View from Mt. Davidson
View from Mt. Davidson

I’m Joanna Ramey, a longtime newspaper scribe living in San Francisco. This blog reflects my interest in reporting on culture, from the arts to public policy, as well as cooking, gardening, design, photography and random observations about the commonplace.

Across Noe Valley, the Mission and the Richmond from Bernal Hill
Jeff and Joanna

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, where homes are crowded side by side on 46.87 square miles at the tip of a peninsula 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, home to cutting-edge high-tech and the bygone eras of the 19th century Gold Rush and 1967 counter-culture Summer of Love. Called “The City” by locals, SF is a study in paradox, present and past.  But like most cities it’s more than a postcard image. My blog is a reflection on SF and a consideration of ideas and news elsewhere.

GG Bridge view frm Mt Davidson
Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands in the distance, view from Mt. Davidson

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