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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of guidebook, December 1, 2005
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This review is from: San Francisco: The Unknown City (Paperback)
This is not a typical guidebook for the traveler. Most of those books are little more than directories of hotels, restaurants, tourist destinations and shopping areas. By contrast, this is the kind of book I could imagine even a non-traveler curious about San Francisco might sit down to read. One would probably know more after merely reading this book than after traveling to San Francisco and rushing around a few touristy areas, camera in hand. In an engaging narrative voice, the authors flesh out the locations with background details and historical context. The emphasis is less on the "must see" tourist locations that the business traveler might squeeze in after his convention is over, and more on the elements that make San Francisco the unique place that it is for those who live there. Make no mistake, practical details about the places covered are not ignored. The main text covers both these details and the bigger picture of what makes each location worth visiting. Smaller sidebar entries are like footnotes, dropping in little bits of trivia along the way. There are plenty of photos and quirky iconic illustrations ventilating the text throughout the book. Highly recommended as an alternative to the mainstream travel guides out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good addition to Series, January 22, 2006
This review is from: San Francisco: The Unknown City (Paperback)
I like the "Unknown City" series, I've used the New York and Vancouver book before. San Francisco is one of my favorite cities, and I've been there enough times to think this book couldn't tell me much. Boy, was I wrong. What I liked is that one the one hand it hit all the big highlights of all the main, and not so well known neighborhoods, but what was really neat is this "guidebook" is really a bunch of short stories--I knew there were colorful and crazy people in this city, but I had no idea that these people have been here since it first began. I really enjoyed it, and as someone how has a lot of guidebooks, this is a great book on an even greater city. Oh, and although some of the photography was just picturtes of what places (especially hard-to-find ones) looked like from the street, some of the photography was really funky and cool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for anyone visiting or living in the bay area, May 15, 2006
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Jim Petersen (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: San Francisco: The Unknown City (Paperback)
San Francisco: The Uknown City is not like the big name travel guides to SF such as Fodor's, Frommer's, etc...

Instead of the typical guidebook that only recommends seeing obvious sights such as the golden gate bridge, coit tower and pier 39, The Unknown City highlights museums, bookstores, restaurants, and other attractions of the city by the bay that may not be as well known as they should be. The Uknown City makes for great reading,and lots of interesting factoids about the city are dispersed throughout. As a SF resident, I am constantly learning new and interesting facts about my city as a result of this book. I have recommended this to friends and family as a required book to purchase before their visit to SF, and all of them have later thanked me for it. If you are planning on visiting San Francisco or if you've been a resident for years and wish to learn more about SF from a different perspective, then this book is for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Guide for both weekend visitors or SF residents, February 8, 2007
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This review is from: San Francisco: The Unknown City (Paperback)
I purchased this book for a weekend trip to SF based upon the Amazon reviews, and their comments were right on the mark. This was not only the most enjoyable guide book I've read, but also the most useful. I visited several of the restaurants, bars and stores they recommended, each of which were great.

I also was fortunate enough to meet the authors Josh and Helene when they introduced themselves after seeing me walk into a store carrying my copy of this book. They are passionate about wanting both visitors and residents to enjoy the many fun and interesting things about SF - and about making it as easy as possible for you to find those things. Even if you don't have my good luck of getting to chat with two SF experts, this book still contains everything you need for a great visit to the city.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Won't be listed in your standard travel guide, September 23, 2006
This review is from: San Francisco: The Unknown City (Paperback)
The Unknown City series of alternative guides provides a fine focus on San Francisco, the hotbed of alternative culture in the 1960s, and identifies neighborhoods and places which reflect the city's hidden history and cultures. From the gay mecca Castro Street to offbeat museums, the scene of a duel, camping in the city, unique studios and performing arts venues, and more, it's fairly certain much of the attractions listed in SAN FRANCISCO: THE UNKNOWN CITY won't be listed in your standard travel guide.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking good guide!, August 9, 2013
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This review is from: San Francisco: The Unknown City (Paperback)
The authors' sense of humor shows on every page making this great guide to San Francisco read like a novel.
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San Francisco: The Unknown City
San Francisco: The Unknown City by Helene Goupil (Paperback - October 1, 2005)
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