Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco
More lists with this book...
From the very first pages, Kamiya's love for the community of San Francisco sets the tone. San Francisco isn't just where he lives, it's an important part of who he is. As described in the intro ...more
The other thing that appealed to me so much was the author's literary bent. As a reformed English Lit snob, I'm all over this book's structu ...more
I try to avoid marring my books, but I couldn't resist dog-earring this one ...more
This guy is a kindred spirit!
I related to a LOT of this book, esp. secret stair ways, the mania for covering every square inch of the city, the appreciations of its myriad beautiful spots and romantic infatuation w/ the city as a whole. He has the cojones to claim Land's End is the best urban walk in the world. I call it 2nd best in SF! (First is Philosopher's Way in McClaran. But agree Land's End is sublime)
illustration from sf cool gray city of love, chapter 27. kamiy ...more
First, I must disclose that I love this cool gray city so I am naturally biased about Cool Gray City of Love.
As soon as I saw the title I knew it was going to be about San Francisco. Then I saw it was, appropriately, 49 stories (views) by Gary Kamiya, co-founder of Salon.com.
That sealed the deal for me – it was a must read.
Second, I really enjoy history and particular history of great citi ...more
1. Gary Kamiya relies too heavily on external, unrelated references to describe atmosphere. I feel I missed much of the mood of the book because of this.
2. Kamiya is good at the overarching, big-picture world view insightful conclusions we learned to do after every essay in high school. They're really beautiful individually, but as he does this at the conclusion of every one of his 49 chapters, it gets to be too much.
Cool Gray City of Love has a bit of something for everyone. Anyone ...more
I knew in the first paragraph that I couldn't read this book. The third sentence had six modifiers, as did the fourth. The fifth had ten!
Michael Krasny's jacket blurb comparing him to Herb Caen is the finest example of the art of the blurb!
Following the classic creative writing directive to write what you know, Kamiya did that and the result seems mixed. I read 6 chapters. Some I found interesting. I liked The Haun ...more
Call it historical schadenfreude: I’ve been greatly comforted over the past couple of months by reading historical accounts of just how much worse things used to be a century or two ago. Take the 1906 San Francisco earthquake as an example. I already knew that it destroyed 80% of the city and killed around 3,000 people, but I had no idea that up to 500 of those deaths were caused by soldiers shooting unarmed residents during an anti-looting order that put the whole city on curfew, even as buildi...more
Kamiya's style is fun and engaging; I deeply enjoyed the mix of history, culture, geography, and geology. I haven't had much exposure to SF history before, so I learned a lot. Definitely expect to revisit parts of this one again some day.
The walk that I most enjoyed that came from this book was the F ...more
“Still, anyone who isn’t concerned about San Francisco’s future is not paying attention. Some unique combinations of class and politics and ethnicity and geography and history and a dozen other ingredients have gone into make it the place that it is. Some of those ingredients have changed, and some of ...more
San Francisco. No other place on Earth moves me quite the way it does. The way the fog curls silently around Sutro Tower as it slowly engulfs the city. The red of the Golden Gate Bridge against the Martian tan of the Marin headlands. The way the fickle weather constantly changes - from hour to hour, district to district. The ravings of a harmless lunatic as he stumbles along Market Street. The sleepy afternoons in Japantown. The endless milling crowds at Powell and Fishermans Wharf. The invigora ...more