San Francisco: The Unknown City

By (author) Helene Goupil and Josh Krist

Price: $22.95 CAD $17.95 USD
ISBN: 9781551521886
Availability: In Stock. Usually ships in 24 hours.
About this book

The Unknown City series of alternative guidebooks 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 ongoing gay marriage debate, San Francisco has consistently been one of America's most colourful 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 Japantown, 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 chocka-block with facts and figures, this book raises a glass to life in the City by the Bay.

Includes a BART transportation route map.

San Francisco: The Unknown City, is an alternative guidebook listing one-of-a-kind stores, hidden nightspots like a private karaoke room in Japan Town and offbeat tours.
Associated Press

One guidebook is never enough for a single trip. Frommer's is great for pre-departure planning. Some swear by Lonely Planet or Let's Go to help them find accommodation as they travel. But LP's forte is nuts-and-bolts information, not embellishment, so it makes pretty dry beach reading. Vancouver's own Arsenal Pulp Press fills this void with its Unknown City series. The books don't advise on where to stay, how to get around, or list the top sightseeing spots. Rather, they act like a friend who lives in the city you're visiting. They tell you the really juicy stuff.
The Georgia Straight

Arsenal Pulp's Unknown City books take you to places where Fodor's editors dare not go. With its offbeat, often scandalous history, San Francisco seems a prime candidate for the series. San Francisco: The Unknown City doesn't disappoint. Insiders Helene Goupil and Josh Krist escort readers on tours of the city's hidden nooks and dark crannies. Gangland massacres, multilevel sex clubs, even active opium dens and (blush) private karaoke rooms! Along the way, the good-natured coauthors offer tips on secret dining pleasures and bargain shopping secrets.
—Editors, Barnes & Noble

San Francisco: The Unknown City is hands down the coolest, hippest guide to San Francisco I've ever come across. While the contents include such standards as Dining, Shopping, Nightlife and Notoriety this book covers not just local favorites, but many places I doubt have ever been listed in a guidebook before. Places like The Crissy Field Center Cafe, the hidden Japanese restaurant Kappa and The Cake Gallery for 'naughty treats' are all in there.
Cooking with Amy Blog

The Unknown City series of alternative guides provides a fine focus on San Francisco, the hotbed of alternative culture in the 1960s, and identifies neighbourhoods and places which reflect the city's hidden history and cultures. From the gay mecca Castro Street to offbeat museums, the scene of a duel camping in the city, unique studios and performing arts venues, and more, it's fairly certain much of the attractions listed in San Francisco: The Unknown City won't be listed in your standard travel guide.
Midwest Book Review

San Francisco: The Unknown City definitely delivers. Reading a guidebook about your own town is always interesting. What did they forget? What did they get wrong? Not to mention what they found that you still haven't. And we have to admit, there were certainly some sites and activities in the book that we haven't actually been to or done. But that's to be expected from a travel guide that's more of an introduction to the kind of stories that locals take for granted and the average Frommers reader might never discover: Frank Chu, Emperor Norton, the Zodiac Killer, competing theories on why it's called 'The Tenderloin.'

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