Re: RARA-AVIS: Theme of the month - San Francisco

From: William Denton (
Date: 02 Oct 2001

On 2 October 2001, M Blumenthal wrote:

: We are moving a little north this month. I was thinking about books
: written about the two cities. Except for books with the LAPD being an
: important element, books about LA rarely seem to be about an urban
: area. Chandler and Ross MacDonald wrote about southern California but
: mainly their favorite suburb. Most books set in San Francisco seems
: to have the gritty feel of the city.

LA seems expansive and sunny and colour to me, while San Francisco is high buildings, fog and black and white. I've never been to either, and don't get any closer than friends who live in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco. My impressions come from Chandler, Connelly, Ross Macdonald, CHINATOWN, Hammett, Bogart in THE MALTESE FALCON, and the other books and movies we all know. My mental pictures probably bear no relation to reality, but they're nice places to imagine.

San Francisco was often referred to as "Frisco" in slangy talk. What do the locals think if they hear this now? That the speaker's an idiot?


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : : Caveat lector.

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