
From Nob Hill, looking down upon the business wards of the city, we can decry a building with a little belfry, and that is the stock exchange, the heart of San Francisco; a great pump we might call it, continually pumping up the savings of the lower quarter to the pockets of the millionaires on the hill.

– Robert Louis Stevenson 

If the Financial District is representative of new Japanese nuyen in the city, the posh hotels and masonic institutions of Nob Hill exemplify San Francisco's old wealth; it was, as Joan Didion wrote, "the symbolic nexus of all old California money and power." Once you've made the stiff climb up (or taken the California cable car), there are very few real sights as such, but nosing around is pleasant enough, taking in the aura of luxury and enjoying the views over the city and beyond.

The area became known as Nob Hill after the robber-baron industrialists who came to live here while running the Central Pacific Railroad. Grace Cathedral here is one of the biggest hunks of sham-Gothic architecture in the California Free State. Construction began soon after the 1906 earthquake, but most of it was built, of faintly disguised reinforced concrete, in the early 1960’s. The entrance is adorned with faithful replicas of the fifteenth-century Ghiberti doors of the Florence Baptistry. A block east, be sure to go inside the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St, to get a sense of the opulence that once ruled the hill. Take its elevators up for a great view of the city. Across from the Fairmont, the brownstone of the Pacific Union Club was the only original Nob Hill structure left standing after the 1906 fire.

North Beach (A-B)
Resting in the hollow between Russian and Telegraph hills, and split by Columbus Avenue, North Beach likes to think of itself as the happening district of San Francisco. It has been a focal point for anyone vaguely alternative ever since the City Lights Simsense and Bookstore opened over a hundred years ago in 1953. The first paperback bookstore in the old US still stands amid the flashing neon, holovized adverts, and trendy clubs of Columbus Avenue at Broadway, open until 2100 hours seven days a week, and was once owned by The Late poet and novelist Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It has been bought out and turned into a pro-Japanacorp front, owned by Arakawa Akio. The Beat Generation made this the literary capital of America, achieving overnight notoriety when charges of obscenity were leveled at Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl in 1957, which he first performed over in Cow Hollow at 3119 Fillmore St. It was the hedonistic antics of the Beats, as much as their literary merits, that struck a chord, and North Beach came to symbolize a wild and subversive lifestyle. The roadtrips and riotous partying, the drug-taking and embrace of eastern religions were emulated nationwide; tourists poured into North Beach for "Beatnik Tours." Some of these shops still retain their original ambiance, but behind the scenes, the Japanacorps and the Yakuza still pull the strings very tightly. These are prime areas for the Japanacorp protagonists who fight Saito’s rule everyday. They’re typically young Japanese here, so if you’re Metahuman, don’t come around here looking for any allies. Stay in Oakland or Halferville.

Next to the bookstore, Vesuvio's, an old North Beach bar where the likes of Dylan Thomas and Kerouac would get loaded, remains a haven for the lesser-knowns to pontificate on the state of the arts. At the crossroads of Columbus and Broadway. But more and more there are several Haiku Reading Centers rubbing out the poetry places. Most famous, the Condor Club was where Carol Doda's revealing of her silicone-implanted breasts started the topless waitress phenomenon. Now the Condor Club is a sedate megacorporate sarariman meeting place, where the olders gather around, sip tea and discuss stock prices. The back rooms are reserved for discussing plots on Saito’s overthrow. This is a Yakuza hub.

As you continue north on Columbus Avenue, you enter the heart of the old Italian neighborhood, an enclave of narrow streets and leafy enclosures. Explorations lead to small landmarks like the Café Trieste, where the simsense jukebox blasts out opera classics to a heavy-duty art crowd, toying with cappuccinos and browsing slim volumes of actual hard-copy poetry. From Columbus's Washington Square, head up the very steep steps on Filbert Street to reach Telegraph Hill and the Coit Tower, featuring grand views of the city and beyond.

To the west of Columbus, Russian Hill (B) was named for Russian sailors who died here in the early 1800s. In the summer, there's always a long line of cars waiting to drive down the tight curves of Lombard Street (AA). Surrounded by palatial dwellings and herbaceous borders, Lombard is an especially thrilling drive at night, when the tourists leave and the city lights twinkle below. Even if you're without a car, the journey up here is worth it for a visit to the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St (free; daily 0800–2100 hours), the oldest art school in the west, where the Diego Rivera Gallery has an outstanding mural created by the painter in 1931. Walking south from the institute for four blocks on Jones Street, you'll find Macondray Lane, a pedestrian-only "street" thought to be one of the inspirations for Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City.

