10 Quirky SF Facts, from a Native San Franciscan

10 Quirky SF Facts, from a Native San Franciscan

It’s no secret that SF is full of quirks, but so much of what makes this city special remains buried. Lucky for us, Lyft driver and native San Franciscan, Patrick is here to share some facts. 

Patrick is a 5th-generation tour guide, with 11 years of leading visitors through San Francisco, Muir Woods, and Sausalito under his belt. For friends visiting the city, he recommends bypassing the cliche tourist spots in favor of a hike along the Lands End trail or Bernal Hill, catching an open mic at BrainWash or Cafe International, or watching a summertime movie at Dolores Park with a cone of Bi-Rite ice cream. 

Patrick also happens to be a Lyft driver in San Francisco, where he points out fun facts to his passengers as they cruise throughout the Bay. 

Here are 10 of the strangest (but coolest) things you might learn about SF during a ride with Patrick:

  1. The first tube television was created by Philo T. Farnsworth at the Green Street Studio laboratory in 1927.
  2. San Francisco has more dogs than children living in the city. Children living in San Francisco only make up 14.5% of the total population. There are more doggie daycares than public high schools. 
  3. The Washington-Jackson cable car line that originally ran through Pacific Heights was originally closed due to damage from the 1906 earthquake. When it reopened in 1907 it no longer ran through Pacific Heights because those living there didn't want the “common folk” to reach them.
  4. The Richmond District is named after an Australian from Richmond, Australia. He built the first home there in 1882. Now, the Richmond district’s primary ethnicities are Chinese, Irish, and Russian, but many of the main street names are Spanish.
  5. Henry Haight, namesake of the Haight, was a banker, not a hippie.
  6. The Golden Gate Bridge has never been golden and all the steel came from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The steel had a primer color of international orange. Unfortunately, Bethlehem Steel no longer exists; it is now a Sands casino.
  7. Golden Gate Park is a lot bigger than Central Park in New York City . The park is home to eight man-made lakes.
  8. The houses that were saved on Nob Hill during the 1906 earthquake were owned by two people named James: James Flood and James Fair.
  9. Parts of Buena Vista Park were rebuilt with pieces of tombstones. With respect for the deceased, the tombstones were to be placed face-down. However, a number were mistakenly placed with original engravings face-up, many of which are still visible despite years of weather. 
  10. Vermont Street in Potrero Hill is the crookedest street in San Francisco (with a sinuosity of 1.56 versus 1.2 for Lombard Street) with seven turns. On Easter Sunday, participants in the Bring Your Own Big Wheel contest can race down the hill on, you guessed it, toy Big Wheel bikes. 

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