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Category Archives: San Francisco

This week’s city reading: the future of Detroit, a farewell to London, and the failings of transit in the San Francisco Bay Area

Detroit Open City (Aaron Robertson, Los Angeles Review of Books) “The species of loneliness one feels in New York is not the same in Detroit. There is an overwhelming awareness that in a city this large, things should be louder. ‘Detroit is the biggest small town in America,’ I once heard someone say. The slogan rings […]

See me introduce Blade Runner and talk dystopia in San Francisco on November 6th

The second annual San Francisco Urban Film Festival happens this November from the 3rd through the 8th, taking as its theme the idea of going “beyond dystopia.” In line with that, they’re screening Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, whose vision of 2019 Los Angeles has, for nearly 35 years, endured as a vision of the urban future. Its crowded streets and Babel […]

San Francisco Diary III

A formerly closeted middle-aged gay man in the seventies: that’s what I felt like when I made peace with my desire and began seriously drinking coffee. I’d avoided it until about age 25, having feared falling into obsessive source- and preparation-related obscurantism and that tiresome pissing contest over who can drink it the least sweet. […]

San Francisco Diary II

“Might I suggest checking out the rainbow to the east?” an interviewee texted, on his way to meet me in the Castro. Looking up from my phone, I indeed saw a rainbow to the east. Glancing around, I saw the even more compelling sight of everyone on the street pulling out their iPhones, iPads, Droids, […]

San Francisco Diary I

I once hated and feared San Francisco. Then again, I did so from three feet off the ground, in an era that saw the city’s struggles with filth and homelessness reached their most vicious. Upon growing up, I began calling San Francisco “an amusement park for 36-year-olds.” Indeed, the closer I get to that age, […]