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People & Places

  • People & Places Readers' Poll

    Readers' Poll Winners:

    Best Comedy Act: Uphill Both Ways Best Stripper: Jade-Blue Eclipse Best Writer: Dave Eggers Best Activist: Medea Benjamin Best Mechanic: Aaron at Advanced Audi Best Morning Crew: KFOG Best Radio DJ: Dave Morey Best Talk Radio Host: Dorka Keehn Best Newscaster: Dennis Richmond Best Politician: Gavin Newsom Worst Politician: Gavin Newsom Best Neighborhood: The Mission Best Weekend Getaway: Napa Best Place for a First Date: Golden Gate Park Best Place to Get Married: City… More >>
  • Best Socialite

    Vanessa Getty

    Charity starts at home, and no one typifies this clichéd line of altruism more than Vanessa Getty. Although we have yet to receive a dollar from her to help us out on our incessantly late rent, Getty's philanthropic work is second to none. OK, maybe second to the Stepmother From Hell (you know who I'm talking about). Anyway, what we… More >>
  • Best Newspaper Columnist

    David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle

    Nobody wields a sharper scalpel than Lazarus when it comes to dissecting the doublespeak and deceptive practices of big business. His thrice weekly column serves as a consumer tip sheet, alerting readers when banks gouge customers through hidden debit-card fees or credit-card companies sneak extra charges onto monthly bills. Not long ago, with vintage Lazarusian acuity, he skewered an insurance… More >>
  • Best Zinester

    Jay Howell

    People love artist Jay Howell for two main — and pretty much indistinguishable — reasons: his boner imagery and his seventh-grade sense of humor. Both are displayed in this lanky pen-and-ink doodler's hilarious publications. From Punks Git Cut to Dogs and Dog Information, his deceptively simple illustrations of hairy mammals and hairier hippies are always hilarious. But the guy has… More >>
  • Best Local Street Vendor

    The Tamale Lady

    Virginia Ramos, better known to her hordes of fans and admirers as the Tamale Lady, has been wheeling plastic coolers filled with her handmade wares around the Mission for years. Stopping into as many as 18 bars in one evening between happy hour and closing time, the Tamale Lady's presence is announced. Shouts of "The Tamale Lady is here!" "Quick,… More >>
  • Best Pathological Citizen

    Frank Chu

    While most S.F. kooks are of the frightening, defecating-in-public variety, Frank Chu is quite the Dapper Dan. He's quiet and always sports a slick suit and sunglasses (even at night). Dedicated to the work he does, Chu can be found making daily rounds through downtown religiously and at almost every public event, protesting crimes committed against him by Bill Clinton… More >>
  • Best Stalker

    Han Sup Shin

    Mayor Gavin Newsom might be "relieved like a laxative" now that his admirer in diapers, Han Sup Shin, has been served with a restraining order for trying to break into his apartment this past Valentine's Day (so romantic!), but we kind of miss the nut. We could go into detail about the awesomeness that is Shin: His fondness for sporting… More >>
  • Best Illegal Display of Fireworks

    Mission District Roofs

    Living in a third-floor walkup with three roommates may not be ideal, but it has its perks — that's the mantra Mission District residents recite. And they get validation every Fourth of July. As the sun goes down on that patriotic evening, Missionistas climb up fire escapes and crack open trap doors, and set up plastic lawn chairs on the… More >>
  • Best Evening Picnic Spot

    Sutro Baths

    Everybody loves ruins. They're romantic and eerie, and imaginations feed on the remnants to reconstruct the places and lives of yesteryear. San Francisco is too young a city to be rich in ruins, but we do have what's left of the Sutro Baths. The deluxe public bath house opened in 1896, and housed seven swimming pools under a huge vault.… More >>
  • Best Public Pay Phones

    The Fairmont

    Those of you without cellphones — all four of you — know that finding a working pay phone in San Francisco can lead to a journey longer than Odysseus' trip to Ithaca. No dial tone, dead mouthpiece, missing receiver — many are the obstacles that thwart the would-be pay-phone user. (And let us not dwell on the most unsettling hindrance… More >>
  • Best Brunch Where You Might Also Get Laid

