San Francisco, also known as the “City by the Bay,” is considered the twelfth most populous city in the United States. It is the second-most densely populated city in the United States, and is considered to be the financial, cultural, and transportation centre of the larger San Francisco Bay Area region.
San Francisco was inhabited 3000 years B.C. Prior to the expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza, the area was home to the Ohlone language group. Later, Francisco Palou would found the Mission San Francisco de Asis in the area, and the Yelamu tribal group of the Ohlone were among those who were brought to work and live at the mission. Soon after this, they converted into Catholicism. When the California Gold Rush exploded, many treasure seekers rushed to San Francisco over rival Benicia. Consequently, the population increased from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 in 1849. Many crews on vessels rushed towards the gold fields, which left behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor. The U.S. military built Fort Point at the Golden Gate and a fort on Alcatraz Island to secure the San Francisco Bay. The Gold Rush phenomenon led many San Francisco businessmen to capitalize on this opportunity. Many banks were opened, and the Port of San Francisco became the center of trade in the city. It also became a polyglot culture, and by the turn of the century, San Francisco became a major city that was known for its ostentatious mansions, flamboyant style, and an active arts and culture scene. The following years saw the growth of the city as a financial capital, although some events, such as the Great Depression and some natural disasters shook their economic stability for some time. In recent years, the city has been attracting many entrepreneurs, computer application developers, and marketing and sales professionals. Although not as strong as it once was, they have become the mainstays of the San Francisco finance district today.
The City of San Francisco is has a culturally-diverse neighborhood. It has central commercial corridors that many visitors and residents can use for walking. For those who love entertainment, they can go to the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, which hosts some performing arts companies in the country. Another one to consider is the Herbst Theatre, which offers a unique and eclectic mix of music performances. The American Conservatory Theatre is one of the leading performing arts companies in Bay Area, and it frequently hosts numerous national touring productions of Broadway Theatre shows in a 1920’s backdrop venue. For those who love music, there is the San Francisco Opera, which is considered to be the second largest opera company in North America. The Filmore is a music venue situated in the Western Addition, and it once staged the now-famous musicians like Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead. Ballet lovers can also have an exciting time watching the beautiful performances of the San Francisco Ballet.
San Francisco’s economy is built around tourism, and in 2007 alone, more than sixteen million visitors arrived in the nation, adding nearly $8.2 billion into the economy. There are many tourists that are attracted to the city every year, and is frequently portrayed in popular culture, film, and music. The most widely-popular tourist attraction in the area is Pier 39 near Fisherman’s Wharf. Finance is also a strong player in the city, as the California Gold Rush has made San Francisco the principal banking and finance center in the early 20th century. Some of the most well-known financial institutions in the place are the Wells Fargo corporate headquarters, the Bank of America, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. There are around thirty international financial institutions, 7 Fortune 500 companies, and a broad base for infrastructure of professional services in the city, which includes: Architecture and Design, Public Relations, and Law. The city is also one of the ten Beta World Cities, ranks 9th in the United States and 18th in the world’s list of cities by GDP.
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