As an outsider, I can't think of anyone whose writing about SF was to me any more entertaining and influential than Herb Caen.
All his books (there are many) are available from the library, and I enjoy 'em all the time and recommend them to anyone who has any interest at all in San Francisco.
He spent 50 years writing columns and books about what may be the most interesting city in the country.
Caen joked that he was an unlikely Pulitzer winner, because the prize is usually awarded to journalism that is "serious, heavy, deep - all the things I'm not."
Thanks to Hank D:
MisterSF tribute to Herb Caen
SF Chronicle tribute to Herb Caen
for their excellent tributes to one of my favorite columnists.
Here is a worthy eulogy to Herb from Robin Williams:
Robin Williams eulogy to Herb Caen
Referenced MORE than a bit on these pages:
no gushing or raving, just check out some of my fave pages on the City that reside at imo one of the best SF sites on the web.
MisterSF is the one and only Hank Donat.
If you love San Francisco, you will love Mister SF.
Here is Hank's take on a perfect San Francisco day - (per SFGate):
"I would go to Russian Hill and watch the sun rise over Oakland," he began, dreamily.
"I'd walk through Chinatown before it wakes up.
I'd have coffee at Cafe Trieste and then I would go and have lunch at the wharf - take the Hyde Street cable car up the hill, tramp around Nob Hill and Union Square,
drive out to the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, come back via Ocean Beach and take in the view at Twin Peaks.
Dinner at Tadich, drinks at Top of the Mark, nightcap at the Gold Dust Lounge (rip)."
Works for me
Jeff Kraft of Oakland and Aaron Leventhal of Berkeley, co-wrote "Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco" (Santa Monica Press, $24.95). The film buffs were determined to identify each and every corner of the Bay Area used by the Master of Suspense in his films and show how the spots look today - From as far south as Mission San Juan Batista where Madeleine Elster - and her stand-in - plunged to their deaths in "Vertigo" to as far north as Bodega Bay ("The Birds") and Santa Rosa ("Shadow of a Doubt").
In "Vertigo," when Scottie (Stewart) first shadows Madeleine (Kim Novak) through the streets of Union Square, he winds up following her right through the back door of Podesta Baldocchi, a florist that once sat at 224 Grant Ave. and now can be found at 508 Fourth St.
Although the back door of 224 Grant Ave. (where North Beach Leather sits today) would open onto a tiny loading dock called Ashburton Place, that alley is much too small to be the one shown in the film. Spotting patterns in the brick facade, pipes and an old covered-up vent, they found the door. (Now, it's covered in graffiti and blocked by bars.)
Hitchcock was very important to the Bay Area and certainly very important to Sonoma County.
This book is sold at the Argonaut at 350 Kearny St., the model for the Argosy Book Shop in "Vertigo."
All this Hitchcock hunting began five years ago as Kraft's brainchild. The devoted Hitchcock fan had seen nearly all the director's movies.
He thought a map showing Bay Area spots filmed by Hitchcock would be a good way to mark the 100th anniversary of the director's birthday. (As the project grew, it wound up hitting the market for his 103rd birthday instead, but so it goes.)
Kraft sought a photographer to help him and found Leventhal.
The two teamed to make the map, later deciding to create a large poster instead. But they unearthed such a vast amount of information, even a big poster couldn't contain it all. From there, they decided to make a booklet, then a full-size coffee-table book.
While in SF, it is a must to become part of a Manwich by the Geisha_Girl and her suppa-fly vixens. An Experience that you will never forget!
Come to San Francisco....if even for only a day....and be smothered with delicious MANWICH sauces like what Frankcanfly did recently with Jessicadf and me!