Arsenal's Unknown City series of alternative guidebooks designed for tourists and hometowners alike turns its attention to the City by the Bay: San Francisco, where stories of notorious murders, city hall scandals, and untold tales of Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, and Castro Street share pages with secret dining pleasures, shopping meccas, and nightclub hotspots.
From the Summer of Love back in the 1960s to the Winter of Love in 2004, when the mayor of San Francisco made the city the center of the nation's gay marriage debate, San Francisco has consistently been one of America's most colorful and offbeat urban oases. From pot dispensaries in the Lower Haight to the nightspots in the heavily Hispanic Mission district to private karaoke rooms in Japan Town, all of San Francisco's hidden nooks and crannies are exposed.
There's info on the Castro district, the heartland of America's gay community; the city's hot restaurant scene, home to arguably the best dining in the nation; tidbits on nearby Napa wineries; multi-level sex clubs; and the alleged whereabouts of active opium dens. There's also the story of the confrontation between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst at the St. Francis Hotel, when Hearst refused Welles' offer of tickets to the premiere of Citizen Kane; the legacy of Alcatraz and legendary prison escape attempts; and notes on San Francisco icons like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Building. Ebullient and chock-a-block with facts and figures, this book raises a glass to life in the City by the Bay.
Two-color throughout; includes a BART transportation route map.
Helene Goupil and Josh Krist are editor and publisher, respectively, of InsideOut Travel magazine, a bimonthly online travel publication that caters to the traveler/adventurer at heart. Helene, Josh, and InsideOut (www.insideoutmag.com) are based in San Francisco.