Union Square, San Francisco

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  • Union Square on a sunny weekday afternoon
    Union Square on a sunny weekday...
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    view from powell
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  • Muya's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by Muya Written Mar 6, 2007

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    Tiffany, Armani, Prada… a few among the most luxurious signboards that line Union Square. But it is also the place to go if you are looking for bookshops.

    The name of this vast square comes from the frequent demonstrations in support of the Union, held there during the American Civil War.
    A granite column in the center of the Square commemorates Admiral Dewey’s victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War of 1898.
    So, it is a place that is also linked with History...

    The first underground garage ever build in the US lies just beneath Union Square, and is a four-level parking facility.

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    Union Square

    by Tom_Fields Updated Jan 2, 2007

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    This is the very heart of San Francisco--the center of where the action is. Union Square always has something going on. It's close to everything.

    The monument commemorates Commodore Dewey's decisive victory over the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898. This made America the dominant naval power in the Pacific for years to come.

    Union Square is located near some of San Francisco's top art galleries. On the day of my last visit, there was a huge art fair going on.

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  • Ritzy And Fun

    by woodydag Updated Nov 20, 2006

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    Union Square is a shopping mecca that has a little something for every price range from free outdoor movies on select summer nights, half price ticket booth, to Tiffany’s. Since free is a great price, check out free MP3 tours of Union Square (www.geogad.com) that you can download. They point out the interesting attractions and historic trivia that is all around this area. You can find some great, inexpensive restaurants and cafes. For the best views and people watching, try Emporio Rulli. It is a very European style cafe that sits on an exclusive corner of the Union Square park itself. On a beautiful sunny day, it does not get much better than this. If you want to continue the European cafe theme, try Cafe de la Press right outside the Chinatown gate on Grant and Bush. It is pricey, but it has international newspapers that can make ex-pats feel at home. Of course, when you are in Union Square, you are right next to scenic cable cars that can take you from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. While in Union Square, visit the pricey hotels around the square and the surrounding blocks to see how the upper crust live, which can be mighty entertaining all by itself. Locals know that one of the best places to kick back and enjoy some peaceful surfing on the Net while downing some quality coffee is on the second floor of the Borders at 400 Post St. Google has a free WiFi hot spot that covers the Border’s upstairs cafe. Bring your laptop and flip through a stack of books and magazines.

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    Union Square, best shopping in town.

    by tere1 Written Aug 1, 2006

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    Union Square

    The Union Square is basically the center of San Francisco's shopping district . With many well known shops in it, you will have plenty to see and shop. You can find there Victoria Secret, a huge Levis Store, a Gap store, W-Sonoma and a large Macy's, among many other shops.

    Around it you can also find some of the best San Francisco hotels as well as good restaurants , Fine Arts Galleries and bars.

    Union Square is a must for people who want to do some fine shopping.

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  • alfredop's Profile Photo

    Walk by and shop

    by alfredop Updated May 7, 2006

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    Union Square, one of San Francisco's main retail and cultural centers, also refers to the actual park bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton streets. Set aside as a park in 1850 and named before the start of the Civil War as a tribute to the frequent demonstrations in support of the Union troop, the park got a major renovation and restoration in 2002.

    You can just buy yourself a coffee and sit there for people watching or walk among the nearby streets where all major fashion shops are located.This is also San Francisco's main theater district, with some historic, beautiful buildings housing the performances. Shows range from traveling Broadway and off-Broadway shows on limited runs to smaller local productions.

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  • USCgirlie's Profile Photo

    The center of shopping in the City

    by USCgirlie Written Mar 22, 2006

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    Union Square is where many tourists stay, but it is also the main shopping area in the City. In this area, you will find everything from designer stores like Prada and Tiffany to Victoria's Secret to Macy's. Union Square itself, like its name denotes, is a very pleasant, wide square where many people sit, relax, and eat. It was renovated just a few years ago and is a very aesthetically pleasing square now, with buildings such as the Westin St. Francis landmark, the Nike Store, and others surrounding it. Beware that food in this area is very expensive!

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    Union Square

    by Jessica88 Written Feb 21, 2006

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    The heart of Union Square.

    "The city that knows how." William Howard Taft

    Union Square is hotbed of activity in San Francisco. Famed for it's luxurious shopping facilites, restaurants and cafés, amateur dance performances and musicians take center stage here, with throngs of revellers onlooking. Around the square, you can find big American retail names such as Macy's, Ralph Lauren, Gap and Levi's. Close by is the three level Crocker Galleria on Post Street, where more exclusive brands can be found. In both these areas, I found staff to be friendly and welcoming, my favourite store being Levi's, where the very camp staff bent over backwards to help you - and what an awesome, cheerfull bunch they were. If you're into your denim goods, I suggest you check out the downstairs customising section, if like me you are desperate for a really good, uniquely fitted pair of jeans! This area is also home to the cultural and artistic side of San Francisco - with Geary, Post and Sutter Street being the main three. Along here, you can find a variety of art galleries, accomodating for both old classic and more contemporary works. Take a look in a few as they really capture the essence of San Francisco's laid-back, artsy culture. Another recommendation for furniture or antique buyers is Gump's, a San Francisco institution selling beautiful items, in my eyes definetely worth looking around. If you're looking for more quirky goods, head to Maiden Lane, a little alley where you can find a wider variety of boutiques and bistros. Plus perhaps the best thing about Union Square...no hills!!

