“This Is San Francisco: The Ups, Downs, Ins, and Outs of the City by the Bay” by Alexander Barrett

Alexander Barrett
Microcosm Publishing (2019)
ISBN 9781621068129
Reviewed by Robert Leon Davis for Reader Views (10/19)

“This is San Francisco,” authored by Alexander Barrett, explores the city of San Francisco. As stated in the subtitle, the book speaks of the ups, downs, ins, and outs of the city by the bay. Barrett explains, he’s not attempting to instruct a visitor specifically what restaurants to visit, what museums to visit, nor any other must-see sites. It’s simply an “overview” of the uniqueness of San Francisco as opposed to other America cities!

My review of this book starts with my personal visit to this city years ago. All American cities are unique, as the people who reside in these cities fabricate the uniqueness. “This is San Francisco,” is a unique summary of the whole of San Francisco. The book not only covers the obvious parts, events and places, but reveals the hidden places and events that the average tourist or visitor might not ever know!

Many of the “secrets” revealed in the book presents San Francisco as a jewel city. “This is San Francisco,” speaks of the various hues and colors of the sky taking place all in one day. Also the various homes and residences; all differently made in different shapes and different colors from house to house. And finally the strange appearance of something very unique for an American city; Fog!

What I really loved about this book is the “little known” secrets of the community that you might not find even with a tour guide. For instance, the story and history of a specific golden fire hydrant at the intersection of 20th and Church Street. Another specifies an historically rich restaurant at the corner of 45th and Sloat Street, as well as many other little-known secrets revealed by the author.

“This is San Francisco” by Alexander Barrett opened my eyes, as well as my heart, to a San Francisco that I wouldn’t have ever known. I can see through this book that I personally missed about 90% of the city’s real history! The book is simple and easy to read, with various humorous photos included in the book, strange and unusual locals, and most of all, fact-based. A very interesting read, educational, and I personally thank the author for sharing “This Is San Francisco: The Ups, Downs, Ins, and Outs of the City by the Bay.” 5 stars 

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