Stunning Photos of San Francisco While Attending the DIC

Laurel? Can you explain what is going on?

Did you really just say “attending the DIC in San Francisco?”


Um, yes, I did. It’s an acronym for the Design Influencer’s Conference. (DIC)

DIC was formerly DBC; or, Design Blogger’s Conference.


Apparently, the powers that be decided a couple of years ago to change the name.


As the conference is not really about “blogging,” I don’t entirely disagree.

What I disagree with is that I feel that the conference should be about blogging.

If you need help with blogging or helping to make a profitable website, please go here.

However, nobody asked me. So, DIC, it is.

And, since I have a lot of gorgeosity to share with you, I won’t bother you (too much longer) with my elderly brand of sophomoric behavior.


Oh, dear… I JUST installed Grammarly. And, I have the highest score possible for “confused.”


Of course, it’s confused. There is no such word as DIC.

However, that didn’t stop us naturally jovial designers from having a bit of fun, which I’ll get to in a sec.


Some of you may recall that I lived in the San Francisco bay area (Palo Alto) back in 1973-75.


If you are interested in more about that time, please check out my post about a crazy bay window story.

However, I also spent a lot of time in San Francisco during that time. And, then, I spent a fair amount of time in SF on subsequent visits to see my brother and, sister Holly. She lived in San Francisco for about 12 years.

However, I haven’t been back since 1986.


So, I arrived in San Francisco two days early to settle in and see some of the city.


Arriving early, from New York, I grabbed an Uber and was taking in the much-changed landscape of south San Francisco. It is so much more built up now.

Also, I was also jovially texting with friends about our impending trip to the DIC.

And, then, I saw it; a building I had never seen before.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, especially considering the topic of our texts.

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a photo.


exquisite images San Francisco #dicpic


Nor, can I resist self-editing myself from hashtagging it #DICpic.


And, I just know that someone is going to crap all over me for saying dicpic.

Yes, yes. Thank you for that. I’m sure you mean well in trying to change my behavior. However, you’re wasting your precious time. At 64, I’m firmly set in my inappropriate ways.


Plus, I’m only reporting what I see.


I didn’t name the conference DIC. And, I didn’t design that building, either. Surely, they (whoever “they” is) realize that it resembles a GIANT erect penis?

Don’t they???

Yes, they do as I just googled it.

Oh well… But, just wait until you see how pretty it is when it’s all lit up at night!


Better move on, because I have dozens of images I took to share with you of San Francisco.


Okay, I snapped at least a couple hundred images. But, dang, I forgot to take one of the hotel I stayed at.

Typical, me.

Usually, I just stay where the conference is. But, with taxes, the Grand Hyatt was $350 a night. And, for a  sterile-looking room, at that.  So, I got on the world wide web and found this gem, just around the corner.

And, for less than half the price, too!

The Chancellor Hotel. And, I recommend it.

If there’s a shower cap; I recommend it. But, the bed was super comfy and there were lots of other thoughtful touches, as well.

The Chancellor was built in 1915, on Powell St.; just around the corner from Union Square. At the time, it was the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco.


Chancellor Hotel 1920s postcard

I found this postcard from the 1920s of the Chancellor Hotel on Ebay


Chancellor Hotel View From Union Square

View of the Chancellor Hotel From Union Square as it looks today.


Hotel on Union Square - San Francisco - via Google Maps

Chancellor Hotel on Union Square – San Francisco

Union Square Park is on the left. And, yes, that is the Powell Street cable car that stops right in front of the hotel.

I got the images above and below, by using the street view on Google Maps.


Chancellor Hotel - Union Square - San Francisco


San_Francisco_-_Powell_Street_(1959) photo Roger Wollstadt via Wikimedia

San_Francisco_-_Powell_Street_(1959) photo Roger Wollstadt via Wikimedia


The Chancellor Hotel is in the distance, in this 61 yr old image. It looks a tad grungy here, But, today, the Union Square area is like the 5th Avenue of San Francisco. It is full of luxury shops and hotels.

Friday evening I hung out with my dear friend Claire Jefford and her assistant Stacy.

