Sydney's sister city, San Francisco has endured many well documented ups and downs in its historic and colorful past. The media frequently share stories of San Francisco that paint the city in the worst possible light. While there may be some truth to areas of decline, there is other evidence to suggest we’re experiencing another revival. San Francisco is the home of music, technology and innovation, and a second home to many Australian expatriates and businesses. On November 1st, the Australian American Chamber of Commerce organized a walk through the city to take a more balanced look at the state of the city and we found there is much cause for hope.
Starting at the historic City Hall, we were greeted by Mark Chandler, Director of International Affairs at the City of San Francisco who shared with us some interesting facts about the history of San Francisco City Hall, including its ability to withstand earthquakes.
Del Seymour, a well known figure in San Francisco guided us through the Tenderloin culminating in a stop at the offices of Code Tenderloin, an organization that he founded which works to secure long-term employment for under served communities in San Francisco, particularly in the Tenderloin. Along the way Del showed us a number of gems in the neighborhood that even those who have lived in SF for many years were not aware of, including the Venus Statue at Trinity Place, the International Art Museum of America and three hotels which boast some of the best roof tops bars in the city - Charmaine's at the Proper Hotel, Rise Over Run at the LINE Hotel, and Cityscape at the Hilton.
Del regularly hosts 90 minute walking tours of the Tenderloin and his next tour will take place on December 1st, click here to join the tour. You can also learn more about Del's incredible story via this profile on PBS.
We also learned about Market Street Arts, an initiative from the Mid-Market Business Association to drive economic recovery by leveraging the creative infrastructure of San Francisco’s historic theater district. Read more about the plan here.
We continued our walk past retail spaces that have generated a lot of headlines - IKEA’s new small living concept store, and the San Francisco Centre, and discussed the many ideas for the space post Westfield.
Our final stop was at the St. Regis San Francisco, well positioned for the upcoming APEC Leaders’ week coming soon to the Moscone Convention Center. The pastry chef prepared some treats to welcome our group and bon bons to take home.
Many thanks to everyone who joined us, with particular thanks to the support of our members Origin, Lendlease, Telstra, and St. Regis San Francisco. Our walk also caught the attention of the local media, check out the story below.
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