San Francisco's Union Square
January 24, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO'S UNION SQUARE
The Dewey Memorial gracefully rises from Union Square while the hotels and department stores dominate the area.
For many vacationers, including my wife and daughters, San Francisco means Union Square: a concentrated but sizable, cultural and, above all, shopping district on steroids. Union Square outweighs LA, NYC or London when it comes to the amount of shops per square foot within a six-block radius. The lure is undeniable to the intrepid shoppers of the world but Union Square's origins were historic not economic: the square is named for the pro-Union gatherings held there during the Civil War. Gatherings now are mostly limited to shoppers resting their weary feet in the Square's recently remodeled plaza. The area around the Square is home not only to the big guys — Macys, Neimans, Saks, Nordstrom and others — but also to designer boutiques such as Armani, Chanel, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Hermes, Gucci, Bally and so on. Don't be dismayed if these retail giants and elite emporia are not within your shopping budget.
Macy's entrance onto the square.
Gucci's deco portico.
Neiman Marcus, it's quite different inside.
There are familiar favorites such as Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy as well as Urban Outfitters, Fossil, Diesel and many, many others. Additionally, there are many independent shops that feature one of a kind or bargain merchandise. All this consumer gluttony is accessible as long as you've got stamina, shoe leather/running shoe rubber AND CREDIT, MORE CREDIT AND/OR MUCHO CASH.
This is not the standard issue Neiman Marcus.
For great view of the square have lunch or an early diner at Neiman Marcus' Rotunda Restaurant.