A to Z 2021 – U is for Union Square and the Urbano Sundial

Union Square is a public plaza in the middle of downtown San Francisco. It is the hub of the upscale shopping and boutique retailers. There is a place you can rent bikes to tour the city and a coffee shop.

I was able to park and take a stroll around the whole square taking some pictures for us. On each corner is a huge heart. More about those in a future post.

In the center is the Dewey Monument honoring Admiral George Dewey, hero of the Spanish-American war. On the top is a statue of Nike, Ancient Greek Goddess of Victory.

And all around the square for several blocks are the stores that are out of my price range.

Well, maybe Macy’s is okay. Actually, I remember when I was a little girl there was an Emporium Department store and going into the city with my mom to shop at the Emporium was a real treat, especially during the holidays because the store was all decorated and had a huge tree in the middle of it. There were rides on the roof too, which we got to go on after sitting on Santa’s lap. We would be there before the store opened and they would ring a bell when they unlocked the doors. What a push there was by all the women wanting to get in and get the sales! Union Square is also close to the theaters I mentioned yesterday and there is a hotel, The Westin St. Francis, right across the street.

My next “U” is the Urbano Sundial. This is another one of those spots I happened to find while looking at the map of the city. When it was first built in 1913 it was actually part of the Ingleside Raceway. I had no idea that this was even a thing. Of course 1913 is a little before my time.

The original design had a fountain in the middle with statues of seals playing in the water but that didn’t last very long. There are several benches ringing the sundial so you can sit and pass the time. Kids (and maybe some adults?) like to climb to the top and then slide back down. I wasn’t having any of that!

Some occultists claim this is a bit like Stonehenge or the Pyramids, a “cosmic calendar built on a power spot.” How would you feel having something like this in the middle of your street?

Taking a break tomorrow and coming back on Monday with the home stretch in the A to Z. I have all my pictures ready for the finale so I feel pretty confident I’m going to be able to cross the finish line in this race.

Disclaimer notice. The coloring book pages are from the inserts the San Francisco Chronicle put out and I mentioned them in my theme reveal so you can go to that to get the info about the artists if you are interested. I did the coloring and took the pictures.

About scr4pl80

I'm a 60-ish, married, mom to 3, creative soul looking to make the world a better place one smile at a time.
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29 Responses to A to Z 2021 – U is for Union Square and the Urbano Sundial

  1. Miss Andi says:

    Great pictures, I loved the story about the store ringing in its opening ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A to Z 2021 – Reflection | Janet's Smiles

  3. Pingback: A to Z 2021 – Z is for the Zoo and Zuckerberg SFG | Janet's Smiles

  4. The sun dial was a pretty ingenious invention of the good old days . I love walking around cities and heritage places and exploring ….cannot do so now but the posts do make up for it


    Liked by 1 person

  5. This looks like our financial district, with high-end stores nobody can afford to shop in. I wonder how they are faring now during the pandemic, with even fewer shoppers. Love the sundial!! Such a great idea to have a practical sculpture that you can set your watch by! https://mollyscanopy.com/2021/04/undaunted-seventh-blogiversary-atozchallenge/#comments

    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Hi Molly – I am not sure how the stores are doing because it was early morning when I was taking my stroll and they weren’t open yet. They weren’t all boarded up though so that’s a good sign.


  6. I love all the hearts โ™ฅโ™ฅ beautiful.
    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had to smile when I read the first paragraph and realised how coloured I am by living close to Amsterdam, which is (as all The Netherlands) full of bikes. There are big parking lots for bikes by the main train stations, and also, a “coffee shop” is where you can go in and smoke some weed.
    Ah, and those big hearts! I’m getting curious to learn more about them!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. J-Dub says:

    How cool. Those hearts โ™ฅ๏ธ are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie says:

    I am loving your San Francisco posts. The first time I went to Union Square was with my mom and dad. It was 1968. Wow! A loooong time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love your photos, Janet!

    Happy Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tamara says:

    I love that this challenge results in your discovering new gems in your own home town! Like the sundial. I haven’t heard of it, and neither have I seen the hearts at Union Square. Are they new?


    Liked by 1 person

    • scr4pl80 says:

      Hi Tamara – I am so enjoying it too, especially since one of my vision cards this year was experience! I will be talking about the hearts in “Z” so you have to come back for that!


  12. I would definitely not want to slide down the sundial but bet the statues of seals playing in the water were cute when they were around. Weekends In Maine

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great photos. Wish I could blink my eyes and see in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I must say the sundial does seem a bit incongruous in the middle of a neighborhood of houses, but perhaps none of those families are ever late to anything. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t believe it’s safe to try to slide down it. But then again, we’re all on the downward slide of time, aren’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. These are great pictures, Janet. The sundial is huge.

    Liked by 1 person

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