Didem Doğan

A day in San Francisco: cafés, bookstores, hills

One of the features which beautify San Francisco are its hills which are very steep but do not pose a challenge for somebody from Istanbul. The perspective the hills bestow on the city, the joy of looking back, and watching the city from a different point of view… We are staying at the heart of the city, in Union Square which has a great location, it reminds us of Wall Street district of New York, in fact everything seems similar to New York here in San Francisco, in a slower and calmer rhythm… Before entering the famous Dragon Gate of Chinatown we have breakfast just at the opposite corner, Café de la Presse has a European air inside. We then start to explore the Chinatown which is the biggest Chinatown outside Asia and we feel the similar atmosphere you get in any Chinatown, the objects they sell, the red colour, music coming out of shops. Then we take the exit towards Broadway to find this nice bookstore. San Francisco has a bohemian and literary reputation, which probably owes it to the leading author of the Beat Generation, Jeak Kerouc. The street with the pub which the famous author frequented in this city is named after him. When you leave this big China Town and walk toward Broadway, you will see a long and tall bookstore, with its name written on its window. This place which has been in the business since 1953 is a symbol of the city. It is not a big bookstore like the many-storey Barnes and Noble where you can find any book, but one may say it is a place with a ‘character’ where you can find a select set of books.