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Fillmore 1996: a moment in time

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHS BY LUCY GRAY Two decades ago, in the summer of 1996, I photographed shopkeepers and workers on Fillmore Street. I thought there were wonderful looking people in my neighborhood, people who looked like characters. They understood the performance aspect of small shops, the need to create a style. I could see that […]

New gallery has the baraka

By FRANCINE BREVETTI If you are a tribal man of Niger intent on wooing a lady, you will likely wear a Wodaabe tunic at the Geerewol festival. “That’s where the handsome men of the tribe compete in a contest of endurance and beauty,” explains Shiffen Melaku. Your sister would have embroidered this ritual robe for you […]

So long, Charlie

THE NEIGHBORHOOD HAS lost one of its most familiar faces: Charlie, the large golden doodle known for relaxing on the sidewalk outside Peet’s at Fillmore and Sacramento, has died. Charlie always put smiles on the faces of passersby with his unusual size and gentle demeanor.  He was a frequent customer at George, his favorite destination, and also […]

Nurturing the evolution of jazz in S.F.

CULTURE BEAT | PAM FEINSILBER It’s fitting that Randall Kline, founder and executive artistic director of SFJazz — the largest jazz-presenting organization on the West Coast — lives near Fillmore Street. In the 1940s and ’50s, when the neighborhood was teeming with clubs, bars and after-hours joints, it was revered by jazz musicians and fans. Now […]

A keeper of maps and prints

By FRANCINE BREVETTI Occasionally people enter Michael Perry’s shop at 1837 Divisadero Street and ask for maps of the Island of California. They’ve come to the right place. Among his treasures, Perry has a selection of images of this popular fallacy of the 16th and 17th centuries — that California once was its own island.

50 years on Fillmore

By CHRIS BARNETT It’s hard to believe that 50 years ago Golden Gate Park was alive with Grateful Dead concerts, free to upwards of 15,000 mostly dewy-eyed, straggly-haired souls. That beyond-cool Steve McQueen was jumping the hills of the city floorboarding a green Mustang filming Bullitt, to this day the definitive San Francisco movie. That Fillmore […]

The art of neighborliness

LOCALS | BARBARA KATE REPA Longtime locals Suzanne and George Burwasser practice the fine and gentle art of neighborliness. Together for more than half a century, most of that time only a few doors from Fillmore Street, they have made it a priority to shop local and get to know the people who live and […]

New novel born on old Fillmore

BOOKS | MARK MITCHELL Walking down Fillmore Street, I often run into people who have lived here for a while, most of whom know me from my many years here. We’ll chat about the Giants and the weather and then they’ll ask, “How’s the writing going?” Anyone who has spent any time around me knows […]


By FRED MARTIN, KEN SAMUELS and ERIN MESSER of the Browser Books staff Browser Books, a neighborhood fixture since 1976, has no doubt sparked countless anonymous instances of romance. The store’s staff, however, has been especially susceptible to this phenomenon. Perhaps it’s because we spend so much time in the store — or perhaps it’s […]

Waiting for coffee

FIRST PERSON | BARBARA WYETH Funny how habits form. They revolve around responsibilities and chores, but also the small pleasures that brighten our daily routines. I have been working for several years at a beautiful flower shop in the neighborhood. In addition to spending time with a great team of co-workers and the lovely flowers […]