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Full Circle

Day 234: San Francisco

Castro, San Francisco, California, USA 
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On the streets of Castro.
Michael Palin - Full CircleSan Francisco does not wear novelty quite as flashily as Los Angeles, but few cities have pioneered as many social experiments. The tradition of the Beat Poets, Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love led to a wide tolerance of homosexuality which has in turn led to the establishment of the world's largest, most prosperous and most stable gay community in the Castro area of the city. I learn more about it in the company of a handsome woman with sparkling, steely blue eyes, born Evelyn Fundred in Mississippi some fifty years ago. Since her lesbian conversion she's swapped Evelyn for Trevor and Fundred for Hailey.

'This is the gayest four corners on earth,' Trevor enthuses, as we stand on the corner of 18th and Castro. Looking around it all seems about as gay as Guildford on a Sunday afternoon. The streets are full of smart, well-kept shops, there is a fine twenties art-deco cinema and pretty little bourgeois houses stretch neatly up the hill. Families with small children mingle on the sidewalks. There is nothing remotely sleazy about the Castro. The 260,000-strong gay and lesbian community has smartened it up no end and the rainbow flag now flies over one of the safest, most sought-after areas in the city.
Castro, San Francisco, California, USA 
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Dennis Tomason, Castro's neighbourhood cop, and body-builder.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 234
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: San Francisco - California
  • Book page no: 306

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