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Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

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Overview

A runaway San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Cool Gray City of Love is a one-of-a-kind book for a one-of-a-kind city. It's a love song in 49 chapters to an extraordinary place, taking 49 different sites around the city as points of entry and inspiration-from a seedy intersection in the Tenderloin to the soaring sea cliffs at Lands End. Encompassing the city's Spanish missionary past, a gold rush, a couple of earthquakes, the Beats, the hippies, and the dot-com boom, this book is at once a rambling walking tour, ...

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Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

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Overview

A runaway San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Cool Gray City of Love is a one-of-a-kind book for a one-of-a-kind city. It's a love song in 49 chapters to an extraordinary place, taking 49 different sites around the city as points of entry and inspiration-from a seedy intersection in the Tenderloin to the soaring sea cliffs at Lands End. Encompassing the city's Spanish missionary past, a gold rush, a couple of earthquakes, the Beats, the hippies, and the dot-com boom, this book is at once a rambling walking tour, a natural and human history, and a celebration of place itself-a guide to loving any place more faithfully and fully.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"How do I love thee? In Cool Gray City of Love Gary Kamiya crushes on San Francisco in 49 different ways—from its landscapes and architecture to a fabled past encompassing the Gold Rush, Beats and hippies, the AIDS crisis, and dot.com mania. Now that's love and devotion." —Vanity Fair

"Written in a confessional first-person tone that invokes a conversation between two old friends: Kamiya and the city he has called home for over 40 years . . . impressive is the author’s uncanny grasp of the bay’s natural history and the way that the landscape continues to shape the lives of current San Franciscans . . . Kamiya has written a fitting ode to an exceptional city." —Publishers Weekly

“Kamiya’s relish is contagious . . . [San Francisco] has its defining lyrical panorama for a generation or longer.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Newcomers to San Francisco fall in love with the city every day, but no one can appreciate it quite like a longtime resident. Kamiya proves an ardent, expert guide to his hometown’s history, neighborhoods and landmarks . . . Cool Gray City of Love will open your eyes anew.” —San Jose Mercury News

“I can’t imagine there’s anyone who knows San Francisco better than Gary Kamiya.” —Dave Eggers

Library Journal
Lifelong Bay Area resident Kamiya (cofounder & columnist, Salon; Shadow Knights: The Secret War Against Hitler) describes 49 charmingly different tours of the city he loves. This is not a book about museums, restaurants, or tourist hot spots but instead a portrait of San Francisco from its early days, when the Spanish established a fort at the Presidio, through the boom of the 1849 gold rush and the devastation of the 1906 earthquake, to the colorful, drug-fueled invasion of hippies in the 1960s and the Occupy San Francisco movement of the new millennium. Woven throughout is social and political commentary along with stories from Kamiya's own life. Isolated coves, old factories, and San Francisco's rich ethnic history are as central to the story as Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, and Coit Tower. Kamiya's excellent powers of description almost (but not quite) obviate the need for maps. VERDICT Humorous, thoughtful, and packed with details, this book is a delight to read. If readers weren't intrigued by San Francisco before reading Kamiya's work, they will be by the end.—Linda M. Kaufmann, Massachusetts Coll. of Liberal Arts Lib., North Adams
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620401262
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/14/2014
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 76,393
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Kamiya was born in Oakland in 1953, grew up in Berkeley, and has lived in San Francisco since 1971. He cofounded Salon.com, where he was executive editor for twelve years and then a columnist. His first book, Shadow Knights: The Secret War Against Hitler, was a critically-acclaimed history of Britain's top secret Special Operations Executive. Kamiya is currently executive editor of San Francisco Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    wonderful book about the City everyone loves- San Francisco. This is no ordinary travel book. It is a literary tour de force with an in depth exploration of both familiar and obscure places by a long time resident who cares deeply about his entire City.

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  • Posted August 28, 2014

    A run overview of the history of San Francisco

    If you enjoy San Francisco and enjoy history you will enjoy this book. It talks about some of the parts of San Francisco you know and some you might not.

    I like the respect shown to first people living in San Francisco for years before it was "found".

    It strips back the pavement in some sections and takes you back to the streams that used to run thought the "city" and who where and why people lived in different locations.

    The sections are short and makes it a nice easy read for the end of a busy day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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