Talking with Meanwhile in San Francisco Author Wendy MacNaughton

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Wendy MacNaughton

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Wendy MacNaughton's book Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Words. The book features MacNaughton's whimsical drawings of different parts of the city alongside quotes from S.F. citizens describing each area.

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Tourism For Locals: Galería de la Raza at the Heart of Latino Art Scene

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
The exterior of the 44 year old artistic institution.

It has been said that revolution doesn't need art but that art needs revolution -- but we argue that is not true because for revolution to exist it's in need of revolutionary art.

Galería de la Raza holds this to be true as the artistic and socially active heart of the Mission District's Latino community. The artistic collective has been an important gathering spot for not just artists, but intellectuals, writers, and the general neighborhood population for 44 years now.

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Ben Tarnoff's The Bohemians Makes Mark Twain S.F.'s Own

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Its the 1860s and San Francisco is booming: the Gold Rush has fueled the economy of the City and everything is growing and expanding at an exponential rate.

San Francisco is getting larger -- not just in infrastructure but in population. Innovative technology and overflowing wealth attract multitudes of outsiders and San Francisco is sprawling with cultural and linguistic diversity.

With these hoards of people, there is a surge in literary demand, creating the ripe and perfect environment for writers and poets.

And it's in this plush, literary haven -- brimming with stories and characters -- where Ben Tarnoff's begins his recently published historical novel: The Bohemians.

In his book, Tarnoff chronicles the early begins of four important writers in early frontier literature: literary golden boy Bret Harte, struggling gay poet and travel writer Charles Warren Stoddard, gorgeous and haunted poet Ina Coolbrith, and the leader of these bohemian bards -- a young Mark Twain who was fleeing his draft for the Civil War.

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Wendy MacNaughton's Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in its Own Words Captures the Authentic S.F.

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Wendy MacNaughton
Depicting the "typical" San Franciscan,

Every once in awhile, there comes a beautiful work of art that gives rightful tribute to the place we call home.

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Whether it comes in the form of song, literature, or art, these tributes depict more than the Golden Gate Bridge or the Transamerica Pyramid -- they depict San Francisco's character, energy, and diversity.

And Wendy MacNaughton's new work, Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Words, is a great addition to this list. Available as of today, this illustrated work of our City from Chronicle Books, depicts various aspects of life in S.F. -- the Civic Center Farmers market, the swimmers of the Dolphin Club, the staff of the San Francisco Library's main branch, and Muni drivers.

But instead of simply sketching these places and persons, she uses their own words to fuel the text. Our personal favorites include the Muni driver who gets paid about $30 an hour: "A dollar to drive and $29 to deal with people," and the security guard at the main library who has seen it all.

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On the Small Screen: Top 10 San Francisco TV Shows

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Warner Brothers
Everywhere you go... you see San Francisco.
San Francisco is iconic and there is no doubt about it.

The City by the Bay has been the muse and inspiration for all sorts of art forms, ranging from the signature tune of singer Tony Bennett to the song-like poems of Lawrence Ferlinghetti that shroud you in an enchanting delight like Karl the Fog.

Our city has also been appearing in the fair amount of television shows recently. NBC just debuted About a Boy last week, which stars David Walton and Minnie Driver. The show is a comedic take on the 2002 Hugh Grant film (which is based on the Nick Hornby novel). But unlike the film, which takes place in London, the story lines develop in San Francisco instead.

As well as HBO announced that it renewed Looking for a second season. The story of three gay men living in San Francisco and their forays into love, relationships, and self discovery were filmed entirely in San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area late last summer.

And last week we noted TNT's new series, Murder in the First, will be filming San Francisco this year.

So while San Francisco has been the starlet of the small screen lately, this isn't the first time TV programs have taken place in our beloved city. As a result, we here at SF Weekly have ranked our top picks for the10 best television shows depicting San Francisco. Let us know if you agree, or if you feel we left any off the list.

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SF Weekly Goes International, Interviews North Korean Expert

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A common North Korea meme.

There's something fascinating about North Korea. A country with a government that controls almost all of the available information, ruled by a family dynasty of repressive dictators, is so foreign to western society it begs to be examined. It's kind of like a wreck on the freeway -- we just can't help but slow down and stare.

