I will be discussing my new book, , The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco, at Books Inc. in Opera Plaza on June 3 at 7:00 pm. It is free to the public.
Described by Gary Kamiya as “a lively and opinionated history of one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in the world,” my book addresses one of the core mysteries of San Francisco: how has the Tenderloin remained a primarily low-income, ethnically diverse neighborhood in a city of vastly increasing wealth?
Having worked in the Tenderloin for 35 years I thought I understood how the neighborhood survived. But I only knew how the Tenderloin survived since 1980. The story that had not been told was how it remained low-income for the preceding decades despite powerful real estate and political pressures pushing for its transformation.
The Tenderloin was once the San Francisco neighborhood that came closest to being the “Paris of America.” It launched the city’s gay and lesbian civil rights movement, was the San Francisco home for jazz legends like Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck, and was the neighborhood where the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Credence Clearwater Revival and other rock groups recorded their first big hits.
Dashiell Hammett created his noir vision from a Tenderloin apartment, and Frank Capra lived in the Tenderloin’s Drake Hotel when he got his first movie director’s job.
The Tenderloin is the story of a neighborhood that has persisted against all odds. I look forward to discussing its past and future at Books Inc. on June 3.San Francisco News