A bookstore blossoms in Japantown

By Mark Mitchell IN A TIME when so many people live nose deep in their electronic devices, opening a bookstore seems almost like a subversive act. Still more subversive is opening a used bookstore. No screaming bestsellers. No fresh off the presses celebrity memoirs or political apologies from disgraced officials. Just a room full of […]

Photographer made his mark on Fillmore

A HANDSOME NEW BOOK — melodiously titled A Dream Begun So Long Ago — chronicles the life of photographer David Johnson from his childhood, shuffling through the care of various adults in segregated Jacksonville, Florida, through his on-and-off relationship with the art of photography. Now it’s firmly on again as the 86-year-old relishes his recognition […]

Little library now lending

A MINI-TREND to establish individual Little Free Libraries, begun in the Midwest in 2009, has led to the creation of thousands of libraries throughout the United States and in at least 17 other countries. And now there’s a Little Free Library in the Fillmore. Bibliophiles who pass by 2223 Sutter Street, near Scott, will find […]

From Muybridge to Facebook

Q & A | Film critic David Thomson By Mark Mitchell David Thomson’s The New Biographical Dictionary of Film is considered a must-have reference by almost all serious movie buffs. But Thomson is more than just a film critic, more even than a film historian. His works include a biography of novelist Laurence Sterne, an […]

Inside the Getty Mansion

DESIGN | Diane Dorrans Saeks Twenty years ago, interior designer Ann Getty began a large-scale redecoration of the Pacific Heights residence where she lives with her husband, Gordon, a composer. It was built in 1906 to a classic design by architect Willis Polk and offers an entry hall with collections as opulent as any London […]

Blessed by our time and place

BOOKS | Thomas McNamee While writing my new biography of Craig Claiborne — The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat — I traveled far, in my mind, from our quiet Victorian home near Fillmore Street and from the fresh, simple food that for me is the best of San Francisco. Whether cooking the wondrous […]

Sexual crime and punishment

BOOKS | Eric Berkowitz It took 25 years, but I have returned — to a city that feels like home even after a decades-long absence; a city that warms my spirit even as its fog freezes my bones; a place where I can be the public interest lawyer I want to be; and where a […]

Fillmore to Italy and back again

BOOKS | Carol Field Now that the new edition of my book The Italian Baker has been published, I have been reliving the adventure of working with bakers all over Italy. It started in San Francisco in 1981 when Il Fornaio, then a bakery featuring Italian breads and sweets, opened at the corner of Steiner […]

Finding the faith — and a good story

FIRST PERSON | Julian Guthrie Having lived in San Francisco for nearly 20 years and worked as a reporter first for the Examiner and now for the Chronicle, I have come to see the different ways neighborhoods in the city are defined. For many, the center of a neighborhood is a coffee house, or a […]

Local library back in business

Its remodeling completed on time and within budget, the historic home of the Presidio Branch library at 3150 Sacramento Street reopened on March 26. The renovation included restoration of the exterior and interior and refurbishing of the original wood shelving. An interactive learning area for children and a teen area were added, along with 16 […]

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