Travelers' Tales San Francisco: True Stories

Overview


San Francisco is spoken of in the same breath as Paris, Venice, and Rome, and has earned the slogan "America’s Favorite City" for its openness, dramatic beauty, cultural amenities, the diversity of its neighborhoods and population, and its icons—the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, and fog. It sits on the tip of a peninsula on the edge of a continent in one of the world’s most seismically active areas—no wonder there has always been a "sitting on the edge" mentality here. The city ...
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Overview


San Francisco is spoken of in the same breath as Paris, Venice, and Rome, and has earned the slogan "America’s Favorite City" for its openness, dramatic beauty, cultural amenities, the diversity of its neighborhoods and population, and its icons—the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, and fog. It sits on the tip of a peninsula on the edge of a continent in one of the world’s most seismically active areas—no wonder there has always been a "sitting on the edge" mentality here. The city appeared instantly—just add gold and stir!—when that precious ore was discovered in the nearby hills in 1848. It was a boomtown that lasted, and all of that rich history is captured in Travelers’ Tales San Francisco along with clear portraits of today’s city. In these true stories you will explore the North Beach of the Beat era and beyond with Herbert Gold, discover true romance on a cable car with Michele Anna Jordan, uncover the real Mission district with John Krich, marvel at the city’s wild light with Andrei Codrescu, gumshoe through Sam Spade’s San Francisco with Don Freeman, and learn what it means to be a "quintessential San Franciscan" with the late Herb Caen.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What better way to prep for a journey than by reading interesting stories about one's destination? As glimpsed here through the eyes of beatniks, hippies, surfers, "lavender cowboys" and talented writers from all walks, San Francisco comes to vivid, complex life. One short story takes the reader surfing in monstrous waves at Ocean Beach; another, through an incredible history of SF's gay culture linked with a tour de force tale of AIDS and devotion. The diverse memoirs range from a dim sum disaster in Chinatown to the hot tub scene in Elgy Gillespie's wonderfully funny debut ("But letting boldness be my friend, I dropped the towel and plunged right in, with one smooth movement and an almighty splash, only to find that nobody was noticing anyway"). A far cry from a traditional guidebook, the tales also delve into the city's nitty-gritty, with accounts of pit-bull fighting, earthquakes, bad trips in the '60s and the dangers and thrills of a glory hole. Carefully chosen Herb Caen bits, news clips and historical details (the bullfights that once took place outside Mission Dolores Chapel, for example) mesh with the fiction pieces and poems to weave a rich fabric of place and time. For either San Francisco first-timers or third-generation natives, this compilation opens many windows on the city and offers great escapist reading. Maps and graphics not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
The "Travelers' Tales" series changes its focus from foreign countries to the City by the Bay. San Francisco fits well in the series, which gathers diverse articles to give readers an idea of the flavor of a region rather than offering a "go here, see this" guidebook. The appeal is as much for those who already know the city as for those who plan to visit. This book has wonderful articles about surfing at Ocean Beach, rollerblading at night from Golden Gate Park to downtown, the Presidio, and North Beach. Happily missing are the usual lurid "Only in SF" gossipy pieces, which caricature San Francisco as a mischievous theme park. Prominently featured in the short sidebars is Herb Caen, a longtime columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and well known and trusted as a commentator on the scene. Recommended for travel collections with other "Travelers' Tales" books, and especially for California collections.Mary Ann Parker. Dept. of Water Resources Law Lib. Sacramento, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885211859
  • Publisher: Travelers' Tales Guides, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Travelers' Tales Guides Series
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Regional Map
Introduction
Pearl Necklace 3
Wild Light 7
Pacific World 17
What You See Is Who You Are 25
When San Francisco Was Cool 29
I Was a Teenage Yogi 43
The Real Mission 47
Circle of Gold 55
Freakin' in Frisco 61
North Beach at Twilight 75
City Perched on a Frontier 83
Glide and the Family Church 93
The Heavenly Gates 99
Dreaming of Muir Woods 107
My Father's Jack London 111
Night Skates 127
The Lost Roman Baths of Adolph Sutro 139
Going In 145
The Forest of John McLaren 151
Sam Spade's San Francisco 157
The Rock 163
Javacrawl 173
Fort at the End of the World 181
Gulf of the Farallones 191
West Coast Orient 197
Into the Sunset 205
Locomotion 209
Brooding at Ocean Beach 215
Lotusland 217
Parts Unknown 223
Step by Step 231
El Matador Lives 235
Looking for Mr. Big 243
Lotta's Legacy 255
The First Negroni in the No Name Bar 263
The Specter of Grand View Peak 269
Through the Golden Gate 275
Seeing Stars 283
The Art of Lincoln Park 289
Jammin' with Garcia 295
Old Growth Houses 303
Tennessee Valley Dream 309
Return to Devil's Gulch 311
Driving Your Karma 319
Is There Really a San Francisco? 323
The Late Victorians 331
Rocking the Cradle 347
Mean Streets 355
Sharing the Pain 363
A Survivor 369
Lost Treasures 373
Footprints in the Sand 381
Books for Further Reading 385
Index 389
Index of Contributors 393
Acknowledgements 397
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