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San Francisco Quotes

'Careful now.
'We're dealing here with a myth.
'This city is a point upon a map of fog;
'Lemuria in a city unknown.
'Like us,
'It doesn't quite exist.' "
Ambrose Bierce,
San Francisco journalist,poet, and novelist of the early 1900's 


"The City that knows how."
William Howard Taft


"San Francisco is a city where people are never more abroad than when they are at home"
Benjamin F.Taylor


"I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches,
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fair-haired sons of bitches."
Black Bart,
notorious San Francisco bandit of the 1870s, left this poem in a strongbox after he had robbed it.


"One day if I do go to heaven~
I'll look around and say, 'It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco. "

"Isn't it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?"
~Herb Caen


"You look back and see how hard you worked and how poor you were, and how desperately anxious you were to succeed, and all you can remember is how happy you were."
Jack London, novelist and native San Franciscan,recalling his youth.


"You know what it is? San Francisco is a golden handcuff with the key thrown away."John Steinbeck


"Once I knew the City very well, spent my attic days there, while others were being a lost generation in Paris, I fledged in San Francisco, climbed its hills. slept in its parks, worked on its docks, marched and shouted in its revolts~ It had been to me in the days of my poverty and it did not resent my temporary solvency."
John Steinbeck California born writer


"The extreme geniality of San Francisco's economic, intellectual and political climate makes it the most varied and challenging city in the United States."
James Michener


"San Francisco beats the world for novelties; but the inventive faculties of her people are exercised on a specialty~. Controversy is our forte." San Francisco Call, September 15, 1864


"The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here. "
~Billy Graham


"I love this city. If I'm elected, I will move the White House to San Francisco. I went to Fisherman's Wharf and they even let me into Allioto`s. It may be Baghdad by the Bay to you, but to me it's Resurrection City"
~Robert Kennedy


"I always see about six scuffles a night when I come to San Francisco. That's one of the town's charms."~Errol Flynn


"You are fortunate to live here. If I were your President, I would levy a tax on you for living in San Francisco!"
Mikhail Gorbachev


"San Francisco is one of the great cultural plateaus of the world~ one of the really urbane communities in the United States~ one of the truly cosmopolitan places and for many,many years, it always has had a warm welcome for human beings from all over the world"
Edward Duke Ellington


"I'm proud to have been a Yankee. But I have found more happiness and contentment since I came back home to San Francisco than any man has a right to deserve. This is the friendliest city in the world."
Joe DiMaggio, at his fiftieth birthday party.


"Your city is remarkable not only for its beauty. It is also, of all the cities in the United States, the one whose name, the world over, conjures up the most visions and more than any other, incites one to dream. "~ Georges Pompidou


"San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality." ~ Paul Kantner, rock band Jefferson Airplane


"The San Francisco Bay Area is the playpen of countercultures." ~ R. Z. Sheppard, Time magazine


"A synonym for San Francisco: Inspiration. What ever one's field of study - arts, humanities, science - SF
is a microsphere of everything inspiring to the human spirit."~Denise , SF native

"My San Francisco on her seven hills is smiling, beside an opalescent sunset sea." ~ George Caldwell, 1919

View of the City

"East is East, and West is San Francisco"~O.Henry

"I hear the old hippies
Floating in and out of long hair
Like limousines in
The fog that is San Francisco."
Paul Landry, poet

"Jack Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million Levis to both sexes. "
William Burroughs

"San Francisco has only one drawback. ''Tis hard to leave"
Rudyard Kipling

"It's a mad city, inhabited by perfectly insane people whose women are of remarkable beauty"
Ibid. 1891


"No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living"
~William Saroyan


"San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth."
William Saroyan Author

"Chicago is the great American city, New York is one of the capitals of the world, and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic; San Francisco is a lady"
~ Norman Mailer,
author and  frequent visitor


"I don't know of any other city where you can walk through so many culturally diverse neighborhoods, and you're never out of sight of the wild hills. Nature is very close here." ~
Gary Snyder,Pulitzer prize-winning poet and essayist

"There's a sweet nirvana, Stirring on a jazzy, North Beach night"~Sony Holland, from her 'San Francisco High' CD

"But oh, San Francisco! It is and has everything~
you wouldn't think that such a place as San Francisco could exist. The wonderful sunlight there, the hills, the great bridges, the Pacific at your shoes. Beautiful Chinatown. Every race in the world. The sardine fleets sailing out. The little cable-cars whizzing down The City hills~.
The lobsters, clams,crabs.
Oh,Cat, what food for you. And all the people are open and friendly."
~ Dylan Thomas , poet


