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Rincon Park
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Rincon Park
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The Embarcadero & Folsom St
San Francisco, California
United States

soesterling's picture

Contributor

Part of San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Rincon Park sits at the bottom of (surprise) Rincon Hill.

The hill is one of the “seven hills” of San Francisco, a term for the seven hills the City by the Bay claims to be built upon. In fact, there are 49 hills that make up the city, a number that seems much too low if you are doomed to urban trekking. Maybe the number was made up to support the 49ers? Go team!

Now home to high-density and inevitably high-rent Bay-view apartments for the financial set, the area has a rich (and poor) history. During the years between the 1906 and 1987 earthquakes it was a grundgy and bleak industrial area. Prior to the 1906 Earthquake, which killed 3,000 people and destroyed 80% of San Francisco the hill was a posh “corner” (that’s what Rincon means in Spanish) of Yerba Buena Cove. Wealthy merchants and their families loved the sunny area where they could watch from on-high as their ships/ money flow in and out with the tides. But when the quake hit most of the mansions were completely destroyed and shacks were rebuilt in their place. 

Thus began the region’s time as a derelict sea shanty town.  It was home to 1934s infamous “Bloody Thursday” in which the Longshoremen of every West Coast Port walked off the job in strike. The ensuing clashes with strikebreakers resulted in high tensions that finally culminated on Thursday, July 5th as police shot canisters of tear gas at the strikers who then threw rocks back. Two people wound up shot and the day is still recognized by the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU) every year by shutting down all West Coast Ports on July 5th. 

Rincon Park now includes a large field of grass housing the sculpture Cupid’s Span along with two restaurants and an 8,000 outdoor dining piazza that opens into the park and waterfront promenade.  So if you need a break from the crowds of the nearby Ferry Building (once the 3rd most foot-trafficked site in the country) Rincon Park is a nice refuge. Eat, drink, look, and if that’s not enough you can always walk the few extra yards to At&T Park to catch a Giant’s game. Go Team!