Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas

Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas

Hardback Chairman's Circle Books

By (author) Rebecca Solnit

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Hardback | 166 pages
  • Dimensions: 178mm x 304mm x 20mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 29 November 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520262492
  • ISBN 13: 9780520262492
  • Illustrations note: 17 color illustrations, 7 b/w photographs, 22 maps
  • Sales rank: 310,887

Product description

What makes a place? "Infinite City", Rebecca Solnit's brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, searches out the answer by examining the many layers of meaning in one place, the San Francisco Bay Area. Aided by artists, writers, cartographers, and twenty-two gorgeous color maps, each of which illuminates the city and its surroundings as experienced by different inhabitants, Solnit takes us on a tour that will forever change the way we think about place. She explores the area thematically - connecting, for example, Eadweard Muybridge's foundation of motion-picture technology with Alfred Hitchcock's filming of "Vertigo". Across an urban grid of just seven by seven miles, she finds seemingly unlimited landmarks and treasures - butterfly habitats, queer sites, murders, World War II shipyards, blues clubs, Zen Buddhist centers. She roams the political terrain, both progressive and conservative, and details the cultural geographies of the Mission District, the culture wars of the Fillmore, the South of Market world being devoured by redevelopment, and much, much more. Breathtakingly original, this atlas of the imagination invites us to search out the layers of San Francisco that carry meaning for us - or to discover our own infinite city, be it Cleveland, Toulouse, or Shanghai. Contributors include: Cartographers - Ben Pease and Shizue Seigel; Designer - Lia Tjandra; Artists - Sandow Birk, Mona Caron, Jaime Cortez, Hugh D'Andrade, Robert Dawson, Paz de la Calzada, Jim Herrington, Ira Nowinski, Alison Pebworth, Michael Rauner, Gent Sturgeon and Sunaura Taylor; Writers and researchers - Summer Brenner, Adriana Camarena, Chris Carlsson, Lisa Conrad, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, Paul La Farge, Genine Lentine, Stella Lochman, Aaron Shurin, Heather Smith and Richard Walker; and, Additional cartography - Darin Jensen, Robin Grossinger and Ruth Askevold, as well as San Francisco Estuary Institute.

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Author information

Rebecca Solnit is the best-selling author of many books, including River of Shadows, for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award, A Paradise Built in Hell, Savage Dreams (UC Press), and Storming the Gates of Paradise (UC Press).

Review quote

"A joyous book." San Francisco Chronicle "Inventive and affectionate." -- Lise Funderburg New York Times Book Review "This nicely designed book offers a collection of essays and subject specific maps anyone who loves San Francisco will enjoy poring over." -- Bob Walch Bookloons.com "Brilliantly disorients our native sense of place." -- Jonathon Keats San Francisco Magazine "This is an amazing and thought-provoking book." Geist "A richly textured graphic book that no electronic format can master yet, Infinite City features Rebecca Solnit as cultural and historical tour guide through the city she calls home." -- Bridget Kinsella Shelf Awareness "A fresh and intriguing spin on mapmaking." -- Elizabeth Ryan Utne "A thrilling new book." -- Nicole Gluckstern San Francisco Bay Guardian "A gorgeously produced collection of maps and essays." -- Nikil Saval Los Angeles Review Of Books "Breathtakingly original." San Francisco Bay Guardian "A treasure of intricate, intimate maps." -- Adam Hartzell SF360

Flap copy

"At last a field book with the sense of San Franciscothe non sense, the real sense, the mysteries of the microclimates, gays and butterflies, gangs, boulevards and mysterious alleys. All here!"Michael McClure "Downright near infinite, at any rate, the good fortune of a city blessed with such antic chroniclers as Rebecca Solnit, First Citizen of the Imagination, and her entire splendid crew. There's one map missing, though, from this marvelous little volume: the MRI of any reader lucky enough to wander into its myriad graven precinctssynapses firing, dendrites scintillating away, a whole mad happy carnival of fresh neuronal associations."Lawrence Weschler, author of "Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences " "Solnit's writing is born of intense reverie and deep reading, passionate inquiry and political defiance; she is a lyric questor for the texture of everyday life, and she attends to places and to their variety and particularity with an exhilarating form of attention that illuminates and transforms her subjects. "Infinite City" is a marvellous atlas, a new approach to history-making and storytelling; it's also a highly original praise song to many San Franciscos, a multi-layered and polyphonic testament, alert to the play of detail and to the grand design, to the shadows of memory that fall, the restless shifts in the urban scene and the vital energy of overlooked subjectivities."Marina Warner"

Table of contents

Introduction: On the Inexhaustibility of a City Map 1. The Names before the Names: The Indigenous Bay Area, 1769 "A Map the Size of the Land," by Lisa Conrad Map 2. Green Women: The Open Spaces and Some Who Saved Them "Great Women and Green Spaces," by Richard Walker Map 3. Cinema City: Muybridge Inventing Movies, Hitchcock Making Vertigo "The Eyes of the Gods," by Rebecca Solnit Map 4. Right Wing of the Dove: The Bay Area as Conservative/Military Brain Trust "The Sinews of War Are Boundless Money," by Rebecca Solnit Map 5. Monarchs and Queens: Butterfly Habitats and Queer Public Spaces "Full Spectrum," by Aaron Shurin Map 6. Truth to Power: Race and Justice in the City's Heart "The City's Tangled Heart," by Rebecca Solnit Map 7. Poison/Palate: The Bay Area in Your Body "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Gourmet," by Rebecca Solnit Map 8. Shipyards and Sounds: The Black Bay Area since World War II "High Tide, Low Ebb," by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro Map 9. Fillmore: Promenading the Boulevard of Gone "Little Pieces of Many Wars," by Rebecca Solnit Map 10. Third Street Phantom Coast: A Map by Alison Pebworth Map 11. Graveyard Shift: The Lost Industrial City of 1960 and the Remnant 6 AM Bars The Smell of Ten Thousand Gallons of Mayonnaise and a Hundred Tons of Coffee, by Chris Carlsson Map 12. The Lost World: South of Market, 1960, before Redevelopment Piled Up, Scraped Away," by Rebecca Solnit Map 13. The Mission: North of Home, South of Safe "The Geography of the Unseen," by Adriana Camarena Map 14. Tribes of San Francisco: Their Comings and Goings "Who Washed Up on These Shores and Who the Tides Took Away," by Rebecca Solnit Map 15. Who Am I Where? 'Quien soy donde?: A Map of Contingent Identities "Who Am I Where? 'Quien soy donde?" by Rebecca Solnit and Guillermo Gomez-Pena Map 16. Death and Beauty: A Year of Murders, a Noble Species of Tree "Red Sinking, Green Soaring," by Summer Brenner Map 17. Four Hundred Years and Five Hundred Evictions in the City "Dwellers and Drifters in the Shaky City," by Heather Smith Map 18. The World in a Cup: Coffee Economies and Ecologies "How to Get to Ethiopia from Ocean Beach," by Rebecca Solnit Map 19. Phrenological San Francisco "City of Fourteen Bumps," by Paul La Farge Map 20. Dharma Wheels and Fish Ladders: Salmon Migrations, Soto Zen Arrivals "A Way Home," by Genine Lentine Map 21. Treasure Map: The Forty-Nine Jewels of San Francisco "From the Giant Camera Obscura to the Bayview Opera House," by Rebecca Solnit Map 22. Once and Future Waters:Nineteenth-Century Bodies of Water, Twenty-Second-Century Shorelines Acknowledgments Contributors