Sunday, December 11, 2011


One of the many great things about San Francisco is that there has been so little turnover, the same classics still exist.

Gino and Carlo, where I used to drink beer and play pool at the ripe age of 22.

City Lights and Vesuvio, where I used to stalk Lawrence Ferlinghetti and channel Jack Keruoac’s ghost.

We used to drink cocktails and listen to opera at Tosca.

I never went inside the strip clubs on Broadway, but they—and Enrico’s and Tomasso’s and Café Trieste and Greens, all nearby—are still kicking.

I went to at least one wedding at the Fairmont and definitely had more than one tiki bowl at the Tonga Room.

I used to sit and brood over mochas and books of poetry for hours at this Royal Ground on Polk Street.

Mr. Bing’s, House of Nanking and Budda Bar all still happily (grubbily) exist.

The Bus Stop, Blondies, Bottom of the Hill, Ella’s, Dalva, Zuni, Cha Cha Cha, Real Foods, Tadich Grill… it’s so great to see all the signs—neon or California cool—that they’re still in existence.


  1. I lived a couple of blocks away from Coffee Contata .. remember that ? Is it still there, in the Marina area ?
    When I saw the word 'Institutions', I thought this might be about a nice quiet place where I can go rest :)

  2. I love doing the exact same thing, taking photos of signs all over, businesses come and go but some these signs outlast them all!

  3. Vesuvio, the Trieste, City Lights ... all the best. Spent time there with my friend ... and look forward to going back.

  4. love that city!
    see my photographic work about Paris in my post :)