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    Historical Union Square

    by perseushermes Written Sep 10, 2005

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    Victory

    Apart from the shopping at Union Square, there are some historical monuments. one of them is the Victory monument commemorating Admiral Dewey's battle at Manila Bay . I dibn't think of checking whether it meant the Manila Bay in the Philippines. I am told that this monument withstood the earthquake in 1906.

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    Shopping Madness

    by perseushermes Written Sep 9, 2005

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    San Francisco's shopping paradise at the Union Square.

    There are hotels, restaurants, Coffee, Loius Vitton, Macy's and much more. Of course as the photo shows, there is a Neiman Marcus too! Wonderful place to hang around. Shoppers beware, its addictive!

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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Union Square-the place for shopping in SF

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 30, 2005

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    Statue at Union Square-note Macy's too

    Here's Union Square, in the center of San Francisco. You'll find lots of places to shop there. The big store is Macy's-one of their biggest stores, in the background-but there's lots more too. It's also got a Disney Store-they were promoting a Disney TV show last time I was there. Union Square can be quite crowded-it not only has lots of stores, but several theaters are a block or two away, plus plenty of restaurants and bars.

    If you're in town during the holidays, stop by to see the Christmas tree. One night right before Christmas, a teen chorus sang some Christmas carols there-it really got me in the holiday spirit.

    Union Square is one of the more touristy areas of San Francisco. I found it doesn't really give that "local feel". Still, there's so much to do there that you can't avoid it.

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    Hip Union Square

    by cheap_tourist Updated Jul 13, 2005

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    Street Perfomer at Union Square

    Union Square is in the heart of Downtown San Francisco. It was so named because, on the eve of the Civil War, demonstrations were held there in support of the Union troops. It is now known for the high-end shops and department stores that surround it. You can do some serious shopping there.

    The square is like a quiet island in a sea of frenetic activity. I like sitting on a bench there and watching the people going about their lives during rush hour. It's one way to feel the city's pulse.

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  • karin1972's Profile Photo

    Oh the Shopping!

    by karin1972 Written Jun 15, 2005

    Union square is quite the touristy area for shopping. There are several department and chain stores here-- Macy's, Bloomy's, Sephora, FAO Schwartz, etc. The hotels and restaurants in the Union Sq. area tend to be quite expensive, and catered mainly towards tourists. The irony is, just a few blocks away, one will find the "Tenderloin" area which is very seedy and has a high rate of prostitution, and drugs, etc. Gotta love San Francisco!

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by smschley Written Mar 12, 2005

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    The heart of San Francisco's downtown since 1850, the 2½-acre square takes its name from the violent pro-union demonstrations staged here before the Civil War. It was named to show San Francisco's support for Lincoln's army. The square's palm trees were planted about the same time. At center stage is a 97-foot Corinthian column, the Victory Monument. This winged female victory symbol was modeled after sugar heiress Anna Spreckles and dedicated was dedicated by Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 to Admiral George Dewey's Philippine victory during the Spanish-American War. The area is also home to San Francisco's poshest hotels, its small but vibrant theater district, and some of the city's finest restaurants

    After the earthquake and fire of 1906, the square was dubbed Little St. Francis because of the temporary shelter erected for residents of the St. Francis Hotel. Actor John Barrymore, the grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore and a notorious carouser, was among the guests pressed into volunteering to stack bricks in the square. His uncle, thespian John Drew, remarked, "It took an act of God to get John out of bed and the United States Army to get him to work."

    In July 2002, after 18 months and $25 million a new Union Square's was unveiled. What remains of the old square are the palm trees and an underground parking structure. Almost everything else is clean and new, designed to discourage sleepers and skateboarders and encourage a bit of relaxation. Flowering trees and hedges intersperse with benches, making the entire square a pleasant, sunny place for an outdoor lunch. An open-air stage (large enough to comfortably fit an orchestra), a café, gardens, and a visitor information booth draw visitors to the square. On the eastern edge, TIX Bay Area provides half-price day-of-performance tickets to all types of performing-arts events, as well as regular full-price box-office services.

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  • SnoopySue's Profile Photo

    Union Square

    by SnoopySue Updated Feb 25, 2005
    Union Square

    Just about five minutes (or less) by walk from Powell station. Classic central square not very common in US. Walking through the square I felt like I am in Athens. Palm trees, cafes and rest point for locals as well as for visitors.

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  • shivdeepmay's Profile Photo

    Good place to relax on a winter afternoon...

    by shivdeepmay Updated Feb 9, 2005
    Union Sq[couldn't get this picture to turn around]

    Union Square is one of SFO's cultural and commerce centers. A nice place to sit down relaxedly on a winter afternoon with birds hovering around sharing the space that has been spared from becoming yet another skyscraper!

    Shopping malls galore around the square. Huge Macy's store bang opposite the square. So if you are a shopping freak, this may be a good place to be... or may be not :).

    [Sorry couldn't get this picture to turn around]

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