"What fetched me instantly (and thousands of other newcomers with me) was the subtle but unmistakable sense of escape from the United States."
~H.L. Mencken, writer


"Fancy a novel about Chicago or Buffalo, let us say, or Nashville, Tennessee! There are just three big cities in the United States that are 'story cities'— New York, of course, New Orleans, and, best of the lot, San Francisco."~Frank Norris, author (1870-1902)
McTeague, A Story of San Francisco


"I have seen few things as beautiful as a 6:30am lift-off from San Francisco International Airport in the autumn. From above, the rippled fog layer laps against the shores of the foothills like a voluminous cotton ocean."
~Eric Cheng


"Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger
as long as possible. " Walter Cronkite
"


"The cool, grey city of love."~George Sterling

"Let him who is worthy by reason of his clear eye and unjaded heart wander across these borders of beauty and mystery and be glad." ~George Sterling ( 1922)


"Perpetual spring, the flare of adventure in the blood, the impulse of men who packed Virgil with their bean-bags on the overland journey, conspired~ to make San Francisco a city of artists."
~ William Henry Irwin


 

 

San Francisco is the longest lasting love affair of my life. Her beauty inspires me anew each day and I am very thankful to be able to live here on the edge of the continent in what I feel is the heart of the world. ~Nicole , sfheart.com

"The San Francisco Stock Exchange was the place that continuously pumped up the savings of the lower classes into the pockets of the millionaires."
Robert Louis Stevenson,,
author and early resident circa 1880


"I never saw so many well-dressed, well-fed, business-looking Bohemians in my life." ~ Oscar Wilde,
1882, about the San Francisco Bohemian Club

"It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world"
Oscar Wilde


"Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible. "
Walter Cronkite


"It{California} is the land where the fabled Aladdin's Lamp lies buried-and she {San Francisco} is the new Aladdin who shall seize it from its obscurity and summon the genie and command him to crown her with power and greatness and bring to her feet the hoarded treasures of the earth."~ Mark Twain


"The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."

"I fell in love with the most cordial and sociable city in the Union."

"I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved."
Mark Twain


"They were a wonderful set of burglars, the people who were running San Francisco when I first came to town in 1923, wonderful because, if they were stealing, they were doing it with class and style."
Sally Stanford,
San Francisco's most famous madam

"Perpetual spring, the flare of adventure in the blood, the impulse of men who packed Virgil with their bean-bags on the overland journey, conspired~ to make San Francisco a city of artists." ~ William Henry Irwin

"Truly it is only those who place all happiness in money who could submit, for the sake of gain, to live in such a place. " ~ Ida Pfeiffer


"It is hardly fair to blame America for the state of San Francisco, for its population is cosmopolitan and its seaport attracts the floating vice of the Pacific; but be the cause what it may, there is much room for spiritual betterment."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


"It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit~. Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?"~Julia Child, Chef


"We're crazy about this city.
First time we came here, we walked the streets all day, all over town and nobody hassled us. People smiled, friendly-like, and we knew we could live here. We'd like to keep our place in Greenwich Village and have an apartment here, God and the Immigration Service willing.
Los Angeles? That's just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for the trip to San Francisco."
John Lennon and Yoko Ono


"Somehow the great cities of America
Have taken their places in a mythology that shapes their destiny: Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips Cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco."~..Joe Flower

"The Golden Gate Bridge's daily strip tease from enveloping stoles of mist to full frontal glory is still the most provocative show in town."~ Mary Moore Mason, editor of British magazine Essentially America


"Where elso but in San Francisco would characters such as Sister Boom-Boom, a transvestite who dresses in a miniskirted nun's habit, and a punk rocker names Jello Biafra run for seats on the Board of Supervisors? And where else would 75,000 runners dress like centipedes, gorilla, and six packs of beer to participate in the "moving masquerade ball" otherwise known as the Bay to Breakers Race?"
~.JoAnne Davidson, journalist


"The ultimate [travel destination] for me would be one perfect day in San Francisco. There's no city like it anywhere. And, if I could be there with the girl of my dreams, that would be the ultimate!"~Larry King, talk show host


"I will sing in San Francisco if I have to sing in the streets, for I know that the streets of San Francisco are Free."
~Luisa Tetrazzini, San Francisco's all time favorite soprano, on occasion of breaking her New York contract

San Francisco! Is there a land where the magic of that name has not been felt? ~ Clarence E. Edwords, 1914

The ultimate travel destination for me would be one perfect day in San Francisco. There's no city like it anywhere." Larry King

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