Infinite City: An Extraordinary Gem

 

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 I took a break on Tuesday from Brokers' Tour, and found myself on Clement Street.  A quick lunch at Burma Super Star, one of my favorite restaurants in the city (although I don't get there very often any more) and a quick trip through Green Apple Books.  My lunch was terrific, and my visit to Green Apple was restorative.  I felt as if I was transported to another place.  A relaxed one where exploration and inspiration are almost assured.  I wandered through the fiction, non fiction and sale books on the main level.  And then upstairs.  Why? Just to continue exploring.  And then I remembered the book I had been hearing about last year--Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas.  I asked and was rewarded with a beautiful treat (yes, I did have to pay).  The book is beautiful.  It portrays the history and culture of San Francisco from many perspectives. The maps and their explanations are fascinating.  For example, in a map entitled "Graveyard Shift", she juxtaposes The Lost Industrial city, circa 1960, with bars that are open at 6AM (a special part of SF culture). In another map (a bit more real estate related), "400 Years and 500 Evictions" she maps the lives of four different San Franciscans over the course of their lives, juxtaposed against the sites of all of the tenants who have been evicted via the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to get out of the rental business.  Every time I open this book, I am captivated by the rich layers and interesting ways of learning and thinking about this city that I love.

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