Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

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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 seaSee more details below

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.

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620401255
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
160,630
File size:
6 MB

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