And, on Saturday, while working on my blog post, another dear friend Deborah VonDonop showed up.

Deborah, who lives in Greenwich, CT is a homey, for me. So, it was fun to hang out with her. We had a great time last June at this exquisite garden tour in Greenwich, CT.

So, Deborah and I headed out on foot and our first stop was


Nordstrom - San Francisco
Nordstrom. haha. Yes, Nordy’s in San Francisco. Uhhh… I know. But, we wanted to look at the shoes and it was only a few blocks away.

However, me hungry. And, so we found a local who guided us to the nearest Thai place.

And THEN, we looked at shoes. I mean. First things first!


Ummmm… Laurel? You flew to San Francisco and then went to Nordy’s to look at shoes?


Yes, that’s right. But, that’s not all we did. We only spent about 30 minutes looking around and then went up Market Street on our way to Fisherman’s Wharf.


Architecture in San Francisco - Market Street - homeless manAnd, we started walking down Market Street that’s filled with more luxury and many beautiful old buildings. And, yes, that is a homeless man. There are thousands of them. It’s definitely a big problem in San Francisco.


Classical Beaux Arts Architecture Market Street San FranciscoI think this one is my favorite building. It is built in the Beaux-Arts style. This makes sense since much of San Francisco was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. And, Beaux-Arts was all the rage. Thank God!


Classical Beaux Arts Architecture Market Street San Francisco - facadeA detail shot. Fabulous building!


Classical Building Market Street San Francisco - GapMore Classical Architecture.


Classical Architecture in San Francisco - Wells Fargo BankThe Wells Fargo Bank Building


Classical Architecture in San Francisco - Hearst Building

No explanation required here.

After we walked a few blocks, we realized that we were still a mile and a half away from Fisherman’s Wharf.  And so, we ubered it down to Fisherman’s Wharf.


Chowder Hut Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco

Our driver dropped us off in front of the Chowder Hut. I took this photo later on which I’ll explain in a sec.

To the left is where you can get boat tours to Alcatraz Island.

I found the area a mix of gorgeous and tacky. I don’t remember any tackiness 45 years ago, however.


Fine Art & Decor? San Francisco

Fine Art & Decor? I’m having my doubts.

However, the water and bay are beautiful.


Alcatraz - Island San Francisco Bay

This, of course, is Alcatraz island, out in the middle of the bay.

We wandered around a while longer and then we noticed some people dining with a much higher vantage point.


Alioto's Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

This place, Alioto’s. I am sure that it’s been there forever.

So, of course, we just had to climb up there to see if we could get some spectacular wharf shots.

Honesty is always the best policy in these cases. The worst that would happen is we would get thrown out. Fortunately, we were greeted warmly by a tall, handsome manager. I told him that I have an interior design blog and would love to snap a few photos for my blog. Without hesitation, he said, “Of course.”

And, so I quickly took a few, trying not to disturb any guests.


Waiter at Alioto's San Francisco
In the background, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.

Alioto’s, of course, is known for its seafood.


Dead Fish Alioto's San Francisco

Are you looking at me?

I’m sure the fish is very tasty and fresh. ;]


After we took shots of the wharf, the manager told us that we were welcome to step outside to see the view on the other side.


So, so nice, he was! And, so we did.


View of Russian Hill from Alioto's San Francisco

And wow! I like this even better, ignoring the slightly scuzzy-looking shops in the foreground. But, look at that magnificent view of Russian Hill.  More about that, soon.

This is also when I took the photo of the Chowder Hut.


After we climbed down, we said thank you and goodbye. And, then continued our walk around the area.


The Cannery Fisherman's wharf San Francisco

We walked over to the Cannery. I remember it as being this really cool shopping area. But, mostly it appears to have turned into a college. This old brick building is part of the complex.

Adjacent to it is a lovely park.


Ghirardelli Square San Francisco

We did not go into Ghirardelli Square. But, I do remember that sign from decades past.


photo of San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

Love this shot I captured with the guy on a bike and the misty bridge in the background. Just lucky!

