Monthly Archives: February 2012

Native Americans in San Francisco

Raymond Dabb Yelland, Lands End, San Francisco, CA

As with the rest of the United States, we are not the first to inhabit this peninsula.  The first  people to call this home, at least the first as far as we can tell, were the Native Americans.  Imagine if you will a San Francisco composed of sand dunes, marshes, and wetlands.  A place of relative peace and calm which migrating birds often called home during at least some part of the year.  The swamps were rich with life and clean, truly clean, water was abundant.  This of course was before the gold miners of 1849 dumped large quantities of mercury into the streams and rivers.

This virtual paradise was inhabited by many, many tribes which appear to have gotten along in relative peace.  Each tribe, numbering from 40 – 400 had a territory where they hunted, fished, and collected all that they needed.  The area was so rich in resources that the tribe’s needs were easily satisfied.

It is estimated that around 17,000 Native Americans called the bay area home for many centuries, possibly even dating back to a time long ago when the shores of San Francisco started at the Faralon Islands and the bay was a beautiful meadow.  Some of the tribe names are listed below:

Yelamu Tribe – San Francisco area

Humen Tribe – Marin area

Huchium Tribe – Oakland area

Aramai Tribe – Daly City area

Urebure Tribe – San Bruno area

What will the bay area look like in 1,000 or 2,000 or even 3,000 years?  Will the future inhabitants remember us?  What will they think our name was and how will these future historians think that we lived?  Let your imagination go for just a moment, and imagine that they are actually alien archeologists studying the earth and trying to figure out its past and how people lived and survived in San Francisco during the early 21st Century.

Cheers!

Mike

Source:  Infinite City:  A San Francisco Atlas, by Rebecca Solnit (If you are into San Francisco history, you need to buy this book.)

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Americana

This photo was taken outside of a small, midwestern town in Kansas.  It stands at the end of an open field where you can see the beginnings of winter wheat pop up out of the ground.  Gone are the days that people flocked to this field to watch the stars grace the screen.  No longer will kids jump into the back of the truck piled high with pillows and blankets and snuggle in to watch an adventure film while the night air surrounds them and lulls them to sleep.  There are no more sweethearts steaming up the car windows because they are more interested in the attractions inside of the car than the movie itself.

This photo denotes a time gone by, a piece of Americana life that is slowly deteriorating and rusting away in most parts of the United States.  There are still a few around that will make you feel like you are an extra in “The Outsider’s” movie when all the teenagers converged on the Admiral Twin in Tulsa, Oklahoma because it was the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.  Unfortunately, this iconic theater on Route 66 burned down a couple of years ago.  The good news is that it is being replaced.  Save the Admiral Twin.

Luckily, if you live in the bay area and you want to experience a drive-in again, or even for the first time, you can always go to the West Wind Theaters in San Jose or Concord.  In fact, there are several of these iconic theatres still operating throughout California.  This state often leads the way in the preservation of true iconic Americana from the Hollywood sign , to the sidewalk in front  of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the remaining drive-in theatres.  The past is still alive here and ready to be experienced.

Cheers!

Mike

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San Francisco’s Culinary Side

When you visit San Francisco, or if you live here, you will be delighted by the incredible food experiences that can be found in this great city.   First of all, you can find any type of food here from any country, and often made and served in the traditional manner.   In addition, many of the local, yet world-renowned, chefs perform something called “California Fusion” where they take the traditional recipes and add more modern ways of cooking and manipulating spices in order to give the taste buds a feast.  It’s not all about the food, but if you are a foodie, you will find yourself spending several evenings wiling away the hours at a local restaurant taking in the food and the ambiance.

Going out to eat is not always a precursor to the main event in San Francisco.  Instead, it is the main event.  Don’t be surprised if you end up waiting in line for thirty minutes to an hour and  a half just to get into some of the better restaurants.  Better does not necessarily mean expensive in this case.  For example, check out the line at Dotty’s Cafe on the weekends and you will see people waiting for extended lengths of time to get extraordinary breakfast fare at a very reasonable price.

Located on the West Coast, full of entrepreneurs, and home to large number of immigrants, San Francisco has always been a place of exotic and diverse food choices.  Many new menu items have grown out of this creative culinary melting pot including the following:

1.  The Hangtown Fry.  This is a dish of scrambled eggs mixed with oysters and bacon.  Pair with this with a thick slice of Irish soda bread and you will have an incredible brunch.

2.  The Popsicle.  According to city legend, this item was invented in the 1920’s in Neptune Beach, an amusement park in Alameda.

3.  Rice-A-Roni.  Yes, it really is a San Francisco treat.  It was created by an Italian family in the 1950’s in the Mission District.

4.  Hot Pink Popcorn.  This item could be acquired in the past in Golden Gate Park and the zoo.  You can still get it in the Mission at the Wright Popcorn and Nut Company.

5.  Wine.  Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are literally a 45 minute drive North.  Needless to say, the city shamelessly ignored  the Federal Laws pertaining to Prohibition in the 1930’s.

That’s all for today.

Cheers!

Mike

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Filed under San Francisco Entertainment, San Francisco History, San Francisco Tourist