Stairway Walks in San Francisco

“San Francisco is a ‘walking city,’” writes intrepid senior San Franciscan Adah Bakalinsky in her introduction to the new 20th-anniversary edition of her popular walking guide. Bakalinsky’s well-researched book (she’s done all the necessary legwork!) shows the reader how to traverse the City by the Bay’s 42 hills in 24 precisely mapped-out and enticingly described walks. Bakalinsky’s social work, music and film background—as well as her knowledge of art and architecture, botany, literature and history—all come into play throughout as we see the hills and stairs of S.F. through her observant eyes. Bakalinsky fills us in on the importance of such prominent figures in the city’s development as former Mayor Adolph Sutro (“one of my San Francisco heroes”), architect Julia Morgan and gay Supervisor Harvey Milk. She knows the difference between a Stick-style Italianate and a Craftsman home, and she’ll likely have you appreciating the beauty of and difference between echium, pelargonium and agapanthus (all plants, by the way). See for info on free weekend guided walks.