    Sunday Brunch at Lime - CLOSED

    It's not just the Castro location — ripe with horny and hungover twentysomethings looking for protein from a variety of sources — or the salmon deviled eggs that are so subtle yet tasty that you will want to make love to any and all after just one bite. Instead it's the bottomless glasses of mimosas they serve, like the free-refill… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Off on BART

    The Last Car of the Train

    Just a quick search on XTube will vividly tell you what a thousand words can't: Men like to screw around with other men on BART. Specifically, men like to achieve orgasms on the train's last car, which is usually the least crowded of cars. Famously performed on the very last train of a BART car, the action typically (and rather… More >>
  • Best Glory Hole

    Blow Buddies

    What is a glory hole, you might be asking yourself? (Well, you might be asking that if, say, you just moved here either out from under a rock or from under the state of Michigan.) Well, it's a vile and crudely cutout hole, about waist-level high, on a wall or a bathroom stall in which to stick your erect penis.… More >>
  • Best San Francisco Values

    The Castro Lions

    Here are the unpoetic but inspiring words that must have inspired the 1985 founding of the Castro Lions: "Is there a need in your community that is not being met? Consider forming a Lions Club to bring together community service-minded individuals ... " In the mid-1980s, there was indeed a need in San Francisco that was not being met: People,… More >>
  • Best Morbid Display of Gay Pride


    Rainbow flags have waved over so many aspects of city life that it's not surprising to find them in a final resting place; still, it's a nice sight. The Columbarium is an exquisite, 110-year-old building in the Richmond where the cremated remains of thousands of San Franciscans are tucked away in niches — or "apartments," as caretaker Emmitt Watson calls… More >>
  • Best Cemetery

    Mission Dolores

    In a city famously (and intentionally) lacking in graveyards, this lovely little "cemetery garden" at the city's oldest landmark is a hands-down winner. The gravestones date to the 1830s, but they don't begin to tell the whole story. There are an estimated 5,000 Ohlone Indians buried on the grounds. And for good reason: They built the place, as slave laborers,… More >>
  • Best Place to Spot a Bike Messenger Sitting Still

    One Post

    The sunny steps of the Montgomery Street BART station may not seem like the hub of one of San Francisco's coolest scenes, but depending on whom you ask, they are. Bike messengers of all persuasions relax here between delivering tags: young, old, crazy, sexy, male, female (but not too many of the latter). Hand-rolled cigarettes are smoked, coffee is drunk,… More >>
  • Best Place for Doggie Dating

    Alamo Square Park

    A local, let's call him "Steve," takes his dog twice daily to Alamo Square, and recently veered away from his pooch's regular "business" spot. The reason? "See that girl over there with the golden retriever? I slept with her a few weeks ago and haven't been returning her calls lately." Veering away from the golden's owner, a girl with a… More >>
  • Best New "It" Neighborhood


    People who haven't lived in San Francisco for a few years will raise their eyebrows and make their eyes all big and say, "oooh," if you tell them you live in the area historically known as the Western Addition. What they don't know (and let's try to keep it our secret), is that the area north of the panhandle (NOPA)… More >>
  • Best Panoramic View

    Buena Vista Park

    It's not uncommon to see a few European tourists huffing and puffing their way to the top of this park that's true to its name (it means "good view" in Spanish). On a clear day, hiking up the steep 575-foot hill offers spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and much of the whole Bay Area. Tourists aside, most visitors… More >>
  • Best Scenic Stairs

    Harry Street Stairs

    A perfect way to experience the varied architectural and horticultural charms of San Francisco with an elevated heart rate is to climb the Harry Street stairs. The wooden steps climb in a reasonably straight line from Laidley to Beacon Street in the border region of Glen Park and Noe Valley referred to by some neighborhood precisionists as Fairmont Heights. Start… More >>
  • Best Place to Farm Fennel

    San Francisco Community Gardens

    Now, fennel is something that actually grows with wild abandon all over the city if you know where to look (waist-high, pale-green fronds under the freeway overpass, anyone?), but if you're an urban dweller with a green thumb, there is hope for you if you want to think outside the window box. San Francisco community gardens have numerous plots available… More >>
  • Best Fire Hydrant

