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  • San Francisco's best known nickname -- "Baghdad by the Bay" -- was created by columnist Herb Caen. Herb was a San Francisco journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle for over five decades and his daily column of gossip, local happenings, and humorous anecdotes made him a household name throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Herb died in 1997.
  • Yerba Buena was the first name for the first small settlement that began near what is now the Mission in San Francisco. Yerba Buena was the name of the herb that grew in abundance there.
  • The Charter of the United Nations was created and signed at the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building and Performing Arts Center June 26, 1945.
  • Although the origin of the fortune cookie is in some dispute, the first person reported to have served them in the USA is Makoto Hagiwara at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in the late 19th century.
  • There are over 300 coffee houses in San Francisco. Francis Ford Coppola famously wrote large portions of The Godfather Trilogy in Caffe Trieste, the first San Francisco coffee shop, established in 1956.
  • Washington Square Park at Columbus & Union is not actually a square, it's a rectangle with one corner crossed by Collumbus Avenue. The corner that's sparated from the rest of the park is dedicated to a local philanthopist. The statue in the square is of Ben Franklin, not George Washington. But then again North Beach isn't a beach.
  • A large flock of South American parrots inhabit the wooded areas in and around telegraph hill. No one knows how the parrots escaped captivity, found each other and started their flock. The birds became a permanent part of San Francisco lore when a documentary about Mark Bittner, called "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" was created by Judy Irving in 2003. Mark, a intelligent and well-spoken, but homeless musician devoted many years of his life to get to know each of the 45 birds in the flock. The move became a cult favorite.
  • San Francisco is built on 43 hills.
  • Although Lombard Street is renowned as the "crookedest street in the world", in fact, Vermont Ave between 20th and 22nd is actually the crookedest. The steepest street in San Francisco is Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth at 31.5 degrees.
  • San Francisco is ranked 4th in the world, after New York, London and Moscow, for the number of billionaires that reside in the city despite the fact that it has less than 10% of the population of the other cities.

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