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Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco
     

Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

4.6 3
by Gary Kamiya
 

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Cool, Gray City of Love brings together an exuberant combination of personal insight, deeply researched history, in-depth reporting, and lyrical prose to create an unparalleled portrait of San Francisco. Each of its 49 chapters explores a specific site or intersection in the city, from the mighty Golden Gate Bridge to the raunchy Tenderloin to the soaring sea

Overview

Cool, Gray City of Love brings together an exuberant combination of personal insight, deeply researched history, in-depth reporting, and lyrical prose to create an unparalleled portrait of San Francisco. Each of its 49 chapters explores a specific site or intersection in the city, from the mighty Golden Gate Bridge to the raunchy Tenderloin to the soaring sea cliffs at Land's End.

This unique approach captures the exhilarating experience of walking through San Francisco's sublime terrain, while at the same time tying that experience to a history as rollicking and unpredictable as the city herself. From her absurd beginnings as the most distant and moth-eaten outpost of the world's most extensive empire, to her instantaneous fame during the Gold Rush, from her apocalyptic destruction by earthquake and fire to her perennial embrace of rebels, dreamers, hedonists and misfits of all stripes, the City by the Bay has always followed a trajectory as wildly independent as the untrammeled natural forces that created her.

This ambitious, eclectic, and beautifully written book draws on everything from on-the-ground reporting to obscure academic papers to the author's 40-year life in San Francisco to create a rich and insightful portrait of a magical corner of the world. Complete with hand-drawn maps ofthe 49locations, this handsome package will sit comfortably on the short shelf of enduring books about places, alongside E. B. White's Here is New York, Jose Saramago's Journey to Portugal, or Alfred Kazin's A Walker in the City.

Editorial Reviews

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
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620401255
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
205,905
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Gary Kamiya was born in Oakland in 1953 and grew up in Berkeley. After dropping out of Yale, he earned his BA and MA in English lit from UC Berkeley, where he won the Mark Schorer Citation. He drove a taxi in San Francisco for 7 years while completing college and working as a freelance writer. After co-founding a short-lived city magazine called Frisko, he got his first real job at the age of 37 as an editor of the San Francisco Examiner's Sunday magazine, Image. After five years at the Examiner, where he was a culture critic and book editor, he left to co-found the groundbreaking Web site Salon.com, where he was executive editor for 12 years. He is currently a columnist for Salon. His first book, Shadow Knights: The Secret War Against Hitler, was a critically-acclaimed history. He is married to the novelist Kate Moses. They have two children.

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Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dshantz More than 1 year ago
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.