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Culture, The Exhibitionist Tourism For Locals: Burritt Alley, an Understated but Important Spot in S.F. Literary and Cinematic History

Tourism For Locals: Burritt Alley, an Understated but Important Spot in S.F. Literary and Cinematic History

San Francisco and its local sights are no stranger to being featured and glorified in the arts: from television, to literature to paintings and film. But as is the trend in many works of art, San Francisco's beauty is…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist 5 Movies That Inspired Movies

5 Movies That Inspired Movies

"I think all stories have been around for a few thousand years," George Lucas once said, in an interview about Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. This week the Criterion Collection released a definitive edition of Kurosawa's film, along with…
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Calendar, Night&Day Play Really Makes You Drink

Play Really Makes You Drink

When we came across novelist Denis Johnson’s gothic noir Already Dead as sheltered young lit students, we were dubious about whether California could be a credible location for the genre. Darkness and shadows amid L.A.’s palm trees? Molls and mobsters…
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Calendar, Night&Day Sam Spade in a Chariot

Sam Spade in a Chariot

The names Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler usually conjure images of detectives, wiseguys, and an unbearably cute terrier named Asta — not gladiators, emperors, and Christian-eating lions. Nonetheless, San Francisco author Kelli Stanley calls her latest novel, The Curse-Maker, “Roman…
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Calendar, Night&Day Stalk Your Mystery Writer in 10 Shady Steps

Stalk Your Mystery Writer in 10 Shady Steps

Say the name “Dashiell Hammett,” and certain images rush into the mind’s eye: the hard-boiled eyebrows of a falcon-chasing detective, the hard jaw lines of ruthless crooks, and perhaps the reality of well-dressed mystery writers pumping out fresh prose in…
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Culture, Bookcap

Upcoming Book Events

Friday, March 27 Nobody doesn't like Isabel Allende. Nobody literate, anyway. The cherished local novelist and memoirist will be the guest of honor for a "literary luncheon" today at the flagship Book Passage in Corte Madera. Allende will discuss her…
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Calendar, Night&Day Right in the Kisser

Right in the Kisser

In the world of noir, geography holds sway: Alleyways and archways surpass the curve of a femme fatale’s neck, street names carry more weight than guns. Driven by mood, creators and followers of noir fall in love with landscape. Since…
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News, The Snitch 100 years at John's Grill

100 years at John's Grill

By John Geluardi San Franciscans donned their hats and spats last night to honor the anniversary of John’s Grill, which has been serving up steaks, martinis and literary intrigue for 100 years. Outside the restaurant a jazz band played…
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Calendar, Night&Day Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Ever since San Francisco decided its seven square miles were too good for dead people and moved all cemeteries out to Colma, "cemetery city" has been way more interesting. A movie musical, Colma: The Musical has been a local sensation…
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Calendar, Night&Day Who Shot Miles Archer?

Who Shot Miles Archer?

Listen up, young people: The Maltese Falcon is an awesome movie, even though it is in black and white. Stop whining! See it right away: It's funny and gay and violent. Tarantino and Rodriguez, among others, are still trying to…
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Calendar, Night&Day Put Up Ya Dukes

Put Up Ya Dukes

Not a lot of people can take a punch and write about it. Usually, it's one or the other. This is probably why Dashiell Hammett's hardboiled style of the 1930s has held up so well: It's obvious he enjoys describing…
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Music, All Shook Down Curse Of The Maltese Falcon: John's Grill Gets Its Bird Back

Curse Of The Maltese Falcon: John's Grill Gets Its Bird Back

Sam Spade would be a happy man today. As the Chronicle reports, the Maltese Falcon has returned to John's Grill, again. After a replica of the bird was stolen from its longtime perch at the Ellis Street restaurant in…
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Film, Nouveau Noir

Nouveau Noir

Calling Rian Johnson's teen indie drama Brick a piece of stuntwork might seem tantamount to hitting it with a pie, but it's a high-speed wheelie of a strangely daring variety. Try on this thumbnail definition for size: a high school…
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Best of San Francisco, People & Places

Best Fictional San Francisco Character

Sam Spade With this being the 75th year since the publication of The Maltese Falcon, can the city claim a better sleuth than writer Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled 1920s crime-solver? We think not. In Falcon, Spade (or Humphrey Bogart, if you're…
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Best of San Francisco, Food & Drink

Best View Bar

Bloom's Saloon 1318 18th St. (at Missouri), 552-6707 As spring heats up, a young person's mind turns to ... beer, of course, preferably drunk outside. If you're tired of waiting in line at Zeitgeist with all the other sun-and-suds…
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Calendar, Night&Day Capturing the Falcon

Capturing the Falcon

I recently found out that one of my friends has never seen the classic Humphrey Bogart film The Maltese Falcon. Since we were just then sitting at the bar in John's Grill, "Home of the Maltese Falcon" -- the spot…
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Calendar, Urban Experience Stark Raving Rad

Stark Raving Rad

Show nudes are good nudes ONGOING 6/2-7/31 Humans began wearing clothing approximately 72,000 years ago. That means that for more than 100,000 years our kind frolicked around naked as jaybirds. And if the naturists (aka nudists) of the world had…
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Dining, Eat Out of  the Past

Out of the Past

I've always been attracted to the science-fiction mainstay of time travel. In fact, I practice it frequently. Pace H.G. Wells, I employ no high-tech machinery. Though I give points to Jack Finney for setting up his hero in a posh…
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Best of San Francisco, Food & Drink

Best Pick-Me-Up

Although hangover as lifestyle is a career choice best avoided, there are those occasional mornings when even the best of us pay the piper for the previous night's revels. While we don't advise the hair of the dog on a…
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News, Night Crawler Spade Work

Spade Work

"It's like this, see: We each pick a mark, someone ankling by the box or nibblin' on one," says Secret Agent X-9, casting an eye around John's Grill. "Then, we tail 'em for a couple of hours, see?" Translation: "We…
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