My City: A languid literary look at The City by the Bay

Faves and raves by Jane Ganahl

PERSONAL STATS

AGE: Mid-50s

YEARS IN THE CITY: Since childhood

NEIGHBORHOOD: Works in SoMa, resides in Half Moon Bay

OCCUPATION: Co-founder of S.F. literary festival Litquake and author of “Naked on the Page: The Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife”

SELF DESCRIPTION: Writing and organizing writers in this literary mecca

FAVORITE BOOKSTORE

City Lights

WHERE: 261 Columbus Ave. between Broadway and Kearny Street

WHAT: Selection of hard-to-find political titles

INFO: (415) 362-8193 or www.citylights.com

“City Lights just reeks of history, and [founder] Larry Ferlinghetti is a god in literary circles. They really seek out titles that you can’t find anywhere else.”

FAVORITE LUNCH SPOT

South Park Cafe

WHERE: 108 S. Park St.

WHAT: Weekday lunch and lattes

INFO: (415) 495-7275 or www.southparkcafesf.com

“The cafe is right around the corner from the Writers’ Grotto, which makes it really convenient when I’m visiting friends there.”

FAVORITE CAFE TO READ A GOOD BOOK

Mission Creek Cafe

WHERE: 968 Valencia St. between 21st and Liberty streets

WHAT: Sitting in the back room

INFO: (415) 641-0888

“There’s a big bookshelf back there filled with books; you can take a title and read it on an honor system. It’s really quiet and there are plenty of comfortable cushy chairs.”

FAVORITE PLACE FOR LIT READINGS

Edinburgh Castle

WHERE: 950 Geary St. between Polk and Larkin streets

WHAT: Listening to readings from new and established authors

INFO: (415) 885-4074 or www.castlenews.com

“This was Litquake’s birthplace a few years ago; they’re just so friendly to writers and authors. The manager, Alan Black, just published his own book.”

FAVORITE CITY STROLL

The Embarcadero

WHERE: From the Ferry Building to AT&T Park

WHAT: A leisurely walk taking in the views

“I know it sounds touristy, but I’m a sucker for a good view. I also like to stop in to Red’s Java House for a coffee.”

FAVORITE WELLNESS OFFICE

Core Care Center

WHERE: 1634 Union St. between Franklin and Gough streets

WHAT: Alternative health treatments

INFO: (415) 928-5423 or www.corecarecenter.com

“I’ve sent three friends here. They do everything from nutritional programming to overall wellness. Mark Weill, who runs the center, is amazing.”

FAVORITE LITERARY BAR

Hotel Rex

WHERE: 562 Sutter St. between Mason and Powell streets

WHAT: A Bombay Sapphire at the bar

INFO: (415) 433-4434 or www.jdvhotels.com

“It looks like a library, with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and has really comfy chairs. You feel like you’re part of the Algonquin roundtable.”

FAVORITE SPA

Nob Hill Spa

WHERE: 1075 California St. at Mason Street

WHAT: Lounging around the indoor pool

INFO: (415) 345-2888 or www.nobhillspa.com

“You can even eat lunch by the pool. Sitting in those big, fluffy white robes is just so luxurious and relaxing.”

FAVORITE SPOT FOR GROUP DINNERS

MarketBar

WHERE: 1 Ferry Building No. 36

WHAT: Sharing frites with friends

INFO: (415) 434-1100 or www.marketbar.com

“Their frites really are among the best in The City. If I’m with hungry writers, they gobble them up by the handful.”

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