Cool Gray City of Love

Cool Gray City of Love

49 Views of San Francisco

Book - 2013
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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 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 .

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013.
Edition: 1st U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781608199600
Characteristics: xii, 384 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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DBRL_ReginaF Aug 07, 2019

This was the perfect travel companion book for my recent (and first) visit to San Francisco!

Oct 08, 2016

Having grown up in the Bay Area and lived in San Francisco during the 1970s, this book was an eye-opener. Kamiya explores different aspects of a city I thought were familiar, and makes me feel like it is a city that I barely know. The best thing about this book is how he writes about locations he loves with a personal eye, while integrating the history of the place as well as interesting sociological, geographical and sometimes geological attributes. This is a highly informative book and the personal observations are always heartfelt.

Nov 12, 2014

Great book giving you an in-depth look at the city of San Francisco. From it's past, creation, and events that make it what it is, the author covers it all . . . and then some.

Makes me want to visit the 49 specific sites that he gives the backstory for. Great read.

Jul 18, 2014

Well written and fascinating glimpse into nooks and crannies of San Francisco, with some history thrown in for good measure. I plan on using this as an off-the-beaten-path guidebook when I return to visit.


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