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Few metropolises in the world have succeeded so well in balancing their natural heritage with their man-made environment. San Francisco’s architecture mirrors its history from the Spanish missions to its modern steel bridges and skyscrapers. An itinerary from above, illustrated by an original text and superb photographs, explores the many corners of the city and its surrounding area.
Seen from above, the city’s Victorian houses climb and descend the hills that face onto the water, line the enormous open spaces of Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, and from Alamo Square herald the imposing downtown area dominated by the Transamerica skyscraper’s 853-feet height. The views range from the natural beauty of Marin County and Point Reyes to the north, across the Golden Gate shrouded by mist, and over Bay Bridge toward East Bay. The ocean is a constant presence that lives in symbiosis with the United States’ most progressive metropolis, a city famous for its gay and artistic communities and for having been the cradle for the beat and hippy movements. San Francisco has many new places that enrich the urban scene, among them the SFMoma designed by the Swiss architect Mario Botta and the San Francisco Giants’ new football stadium, which stands among the piers at the end of SoMa, the loft district where the city’s creative types live.
All San Francisco is an experience, which is lived first of all through the eyes: the view from the sky demonstrates that the work of man is as impressive as the natural world that surrounds it.