A Tour of San Francisco (Lola & the Boy Next Door Edition)

Two years ago, I created one of my favorite posts: Une Visite de Paris (Anna & the French Kiss Edition). While I was in Paris, I photographed everywhere Anna traveled around the city. This past semester, I lived in San Francisco as part of an urban internship program through my college. While I was living there, I decided to reread Lola and the Boy Next Door and photograph the different places Lola mentions. Rereading Lola and the Boy Next Door while I was in San Francisco really helped me visualize and understand the setting in a way I didn’t the first time I read it, and I loved being able to put together this post. So without further ado I present, Lola’s San Francisco!

My name is also shared with this park, Mission Dolores. It’s not a coincidence. Great-Grandmother Dolores was named after the nearby mission, which was named after a creek called Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. (page 10)

The Japanese Tea Garden isn’t big, but it makes up for its size with beauty. Perfumed flowers in jewel-toned colors are balanced by intricately cut plants in tranquil blues and greens. Pathways meander around Buddhist statuary, koi ponds, a red pagoda, and a wooden bridge shaped like the moon. The only sounds are birdsong and the soft click of cameras. It’s peaceful. Magical. (page 17)

Of course, now I feel ashamed for thinking that, so I add with a shrug, ‘I might hit up Amoeba Records later.’ (page 85)

He doesn’t break the silence again until we pass the Castro Theatre’s landmark neon sign, only blocks from my house. (page 95)

But the familiarity of Castro Street comforts me—the glitter in the sidewalks, the chocolate-chip warmth radiating from Hot Cookie, the groups of chattering men, the early Halloween display in the window of Cliff’s Variety. (page 105)

I’m lucky to live in a place that doesn’t have to hide what it is. Businesses like the Sausage Factory (restaurant), Spunk (hair salon), and Hand Job (manicures) are clear about the residents, but there’s genuine sense of love and community. (page 106)

We’re already approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, so we’ve been driving for . . . fifteen minutes? (page 128)

It’s been years since I’ve been here, but Muir Woods still makes me feel as if I’ve stepped into a fairy tale. It’s an enchanted forest, I’m sure of it. (page 130)

I point at my feet. I’m standing over the word BELL. It’s imprinted on the grate for Pacific Bell, the phone company. They’re everywhere, on every street. (page 228)

‘Every time I see Dolores Street, I think of you.’ His words rush out. ‘Dolores Park. Dolores Mission. You’re everywhere in this neighborhood, you are this neighborhood.’ (page 229)

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a little piece of Lola and the Boy Next Door‘s San Francisco!

Next in the series . . .

A Tour of Manhattan, Paris, and Barcelona (Isla & the Happily Ever After Edition)

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