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San Francisco in the 1930sThe WPA Guide to the City by the Bay$
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Federal Writers Project of the Works Project Administration

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520268807

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520268807.001.0001

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East Bay: Cities and Back Country

East Bay: Cities and Back Country

(p.371) East Bay: Cities and Back Country
San Francisco in the 1930s

David Kipen

University of California Press

In Spanish times the distant shoreline opposite the Golden Gate was “la contra costa” (the opposite coast), to the conquistadores. Today, between the shimmering cables and steel girders of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the eastward traveler sees a continuous panorama of home and industry. The “opposite coast” is now the East Bay, a heterogeneous urban area comprising ten municipalities in two counties. The bridge is itself both a practical and a symbolical example of its close relationship to the other metropolitan areas on the western shore. The hills seem to recede as the traveler speeds down the eastern half of the bridge: he sees a flat rectangular strip of land on which most of the industrial and business sections of the East Bay rest, as on a stage to which the residential hills are the backdrop.

Keywords:   Golden Gate, San Francisco, Oakland Bay Bridge, opposite coast, East Bay, urban, hills

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