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This impressive structure crowning Nob Hill was built on the site of the Crocker Mansion after the 1906 earthquake and fire. One of the main attractions of the cathedral are the stained glass windows. These windows showcase over 1000 figures, with some of them dating back as far as the 1930s. The gilded bas-reliefs that adorn the doors of the main entrance are cast from Ghiberti's original molds for the Gates of Paradise that adorn the Baptistery in Florence. The cathedral also boasts two labyrinths. The outdoor one is made of Terrazzo stone and the indoor one from limestone.
Fine and performing arts are the focus of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which includes art galleries, a movie theater, a theater for live performances and a beautifully landscaped garden with striking fountains. Take time to visit the section dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., which invites strollers to walk behind a waterfall as they contemplate quotations from both him and other assassinated leaders of the Civil Rights movement. Music and theater groups perform within the five and a half acres (2.3 hectares) of rolling gardens during lunchtime from May through September. Concurrent with exhibits are informative lectures and seminars, poetry workshops and resident artist programs.
Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art is located in the 49 Geary building and was formerly called Urbis Artium Gallery. The old 1912 building was once the Western Union headquarters. The gallery showcases a vast range of national and international art from well known and emerging artists. They nurture new artists and look for talent in and around San Francisco as well as internationally. They have a diverse collection of artists working in different media from painting to video art.
Learn the art of making your favorite drink as you visit the Local Brewing Co. This small brewery has ten barrels and produces more than 15 different types of ales which can be bought and tasted here. In case you feel hungry, Local Brewing Co. offers you a scrumptious menu to accompany the drinks. With its friendly and knowledgeable staff, you are sure to enjoy and understand the process of beer making.
Most commonly known as the gay mecca of San Francisco, the Castro is a vibrant neighborhood located along Castro Street stretching from Market to 19th Street. The area, made famous after the summer of love and most notably after Harvey Milk's rise to political power in San Francisco in the 1970s, has become a hot spot for the arts, nightlife, restaurants and shopping. The crowded streets, colorful store-fronts and gorgeous Victorians make this a picturesque and funky neighborhood to visit. Stop into the famed Castro Theater for an art-house flick or learn about the history of San Francisco's gay culture at the GLBT History Museum. Don't be alarmed if you are subjected to nudity, sex shops or S&M; it's just another day in the neighborhood.
The first thing you will learn here is that the fanciful polychrome paint jobs on San Francisco's Victorians are a recent invention. This turreted-and-gabled gingerbread fantasy is a uniform and authentic shade of gray. Inside, this large house still feels like the family home that it was from 1886 to 1972, with rooms covered in expensive wood paneling, embossed wallpapers and featuring marble fireplaces. Guided tours leave every 20-30 minutes and last about an hour.