Bay Curious

Exploring the Hidden True Stories of the San Francisco Bay Area

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Pub Date 02 May 2023 | Archive Date 01 May 2023

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Curious about the San Francisco Bay Area? With explorations into unique local legends, interesting landmarks, and uncovered histories, Bay Curious is a fun, quirky guide to the secret stories of the Bay Area for visitors, newcomers, and California natives alike.

Who was America's first and only Emperor? Why are there ships buried under the streets of San Francisco? Was the word "hella" really created in the East Bay? Bay Curious brings you the answers to these questions and much more through fun and fascinating illustrated deep-dives into hidden gems of Bay Area trivia, history, and culture.

Based on the award-winning KQED podcast of the same name, Bay Curious brings a fresh eye to some of its most popular pieces and expands to cover stories unique to this book. With subjects ranging from Marin's redwood forests to the Winchester Mystery House, from the Black Panther Party's school program to the invention of the Mai Tai, Bay Curious gives you the entertaining and informative, weird and wonderful true stories of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Curious about the San Francisco Bay Area? With explorations into unique local legends, interesting landmarks, and uncovered histories, Bay Curious is a fun, quirky guide to the secret stories of the...

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EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781797214368
PRICE $15.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

I visited SF a few years back and fell in love. It is a stunning city with lots to see, really nice people, and fairly cohesive Public transit (barring the challenge to get to the Golden Gate Bridge. This was a fun journey through some of the hidden stories behind the city. While I skimmed some that seemed more aimed at locals, it was overall a pretty cool book that is easy to follow even after one visit. I especially liked the discussion of weather and why it makes this area the only one that can support the gorgeous redwoods. We have to protect our climate—those trees cannot be lost!!

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So much information packed into this book. It's more than just a travel guide; there's history of different areas and former residents, trivia, culture, and so much more. I learned so much about how the area was shaped and got its unique flavor. Great for those planning a visit or even residents who want to learn a little more or fact checked what they do know. I will also definitely check out the podcast of the same name.

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I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s a quick and easy read, but has a variety of interesting facts. While I live on the opposite coast of the USA, I still enjoyed learning something new

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Although several of the articles are contaminated with too much wokeness, this book is still full of great information about people, places, and things around the Bat Area. There's plenty in this book to enjoy an to explore.
Happily, unlike many books on the Bay Area, this one is pretty much G-rated, although the articles on nudity are more PG-13.

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This book is based on a podcast and explores all things Bay Area. San Francisco has my ❤️ Please never call it San Fran or Frisco. The author says Frisco is ok, but it’s not. SF is appropriate if you must abbreviate, or just The City.

From history of nudity and 420 to important people to food, music, slang & pop culture this book covers it all. I will say, there are a few local places missing but those are for you to discover.

Favorite movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
Favorite iconic spot: Coit Tower
Favorite piece of public art: Cupid’s Span
Favorite food: Fortune Cookie
Favorite drink: Irish Coffee or Fernet Branca
Favorite neighborhood: Chinatown

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The author is the creator of KQED’S podcast, Bay Curious, which takes questions from listeners about the history and landmarks of the San Francisco Bay area. Anyone who, like me, is fascinated by San Francisco will enjoy reading about some of its little known history. I also recommend Gary Kamiya’S Cool Grey City of Love for anyone who can’t get enough of San Francisco. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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Did you ever want to learn more about the history & pop culture about The City? This is a great go-to guide that any tourist can learn from & might surprise a native as well (Port Chicago, Mary Ellen Pleasant & the Japanese American history of The Fillmore District, etc.).

Perfect for your coffee table or as an approachable & light (though it’s 250 pages) read on transit (SFO planes, BART trains, Uber/Lyft), each chapter is a new introduction to a neighborhood, person or movement that has ties to San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area (East Bay, Oakland, Berkeley, Marin). Based off of the popular KQED podcast series (this also marks the local station’s first foray into printed books — congrats!), a number of authors/interviewers bring the history of such a disparate, yet still collective community to life.

Spanning pre-founding to the present — a whole lot of “fun facts,” true stories & myth-busting rumors jump off the page. Great stocking stuffer (you can buy a gift any time of the year!) or gift for that person who has everything but a mini history of “Bay Curious.”

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This is a fun book about the legends/true stories about the Bay Area, an offshoot of KQED's Bay Curious podcast. As a Bay Area native, I loved hearing about some facts I always wondered about (for example, the purple glass on the SF/Oakland sidewalks) and facts I never knew (Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to build a butterfly bridge). I do wish the contributors or Allen-Price could've done more deep dives about the Bay Area personalities, and man, there were many: Herb Caen, the three-dot columnist, the Brown twins Vivian and Marian, Melvin Belli who was Jack Ruby's lawyer, and Sally Stanford, San Francisco's legendary madam who became mayor of Sausalito. Still, this would be a great gift for newcomers to the Bay Area who want to know more about where they live. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Delightful! I like how this book is written concisely and packed chock-full with interesting info. As a Bay Area native, I learned so much and finally know the stories behind some things.

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