San Francisco

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Isn't it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there? ~ Herb Caen
We began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness of the late afternoon of time. ~ Jack Kerouac
If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. ~ John Phillips
Such was life in the Golden Gate:
Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
And I was one of the children told,
'We all must eat our peck of gold. ~ Robert Frost
Her gaze is ever West
In the dream of her young unrest.
Her sea is a voice that calls,
And her star a voice above,
And her wind a voice on her walls--
My cool, grey city of love. ~ George Sterling
This gold and white acropolis rising wave on wave against the blue of the Pacific sky was a stunning thing, a painted thing, like a picture of a mediaeval Italian city which can never have existed. ~ John Steinbeck

San Francisco is a city in California, one of the top tourist destinations in the US, and the birthplace of a number of cultural movements, including the Summer of Love, Beat Poetry, Gay Liberation, and was central to the Gold Rush. Residents known for commenting on the City include Joshua A. Norton, also known as Emperor Norton, and Herb Caen.

Quotes[edit]

Alphabetized by author or source
  • Such was life in the Golden Gate:
    Gold dusted all we drank and ate,
    And I was one of the children told,
    'We all must eat our peck of gold.'
  • I'd thought it would be something like King's Road [London], only more. Somehow I expected them all to own their own little shops, because I heard they' d all bought out blocks. I expected them all to be nice and clean and friendly and happy.
    • George Harrison expressing disenchantment with the "hideous, spotty little teenagers" he found in the "Summer of Love" hippies of San Francisco's famous “hippie haven” i.e., the Haight-Ashbury district, which he visited on 7 August 1967, as quoted in The Love You Make : An Insider's Story of the Beatles (2002) by Peter Brown, Steven S. Gaines, p. 235
  • It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness of the late afternoon of time.
  • East is East, and West is San Francisco, according to Californians. Californians are a race of people; they are not merely inhabitants of a State.
  • As many of you know, I come from San Francisco. We don't have a lot of farms there. Well, we do have one — it's a mushroom farm, so you know what that means.
  • I was appalled that the San Francisco ethic didn't mushroom and envelope the whole world into this loving community of acid freaks. I was very naive.
    • Grace Slick, as quoted in The Routledge Dictionary of Quotations (1987) edited by Robert Andrews
  • A city on hills has it over flat-land places. . . . This gold and white acropolis rising wave on wave against the blue of the Pacific sky was a stunning thing, a painted thing, like a picture of a mediaeval Italian city which can never have existed.
  • The winds of the Future wait
    At the iron walls of her Gate,
    And the western ocean breaks in thunder,
    And the western stars go slowly under,
    And her gaze is ever West
    In the dream of her young unrest.
    Her sea is a voice that calls,
    And her star a voice above,
    And her wind a voice on her walls--
    My cool, grey city of love.
    • George Sterling, "The Cool, Grey City of Love" in The San Francisco Bulletin, vol. 133, no. 31 (11 December 1920), p. 1, Transcribed by Alan Gullette.
  • At the end of our streets is sunrise;
    At the end of our streets are spars;
    At the end of our streets is sunset;
    At the end of our streets the stars.
    • George Sterling, "The City By the Sea – San Francisco", in The San Francisco Bulletin, vol. 135, no. 19 (30 November 1922), p. 14, Transcribed by Alan Gullette
  • Of all our visitors, I believe I preferred Emperor Norton; the very mention of whose name reminds me I am doing scanty justice to the folks of San Francisco. In what other city would a harmless madman who supposed himself emperor of the two Americas have been so fostered and encouraged? Where else would even the people of the streets have respected the poor soul's illusion? Where else would bankers and merchants have received his visits, cashed his cheques, and submitted to his small assessments? Where else would he have been suffered to attend and address the exhibition days of schools and colleges? Where else, in God's green earth, have taken his pick of restaurants, ransacked the bill of fare, and departed scatheless?
  • Sunset greeted them when, after a wide circle to the east and south, they cleared the divide of the Contra Costa hills and began dropping down the long grade that led past Redwood Peak to Fruitvale. Beneath them stretched the flatlands to the bay, checkerboarded into fields and broken by the towns of Elmhurst, San Leandro, and Haywards. The smoke of Oakland filled the western sky with haze and murk, while beyond, across the bay, they could see the first winking lights of San Francisco.
  • Say this prayer every night, and if it works, we'll live forever: "Dear Lord, whose mercy's not diminished, let me live till the airport's finished."
    • Mike Zelinsky, as quoted in Herb Caen, as quoted in "What the Cat Dragged In: Aug. 16, 1996" by Herb Caen, in SFGate.com (16 August 1996)

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