Exploring San Francisco - Journal of Chemical Education (ACS


Mar 1, 2000 - In this column we offer suggestions for places to visit and areas to explore if you have a little free time while you are at the ACS Mee...
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Chemical Education Today

ACS National Meeting

by Paul S. Cohen and Brenda H. Cohen

San Francisco, a beautiful city with a magical hold on all who visit her, is a charming setting for our Spring 2000 ACS convention. The city sits on the northernmost end of a peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the west and San Francisco Bay on the east. The city rises to height of over 900 feet in some places, as its streets cascade over some 40 hills. The population of San Francisco exploded in the aftermath of the 1849 discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada. People from around the world came to find their fortune and many settled in San Francisco. They often formed their own communities. Some of these communities still exist and continue to grow, with more neighborhoods springing up all the time. As you wander through these communities you will frequently find science-related sites to visit. In this column we offer suggestions for places to visit and areas to explore if you have a little free time while you are at the ACS Meeting. We have included an indication of the touring time, but note that this does not include travel time to the site.

San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau photo

Nob Hill Cable Car Museum During the 1870s wealthy “nobs” built extravagant mansions on what came to be called Nob Hill. The hill provides an excellent view of the bay below. The Cable Car Museum sits on Nob Hill. A stop here enables you to see the 1887 cable control hub, learn how the system works, and see it in action. This museum is at the edge of Chinatown, a perA national historic landmark: San fect place for lunch and/or Francisco cable cars. dinner. Details Touring time: 1 hour. Address: 1201 Mason Street. Telephone: 474-1887. Open hours: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Directions: Powell-Mason or Powell-Hyde cable cars, MUNI bus # 1, 30, or 83. Marina

The Exploratorium The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in the Marina district, now a very lovely shopping and restaurant area. On the western edge is the Marina Green, a grassy recreation area with excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Marina Green is also home to the Palace of Fine Arts, which was built for the exposition. The Palace, with an ornate facade imitating a Roman Ruin,

photo by Paul S. Cohen

Exploring San Francisco The art deco museum building of the Maritime National Historic Park is ovalshaped and looks much like a luxury liner at anchor.

houses The Exploratorium. This museum is a unique institution that develops interactive exhibits, demonstrating the principles of science and technology, human perceptions, and art. It is as much a laboratory as an exhibition hall since it often designs exhibits for other museums. Details Touring time: 2–3 hours. Address: 3601 Lyon Street. Telephone: 561-0317. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday. Directions: MUNI bus # 22, 28, 30, 41, 43, or 45. http://www.exploratorium.edu/ Fisherman’s Wharf

Maritime National Historic Park This exciting waterfront area, part of one of the greatest natural harbors in the world, has a wide variety of things to investigate—crab boats and trawlers, bay cruisers, seafood stalls, and seafood restaurants. The Anchorage, the Cannery, and Ghirardelli Square are among the market places in the area. Fisherman’s Wharf is also the home of Maritime National Historic Park, which explores the maritime history of San Francisco and the west coast. The art deco museum building is oval-shaped and looks much like a luxury liner at anchor. It contains displays illustrating the seafaring history of the west coast from 1840 to the present. An extensive flotilla of historic ships, dating from the late 19th and early 20th century stand along the Hyde Street pier. These ships trace the transition from steam to rail power and from wood to steel construction. Details Touring time: 2–3 hours. Address: Presidio of San Francisco. Telephone: 929-0202. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Directions: Powell-Hyde cable car, MUNI bus # 15, 30, 42. Golden Gate Park Right in the middle of San Francisco is the 1,017 acre Golden Gate Park, which contains several sites of interest to science-lovers.

California Academy of Science The California Academy of Science consists of three separate sections: the Natural History Museum, the Steinhart Aquarium, and the Morrison Planetarium. The exhibits include displays of live animals, fish, and penguins, rocks and minerals, planetarium shows, and dinosaur displays.

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Chemical Education Today

ACS National Meeting Details Touring time: About 4 hours. Address: Golden Gate Park. Telephone: 750-7145. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Directions: MUNI Bus # 5, 7. http://www.calacademy.org/

Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Garden The beautiful Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a 70-acre living museum of plants specializing in five places in the world with similar climates: California, South Africa, the western and southwestern coast of Australia, the central coast of Chile, and the Mediterranean. The collection contains 7,000 different types of plants. Details Touring time: 2–3 hours. Address: Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way. Telephone: 661-1316. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Directions: MUNI Bus # 5, 7. Park Merced

The San Francisco Zoo Tucked in a corner between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Merced, in the southern part of the city, is the San Francisco Zoo. Its proximity to the ocean and the frequent onshore winds greatly affect the weather at the zoo. Creating a habitat for the more than 1,000 animals and birds has been quite a challenge. Some of the more popular exhibits are the polar bears, the Primate Discovery Center, Koala Crossing, Penguin Island, and Gorilla World. Details Touring time: 2–3 hours. Address: Sloat Boulevard at 45th Street. Telephone: 753-7080. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Directions: Auto: take SR 35 to Sloat Boulevard eastbound to the zoo. Out of Town Many towns around San Francisco have science sites too. Travel time for out of town sites is from the edge of San Francisco. South San Francisco

photo by Paul S. Cohen

Rod McLellan Company “Acres of Orchids” In South San Francisco the Rod McLellan Company “Acres of Orchids” has a one-hour company tour taking visitors through the laboratories, greenhouses, packing plants, and nursery. The Polar bear exhibit is one of the more popular exhibits at the San Francisco Zoo.