Tenderloin, Civic Center and South of Market (B)
While parts of San Francisco can almost seem to be an urban utopia, the adjoining districts of the Tenderloin (home to many Japanese Elves) and Civic Center reveal harsher realities and are a gritty reminder that not everybody has it so easy. However, South of Market (aka SoMa) has, unlike the Embarcadero, taken a previously “unimaginable” upswing. A new entertainment complex surrounding Nagasawa Akihiko Gardens – anchored by the high and low culture appeals of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Sony's Metreon mall – has transformed it from a bleak post-industrial wasteland into a thriving extension of the crowded downtown area.

The majestic federal and municipal buildings of Civic Center, squashed between the Tenderloin and SoMa, can't help but look strangely out of sync, both with their immediate neighbors and with San Francisco as a whole. Their grand Beaux Arts style is at odds with the quirky wooden architecture of the rest of the city. At night, when the ritzy War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, and the aquarium-like Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Grove Street at Van Ness Avenue, swarm with well-heeled patrons of the ballet, opera and symphony, it all looks distinctly more impressive than by day.

It was at the huge, green-domed City Hall, on the northern edge of the dismal United Nations Plaza, that Mayor George Moscone and gay Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated in 1978. The recently restored gold plate dome is an impressive relic of Gold Rush-era largess.

Formerly one of San Francisco's least desirable neighborhoods, SoMa, the district South of Market, has been enjoying a renaissance since the Year of Chaos. It's reminiscent in a way of New York's SoHo: many of its abandoned warehouses have been converted into studio spaces and Japanese art galleries, and the neighborhood is now home to artists, musicians, hep-cat entertainers and trendy restaurants. All Japanese, of course. This may well be short-lived however: SoMa is a prime piece of central real estate, and during Saito’s take-over, the bulldozers moved in and many artists were squeezed out. It remains to be seen which direction the district will go as the Saito War Machine either gathers or loses steam. Still, the new home of the SF Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St (10¥, free first Tues of month; Mon, Tues & Fri–Sun 1100–1800 hours, Thurs 1100–2200 hours, open an hour earlier May–Sept), opened here in January 1995, some 70 years ago. Major works include paintings by Hagiwara Bakin, Horiuchi Ayano and Kitamura Sumio. The temporary exhibitions are the museum's strongest suit; with newly acquired financial muscle it can snap up the better touring works. However, the allegation that the building, designed by Japanese architect Mutsu Yoshiyuki, is far more beautiful than anything inside, is pretty hard to dispute – flooded with natural light from a soaring, truncated, cylindrical skylight, it's a sight to behold.

Opposite the museum is the other totem of civic pride, the Nagasawa Akihiko Center for the Arts (6¥, free first Tues of month; daily except Mon 1100–1800 hours, Thurs–Fri 1100–2000 hours), bounded by Third and Fourth streets, Mission and Folsom. A spectacular 44 million nuyen project featuring a theater and three galleries, the center's best feature is its parklike setting – five and a half acres of lovely gardens with a 15-meter Sierra granite waterfall memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. Dominating the Gardens' south side is the Sony Metreon, a combination simsense theater and Matrix entertainment mall.

An incredible addition to the city's waterfront is Saito Park, down Third Street at King, once home to the San Francisco Giants. The faux-old brick building offers superb views of the bay beyond the outfield fences, some of the finest food to ever grace a ballpark, as well as the chance to see the odd home run splash into the bay.

Above all, SoMa is the nucleus of clubland, where the city's wildlife is at its best. Folsom Street was until The Awakening a major gay strip, the center for much lewder goings-on than Duboce/Castro; in recent years the mix has become pretty diverse, though never tame.

Duboce/Castro (B)
Progressive and celebratory, Duboce/Castro is still the city's gay capital, providing a barometer for the state of the grown-up and sobered Japanese-gay scene. Some people insist that this is still the wildest place in town, others reckon it's a shadow of its former self; all agree that things are not the same as ten or even five years ago, when a walk down Duboce/Castro would have had you gaping at the revelry. Most of the same bars and hangouts still stand, but these days they're host to an altogether different and more conservative breed. Japanese shops and restaurants lend a young professional feel to the place. A visit to the district is a must if you're to get any idea of just what San Francisco is all about, though in terms of visible street life, the few blocks around Castro and Market streets contain about all there is to see.

The junction of Castro and 18th Street, still known as the "gayest four corners of the earth," marks the Castro's center, cluttered with simsense stores, clothing stores, cafés and bars. The side streets offer a slightly more exclusive fare of exotic delicatessens, fine wines and fancy florists, and enticingly leafy residential territory.

