View from Mt. Davidson

I’m Joanna Ramey, a long-time newspaper scribe living in San Francisco. This blog reflects my interest in the arts, public policy, cooking, gardening, design, photography and random observations about the commonplace.

Cityscape view from Bernal Hill

My jazz pianist husband, Jeff Orchard, and I live in a rented 1,000 square-foot house built in 1947, typical of this densely populated city of 870,877 denizens wedged on 46.87 square miles between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It’s a city everyone recognizes, even if they’ve never been here— the hills and fog, the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and hub of high tech companies.  But like other cities, SF’s  more than its popular image.

View from Diamond Heights


Jeff and Joanna

City by the Bay, Baghdad by the Bay, Everyone’s Favorite City, Queen of the Pacific, City of Second Chances, Fog City, The Golden City, The City
(Please note: locals dislike the moniker ‘Frisco as a silly contrivance of tourists and early Hollywood.)

Population: 870,877 (2016)
Residents who are foreign born: 37 percent (2015)
Languages spoken at home exclusively: English 55 percent; 25.9 percent Asian and Pacific Islander languages; 11.1 percent Spanish;  6.2 percent other European languages; 1 percent Other (2015)
Median age: 38.5 (2015)
Median income: $81,294 (2015)
Per capita income: $52,220 (2015)
Population living in poverty: 13.2 percent (2015); by comparison, statewide 14.3 percent, U.S. 12.7 percent
Unemployment rate: 2.9 percent (September 2017); statewide 4.7percent; national 4.2 percent
Median home price: $1.23 million (August 2017)
Average monthly rent: $3,377 (August 2017)
Land area: 46.87 square miles
Population density: 17,687 people per square mile
Altitude: Highest point 925 feet (Twin Peaks); lowest, sea level
Average temperature: January, 51.1° F; July, 59.1°F
Latitude: 37.76 N, Longitude: 122.44
Color of Golden Gate Bridge: International Orange

Sources: U.S. Census; City of San Francisco; Zillow; Golden Gate Bridge Transportation District