Friday, April 24, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Hidden San Francisco is a guidebook like no other. Chris Carlsson peels back the layers of San Francisco’s history to reveal a storied past: behind old walls and gleaming glass facades lurk former industries, secret music and poetry venues, forgotten terrorist bombings, and much more. Carlsson delves into the Bay Area’s long prehistory, examining the region’s geography and the lives of its inhabitants before the 1849 Gold Rush changed everything, setting in motion the clash between capital and labor that shaped the modern city. Including maps, walking guides and bike routes, this vibrant guide brings to life the streets and hills of today’s San Francisco, from the perspective of the students and secretaries, longshoremen and waitresses who shaped its radical past. Books will be available for sale ($19.99) at the event.
Chris Carlsson, co-director of the “history from below” project Shaping San Francisco, is a writer, publisher, editor, photographer, public speaker, and occasional professor. He was one of the founders in 1981 of the seminal and infamous underground San Francisco magazine Processed World. In 1992 Carlsson co-founded Critical Mass in San Francisco, which both led to a local bicycling boom and helped to incubate transformative urban movements in hundreds of cities, large and small, worldwide. In 1995 work began on “Shaping San Francisco;” since then the project has morphed into an incomparable archive of San Francisco history at Foundsf.org, award-winning bicycle and walking tours, and more than a decade of Public Talks covering history, politics, ecology, art, and more (see shapingsf.org). Beginning in Spring 2020, Carlsson hosts “City Front” Bay Cruises leaving from Pier 40.
Carlsson has written three books, the most recent being Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories (Pluto Press: 2020). His 2004 novel is set in a future “post-economic” San Francisco (After the Deluge, Full Enjoyments Books: 2004), and his groundbreaking look at class and work in Nowtopia (AK Press: 2008) which uniquely examined how hard and pleasantly we work when we’re not at our official jobs. He has also edited six books including three “Reclaiming San Francisco” collections with the venerable City Lights Books. He redesigned and co-authored an expanded Vanished Waters: A History of San Francisco’s Mission Bay after which he joined the board of the Mission Creek Conservancy; he is on the board of the San Francisco Community Land Trust, and also serves as an advisor to the Shipyard Trust for the Arts at Hunter’s Point. He has given hundreds of public presentations based on Shaping San Francisco, Critical Mass, Nowtopia, Vanished Waters, and his “Reclaiming San Francisco” history anthologies since the late 1990s, and has appeared dozens of times in radio, television and on the internet.