The Plan to Demolish SF's Old Bay Bridge Could Be Derailed By Birds

To us, the bridge is a way to get across the water, but to cormorants in San Francisco Bay, the old Bay Bridge is home sweet home. And the 800 protected birds currently nesting there are not very keen on moving to the new Bay Bridge span—despite its shiny $700,000 bird "condos." If Caltrans can't lure the cormorants away … » 4/08/14 5:20pm 4/08/14 5:20pm

Every City Deserves Space Murals This Gorgeous

Space, the final frontier… for street art. No, we're not quite ready to tag the International Space Station, but a pair of artists in San Francisco is working on bring space down to Earth with a series of murals depicting everything from constellations to nebulae. And, boy, are they pretty. » 4/03/14 10:20am 4/03/14 10:20am

These Time-Warp Photos Show Six Cities In the Past and Present

Cities change: skyscrapers go up, row houses are torn down, neighborhoods gentrify, earthquakes destroy. Vintage photographs of cities can be fascinating in and of themselves, but the familiar unfamiliarity of these time-warped photographs are especially intriguing. » 4/01/14 9:00am 4/01/14 9:00am

The Futuristic Liquid Nitrogen Machine That Makes Ice Cream To Order

Despite the warm wood and cheery red accents, Smitten Ice Cream can feel a bit like a mad scientist's shop. There's the industrial-sized tank of liquid nitrogen that greets you inside the entrance of its new flagship location in Oakland. And there's the billowing clouds of nitrogen when the stainless steel ice cream… » 3/26/14 5:20pm 3/26/14 5:20pm

An Inside Tour of San Francisco's Sewage Treatment Plant

If you have ever been to San Francisco, then some part of you—or some former part of you—has almost certainly passed through the city's Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant. But, considering how utterly vital it is to the city, the wastewater plant is also very much invisible, tucked away in a neighborhood no tourist… » 3/20/14 3:00pm 3/20/14 3:00pm

The Purpose Behind San Francisco's Weirdest Looking Tower

At 977 feet tall and situated atop the peak of San Francisco's biggest hill, the three-legged Sutro Tower dominates the city's skyline. But this isn't some grand scale art installation like Cupid's Span; this massive structure acts as a vital part of San Francisco's communications infrastructure, bouncing radio waves… » 3/16/14 12:00pm 3/16/14 12:00pm

San Francisco's Iconic Sourdough Is Made from 160-Year-Old Yeast

Boudin's sourdough bread's unique tangy taste and chewy center has been a hit with San Francisco residents since the bakery first opened in 1849. A big part of brand's success has been due to its unyielding consistency—a feat only accomplished because the company is still using the same yeast culture that Isidore… » 3/16/14 10:00am 3/16/14 10:00am

Mapping San Francisco's Microclimates With Wine Grown in the City

When you think of wine, you probably don't think of an urban farm wedged between public housing projects. But a pair of devoted viticulturists have upped the game in local winemaking, planting San Francisco's first vineyard since the 1906 earthquake. What will the terroir of a city built on sand and landfill be like? » 3/10/14 6:40pm 3/10/14 6:40pm

A new movie about Chicago; an unbelievable road diet in Buenos Aires creates 100 blocks of pedestrian space; and a tour of the vibrant city of Accra. Plus, another idea for solving San Francisco's housing crisis, and everyone's favorite cokehead mayor hits the late night talk show circuit, all in this week's Urban… » 3/10/14 5:20pm 3/10/14 5:20pm

Google Glass, Mines, and Hipsters: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Is Google Glass really "killing cities" or just the douchebags who wear them? Are mines bringing cities down—literally? Is the Bowery doomed? Is Berlin really over? We examine these questions and more, in this week's edition of What's Ruining Our Cities. » 3/07/14 4:40pm 3/07/14 4:40pm

San Francisco Plans on Banning Plastic Water Bottles

San Francisco wants to cut its landfill waste down to absolute zero by 2020. While a city-wide plastic bag ban has been in effect for a few years, new legislation approved by the Board of Supervisors this week sets its sights on the bane of tap-water enthusiasts and thirsty environmentalists alike: Bay Area, say… » 3/06/14 2:00pm 3/06/14 2:00pm

Sorry, It's Not Tech Money Ruining San Francisco

They're being targeted as harbingers of evil as their buses chug through otherwise inaccessible, gentrified neighborhoods. Now San Francisco's tech workers are fighting back with a networking event called the Tech Workers Against Displacement Happy Hour, that, in addition to sounding like a whole lot of fun, hopes to… » 3/04/14 12:00pm 3/04/14 12:00pm

The San Francisco Mint Burned Its Carpets to Find $3,200 Worth of Gold

Even after the gold fever died down, gold itself was in the air in San Francisco—as long as you knew where to look. That place would be in the San Francisco Mint. In a majestic granite and sandstone building downtown, bullion was turned into gold coins—as well as lots and lots of gold dust. » 2/27/14 5:40pm 2/27/14 5:40pm