"Once I knew the city very well, spent my attic days there. While others were being a lost generation in Paris, I fledged in San Francisco, climbed its hills, slept in its parks, worked on its docks, marched and shouted in its revolts... It had been kind to me in the days of my poverty and it did not resent my temporary solvency." — John Steinbeck
WHY SAN FRANCISCO?
San Francisco is our home. My family and I moved here three years ago this August, and after living in the south for nearly six years, it is an understatement to say that we appreciate the California climate. Even though we don't have family nearby, we have dear family friends who truly make San Francisco feel like home. My kids have also come into their own meaningful friendships, allowing them each to slowly attach themselves to this city. The people, nature and weather are just a few of the top reasons why we chose to move here.
When you explore San Francisco, don't miss the opportunity to visit Crissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands and to take in the view of the city from Coit Tower — after walking up to see the view, take your time as you head down the 400 stairs! It's worth it, because along the way, you'll get to see beautiful houses, gardens and most of the time, the brightly colored flora. As much as people may hate the hills here, in my opinion, they are what make San Francisco so distinct. When we first moved here, I would try to avoid every street with hills, as I would literally panic and develop sweaty palms the moment that my car would start to roll. Simply put, I would just freeze up and cry! I finally decided that in my best effort to truly become a local, I had to face my fears. I am happy to share with you that today, with the exception of a few 90 degree slopes, I can confidently travel up and down most city streets without panicking. It may have taken three years, but San Francisco is most definitely my home.
FUN CITY FACTS ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO
1. SAN FRANCISCO'S 49 SQUARE MILES ARE HOME TO MORE THAN 800,000 PEOPLE.
For more than 150 years, San Francisco has been a magnet for fortune-seekers, immigrants, artists and poets. While San Francisco is smaller than you may think, after James Marshall found gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848, the world poured into San Francisco and transformed a small fishing village into an internationally-famous city. Learn more.
2. DENIM JEANS WERE INVENTED IN SAN FRANCISCO BY LEVI STRAUSS.
Levi Strauss invented denim jeans in San Francisco in 1853 for the Gold Rush miners who needed tough, comfortable clothing. For once, San Francisco took the lead in fashion over New York! Learn more.
3. SAN FRANCISCO IS HOME TO THE NATION'S ONLY ROLLING NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK.
San Francisco cable cars are the United States' only rolling National Historic Landmark, and millions of people take a nine-mile-per-hour ride on them each year. Learn more.
4. SAN FRANCISCO HAS MORE THAN 200 HISTORIC LANDMARK BUILDINGS, 11 HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND 14,000 VICTORIAN HOMES.
One of San Francisco's most iconic sights is the "Painted Ladies" — a view of the iconic candy-colored Victorian style homes from Alamo Square Park. Learn more.
5. THERE ARE OVER 300 COFFEE HOUSES WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF SAN FRANCISCO.
Talk about a city full of energy, and it must be mentioned that one of our Jaq Jaq Bird team's personal favorites is Andytown Coffee Roasters!
6. SAN FRANCISCO HAS MORE DOGS THAN CHILDREN.
According to the 2016 Census and the Animal Care and Control Department databases, San Francisco has around 10,000 more dogs than children who reside in the city. Learn more.
7. THE BEATLES PERFORMED THEIR LAST FULL CONCERT AT CANDLESTICK PARK ON AUGUST 29, 1966.
The Beatles, well known as the most influential band of all time, played 11 songs at the San Francisco show and sold 25,000 total tickets, yet actually lost money on this particular concert. Learn more.
8. DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION, NOT A SINGLE SAN FRANCISCO BANK FAILED.
In fact, business was so good that the city constructed the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge during the Great Depression. The U.S. Navy originally planned on painting the Golden Gate Bridge black with yellow stripes, and the famed "International Orange" color was supposed to be a sealant. Learn more.
9. SAN FRANCISCO HAS THE SECOND LARGEST CHINATOWN OUTSIDE OF ASIA.
San Francisco's Chinatown is also the oldest in North America. More than 100,000 people reside in Chinatown, which makes it the most densely populated neighborhood in the city. Learn more.
10. FORTUNE COOKIES ORIGINATED IN SAN FRANCISCO.
Fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco by Japanese immigrant Makoto Hagiwara, who is also the man behind Golden Gate Park's famous Japanese Tea Garden. Learn more.
11. SUMMER IS THE COLDEST TIME OF YEAR IN SAN FRANCISCO.
Summer is windy and foggy, yet you simply cross the bridge and you find yourself in the 90 degree, sun-drenched climate of the valleys.
12. SAN FRANCISCO BEACHES AREN'T MADE FOR SWIMMING.
Ocean Beach is a favorite of ours, but the water is so cold year round that you don't find many visitors donning a swimsuit.
13. THE CITY IS BUILT ON MORE THAN 50 HILLS.
Many believe it only has seven or nine hills, but there are a total of more than 50 named hills in San Francisco. Some of the most well-known are Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill and Twin Peaks. A few of the lesser known ones are Golden Mine Hill, Excelsior Heights and Tank Hill.
14. SAN FRANCISCO IS THE OFFICIAL HOME OF JAQ JAQ BIRD®.
Until just recently, Jaq Jaq Bird's brick and mortar location could be found on Chestnut Street in the Marina neighborhood; however, on January 15, 2020, the doors to our shop were officially closed due to the seismic retrofitting needs of the building that we were located in. However, you can continue to shop with us online at jaqjaqbird.com! San Francisco remains home to founder and creative director, Grace!
Jaq Jaq Bird's Cities of Wonder Erasable Book Collection allows children to trace and illustrate their travels, in-person or imaginary, all while learning to love the world around them. Each book includes an educational, interactive map guide featuring landmarks, facts and more about the city.