Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fleet Week in San Francisco

It was Fleet Week in San Francisco and Chris and I were playing our regular Tuesday night gig at House of Shields on New Montgomery.

That's a sentence culled from the first chapter of my newly released book, Candy from Strangers. In an interesting confluence of real and fictional lives, it turns out that it actually is Fleet Week in San Francsico. Here's the USS Bonhomme Richard docked in a pier near the Bay Bridge. You can take the free tour if you're willing to wait in the long line to get on board:

Or you can kick back at the HiDive Cafe with a Coors and watch from afar.

In a later chapter in the book, my PI August Riordan checks out the student art gallery at the school where two of the book's "cam girls" attend. That school is called the The San Francisco Lyceum of Art and there's no such institution in San Francisco. But, golly, it appears a real school in SF is putting on a student exhibit:

If you look carefully, you can see the reflection of a Starbucks Coffee sign in the glass covering the exhibit poster. I didn't realize it was there until after I got back home, but it turns out Starbucks is the employer of Caroline Stockwell, the cam girl who goes missing in the book.

Shortly after visiting the art school, Riordan goes to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see a photography exhibit of one of the schools instructors, George Wesson, where he finds Wesson has used Caroline Stockwell as a model in several nude photographs. I based the character of Wesson on one of my favorite photographers, Edward Weston (yes, I worked real hard on the name, didn't I?). Guess who's having an exhibit at the SF MOMA right now? Yep, Weston and his photography partner and lover, Tina Modotti. There are several several nudes of Modotti included in the exhibit.

After visiting the exhibit, Riordan furthers his "career as a patron of the arts by patronizing the museum cafeteria for a pastrami on rye." He concludes with, "I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like."

In truth, I'm afraid I took a liberty with the cafe's menu. There's nothing so plebeian as a pastrami on rye available. Today my wife had the portobello mushroom panini and I had the heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad. August wouldn't have touched either with a ten foot fork.


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