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Details Travel time: Approximately 30 minutes. Touring Time: 1 hour. Address: 1450 El Camino Real, South San Francisco. Telephone: 650/301-4050. Open hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Tours 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Directions: by auto take Juniper Sierra Freeway 280 south to Hickey Boulevard eastbound. Turn right onto El Camino Real 82 to the site. Oakland

Oakland Museum Across the bay, in the city of Oakland, is the Oakland Museum, a beautiful three-tiered structure that tells the “California Story” through natural science, culture and history, and art. California Ecology provides detailed dioramas depicting the eight biotic zones of the state before the arrival of humans. The Cowell Hall of California History examines the contribution of people from the arrival of humanity to the 20th century of invention. The Gallery of California Art shows early photographs of Yosemite and paintings of California wildlife and scenery. We recommend docent tours as the philosophy of the museum is not to interfere with the exhibits by including detailed descriptive signs. Details Travel time: about 30 minutes. Touring time: 3–4 hours. Address: 1000 Oak Street, Oakland. Telephone: 510/2382200. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Directions: Bay Bridge onto SR 580; exit onto SR 980 west, exiting at Jackson Street; turn right onto 11th Street and left onto Oak Street. http:// www.museumca.org/ Berkeley

Lawrence Hall of Science The Lawrence Hall of Science, on the campus of the Berkeley Campus of the University of California, is a handson science museum with some 300 exhibits covering prehistory through the space age. It is a “living memorial” to Ernest O. Lawrence, the University’s first Nobel Laureate. From the museum site there is an excellent view of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Details Travel time: about 35 minutes. Touring time: about 2 hours. Address: Centennial Drive above U. C. Berkeley Botanical Gardens. Telephone: 510/642-5132. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Directions: Take the BART to Berkeley station, then take the shuttle at Center Street and Shattuck Avenue. Or take bus #65 or #67. http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/ Santa Rosa

Luther Burbank House and Gardens From 1884 to his death in 1906 Luther Burbank lived in Santa Rosa. His home, carriage house, and greenhouse make up an interesting complex called Luther Burbank House and Garden, where there are exhibits relating to his life and work. At this site he carried out his experiments de-

Journal of Chemical Education • Vol. 77 No. 3 March 2000 • JChemEd.chem.wisc.edu

Chemical Education Today

veloping 200 varieties of fruit, a large variety of vegetables, nuts, and grains as well as hundreds of ornamental flowers. The garden grows samples of the 800 new varieties of plants he developed. Details Travel time: about 1 hour. Touring time: about 2 hours. Address: E Street between 2nd and Sonoma Avenue. Telephone: 707/524-5445. Open hours: 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Directions: take Golden Gate Bridge north on US 101 and exit at Santa Rosa, go east on 3rd Street; turn right onto Santa Rosa Avenue and park at Sonoma Avenue parking lot. San Jose

Lick Observatory The Lick Observatory is at the top of Mount Hamilton, 4,000 feet above sea level. From here there is a magnificent view of the surrounding area. The 18-mile drive up the narrow, winding road to the Observatory has no services. A large variety of telescopes and astronomical memorabilia are on exhibit, one of which is the original 36-inch reflector telescope of James Lick. Details Travel time: about 2 hours—1 hour to San Jose and 1 hour up Mount Hamilton. Touring time: about 2 hours. Address: Mount Hamilton Road. Telephone: 408/274-5061. Open hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., guided tours 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Directions: Exit I-680 eastbound to SR 130 and follow signs to Mount Hamilton site.

photo by Paul S. Cohen

ACS National Meeting The Lick Observatory is at the top of Mount Hamilton, 4,000 feet above sea level.

Aquarium. The aquarium, situated on the water’s edge, emphasizes the study of local waters. Details Travel time: about 2 hours. Touring time: about 3 hours. Address: 886 Cannery Row. Telephone: 831/648-4848. Open hours: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Directions: Exit SR 1 at Del Monte Avenue eastbound and follow signs to site. http://www. mbayaq.org/ When Paul and Brenda Cohen aren’t traveling, they can be found at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ 08628; email: [email protected]u. Some WWW Addresses for San Francisco San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://www.sfvisitor.org/ Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Monterey

Fine Arts Museum: http://www.famsf.org/

Monterey Bay Aquarium Monterey was made famous by John Steinbeck in his book, Cannery Row. On the site of the largest and last plant to close on Cannery Row, David Packard, one of the founders of Hewlett Packard Company, built the Monterey Bay

California Academy of Science: http://www.calacademy.org/ San Francisco Arts Monthly: http://www.artsmonthlysf.org/

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