Friday, April 13, 2007

Favorite San Francisco Spots

by Michelle Richmond

Writing THE YEAR OF FOG gave me a chance to hang out at some of my favorite San Francisco spots. Here are just a few that make appearances in the novel. Share your own favorite San Francisco spots at my reading at Book Passage in the Ferry Building on April 17. 7:00 p.m.

The Bashful Bull Too (Chapters 29 & 59) - a diner in the Sunset where you can spread out at a big table with a burger, shake, and fries. Best deal is the daily special.
Simple Pleasures (mentioned on the acknowledgments page)- my favorite neighborhood cafe. I wrote portions of the novel there. Dae & Michelle make the best cafe au lait in the city. Live music every week. Excellent veggie bagels. The owner, who was Cafe' Trieste's roaster ages ago, now roasts his own beans in a small shop on the same block.
The Alexandria and The Coronet - two of San Francisco's grand old movie houses that have recently been closed down.

The Balboa (Chapters 7 & 81). My favorite neighborhood theater, still operating. Great popcorn, and daily double features.

Waverly Street (Chapter 12) - I so love the sounds of Waverly I decided to put them in my book: "On Waverly Street, the clatter of dice drifts from behind the closed door of gambling houses."

Land's End -- For years this was my favorite spot for getting away. It was crowded with beautiful trees and foliage, the dirt path was great for walking, and about a mile into the trail you came to a little clearing with a surprising and gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, the National Parks Conservancy recently embarked upon a massive "restoration." The beautiful trees have been stripped away, the dirt path has been paved, and where there was once a lovely bench tucked into the trees from which you could watch the boats moving toward the Bay, there is now an ugly cement monstrosity, completely devoid of charm. I cried the first time I saw what they were doing to this beloved San Francisco spot. I know I'm not alone.

Read more about THE YEAR OF FOG on my web site,

More tomorrow...

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