    The Golden Hydrant

    It isn't often that a city recognizes a lowly fire hydrant as a significant historical landmark, but this one near the southwest corner of Mission Dolores Park has earned the props. In the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and fire, it was here that a handful of exhausted firemen and throngs of volunteer citizens made a valiant (and successful) stand… More >>
  • Best Place to Walk in Circles

    Grace Cathedral's labyrinths

    Talk about the benefits of going nowhere! Labyrinths, those circular paths leading to a center, have been around for centuries and in Europe they were a common feature of medieval cathedrals. Aficionados have long recognized labyrinth-walking both as a kind of spiritual journey and as a way to clear the head and lift the mood. Which is exactly what the… More >>
  • Best Dashiell Hammett Haunt

    Building at 891 Post

    OK, Dashiell Hammett fans, we know you can never get enough. Some of us see Sam Spade, the famed author's famous detective, around most every corner — or at least at the spots immortalized in The Maltese Falcon. There's John's Grill (at 63 Ellis), where Spade loved to chow down, and the splendid Hunter-Dulin Building (at Montgomery and Sutter) where… More >>
  • Best Little-Noticed Shrine

    Fisherman's & Seaman's Memorial Chapel

    Nestled on the inner harbor side of Pier 45, this small wood-framed chapel, built in 1979, is a charming memorial to the memory of Bay Area fishermen who've lost their lives at sea. It's also something of a touchstone for San Francisco's mostly Italian, mostly Roman Catholic fishing community, which traces its origins to Sicilian immigrants from the early 1800s.… More >>
  • Best Place to Wait on a Plane

    San Francisco Airport Museum

    Dedicated to commercial aviation and SFO's role as the "Gateway to the Pacific," this museum constitutes an island of sanity amid the hustle and bustle of SFO's concourses. Step inside this 11,500-square-foot trove of flying lore and you're transported to an imposing model of the 1937 San Francisco Airport Administration Building. Rotating exhibitions are mostly, but not always, aviation-related. Currently… More >>
  • Best New Old Skyscraper

    450 Sutter (at Stockton)

    When it comes to tense relationships, Hatfields vs. McCoys have nothing on architects vs. building code inspectors. Take the example of 450 Sutter St., the 26-story, Art Deco landmark designed by Timothy Pflueger, the architectural mind behind the Pacific Stock Exchange, Union Square Plaza, the Castro Theater, and the California Academy of Sciences. The historical landmark is an odd combination… More >>
  • Best TV Reporter

    Dan Noyes

    While local TV news the nation over continues to take flack for obsequious coverage, our hometown reporter Dan Noyes has fashioned himself into Mayoral Enemy No. 1. Back in January, the chief investigative reporter for ABC 7 incited Gavin Newsom's old spokesman Peter Ragone to point into the reporter's face while spewing idiocies and later to deny having blasted Newsom… More >>
  • Best Girl for Gavin

    Jennifer Siebel

    It's a close call to pick just one from the smorgasbord of suitors vying for a spot in Mayor Newsom's heart since his divorce: the CSI: Miami starlet, the friend's wife, the 20-year-old Republican with a porn name, the stalker with a purple glove. But this year, we've gotta give props to Gavin's current squeeze, actress Jennifer Siebel, for her… More >>
  • Best/Worst Politician

    Gavin Newsom

    Ah, [sigh] Gavin, if the city only had a nickel for each time you were compared to a Ken doll, we could fix the Muni. Three years having passed since Newsom first boosted our glittering city into the national limelight by allowing gay marriages, Newsom staged a comeback in a big way this year with the revelation of his affair,… More >>
  • Best Talk Radio Host

    Bernie Ward

    OK, so the guy is not sexy or suave. He looks like a plump systems engineer from Middle America who'd vote Republican. But this is radio, so what do we care if KGO's Bernie Ward isn't a looker. If you can sit tight through sermon-like pauses (he used to be a priest) that last so long you end up tapping… More >>
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