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Nob Hill is located between some of San Francisco's most popular tourist spots such as Union Square, the Cable Car Museum and Fisherman's Wharf. Historically, Nob Hill played a significant role in the city as powerful businessmen of the 19th Century like Leland Stanford built their mansions in the area due to its stunning views. Try to spot locations shown in classic films such as Vertigo and Dirty Harry, or spend your time sipping coffee in Cafe Mozart. Pace yourself though, the steep hills can be killer on your knees!
This old temple (founded 1857) housed in a new building (built in 1977) that also houses the Chinatown Post Office is located on the fourth floor. It is a large light-filled room with stark white walls and a pyramid-shaped ceiling with a skylight at its apex. The elaborate altar displays the deity Kuan Ti with attendant deities. The altar and other carved panels were moved from the original temple nearby and are beautifully gilded and carved in amazing detail. The view from the Kong Chow Temple's balcony, one of the nicest in Chinatown, includes the Transamerica Pyramid. A temple story has it that Harry Truman visited the temples old location just before the 1948 election and made an offering for good luck. It may have done the trick.
This serene space is the oldest Buddhist Temple in San Francisco, dating back more than 50 years. Named in honor of the Norras Buddhist Temple in Tibet, many of the symbols here are derived from Tibetan Buddhism. The shrine shows a triple-display of Buddha and his acolytes in attitudes of compassion and joy. The altar is gilded wood imported from China in 1959. Note the pair of three-dimensional mandalas shaped like golden mountains, five feet high and containing hundreds of tiny windows with even tinier Buddhas sitting inside. At the flick of a switch, they spin to the sound of Chinese music.
You reach Tin How Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in San Francisco (founded 1852) by climbing three flights of steep and narrow stairs in the heart of Chinatown. Once there, after catching your breath, your breath may very well be taken away again. The west wall of this tiny temple is an expanse of intricately carved gilded wood housing the shrine to Tin How, the goddess of Heaven. From the ceiling hang hundreds of paper lanterns, each bearing the name (in Chinese characters) of the person for whom it is intended to bring long life and happiness.
In the heart of Union Square, the imposing Dewey Monument remains a major landmark of the west coast city. Nearly everyone visiting San Francisco stops by this arresting work of public art, which commemorates Admiral George Dewey, the Spanish-American War martyr. Built in the year 1903, it was inaugurated by the then president Theodore Roosevelt who dedicated the memorial to the triumph of George Dewey's army over the Spanish army at Manila Bay of Philippines during the late 19th-century war. The monument was built to the designs of Newton J. Tharp and sculpted by Robert I. Aitken.
Ross Alley in Chinatown is one of the oldest alleys in San Francisco. The notorious alley was once famous for its brothels and gambling and is now renowned for its murals depicting the life of the American Chinese community. Chinatown, a favorite amongst tourists visiting San Francisco has several shops and food joints to cater to the varied crowds. The alley's major attraction is the Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Factory which makes around 20,000 handmade cookies a day and one is welcome to see them prepare the same and sample them as well!
Since the beginning of the 20th Century, Union Square has been the centerpiece of the city's shopping district. With big names like Burberry, Emporio Armani, Macy's and Kate Spade lining the streets, this is the place to go for retail therapy. If you need to fuel up after a long day of shopping, Union Square has a variety of dining options, from the ultra-posh to the quick stops. At the heart of the square, a large open-air plaza is bustling year round with art sales, musical performances and holiday decorations. In the center of it all stands a huge stone monument, which was built in 1903 and crowned with a bronze statue of Victory.
Glide Memorial Church is a United Methodist Church in San Francisco that was opened in 1929. It is said to be one of the most liberal churches in the US. Since the 1960's it has provided various services for the poor like three meal servings daily, AIDS testing, mental and primary health care, women's programs, literacy classes, free legal services for the homeless and many more. Visitors from all over the world attend the Sunday celebrations and the funds got from these are used for the church.