Audrey Medina, Special to The Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle December 10, 2010
All good fiction has its roots in the real world. The settings where stories take place have their own charm and character, influencing and changing the fictional folks that inhabit them as well as the readers. Here are places that inspired great works of fiction - but where experiences can be real.
1. Macondray Lane, San Francisco
There was always something interesting going on at 28 Barbary Lane. In Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City," Barbary Lane is home for an adventuresome little band of locals. Listen closely and you might hear Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madragil chatting in the garden as you stroll along this leafy path on Russian Hill. Explore it on your own or as part of the daylong Real SF Tour ($50). (888) 973-8687, www.therealsftour.com.
2. Cannery Row, Monterey
Doc Ricketts' lab, Lee Chong's grocery and La Ida's cafe are a few of the spots that inspired John Steinbeck's portrayal of life along the piers during the Great Depression. Learn more at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cannery Row exhibit, or take one of their monthly walking tours. (831) 648-4800, www.montereybayaquarium.org (search for "Cannery Row").
3. Angels Camp
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was the yarn that launched Mark Twain to international stardom. While Twain spent only 88 days in Angels Camp as a miner during the Gold Rush, he managed to find plenty of time to spend in the bar at the Angels Hotel listening to local stories. These days, Angels Camp is a quiet little mountain town, except for a few days every May during the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. (209) 736-2561, www.frogtown.org/jubilee_home.shtml.
4. John's Grill, San Francisco
The interior hasn't changed since Dashiell Hammett sat at the bar ordering Sam Spade's usual, "chops, baked potato and sliced tomato." Spade was here, along with some other suspicious characters, on the lookout for the Maltese Falcon. Search for clues in the photos upstairs. 63 Ellis St., (415) 986-3274, www.johnsgrill.com.
5. The Bishop's Lodge, Santa Fe, N.M.
In Willa Cather's "Death Comes for the Archbishop," the first Archbishop of Santa Fe, Jean Marie Latour, arrived in his new diocese in 1852. He made many improvements throughout his territory, including a small ranch in Little Tesuque Canyon. The story is based on the real life of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy. A lot of changes have been made during the last century, and today the Bishop's Lodge is an elegant resort. The little chapel has been saved, as has the stunning beauty of the landscape that Cather loved. Rooms from $149. Bishop's Lodge Road, (800) 419-0492, www.bishopslodge.com.
This article appeared on page M - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/10/TRVS1GLOV4.DTL#ixzz17kOmn92q
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