Tourism For Locals: Ina Coolbrith Park Honors S.F. Poet Pioneer

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
The view from Coolbrith's Park
In the San Francisco poetry world, there's a woman that embodied the sayings of "women rule the world" and "behind every great man is an even greater woman," and that woman was Ina Dona Coolbrith.

Coolbrith was a revolutionary poet who brought local speech and sights into her work and broke barriers for women in the arts. She even inspired and mentored some of the greatest writers in American literature, which include Jack London and Mark Twain.

Coolbrith had many firsts in her lifetime, most notably of which include being the first poet laureate of California (and for that fact, any state in the U.S.), and the first female poet laureate back in 1919.

The San Francisco park dedicated to her namesake is first rate as well, and boasts breathtaking views that reach poetic heights.

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Tourism For Locals: Robert Frost Monument Marks Origin of Poet's Life

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Understated monument to the simply profound poet Robert Frost.

He was a revolutionary poet of the 20th century and achieved what few poets could in their lifetimes: fame and recognition for their work.

Robert Frost became an American institution and his prolific repertoire of poetry collections won both the critics' respect and the public's support and affection. Frost's writing style is known to capture the diversity of American speech/colloquialisms while also depicting honest and accurate portrayals of New England rural life.

But why are we writing about Frost, who seems to be associated only with the East Coast? Well, looks (or in this case poems) can be deceiving, because the great American poet was originally from San Francisco, and not New England.

April is National Poetry Month and here at Tourism for Locals, we're going to highlight monuments and locations that either shaped or pay tribute to those who have contributed to the San Francisco and national poetic canon. For this week, we're visiting the Robert Frost Monument near the Embarcadero.

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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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Top 10 San Francisco Instagram Accounts to Follow

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Instagram: @Juantanamero, @Colleenkcummins, @moneal
Filter of Choice? San Francisco
Instagram has a lot of pretty pictures floating around. And we mean a lot: about 16 billion have been captured on the photo sharing social network since March of this year.

With over 150 million active users worldwide, it can be difficult to sort through Instagram accounts worth following. And even though we may be entertained by the entries under hashtags like #Iwokeuplikethis,#igersSF, and #SanFrancisco, we get exhausted of sifting through photos of blurry selfies, sepia-toned filters applied on food, and typical black and whites of our municipal monuments.

So we did some of the work for you and picked out our 10 favorite San Francisco-based accounts.

With that in mind, we picked out 10 of our favorite San Francisco-based accounts. These users, listed in no particular order, bring fresh angles to the city we call home and depict neighborhoods, or their workplaces, in a way that is endearing and fascinating. These user profiles, at one point or another, made us think and exclaim: "That's so San Francisco." These smartphone photographers' use of filters and subjects make San Francisco more magical and ethereal than it already is to all of us.

Let us know if we left any other users that are worth following. Happy scrolling!

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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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Tourism for Locals: Danielle Steel's Hedge-Lined Spreckels' Mansion

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Steel's bush needs a trim or wax.
There's a house in San Francisco that is shrouded in history and mystique.

Built at the turn of the 20th century, it's an opulent mansion with 55 rooms among three floors -- its contents closely guarded by a massive security barrier.

Seems like the kind of place to be part of a mystery, or romance, novel and how fitting because it's the home of a celebrity author.

Spreckels Mansion is the home of best selling romance author Danielle Steel and she has it surrounded by a massive, approximately 30-foot-high shrub barrier. The hedge itself has its own celebrity status -- caused by a controversy.

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Tourism for Locals: Where the Redwoods Grow

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
The Urban Equivalent to the Secret Garden with Redwoods.
Ever just want to get away from it all?

As much as we love our city, sometimes the urban jungle can be exhausting and tedious. For those looking for an escape to a tranquil environment during the work day, but can't afford to take time off from their jobs, don't worry, there's spot to take a break from it all.

Visit this little haven that has been an oasis for white-collar workers at lunch time since its construction in 1972. It's located right next to the tallest building in our skyline and features the biggest trees in the world (and our state tree): the Transamerica Pyramid Redwood Park.

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Get Ready for the 28th Annual Chinese New Year Scavenger Hunt

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YouTube
Some 2011 treasure hunters with awesome hats.

What better way to ring in the Year of the Horse than galloping around the city, winning prizes, and meeting new people? The annual Chinese New Year Scavenger Hunt is coming up!


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Tourism for Locals: Macondray Lane Paves the Path for Tales of the City

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Follow the stairs to discovery the inspiration for Anna Madrigal's home.

After 40 years of entertaining readers and viewers with the adventures and tragedies of Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann Singleton, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, and other characters; Armistead Maupin, creator of the Tales of the City series, is ending the series with last week's release of The Days of Anna Madrigal.

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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The Chronicle
Maupin posing with his inspiration.
The ninth and final book focuses on the final days of the title character, the endearing and all wise, transgender landlady and matriarch of 28 Barbary Lane.

But even if Mrs. Madrigal is ready to "leave like a lady" and Maupin is bidding goodbye this cast of S.F. personalities, it doesn't mean you have to as well.

After all, Tales was inspired by events and location here in our very own foggy City. So let's visit the place that inspired the fictional address of 28 Barbary Lane: Macondray Lane.

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