Love Letter to San Francisco Blog

This is a place where readers of my book Love Letter to San Francisco can contribute their ideas and comments. I am also using the blog to document the creative process of writing a book and self publishing it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

5:12 AM - April 18, 1906

April 18th is this city's September 11th. Except natural disaster, not human created.

In the past 2 days I have seen the April 18th referenced to the day the earth shook this town.

Coppola owns this building now

Yeah. So where was I going with this. Oh yes. There is a gold fire hydrant in Delores Park and I found out that every April 18th it is repainted gold again.

That water source saved everything south of 20th street from burning.

San Francisco's architecture is so fragile. It all goes up so fast since most houses are made of wood. Now I have first hand experience: my apartment was in a fire that destroyed 24 units on July 8, 2005. It was very very spooky going inside the burned out building 2 days later to get what was left of my stuff.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Jaynel Attolini review

"Falling in love is so thrilling it knocks you off your feet. And just when you think you've learned everything wonderful you possibly could - there's one more discovery to allure, seduce, keep you entertained and make you never want to leave. Love Letter to San Francisco captures that essence, sharing all the city's most loved places, people and personalities."

-Jaynel Attolini
It's Just the Anti-Depressant Talking

Banubula's review

The city is depicted as a woman, a lover. In these series of short pieces, Spiralgirl reveals a city that can be at times elusive, at times warm, a capricious creature who taunts us with her ravishing architecture but betrays us with her frigid weather. A city full of faults:

She's impossible (when it comes to parking)" but redeemed by her charm , her "creative fire.

The second half of this little book is a list of specific places that Spiralgirl has collected. We all have collected places like these, those of us who have made a home here. A small private treasury:

"If you were a film director looking for the perfect lounge for your two characters to have an affair, I'd take you here..."


"Expect to see older men wearing white aprons at these places..."

Tarin Towers Review July 2005

"Part travelogue, part poetry monograph, part invocation, part hymnal,
Love Letter to San Francisco is a small book of big sighs. I would
love all seekers -- those who come to San Francisco without knowing why
-- to sit in a park or on a bus and read this book as a meditation and
an act of gratitude. This book sums up why we stay."

Tarin Towers
Winner of the Pushcart Prize for Poetry
Author of Sorry, We're Close

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

it's july already.

thank you Banubula for buying my book and posting about it here.

so i was away from the City for a week and when we were just coming off of the bridge, past the palace of fine arts, i looked up, and there were rolling hills of the city, the landscape covered in white buildings. not brown, not grey. white.

looking up Divisidero street from Lombard made my heart surge... i am still completely smitten.

someone suggested that i write about her scent a bit more. people seem to like that part. every time i go to phil's there is 1 book left.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Philz Coffee

So I've been selling my books at Phil's coffee.
I made a poster for the window and brought it to Phil on Friday. He's in the book. How could his coffee and Phil himself not be in the book. The man is a God when it comes to coffee. He is developing a following. And, he has been very supportive of the book.

Last weekend I met Sue there for coffee because she wanted to buy another one, with the full guide, and it ended up being this really great visit where the world expanded a bit, for just a few seconds. And then it closed back up again.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

4 minutes and 38 seconds

4:38 seconds

This is how long it takes to go under San Francisco Bay.

Yesterday I timed it on my phone's stopwatch. The moment the train leaves Embarcadero station to the time you pop up onto dry land headed for Oakland.

Sometimes it feels like a very long time that you have to spend down there, under the Bay. My pal Nelly said she just can't do it. The thought of being down there during an earthquake is insta-suicide.

I was wondering how long it takes to take the F train from First Avenue in Manhattan to Bedford. It's probably half.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Last sunday i was sitting in delores park by myself with my bike making a few calls.
its amazing how many other people were doing that too. by themselves
just baking in the sun, and talking on the phone or reading.

so all of a sudden 30 people on bikes wearing their underwear ride through the park
over the grass, through the sunbathers on the grass. no one batted an eye, just smiled
and checked out the Y Front funky type underwear that all the cute boys and girls were
wearing. there was no explanation, just people wearing underwear on their bikes. Batman kind of underwear and goofy acrylic itchy kind of underwear.

yesterday i saw the critical mass ride take over and there were a few people wearing fancy shiny cocktail dresses with heels. i like that.

People like to dress in costumes here 365 days a year. It's normal.

"My car got broken into last night"

Something that you'll hear a lot here. Yesterday I walked by a car that had the entire back window smashed in. It was a beater. There was even a "Jesus is Lord" thing hanging on the rear view mirror.

People will break into your car here for a cd or some change you use for the meter.

I wish the police department would publish the stats of how many cars are stolen or broken into in the Mission every week. I bet it's at least 350, 50 a night.

I know at least 5 people who had their car stolen and then it reappeared a few blocks away a few days later.

You know that when you park your car that you may come back and it's gone. That happened to Louda, Lisa and I. We came back to the spot, and her little car was GONE. And I had left my bag in the trunk with my id and glasses. It really sucked.
And of course the car turned up 4 days later completely trashed.

The sound of grocery carts

I have always wondered why there aren't that many outdoor patios in the city.
How come it is hard to find places where you can sit outside?

answer 1: the hills. gravity. zoning

answer 2: the middle class white people don't want poor people who are hungry and living on the streets coming by their table every 5 minutes.

The sound of grocery carts filled glass bottles ready to be recycled is a sound I need to add to "her sounds" - that's just a fact in most neighborhoods. In some places, it's more concentrated. It's a sound like nails on a chalkboard. it's loud and it's the sound of survival. if you're collecting bottles you've hit rock bottom. but I have more respect for a person trying to make a few bucks on bottles than someone who just sits there begging for money.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Tonight, after bumping into my friend e. I am encouraged by the fact that there really are so many incredible people in this city doing creative things. As there are in many many cities on the planet.

Lisa Puijan's red letter today also made me inspired. There are creative people everywhere. In Toronto, in Chicago, in Philly, in New York. It's all about getting the idea and then manifesting it. Having the faith in the idea and yourself to do it. That's all really it is.

A bunch of people who are in the book have offered to sell it in their spaces. This is wonderful. I have a lot of work to do... but it's my passion so it's really not that much effort, it's more of a pleasure to do it.