San Francisco Appetites and Afterthoughts:
In Search of the Good Life By The Golden Gate
by ERNEST BEYL
Available Now! | Non-fiction / $17.95 | ISBN: 978-0983926498
San Francisco Appetites and Afterthoughts is Ernie Beyl’s second book published by Grizzly Peak Press. His first, Sketches from a North Beach Journal, traced the city’s history with profiles of larger-than-life characters who have added so much panache and excitement to the old neighborhood. San Francisco Appetites and Afterthoughts is an opinionated book by an opinionated guy. It hits the reader right between the ears. Open this book to any page and it hooks you: Levi Strauss and the copper rivets on his jeans and why they were removed from the crotch, Agnes von Kurowsky’s Dear John letter to Ernest Hemingway relates to Ernie’s Dear John letter after taking his girlfriend to the top of the Mark before he shipped out with the Marine Corps, The Haphazard Gourmet who gives Ernie his recipe for cassoulet because he knows a seduction depends on it. The book feature’s Ernie’s passions—his appetites for fascinating characters he’s known over the years in San Francisco—from poets to bartenders, from saloons to jazz. It’s the author’s life in the provocative city by the Golden Gate.
Praise for San Francisco Appetites and Afterthoughts:
"Ernie penned San Francisco Appetites and Afterthoughts as a manifestation of his love and passion for our city. He writes that the City is a ‘kaleidoscope of fragments gathered over many years searching for the good life by the Golden Gate—and finding it.’ His enthusiasm and optimism about San Francisco shine brightly through the pages of this book. It is a great tribute to our City by the Bay."
-Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
"There’s no question that Ernie Beyl loves San Francisco and has a passion for it. He knows his city’s glorious past and its fascinating, sometimes complicated, present. His knowledge of this San Francisco microcosm—its larger-than-life characters, offbeat places, hedonistic pleasures—its music, musicians, cafés, saloons, and, of course, its bartenders—is spot on. Had Ernie asked me, I would have suggested inserting a small square box next to each chapter of this book so both visitors and natives could make a check after reading—and then experiencing—one of Ernie’s passions. This is a delightful read, by a delightful guy."
-Michael Fraser, Bartender, Original Joe’s North Beach, San Francisco
"Ernest Beyl’s San Francisco Appetites and Afterthoughts is a pleasant meander not just through his beloved city, but through a life rich with fascinating characters, incidents and passions, from coppa to Panama hats to jazz to the vanished landmarks of North Beach. Like a good cioppino, it has a little bit of everything."
-Gary Kamiya, author of Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco
About the Author:
Ernest Beyl is a San Francisco writer who has long been fascinated by the history of his city and the characters, then and now, who have made it buzz with excitement. He writes not only about San Francisco history, but also about food, restaurants, jazz, fly fishing and whatever else strikes his fancy. His monthly column for San Francisco’s Marina Times gave him the idea for this book of Sketches from a North Beach Journal.
As a kid he was fascinated by the writer Richard Halliburton, a romantic loner who spent his life on what he called The Royal Road to Romance—title of his first book. Wishing to travel that royal road himself Beyl joined the marines at eighteen which seemed the most practical way to see the world. Following peacetime service in Asia and the Pacific he attended Stanford University and that set him up for a career in journalism. He became a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Mateo Times and later a free-lancer for magazines and newspapers. He did a stint as a Hollywood press agent which led him to Sun Valley, the Idaho ski resort, where he served as publicity manager and where he met an early idol, Ernest Hemingway.
These days he spends his time on his newspaper column, reinventing himself as a playwright (a new discipline for him), and playing the Chinese gong for the Green Street Mortuary Marching Band (an activity he got into while researching a magazine story). He’s married, has two sons and a daughter and lives on San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill.
Photo: Fred Lyon