Friday, January 18, 2013

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Frances McDormand & Cynthia Nixon read Tales Of The City!

From Beatstreet Productions

Over the past month, we’ve recorded several titles from Armistead Maupin’s classic series Tales Of The City.  Oscar-winner Frances McDormand read the first and third books in the series, Tales Of The City and Further Tales Of The City, and Sex And The City star Cynthia Nixon recorded the second, More Tales Of The City.  Scott Sherratt directed the books for Harper Audio while Jared O’Connell & Jeff Malinowski engineered.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Tours of the Tales" Walking Tour

Larry Rhodes, of the Tours of the Tales website, is conducting a walking tour Monday January 21, 2013.  I highly recommend anyone interested in visiting the locales mentioned in the "Tales of the City" series to RSVP right away.

The tour begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Aquatic Park and will end approximately 4:30 p.m.  Locations include:  Russian Hill (the fictional location of 28 Barbary Lane and other landmarks), North Beach, Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill and Union Square.  There will be a lunch break in North Beach.

For more information, or to RSVP for the tour, visit Larry's page at 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Aimee Mann - Charmer

I'm a little late posting this, but here's the Amiee Mann video for "Charmer" featuring Laura Linney (aka Mary Ann Singleton)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Tales of the City

Published in OUT Magazine

A reflection on playing one of the first transgender characters on television, Anna Madrigal.

I got the call that they wanted me to do it. I was almost in shock because I knew there were many actresses in America who wanted to play that part. I acknowledged that I knew nothing about it, so I started to read. There were a couple of biographies and autobiographies around -- not much at that time. I felt somewhat prepared, and then as the [filming] got closer, I thought, I don’t really know anything. I have got to talk to someone who has gone through this. I have to really find out what this is all about. [The producers] arranged a meeting between me and this [transgender] woman who was now a sex/gender therapist.

So I bought a couple of croissants and invited her over for breakfast. And in through the door walked a woman who was 6-foot-2 with enormous hands and the softest voice. We sat down and were chitchatting, and then I finally said to her, “Look, I have read something about what you’ve been through, and I have to ask you, what was it that you wanted or needed so deeply, so profoundly, that made it possible for you to first of all have the courage to do it and secondly to endure it?” And this is what she said to me: “All my life I yearned for the friendship of women.”

I cannot tell you… I instantly started to cry. I know what it is to want the friendship of women. I know how difficult sometimes that is to make happen, especially when you are competing heterosexually with women for men. There are all sorts of things that it brought out for me, and I understood something about Anna Madrigal and her relationship to other women that are around her.

For example, we were shooting a scene -- the first time I invite Maryann (played by Laura Linney) into my bedroom to talk. I say “Come on, let’s go over here. We can talk.” They wanted us to go over to the bureau and talk at the bureau. And I walked into the room and the bed had been dismantled and put to the side, and I said, “If we were gonna talk, we would sit on the bed and talk. We wouldn’t go over to the mirror and talk.” The guy stopped for a moment and then he made them assemble the bed. We did the scene on the bed, and I understood that scene was my wanting her friendship, that this is the thing Anna had not had and was looking for, always.

As told to Jason Lamphier

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Armistead Maupin Store

From Armistead Maupin's Facebook Page 

These days publishers aren't exactly chomping at the bit to send authors on book tours, so my hubby Chris has found a clever way around that. He's set up an online store where you can buy any of my books and have them signed and personalized by me. (I love e-books too, but you can't get them autographed, can you?) We're also offering an elegant little blank journal where you can begin your own novel on actual paper. There are rumors that T-shirts and hats are on the way, so please don't give me any shit. Times is hard, children.

Click here to start shopping

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Special only-in-S.F. homes on the market

Carolyn Said
Updated 03:54 p.m., Sunday, July 22, 2012

The woodsy retreat of a writer who captured San Francisco in all its wacky splendor. A landmark Painted Lady on Postcard Row. A socialite's "mini Versailles" on Billionaire's Row. A Gold Coast mansion with echoes of "Downton Abbey."

A city as storied as San Francisco is filled with houses that are renowned in their own right. Every so often, some of them go on the market, offering tantalizing glimpses inside and chances to fantasize about inhabiting a legend.

Some current and recent listings illustrate the breadth of residences with historic, cultural and architectural significance. Some buyers are famous themselves, presaging new chapters in the homes' sagas: social media moguls, a trailblazing chef.

Many mega-mansions in the city sit on the market "for ages," said Sally Kuchar, editor of real estate website Curbed SF. "But now there is a flush of tech cash, just like the first boom, and people are buying these big abodes because they can."

Maupin lived here
-- 27 Belmont Ave., home of author Armistead Maupin (

Maupin, the literary icon whose "Tales of the City" series held a mirror to San Francisco from the 1970s to the present, is moving to Santa Fe with his husband, Christopher Turner. Their Parnassus Heights three-bedroom Craftsman just hit the market for $1.198 million, with open houses this weekend.

"I loved being able to write on that top floor and walk out on the deck and just stare into Sutro Forest," said Maupin, who penned three novels during his two-decade residence there, including the semiautobiographical "The Night Listener," which describes the house as "three narrow stories notched into the wooded slope."

"The house has grown and changed organically over the years," Maupin said. "It feels like my handwriting all over the place. Whenever I got a check, if it was a good check, I could buy myself a door. (If smaller) I would buy, say, a doorknob - not just any old one, but a hammered copper doorknob from an artisan.

"Many of my friends have visited me there over the years and their memory is stamped on it for me," he said. "People connected with the first 'Tales of the City' miniseries: Laura (Linney) and Olympia (Dukakis). Ian McKellen once stayed and left a note: 'Gandalf slept here with Magneto.'

"I hope it goes to someone who loves it well and long as I have done."