Chapter

East Bay: Cities and Back Country

David Kipen

in San Francisco in the 1930s

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268807
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948877 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520268807.003.0023
East Bay: Cities and Back Country

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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

Chapter.  28789 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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