About

En Ville books explore culturally vibrant zip code regions throughout the world including Tijuana, Tokyo, La Jolla, and San Francisco. Each book centralizes around the number "37," by which we mean there are 37 stories, with each chapter correlating to a specific number of the 37. For instance, a story on 15 dogs would be the 15th chapter. The stories focus on a mixture of culture, history, and people, and has a voice of artistic prose.

My Role

I was assigned to cover the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco (94133) as the sole writer and photographer. This section of the city includes the Italian district and spans over the hill into Fisherman's Wharf. As the only contributor to both the writing and photography of the book, it has been an ongoing project since May 2013. However, after such hard work, it is now complete! Below, I have included story samples with their respective pictures. 

2nd Century Relic

2nd Century Relic

The inside of Aria Antiques is a strange wonderland. Here, wide-eyed shop-goers curiously pick through unusual oddities and memorabilia, their hands brushing over bizarre, peculiar, and sometimes unnerving items: mysterious black and white pictures, fraying handwritten documents, dilapidated maps to the unknown, dolls with missing legs and one eye, posters of insect anatomy, and rusting skeleton keys. The collector of these artifacts, Bill Haskell, sits back in his chair, his blue eyes...

24 Windows

24 Windows

Weaving through Saturday morning’s first wave of tourists, a young boy sprints up the concrete steps of Coit Tower. He quickly dodges legs and purses to get a first look through one of the tower’s 24 windows, which exhibit a 360-degree view of San Francisco. Behind the boy, his grandmother calmly follows, latching her eyes onto his red shirt. Like so many others around him, the boy is eager to experience San Francisco in its entirety from atop the tower. The only part of the city he won’t...

7 Minutes With Heaven

7 Minutes With Heaven

"When people ask me how long I’ve lived in North Beach, I always say: 'Which North Beach?'” In just 7 minutes, writer Edwin Heaven dives into the seventies. He recounts limitless tales of North Beach’s once wild freedom – “the next big thing” was just around the corner, bands played original tracks and lovers met organically at underground rock shows. It was a community exploding with talent and promise, a tight-knit faction of lost freethinkers, celebrating each other’s creativity and...

Lucky Number 16

Lucky Number 16

A waiter removes the virtually empty plate of Gong Bao Chicken from the table, leaving a check and two fortune cookies in its place. The dinner guests hand each other cookies before even acknowledging the bill. They eagerly wait for each other to be ready so they can reveal their elusive future. To them, a fortune cookie is just an amusing play with fate. But food messages used centuries ago could have jumpstarted the foundation for this Americanized dessert. One legend of the fortune...

Landmark #33

Landmark #33

Cars zip about Columbus Avenue – On the sidewalk, young and old individuals putter along without so much as a glance at North Beach’s most visually distinctive building. Too focused on today’s meeting or today’s errands, they walk with blinders. Without noticing, they pass by San Francisco’s designated landmark #33, a copper-green building colored with over a hundred years of deep history. To the everyday resident who sees the Sentinel Building on a daily basis, the oxidized Victorian...

35 Fathoms

35 Fathoms

A sizzling cloud of hot steam emerges from the cauldron as Wilbur checks the progress of his crabs. He picks one out to inspect its color, waiting for the ripest shade of orange around the shell. This is a trait unique to the famed San Franciscan Dungeness Crab. Determining the crustacean undercooked, he tosses it back in the pot. Clogging the air with a thick aroma of broiling seafood, the fish stands of Fisherman’s Wharf are an inescapable attraction that hooks both locals and tourists...

26 Parrots

26 Parrots

With a slow sigh, Mark Bittner relaxes into the bench of Caffe Trieste, a famous North Beach coffee house. In the fifties, he explains, this place was the living room for many poets, musicians, and artists. “The neighborhood at that time was filled with people like me,” Mark says. “They didn’t know where else to go.” Back then, the dingy town was a welcoming haven for the homeless, the wandering who had lost their way—and some of those wanderers were animals. The famous South American...

5 Instruments

5 Instruments

At Caffe Trieste, the West Coast’s first espresso house since 1956, the weekend brings in a hodgepodge of timeless customers: senior Beatniks, old-timers, international visitors... Diversity is felt everywhere, with tense friction between locals and tourists. At the counter, an old woman with stringy white hair takes her daily cappuccino and waves to a seated man wearing a fedora and spectacles. He parts his eyes from the Chronicle to return the greeting, then glances over at the young...

13 Addresses

13 Addresses

Napier Lane is recognized as an official street of San Francisco. It also happens to consist just 13 addresses, be constructed of boardwalk-style planks, and is accessible only by foot. But its street sign, lost amidst this oddly placed, lush greenery, is hardly noticed by the fast-moving visitors on the staircase below. The creaky, wood staircase is a small subsection of Filbert Street that cascades down the bay-facing hillside to the Embarcadero. The “street” bridges the divide between...

8 Ball

8 Ball

It’s 6:50 pm at Northstar Café and two bar patrons are engaged in a nail-biting game of pool. After a long debate over who would do the dishes that night, the two roommates agreed to settle the impassioned dispute over green felt. Despite his habitual ineptitude at the game, the losing roommate initiated the bet with inflated competitive hopes. Unfortunately for him, a profusion of striped pool balls remain on the table as his companion takes aim for the win. But he is similar to many of...

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24 Windows

Weaving through Saturday morning’s first wave of tourists, a young boy sprints up the concrete steps of Coit Tower. He quickly dodges legs and purses to get a first look through one of the tower’s 24 windows, which exhibit a 360-degree view of San Francisco. Behind the boy, his grandmother calmly follows, latching her eyes onto his red shirt. Like so many others around him, the boy is eager to experience San Francisco in its entirety from atop the tower. The only part of the city he won’t...