Of course, North Korea isn't something we can simply drive past. A United Nations panel recently found the country's boyish leader Kim Jong-un personally liable for crimes against humanity, and recommended that he be referred to the international criminal court. The regime has also been pursuing nuclear weapons for decades.

The Commonwealth Club of California hosts a discussion Friday about North Korea with Robert Carlin, a visiting scholar from the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. As a primer for the event, SF Weekly caught up with Dr. Gloria Duffy, the president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club. Duffy is an expert on U.S.-North Korean relations, and a former nuclear arms treaty negotiator.

We spoke in her office.

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Urbane's Creatively Titled Map of the Bay Area

Categories: Commentary

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Urbane
Full map below

You may have seen Urbane's San Francisco map, in which areas of the city are named by what they are known for instead of their actual name (for example, the Sunset district was translated into, "Well, the cab rejected me again, claiming I live too far from everything else.").

Urbane has recently released their latest map for the "Yay Area," renaming every city from Novato to Los Gatos with what they've observed in that particular area. We're definitely only going to refer to the East Bay Hills as "Hills of Income Separation" from now on.

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Final Tales: Q&A with Armistead Maupin on Concluding his Iconic San Francisco Series

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Armistead Maupin: Chronicling San Francisco one Tale at a time

Armistead Maupin refuses to be the old fart who bickers about San Francisco not being what it used to be, even after chronicling it for nearly 40 years.

What started off as a set of weekly installments in The San Francisco Chronicle in 1976, Maupin's Tales of the City series turned into an eight-novel series, three PBS television miniseries (based off the first three novels starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney), and a stage musical at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater in 2011.

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Harper Collins

However, Maupin's work is more than just a popular fad of literature. It's a big-hearted portrait of a time, place, and people that were misunderstood, oversimplified, or simply ignored. Maupin was able to take a 1970s San Francisco that was the national mecca of sexual liberation/acceptance and depict in an endearing and humane manner.

Tales of the City chart the unexpected adventures of esteemed characters like Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann Singleton, and Michael "Mouse" Tolliver while simultaneously commenting and chronicling the changing times of San Francisco and the world at large.

Now Maupin has chosen to end the series after 40 years with last week's release of The Days of Anna Madrigal, a work that is less about departure than coming home. The book is an 270-page love note and elegy for the characters, their way of life, and to that place we and they call home: San Francisco.

SF Weekly had the opportunity to speak with Armistead Maupin on his literary trajectory, the changing nature of gay identity, writing plot lines and sagas over the span of decades, HBO's Looking, and saying good-bye to the residents of 28 Barbary Lane. Below is the full interview with some slight editing for brevity.


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Tourism for Locals: Tuning into San Francisco's T.V. History

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Tuning into San Francisco history.

While you've been spotting what San Francisco sites were featured on the season premiere of HBO's Looking this past Sunday, we were checking out a local landmark that will probably never be featured on the show, but nonetheless, is key to this drama -- and every other television program in history.

Sitting at 202 Green is a small, historical plaque marking the spot of where television was created.

Yes, t.v. was created right here in San Francisco. It was invented by a man that is probably the most famous inventor you've never heard of: Philo T Farnsworth.

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Shia LaBeouf's Apology for Plagiarizing Oakland's Daniel Clowes Is Itself Plagiarized

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Daniel Clowes/ Wired
The original work

Somehow, former-Disney-star-turned-A-minus-list-actor, Shia LaBeouf, didn't think anyone would notice that he plagiarized the work of Berkeley cartoonist and screenwriter Daniel Clowes (Art School Confidential, Ghost World).

What's even worse is that no one seemed to notice for a year -- as LaBeouf presented his short film, HowardCantour.com, at film festivals such as the St. Louis International Film Festival, the Phoenix Film Festival, Aspen's Shortsfest, and Cannes.

It wasn't until the work hit the Internet on Monday that Clowes' fans realized they had seen that work before, in Clowes' 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano. Wired notes the comic and film both open with nearly identical monologues.

And now, LaBeouf's apology, spanning six tweets -- only the last one sums up the entire plagiarism issue -- looks to be plagiarized as well. As Wired points out, a user on Yahoo! Answers posted something very similar -- only that this user, Lili, posted this mea culpa four years ago.



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