Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: San Francisco and the Bay Area

'San Francisco and the Bay Area: The Haight-Ashbury Edition'
Author: Dick Evans

Format: Hardback
Published: InTransit Images and The Booksmith; Dec. 2011
Pages: 208
Genre: Photography; Coffee table book
Grade: A
Source: Publisher

Synopsis: There are a number of historical books about Haight-Ashbury but nothing that portrayed the modern Haight - with its rich mix of 1960's tie dyes, 1980's Deadheads and 2000's murals recalling the past. This was the germ of the idea to create a book of images that reflects the Haight of today.
But the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood does not exist in isolation. Its history and culture are
intertwined with the City of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area that surround it hence the
structure and title of the book.
For the production of this book Dick worked closely with his long time photo-editor, Yasemin
Kant. Ben Fong-Torres, noted Bay Area writer and former founding editor of Rolling Stone
magazine, wrote the Foreword and section introductions. The background research was
provided by local guide and historian Stannous Flouride.

My Take: The Haight-Ashbury district is one of the more famous neighborhoods in San Francisco. When people think of the 1960s and flower children, images of Woodstock and then people smoking 'some herbs' in Haight-Ashbury flash across the screen. Haight and Ashbury are two streets in SF and where they merge is the nexxus of this storied part of town. At any rate, to hang out in 'the Haight' as it is lovingly known today, is to be offered every type of drug you could want, both recreational and not, and to see every type of person you could ever want to see. For pure experience level, it is well worth a stroll on a lovely afternoon.

The first half of Evans' beautifully photographed book is full of all of the beautiful and hysterical images you imagine when you think of Haight-Ashbury. It is full of the murals that cover the buildings, the fascinating people that populate the streets and storefronts, and Bay to Breakers which runs through the area every May. 

The second half of the book is full of photos of San Francisco and the Bay Area, as the title suggests. Because no one district in San Francisco exists purely on its own with no outside influence; they all meld and mold into each other. Evans' book shows beautiful photos of all of the other districts, our parades, parks, the bridges, and people that make the Bay Area home to so many wonderful and evocative images. 

Let me just say this book will be a treasured memento on my bookshelf for years to come!

Cover Lust: You can't not smile when you see this cover.

1 comment:

  1. For me, no, I am sure it would be fun but as I do not know much abotu San F it would go me by


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