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Monday, January 26, 2009

CNN Plugs Presidio as 'San Francisco's Most Scenic Spot'; Omits Charming Bestiality Execution Story

Posted By on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge 041001_123_thumb_400x266.jpg

Sure it's pretty -- but did you hear the story about the mule?

The past few weeks have witnessed a charming little proliferation of travel pieces in major publications such as The New York Times and Time  extolling our fine city, and CNN has now joined the fun.

Perhaps more ambitiously than the first two out-of-town periodicals, CNN has tightly focused its piece, homing in on the Presidio -- "San Francisco's Most Scenic Spot" (but not when you're standing here). The notion of sending oblivious tourists into the woods of the Presidio could make for an excellent adventure movie; throw in some Italian gangsters, a treasure, and  a chase and you've got The Goonies meets Duel meets The Swiss Family Robinson. You also have the opportunity for out-of-towners to trample the world's rarest plant.

In any event, the piece mentions all the travel brochure elements of the Presidio -- the restaurants, the bars, Baker Beach picnicking and nudity -- but leaves out the best Presidio story of them all. I got this one from Charles Fracchia, the founder and president emeritus of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society:

The Mexicans had San Francisco from 1822 up until 1846, and up until the 1830s they had a garrison at the Presidio. Well, around that time a Mexican soldier committed bestiality with a mule. The man was executed -- he was hanged. The mule was burned.
True, that wouldn't appeal to most tourists. But, you know, it would appeal to the right tourists.


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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