San Francisco localities mentioned in the book:

Market Street: The major arterial Street in San Francisco starting from the Embarcadero, through the Financial District, the Union Square shopping District, the Tenderloin, ending at the Castro District. BART (a regional transit subway/surface system) and MUNI light rail trains run under Market Street.

Embarcadero: Originally, the waterfront road along where passenger and cargo freight docks and warehouses were located. During World War II, San Francisco was the busiest port in the world. Today, maritime usage is largely ancient history. Today, the Embarcadero is largely a recreational promenade.

Union Square: Shopping area with anchor stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Nordstroms. Somewhat near to the Moscone Convention Center and many major hotels.

The Tenderloin: Currently a depressed downtown area with a wide range of people, many of whom have alcohol, drug, anger management, and mental problems. With a current economic boom in the City, the area is locationally prime for redevelopment.

The Castro: A residential area on “Upper Market (Street)” and Castro Street. The Castro is one of the most famous gay communities in the World. The gays started moving into the formerly German, Scandinavian, Irish family neighborhood in the 1970’s. Harvey Milk, one of the first “out” gay politicians and icons was elected from the Castro. The neighborhood has long been considered a bastion of freedom of thought and freedom of expression. In 2009, a pedestrian-oriented plaza was created with tables and chairs at the corner of 17th/Castro/Market. Since there had been a long history of public nudity in the Castro, the JW/Castro Plaza (aka Jane Warner Plaza and nicknamed “The Buff Stop”) instantly became a popular Urban Nudist meeting and lounging area.

Bay to Breakers: Annual foot-race/street party from the Embarcadero, through the city, to the Pacific Ocean — a distance of 7 miles. The event takes place in May and involves 50,000 to 80,000 participants. Nudity and costumes have been integral parts of the event for decades.

Fisherman’s Wharf: A major tourist destination in San Francisco along the northern waterfront. Noted for Fish Restaurants, souvenir stores, and weekend and seasonal tourist crowds. Aquatic Park is near Fisherman’s Wharf.

Folsom Street: Four blocks South of Market (SOMA). Noted for many gay and leather bars and venues since the 1960’s. Home of the Folsom Street Fair in September.

Haight/Ashbury: Intersection and area of San Francisco near Golden Gate Park. Noted for being a major center for the “hippy” movement in the 1960‘s.

Golden Gate Park: One of the largest urban parks in the world. Home to the DeYoung Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, Academy of Sciences, Conservatory, world class arboretum, Stowe Lake, miles of hiking/biking trails, picnic grounds, and other recreational outlets and facilities.  Many consider Golden Gate Park to be the crown jewel of San Francisco.

Berkeley: City across San Francisco Bay. Home of University of California (UC) Berkeley, one of the most prestigious universities in America. Noted for the 1960’s “Free Speech Movement” and anti-Vietnam war movement. During the 1990’s, there was an Urban Nudist movement with noted participation by Andrew Martinez (”the naked guy”) and the X-Plicit Players (theatrical group). Berkeley’s as a center for Urban Nudism was dampened by a nudity ordinance in the late 1990’s.

Leather/BDSM/Kink/fetishism: Wide-ranging forms of adult play. (BDSM — Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism)  This play can be sexual or non-sexual. The play can include bondage (ropes, handcuffs, and other restraints), whipping & flogging, wax play, golden showers (urinating), strap-on play, dominant and submissive sexual role play (verbal and non-verbal), medical play, suspension, erotic electro-stimulation, spanking, pet role play, and many other “scenes”. Some “kink” people consider exhibitionism (including nudism) and voyeurism as “scenes”. There are “safe words” and other procedures to stop scenes where one of the participants feel it has gone too far. The best guesstimate is that 10% of the people in the San Francisco Bay Area participate in some form of “kink” play. Among subgroups like avant-garde artists, gays, and hedonists the participation percentage is substantially higher. 400,000 people attend the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair in September, the largest “leather” fair in the world.


About urbannudism

I teach a course on the "History of Free Body Culture Movements in Europe and America". I practice "urban nudism" in San Francisco on nice days. With a core group of a dozen nudists activists helped create the first non-beach clothing optional community urban park in America.
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