After that, we decided to venture away from the wharf. At that point, I don’t think we had a destination in mind.

However, soon, we realized that we were going up a hill.

Yes, it was Russian Hill. And now, we began to get some seriously spectacular views of the San Francisco bay.


Hills of San Francisco

Sorry about the Portosan.


Dragon Front Door - San Francisco

We also passed many fascinating architectural features. How crazy wild is that door!


Telegraph HillWe even had a gorgeous view of Telegraph Hill. At the apex is Coit Tower. In the background, you can faintly make out the Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco to Oakland.


Telegraph Hill - Classical Architecture - San Francisco Bay
Similar view, just a different vantage point.

We kept climbing up and up and now, we began to see some houses too!


Classical Architecture in San Francisco-Tudor Style Home

Like this stunning Tudor Style Home


House for Sale Russian Hill San Francisco

This one’s for sale!


Russian Hill San Francisco


Russian Hill-San FranciscoAt the top of this hill, Deborah and I took a selfie.


Deb & Me in San Fran


YouTube video


And, I also shot a video. Oh man, do I sound dumb, or what? haha


And, then, continuing our walk, I asked Deborah if she had ever seen Lombard Street?

You know, the legendary “crookedest street in the world.”


via Wikipedia - Lombard St. San Francisco

via Wikipedia – Lombard St. San Francisco


I remember being driven down it when I was a teenager. Lombard Street is a very long street, but only this one part is crooked.

Deb indicated that she knew of it, but had never seen it. So, I google mapped it and discovered that we were only .4 of a mile away.


What Google, in passive-aggressive fashion didn’t tell me, was that it was .4 of a mile– ALL uphill!!!


The crooked part starts at the top of Russian Hill. No, wait. Let’s change that to Russian Mountain.

But, we did it. And, boy was it worth it.


Classical Architecture in San Francisco-Lombard St. Man walking


Spectacular views from up here.

The water is pretty nice too. ;]


Classical Architecture in San Francisco-Lombard St. San Francisco Bay

I told you it was worth it!


Lombard St - San Francisco

I guess if you live on Lombard Street, you have to be prepared for a steady stream of tourists walking right in front of your home. It’s part of the gig.


Lombard Sreet San Fran

And, of course, cars, too. But, with a posted speed of 5 miles per hour. They are merely coasting down the hill. Yes, the road is only one way. And, that way is down the hill.


Lombard Street overlooking Telegraph HillWe, of course, walked down.


Lombard Street - San Francisco

We did it!


Then, we walked a couple more blocks and ubered it back to the hotel and took a rest.

Well, Deb did, I guess. I had to get my renovation blog post out. Yes, I did it. I don’t know how I did it, but I did.


The conference began on Sunday, but on Monday, guess what Laurel did?


After my very early 7:30 AM mentoring session and a couple more hours, I played hooky.

Why? Well, to get my hair done, of course!

However, it was THE most stunning day. And, since I was a little early, (for a change) I was able to get some more wonderful shots near the Union Square area.


Beaux Arts Architecture San Francisco near Union SquareSo many beautiful buildings! Love that classical architecture!


Beaux Arts Architecture San Francisco Detail
Beaux Arts Architecture San Francisco Detail

Blue and white porcelain Chinoiserie at Gump’s. And bejeweled with what looks to be sapphires!


Classical Architecture San Francisco Starbucks

San Francisco Starbucks


Classical Architecture in San Francisco - near Union Square - Beaux Arts

Another Beaux-Arts beauty!

Do you see the Greek key pattern near the top of the building?

The conference ended in the early afternoon on Tuesday. And, so I went out with other friends for a long walk down to the Embarcadero.

This is an area that borders the bay.


Bay Bridge San Francisco

 Here we had gorgeous views of the Bay Bridge. And, the modern buildings downtown.


Embarcadero San Francisco Architecture

Yes, I took this image with my I-phone 10. But, doesn’t it almost look computer-generated? I just had to snap a pic of that crazy architecture. I have no idea how one designs OR builds such a building. Pretty cool!


And, now, I’m going to leave you with some spectacular images of San Francisco that I found on Unsplash.


