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San Francisco

San Francisco: A Map of Perceptions

Andrea Ponsi
Translated by Susan Scott
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 108
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  • Book Info
    San Francisco
    Book Description:

    San Francisco is a city designed for artists and wanderers. From North Beach, to Chinatown, to the cold, rough surf of Ocean Beach, to Marin, both visitors and lifelong residents have endless opportunities to explore new neighborhoods, buildings, environments, and cultures just by getting in the car, hopping on a cable car, or by simply walking around the block.

    InSan Francisco: A Map of Perceptions,the architect Andrea Ponsi unravels the multifaceted beauty of one of America's favorite cities, introducing even those who have lived there for years to nuances often left unseen. Ponsi, a native of Florence who lived in San Francisco for many years, lyrically describes everyday life in the city, from a café in North Beach where he sits next to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, to the de Young Museum ("a solid mass, a rough but elegant body, faceted but compact") and the Academy of Sciences ("an ethereal, transparent building, lace made of glass and slender columns"), to Alcatraz ("an abandoned ship, a Flying Dutchman set adrift that bears the signs of a life of torment"), and even to the buffalo who reside in Golden Gate Park.

    As with his book on Florence, Ponsi here reveals a deeply personal look at what it's like to live in and love a city. Having the unique perspective of having been both an insider and an outsider to San Francisco, he speaks to us in the way we dream an architect would, capturing the city's diverse yet emblematic structures through delicate watercolor and line drawings, while also offering poetic descriptions of the underlying smells, sounds, and light of its many neighborhoods.

    A perfect balance of text and illustrations,San Francisco: A Map of Perceptionsoffers not only a guide for those visiting or returning to the city but also a compelling invitation for residents to revisit the utterly unique place in which they live.

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3660-4
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. [San Francisco: A Map of Perceptions]
    (pp. 5-106)

    Arriving in San Francisco from the north across the Golden Gate Bridge,the first Indians.

    From the south, along the coast or the bay, on the freeways,the missionaries and the campesinos from Latin America.

    From the east, across the Bay Bridge,the whites from Europe and America.

    From the west, by sea or by air,from China and Japan.

    There are no pelicans on Alcatraz, no angels on Angel Island, no treasures on Treasure Island, no oysters in Oyster Bay, no beaches at North Beach, no good grasses on Yerba Buena Island.

    Thinking about San Francisco and...

    (pp. 107-108)