STORIES BY Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Sara Jaffe, Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Kevin Keating, Kevin Killian, Klipschutz, David Plumb, Lisa Rapoport, Michael Rawlins, James Tracy, Derek White, Maw Shein Win, A.D. Winans, & Sonia Worthy.
Hippie Chick: Snapshot of a San Francisco Summer
OK, so I was a couple of years too late. I’d spent the official Summer of Love on the east coast, and when I finally got to San Francisco all the real hippies had moved to communes in the country and Haight Street had been taken over by speed freaks and dealers.
The Kid – A North Beach Fable
It was a crisp, clear summer day in the old North Beach Italian part of town. I was taking a brisk stroll up Grant Avenue when I decided to make my way inside the Coffee Gallery, once the kingpin gathering place of the Beat generation. It was like taking a trip back into the past, seeing Bob Kaufman and Jack Micheline sitting at the bar rapping over two large steins of beer.
Guy Place Dogs
If it wasn’t for the dogs, Carlos and I would have been good neighbors. He kept three little yippers on his first floor back porch, two doors to my left, during the afternoon. The off ramp from the Bay Bridge swept around Guy Place just above the printing company on Folsom Street; the cars pumped downtown, but if you bent an ear, you could hear and then see the little yipper dogs spinning around their tails on the narrow wood porch, or just standing with their noses pointed and their yappers yipping to beat Jesus. It drove me crazy.
Sailing the Tenderloin
The union hall sits near the corner of Fremont and Harrison Streets on the down slope of the hill running toward the Financial District. One of those neighborhoods on the fulcrum of urban development, teetering between the upscale and derelict. A walk inside the massive hall reveals a space the size of a small basketball
Charles and Haze Hit San Francisco
Hurricane Hazel and I arrived in the cool gray city of love on Thanksgiving day, only to find a surly slacker in our bed.
Our host Dirk was a sweet pushover for lost souls–including newcomers like us, you understand–but the Gen-X whiner-dude occupying our room was not only obnoxious, but also singularly unattractive. His poor-me-I’ve-got-a-killer-cold-and-no-money attitude was even snottier than his dripping red nose.
Let Them Eat Twinkies
“It’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t.” -Butthole Surfers We jammed together for the occasional moments of clarity. For the most part we sucked, but occasionally we struck a chord that made it all worth it. Since I was still learning the ropes, I had to focus so hard on
The Big (Chocolate Covered) Cherry & My hunter-gatherer dream to circle the globe
Do you ever need to get out of town? Not because you’ve been banished for, say, tying a police officer to a bear and throwing them in a canal, but just because you desperately need to go?
The Intersections of Displacement
Always a city of transience and rapid transformation, San Francisco is also a city of ceaseless forced entries and evacuations. The eviction notice has been nailed to San Francisco’s door for a very long time. Below, find a street-by-street crash course in the ongoing land wars that have defined the development of Baghdad-by-the-Bay.
I Live Here
It was the end of the summer, and I was forced to admit that I still hadn’t read The Corrections, and might never do so, but had watched Lise Swenson’s Mission Movie almost as many times as I’d left the neighborhood – not counting work and a few desperate heat-wave excursions. A person who spends her days reviewing films like A Cinderella Story and She’s All That is unlikely to look to the cinema for psychic insights and life instruction, but I had to imagine the repeated rewindings meant something.
San Francisco is not known as a city of the cubicle. In a geography defined by beaches and bridges, we pride ourselves on freedom from constraint. We telecommute, we consult, we freelance. We work in lofts. If we must be enclosed, we import pool tables and bean bag chairs to elide the exact nature of our location. We go wireless in cafes.