If you don’t know Unsplash, it’s an online source of totally copyright-free images you can help yourself to use. All they ask is to give attribution. Well, of course!


@noodlenelson on unsplash Lombard Street

Aerial view of Lombard Street – wowza!!! by @noodlenelson on Unsplash


via @noodlenelson on unsplash San Francisco Bay Bridge

via @noodlenelson on Unsplash San Francisco Bay Bridge and boat harbor.


@utsav911 - Lombard St. on Unsplash

@utsav911 – Lombard St. on Unsplash


@ajb on unsplash - Bay Bridge at night

@ajb on unsplash


@alexsorto via unsplash

@alexsorto via Unsplash


@fdelgado on unsplash

@fdelgado on Unsplash


California Street, San Francisco via @reza565 on unsplash

California Street, San Francisco via @reza565 on Unsplash

Well, I hope you enjoyed this trip to San Francisco. The city has changed a lot since I lived in Palo Alto. And, of course, there’s so much that I didn’t get to see. But, I had a great time and would love to go back someday soon.



PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!


40 Responses

  1. Love your tour of the city. beautiful photos and great commentary. LOVE DICpic!!! The swirly apartment building, the dragon door, and Nordstrom…always love the spiral shots.

  2. I miss California so much my heart hurts. I only lived in SF for less than a year, but Northern California is my adopted home from Santa Cruz to Sacramento. I am trying to get back there.

    This is one of your most uplifting posts, Laurel. Thank you!!!

  3. Thanks for the virtual tour – feels like a mini vacation back to beautiful SF. Glad you had a great time (and I always enjoy your sass and class)!

  4. I so enjoyed reading this post. San Francisco is one of my favourite cities and by far the most interesting in the US. I’ve been there many times and hope to go again soon. The last time I was there, 4 years ago, my sister made me drive down Lombard St. and one of the steep streets (Filbert?). That, of course, will never happen again. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Thank you so much for your fun photo tour of San Fran, Laurel. It’s been 9 years since I’ve been there, and I miss the Beaux Arts architecture. Glad you had a picture-perfect working vaca.

  6. Such a pleasure to read this post and to see the amazing pictures you captured. We walked many miles ( unknowingly) and saw a great city in a brief moment. Looking forward to our next adventure.

  7. oh such beautiful photos of your trip!! and I’m SO mad at myself- as soon as I got in the Uber to the airport, I realized that not only did I not get to say good-bye, but we didn’t get a pic together…UGH.
    next time my friend.
    It was SO good to finally get to see you!!

  8. Thank you, Laurel, for the nostalgic tour of San Francisco. Having been born in nearby Berkeley, I lived most of my life in the Bay Area until moving to Hawai’i last year (we are close in age). Your stunning photos made me actually miss my old home. While I had seen many of the beauties of the city, with your fine eye you noticed details in buildings I had overlooked or taken for granted. There have been many changes in the city over the years and it’s now become a more difficult place to live, but your fresh eyes allowed me to see it again.

  9. THANKS FOR SOME GREAT MEMORIES! Have been there several times. Sometimes as a stop before heading to Carmel. Love your blog and the “crack-me-up” attitude.

  10. I’m a native San Franciscan. (Well, almost.) I was born in the SF bay area and grew up about 15 miles away from the city. I’ve seen LOTS of changes over the decades, as you might well imagine, and many of them not so much for the better, IMHO. Yes, San Francisco has a huge population of homeless people. Whatever the city, (and state of California, for that matter), are doing, or not doing about this situation, is not working. It’s tragic, and has now reached epidemic proportions – to the extent that it has now become a serious health problem, but I won’t venture into politics. It’s nice to hear that people still have a positive feeling about San Francisco. Yes, it is picturesque, has beautiful architecture and views. At one point the residents of Lombard Street wanted to close the crooked part of the street off to the public, as tourists became so intrusive that they actually knocked on peoples’ doors and asked to use their bathroom! (I guess the residents’ attempt wasn’t successful.) I was driving in a residential area of Marin County not long ago and was a little lost trying to find my way towards the Golden Gate bridge. I arrived at the crest of a hill, looked down, and quite by accident stumbled upon an absolutely breathtaking view of the bridge and surrounding land. This area must have been really something to see, before a gazillion people arrived. Anyway, thank you for the beautiful pictures, and kind thoughts about San Francisco, Laurel – a city that holds wonderful memories for me, and one that I hope will endeavor to solve its many problems.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I figured I’d hear from at least one native. I can’t imagine knocking on someone’s door to use their bathroom! Also, don’t know how they could keep the public out and the residents in. I guess it would be like a parking garage with a boom activated by a card? But, what happens in case of an emergency? And, deliveries, and guests. It would most likely be even more inconvenient to have that situation.

