I have a deep and enduring love of maps, so today I was pleasantly surprised to get galleys of a book featuring a creatively mapped San Francisco. The book, Infinite City: A San Franciso Atlas, has gorgeous, full-color maps of things like local corporate polluters, drag queens and butterflies (see below), and pre-European history. A few of the maps mention the Tenderloin, like the one that puts the Tenderloin National Forest right up there with other major San Francisco landmarks like the Grace Cathedral labyrinth and Chinatown gates. Another map, titled “The World in a Cup: Coffee Economies and Ecologies,” is generous in including a long list of Tenderloin/Tendernob coffeeshops like What a Grind, Cup-a-Joe, farm:table, Sugar Cafe, and Cafe Bean, among others.
Infinite City author Rebecca Solnit’s map of SF coffeshops is definitely more thorough (and prettier) than 7×7‘s attempt, but the book is far from a Tenderloin love-fest. In fact, in other maps, the Tenderloin is stereotyped as a place defined by “cautiousness” and a “love of sex.” The book doesn’t come out until November, but until then Solnit will be conducting a series of talks through SF MOMA about the maps. The next one is on September 9 and will revolve around San Francisco’s closed movie houses and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, part of which was filmed in the Tenderloin.
Even if Infinite City doesn’t include much about the Tenderloin specifically, it’s still a must-have for this San Franciscan.