Last Wednesday, October 8 2014 there was a presentation of a new edition of the San Francisco Biking map “Bikes to Books” at Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics, 518 Valencia St., SF
On January 25, 1988, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a proposal to change the name of twelve small streets after famous autors that had been living in the city. The formal presentation of the new streets was performed in an event held at City Lights bookstore.
Twenty-five years later, the local author Nicole Gluckstern decided to create a bicycle route through the city including the twelve historic streets in a single tour. As she was not an expert on cartography and city popular history, she convinced another local amateur cartographer/historian Burrito Justice to join to the project.
The first edition of the map was published in 2013 in San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper. A second improved edition was later published by City Lights Books and is still available in many San Francisco Bookstores as a Folded City Map.
The new Edition.
In the presentation of the new map edition, both authors explained the history of the map and the improvements added in the latest edition. Especially interesting was two aspects commented during the presentation.
The first one, the relation stablished between contemporary authors in the city, sometimes living just a few meters ones of the others. It is easily explained when we realized how isolated San Francisco was at the end of 19th century or the beginning of 20th. San Francisco was a very populated and active city, but almost alone in the west coast. It created a special close relation between the writers.
The second one was the main information sources use to prepare the map.
- City census and directories: no so frequently updated and including only very general information about individuals. They was also affected by the frequent city fires that regularly burned the city.
- Newspapers, including the personal advertisement section. The latest provided the funniest anecdotes of the evening.