  11. Oh my goodness! I know I read your blog for the great design information, but my husband and I BOTH read it for your “inappropriate” humor! It just wouldn’t be as good without it. My family used to have a house in San Fran…but I’ve never been. Not very fair. You really did great photography!

  12. Gumps is back! Thank you very much for the photo, I thought they had closed forever. It was always my first destination on vacation. We live in Laguna Beach and enjoyed Christmas trips to the big city of San Fran. Fine dining, unique architecture and of course seafood at the Embarcadero. Unfortunately, downtown is full of druggies sleeping/and worse on the sidewalks and aggressive panhandlers. Such a shame for this landmark city.

  13. Love San Francisco! My oldest daughter lives there and I just spent a long weekend there with my other 2 daughters. So much fun! My oldest was married there in October at the University Club. The balconies overlooked the city. Just stunning!

  14. I love San Francisco! My daughter lived there for 11 years and then moved to Berkeley. I’ve visited many time and love it. There are so many beautiful views and I love the historical tours offered by the library.

  15. Thanks, Laurel, for sharing your San Fran visit. A great walk down memory lane. For two years our family lived 75 min outside of the city. We went into San Fran 20 times. We felt so lucky. I’m glad you got back for a great visit.

  16. Hi Laurel,
    You crack me up! I haven’t been to SF since the early 90’s, shortly after meeting my husband. It was one of our first trips together and we had such fun seeing the sites. Thanks for the reminder ❤️

  17. Came across this by accident-my wife’s-but had to comment that you have excellent taste.
    Have been to all those locations-SFO is truly
    a beautiful city-Beaux Art really stands out.
    As an automotive interior designer, I know you are doing the work you are meant to do!
    Thank you-loved seeing these places again..

  18. That new building you admired is by Studio Gang Check out all their stunning work on their website.

  19. My Aunt Betty (who lives just south of San Fran) got her wedding china at Gumps. Restaurant photo: who’s the idiot with the hoodie, baseball cap staring at his tech device? I bet the wait staff has to bite their lips at the lack of dining norms.

  20. Last time I was there was fifty years ago for only a two day stay and it was definitely amazing then and from all your photos, still is. With much appreciation for the trip down memory lane, Laurel. -Brenda-

  21. Hey Laurel,
    Wonderful pictures
    Never been but it looks beautiful there
    What an erection…you’re just being accurate
    Of course it’s a DICpic😉

  22. Sometimes I am ready to unsubscribe to this blog but when that happens a post like this comes along. Fabulous photos of beautiful buildings and views that I may not have noticed were I there. Thanks for a great tour! I studied all the photos, something I rarely do.

  23. Thank you for these gorgeous pictures! I haven’t been to San Francisco in 17 years. So beautiful and refreshing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

New Edition, November 2023! Get The Indispensable Guide For 100s of Home Furnishings And Interior Design Sources That Everyone Is Raving About

laurels-rolodex-final-book-cover-master 10th edition 23-24

laurel home archives


Please click the image below for more info about my rockin’ Interior Design Guides for 2024!

Laurel Home Interior Design Guides 2024
Amazon ad

please click below to check out my favorite decorating & design books

Laurel Bern's Favorite Interior Design and Decorating Books
Subscribe To The Laurel Home Blog And You Will Receive A FREE Guide Where I Share How To Get Your Paint Colors Right, The First Time.