We are off to the races here in the 2021 edition of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. As I stated in my theme reveal, my focus this year is on San Francisco, the City By the Bay. There are a ton of facts on Wikipedia if you want to know the complete history but I’m not going to go into all of that here. Instead I’m going to try to showcase a few of the more famous places and also some out of the way places that even I had no idea existed. Some of the letters will include a coloring page from one of the coloring books I got in the San Francisco Chronicle, some will not. All the pictures are ones that I have taken myself. It was not that easy to get something for every letter. Most places start with San Francisco… It was fun tracking down these spots once I found them. Even though I have lived within 10 miles of the City my entire life, so much of it is new to me. I hope you enjoy the journey.
First up is Alcatraz Island. I only know that it was a federal prison but apparently in the beginning it was used as a lighthouse, a fort, a military prison and in 1969 it was held for a year and a half by Native American activists protesting against the disbanding of Native American tribes and taking their land.
While in use as a federal prison, the likes of Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson and Robert Franklin Stroud (known as “The Birdman of Alcatraz” were held there. They claim that no prisoner ever escaped from the island although many tried. It really is possible to swim from the island to the shore and there is an Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon that people can compete in, swimming the 1.5 miles to shore. No thanks! That water is COLD.
There have been several movies written about Alcatraz such as “Alcatraz,” “Escape From Alcatraz,” “The Rock,” and “Birdman of Alcatraz.”
In 1986 Alcatraz was dedicated as a Historical Landmark and prior to COVID you could take a tour of the island. They were stopped for a while but as I was getting some of the background info for this post I read that they were going to open up again as of March 15. I have never done the tour and I think it would be pretty neat so it is going on my list. Fortunately I can get the senior discount now too!
“A” also stands for Alamo Square. Alamo Square is one of the residential neighborhoods in San Francisco. There is a park in the square and from that park you can see the famous “Painted Ladies” which are the Victorian houses that are in the opening credits of the TV show, “Full House.”
When I went, there were a lot of people wandering about and I overheard one group say, “So those are the Full House houses, right?” It is definitely an interesting spot to see. Actually, I think the house that they lived in for the show was on a different street, but these were the ones in the opening scenes. I wonder what it would be like to live in a house where people are always taking pictures of it?
So, what do you think? How’s that for a start? Do you remember the show “Full House?” Interested in taking a trip to Alcatraz Island? Ready for “B?”
Disclaimer notice. The coloring book pages are from the inserts the San Francisco Chronicle put out and I mentioned them in my theme reveal so you can go to that to get the info about the artists if you are interested. I did the coloring. Special thanks to my husband who took me in to the City and drove around the block while I got out to take the photos. Parking is not always the easiest and we had a lot of places to see.