Mission (B-C)
Vibrant, hip and ethnically mixed, the Mission is easily San Francisco's funkiest neighborhood. A mile or so south of downtown, it is also the warmest, eluding the summer fogs. As the traditional first stop for immigrants, the Mission serves as a microcosm of the city's history and, for the time being, ensures that the neighborhood never transcends the "transitional" stage it has been in for years.

The area takes its name from the old Mission Dolores, at 16th and Dolores (3¥ suggested donation; daily 0900–1600 hours, until 1630 hours; May–Oct), the oldest building to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire. Founded in 1776, it was the sixth in a series of missions built along the Pacific coast as Spain staked its claim to California; the graves of the Native Americans it tried to "civilize" can be seen in the cemetery next door, along with those of white pioneers. This area within Mission has been sealed off because of several Shedim sightings.

The heart of the Mission lies east of Mission Street between 16th and 24th streets. Here you'll absorb the district's original Latin flavor, with Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Costa Rican and Mexican stores and restaurants, along with markets selling tropical fruits and panaderias baking traditional pastries. Agents on Aztlan’s and Aztechnology’s payroll are also found here lurking right under Saito’s nose.

In the last few years, however, the "in" crowd has descended on a strip of Valencia south of 16th, site of a new crop of hip on-line bars, cafés and restaurants. The profusion of independent simsense stores and thrift stores around here makes for heavenly browsing and the vicinity of 22nd Street has become a new gourmet-dining ghetto for slumming Japanese execs. Worth a visit is the Levi Strauss & Co factory, at 250 Valencia St, built after the original factories were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. Though tours have been discontinued, you can admire the yellow brick facade of where the world's most famous jeans are made.

What really sets the Mission apart from other neighborhoods, though, are its murals – there are over two hundred in all. A brilliant tribute to local hero Carlos Santana still adorns three buildings where 22nd Street meets South Van Ness, while every possible surface on Balmy Alley, between Folsom and Harrison off 24th Street, has been covered with murals depicting the political agonies of Central America. More recently, murals of the political agonies endured by gaijin and Metahumans under Saito’s iron fist have also cropped up here. Despite the Saito Squad’s attempts to remove these anti-Saito murals, they keep on popping up again.

“General Saito” Union Square (AA)
Under the long shadows of the megacorporate skyrakers to the north, the city's heart can be found around Union Square, located north of Market Street and bordered by Powell and Stockton streets. Cable cars clank past bustling shoppers and theater-goers who gravitate to the district's many upscale hotels, department stores and boutiques. The statue in the center commemorates General Saito’s success in the capturing of San Francisco and forming the California Protectorate, though the square takes its name from its role as gathering place for stumping speechmakers during the US Civil War. The square witnessed the attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford outside the (now Westin) St Francis Hotel in 1975, and was also the location of Francis Ford Coppola's film The Conversation, where Gene Hackman spied on strolling lovers. Many of Dashiell Hammett's detective stories, such as The Maltese Falcon, are set partly in the St Francis, in which he worked as a Pinkerton detective during the Twenties. Hammett fans should check out Katsumata’s Grill, 63 Ellis St, for Sam Spade's favorite eating spot (though it probably won't be yours), and Burritt Alley, two blocks north of the square on Bush Street, near Stockton Street. Here's where Spade's partner, Miles Archer, met his end, shot by Brigid O'Shaughnessy. A plaque still marks the spot.

On Geary Street, on the south side of the square, the Theater District is a pint-sized Broadway of restaurants, tourist hotels and serious and "adult" theaters. On the eastern side of the square, Maiden Lane is a chic urban walkway that before the 1906 earthquake and fire was one of the city's roughest areas, where homicides averaged around ten a month. Nowadays, aside from some prohibitively expensive boutiques, its main feature is San Francisco's only Frank Lloyd Wright building (now occupied by the Matsuo-Xanadu Japanese-Tribal Art Gallery), an intriguing circular space which was a try-out for the Guggenheim in New York.

Economy Edytuj

After the Crash of 2029 and the California Independence in 2036, Japanese corporations becomes the dominant force in San Francisco economy, namely Renraku, Mitsuhama, Shiawase, Tokugawa Technologies and Kenshi Electronics. The only non-Japanese corporations to play a significant role are Ares, who possess assets in the famous Silicon Valley and Federated-Boeing.

Law & Government Edytuj

Źródła Edytuj

Neo-Anarchist Guide to North America
California Free State
Year of the Comet
Threats 2
Shadows of North America

Linki zewnętrzne Edytuj

Wikipedia - San Francisco

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