In CITY OF GHOSTS, Miranda Corbie wanders farther afield than we’ve seen in previous books. She revisits her old haunts—including a memorable opening encounter at a Chinatown pawn shop—and treks to the Veterans Building in Civic Center to attend the opening night of an art exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art.
While Yick Lung is now longer a part of Chinatown’s labyrinth of alleyways, it doesn’t take too much imagination to envision it, and the Veterans Building still stands, Beaux Arts testament to the men who fought the Great War. Of course, the San Francisco Museum of Art is now the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, housed in an architecturally significant building south of Market Street.
Miranda returns to the Club Moderne … and crashes a Nazi costume ball held at the German Consulate. The building that displayed the swastika for a number of years is still extent and visible on a walk down Market Street.
Finnocchio’s was the most famous drag club in America for most of the 20th century and Miranda pays it a memorable visit. Alas, the club is gone, victim of high rents, YouTube and the 21st century. You can still see the building, however, on a walk through North Beach. Be sure to stop in for a pizza at Lupo’s (now Tommaso’s), the oldest pizzeria in San Francisco.
Miranda takes an Interurban Railway car to a much-changed University of California … the East Bay was a working class environment then, especially along the waterfront. Berkeley was still a preeminent research university, but far, far away from the Summer of Love.
The now defunct Bay Bridge takes her to Treasure Island and, later, back to the Ferry Building for a train ticket. The Southern Pacific streamliner “City of San Francisco” was the fastest and most luxurious railroad on the tracks … and Miranda must follow her quarry wherever the trail leads, including Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World … and one of the most dangerous.
Follow Miranda on a dangerous and thrilling journey … but watch out for the ghosts.