Wednesday, July 29, 2009

California Collision: San Francisco's Union Square

Well time is always money
For the boys at Union Square

"Union Square," Tom Waits, 1985.

Actually Tom Waits was singing about New York's Union Square, but it's a great song, and I believe the only tune every recorded with Keith Richards on guitar and someone playing a coal shovel.

But since Union Square is in the heart of San Francisco's high-end shopping district, and it borders the city's financial hub, the lyrics do fit. And the theater district is adjacent to the plaza. Tickets to plays aren't cheap.

Lots of things come together at Union Square. Two cable car lines end there. Or do they begin there? And the doubledecker tour bus lines I wrote about in my last two California Collision posts collect their passengers at that spot. Geary Street, San Francisco's longest, abuts it.

Union Square is a 2.6 acre plaza that got its name for the many pro-Union rallies held there during the Civil War. However the obelisk in the picture honors Admiral Dewey's victory in Manila Bay at the beginning of the Spanish-American War.

Earlier posts:

The Painted Ladies
San Francisco and the military
Mission San Francisco de Asís
San Francisco's sea lions
San Francisco's blues mural
San Francisco: Cable cars

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