Bay Curious Bay Curious is a podcast about the unexplored San Francisco Bay Area. Each week we take a deep dive into the mysteries that make this area quirky, delightful and, at times, dysfunctional. It's a show about questions — and the adventures you stumble upon when you go looking for answers. Now here's the twist: You ask the questions. You decide what we work on. You help us find the answer. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore the Bay one bite-sized episode at a time. The show is produced at KQED in San Francisco. Learn more at BayCurious.org.
Bay Curious

Bay Curious

From KQED

Bay Curious is a podcast about the unexplored San Francisco Bay Area. Each week we take a deep dive into the mysteries that make this area quirky, delightful and, at times, dysfunctional. It's a show about questions — and the adventures you stumble upon when you go looking for answers. Now here's the twist: You ask the questions. You decide what we work on. You help us find the answer. Join host Olivia Allen-Price to explore the Bay one bite-sized episode at a time. The show is produced at KQED in San Francisco. Learn more at BayCurious.org.

Most Recent Episodes

San Jose Had 5 Chinatowns. Why Did They Vanish?

Most Bay Area residents know about the long established Chinatowns in San Francisco and Oakland, but did you know that San Jose used to have a Chinatown? In fact, it's had FIVE throughout its history. Why isn't there a Chinatown in San Jose today? Additional Reading: San Jose Had 5 Chinatowns. Why Did They Vanish The Fairmont Hotel Was Built on the Arson-Ravaged Ruins of San Jose's Chinatown Reported by Adhiti Bandlamudi. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Brendan Willard. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Isa Mendoza, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

The Beautiful Bay Bridge Frank Lloyd Wright Never Got to Build

As soon as the Bay Bridge was completed in 1936, people wanted a second bridge. Even back then, traffic was terrible. Did you know the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a bridge to cross the San Francisco Bay? This week, why Wright's vision for that second bridge never materialized. Additional Reading: The Beautiful Bay Bridge Frank Lloyd Wright Never Got to Build Another Bay Bridge? 70 Years of Absurd, Crazy and Downright Dumb Span Plans Reported by Rachael Myrow. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Brendan Willard. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Isa Mendoza, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

Wait. There's A Volcano in the East Bay Hills?

If you head to Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve above Oakland, you might wonder the same thing as Bay Curious listener Bourke MacDonald: How did a volcano form here and why did it go extinct?Today on the show, we're going hiking to learn more about this Bay Area geological wonder. Additional Reading: What! There Was A Volcano in the East Bay Hills? Video: Geology Tour with Steve Edwards at Sibley Reported by Katrina Schwartz. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Brendan Willard. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez.

The True Story Behind the Myths and Mysteries of Searsville Lake

Bay Curious listener David Mattea grew up in foggy Daly City. He remembers his family driving down the Peninsula to get some sun at a man-made beach on the Stanford campus. He wants to know what happened to it? Well, Searsville Lake is no longer open to the public, but rumors about the place are plentiful, including one about Leland Stanford flooding a town to create it, Additional Reading: The Real History Behind The Myths and Mysteries of Stanford's Searsville Lake Why Can't You Swim In Most Bay Area Lakes? Vote for what we should cover next! Reported by Rachael Myrow. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Brendan Willard. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez.

The Gold Rush Delicacy That Started A War: Eggs

During the Gold Rush, people flocked to the San Francisco Bay Area to make their fortunes. A few entrepreneurial folks realized seabird eggs could provide protein to the hungry miners. Matthew Tuckner heard there was even a war fought over eggs on the Farallon Islands and wanted to know more. Additional Reading: The Gold Rush Delicacy That Started A War: Eggs The Kitchen Sisters Present podcast When California Went to War Over Eggs (Smithsonian Magazine) Originally reported by Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson for The Kitchen Sisters Present. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Brendan Willard. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

The Origins of the Bay Area's Donut and Chinese Food Combo

Bay Curious listener Jaimie Cohen wants to know: "Why are there restaurants that serve Chinese food, doughnuts and burgers all in one location? And why are there so many of them in the Bay Area?" We found that it's a uniquely Californian combination with an unexpected history. Additional Reading: Why Donuts + Chinese Food = A Very Californian Combination 'The Donut King' official trailer (Premiering on KQED May 24th) Reported by Asal Ehsanipour. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Katie McMurran. Additional support from Brendan Willard, Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Marnette Federis.

Marin Was Once Armed With Nuclear Missiles, Luckily They Were Never Deployed

Bay Curious listener Chris Johanson wants to know whether the Nike Missile site in the Marin Headlands ever housed nuclear weapons. It's true. Veterans say the Cold War missile batteries that ringed the Bay Area housed warheads that more than equaled the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined. Additional Reading: Marin Was Once Armed With Nuclear Missiles, Luckily They Were Never Deployed Reported by Craig Miller. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Katie McMurran. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

Marin Was Once Armed With Nuclear Missiles, Luckily They Were Never Deployed

How Bay Area Homelessness Compares Globally

Many people in our community are experiencing homelessness — about 35,000 throughout the Bay Area at last count. Matthew Schmitz was shocked by how wealth and poverty exist side by side when he moved to the Mission District of San Francisco. He wanted to know how homelessness here compares to other places around the world. *This audio has been updated to correct an error. A previous version misstated the number of NYC public school children experiencing homelessness. We regret the error. Additional Reading From New York to Helsinki: What the Bay Area Can Learn When Addressing Homelessness Sold Out podcast: Rethinking Housing in America One Way to Get People Off the Streets: Buy Hotels Reported by Erin Baldassari and Molly Solomon. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho, Katie McMurran and Erika Kelly. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

Crumbling Tunnels to Nowhere: The Story Behind Santa Cruz's Mountain Route

How did a cutting edge railroad become crumbling tunnels to nowhere? This week, the story of the Mountain Route, a long lost rail line that once cut through the Santa Cruz Mountains. In it's heyday, the line provided an easy way for Bay Area residents to get to the beaches of Santa Cruz. Additional Reading: The Story Behind Those Old Train Tunnels in the Santa Cruz Mountains The Island Ghost Town in the Middle of San Francisco Bay Help us decide what to cover next by casting your vote! Reported by Peter Arcuni. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Katie McMurran. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

Crumbling Tunnels to Nowhere: The Story Behind Santa Cruz's Mountain Route

Lightning Round! Ch-ch-changes Around the Bay Area

We're answering your questions in a Bay Curious lightning round. We tackle changes you've noticed this past year on our bridges, on the water, and in how we consume. Additional Reading: End of an Era: No More Toll Takers on Bay Area Bridges It's Not Just You, There Are More Cargo Ships in the Bay Than Usual How the Bay Area Is Using Water, Power and Landfill Space During the Pandemic San Francisco Bay Is Filled With Boats, But What Do They Do? Reported by Katrina Schwartz. Bay Curious is made by Katrina Schwartz, Suzie Racho and Katie McMurran. Additional support from Erika Aguilar, Jessica Placzek, Kyana Moghadam, Isabeth Mendoza, Paul Lancour, Carly Severn, Ethan Lindsey, Vinnee Tong and Don Clyde.

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