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for your tickets to the launch party. Your reservation is the only way you will be able to have preferred seating for this bash on May 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Odd Fellow's Hall in Davis, located at 415 2nd Street, Davis, CA. 95616, as well as scrumptious appetizers, wonderful wine from C.G. Di Arie and an evening with John Lescroart himself. Don't delay. Do it today!
Before we get to the second installment of my interview with Mr. Lescroart, I want to make sure you know about the latest prize for literature. This year, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction goes to Adam Johnson for The Orphan Master's Son. It is an extremely timely novel of North Korea that "carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart," according to the Pulitzer judges. The author is a professor of creative writing at Stanford. Especially wonderful for him, since the judges did not give an award at all last year, stating that there wasn't a book worthy of the award. Not sure I agree, but nonetheless, it is a great honor for Mr. Johnson.
And now, to the second question I asked John Lescroart....I hope you enjoy his response.
V.L.: John, you write about San Francisco in all your books. If you could design the perfect day in S.F., what would you do and would you bring any of your characters along?
J.L.: It's interesting that in the many interviews I have given about my writing, no one ever asked this question before. And it's a great one. My perfect day in San Francisco?
Well, first thing, it would have to be in the Fall. I've had enough bone-chilling spring and summer days in the City that I never want to spend another one. Now, that said, and before I get to this particular day that you're asking me about, let me tell you a true story about just such a real day that I spent in San Francisco about thirty years ago with my former college roommate and (still) great friend Frank Seidl.
The occasion was a vacation Frank, up from Los Angeles, was taking in the City. I was unencumbered by relationships or by work, and we decided to take the whole day to just hang out. We met at about 9:00 a.m. in North Beach, at the current location of Firenze By Night, on Stockton near Columbus. Back then, this place housed a terrific Italian deli called Frank's Extra Espresso Bar (no relation to Frank, my companion). We sat outside in a recessed area, just off the sidewalk. We had perfect weather, and started with a couple of espressos and some sweet rolls. After a half hour catching up on our lives, we decided "what the heck," and each of us ordered a Peroni beer. By 11:00, we'd each had two beers, and it was getting near lunchtime. So we walked up a few blocks to the Washington Square Bar & Grill, where we had sand dabs and pasta and a bottle or two of good wine. Solving all the problems of the world over a six-pack of Coors Talls, we passed the warm and gorgeous afternoon in Golden Gate Park. Next, after a little doze on the warm grass, we moved on out to The Avenues for dinner at Yet Wah, a favorite Chinese spot. I believe we rounded out the evening (events at this remove are still a bit vague) with a cocktail or two over some darts at the Little Shamrock, and finally, though I can hardly believe it, I have some small memory of getting back to my apartment and making sardine sandwiches with, of course, another really unnecessary beer or two. Yikes.
So . . . this is precisely what I would not do this time around. Although I would probably start again in North Beach, my wife Lisa and I walking there from wherever we were staying (let's say at the St. Francis on Union Square). After an espresso and croissant, just taking in the sights and scents and feel, we'd walk back on Columbus through downtown and then, since we're in the Fall, the Giants would be in the playoffs, and I would have good tickets at AT&T Park. We'd meet some pals, including Dismas and Frannie Hardy, at MoMo's for a quick beer before the game. After the win, we'd walk up to Chaya Brasserie for a bite, then cab it over to the Great American Music Hall where Boz Scaggs would be performing. The show would get out at around 10:30. We'd be back at the hotel by 11:00, an early night so that we'd be ready tomorrow morning for our ferry ride to Alcatraz for the tour, then lunch in Sausalito, then back to the City for the current exhibit at the De Young and a swing through the Aquarium before hitting the Little Shamrock for a cocktail, and then dinner at . . . well, it never really has to end. The City lives and breathes forever.
Thank you, John Lescroart, and thanks to CapRadio Readers for reading.