Infinite City

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/29/2010
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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What makes a place? Infinite City, Rebecca Solnit's brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, searches out the answer by examining the many layers of meaning in one place, the San Francisco Bay Area. Aided by artists, writers, cartographers, and twenty-two gorgeous color maps, each of which illuminates the city and its surroundings as experienced by different inhabitants, Solnit takes us on a tour that will forever change the way we think about place.

She explores the area thematically connecting, for example, Eadweard Muybridge's foundation of motion picture technology with Alfred Hitchcock's filming of Vertigo. Across an urban grid of just seven by seven miles, she finds seemingly unlimited landmarks and treasures butterfly habitats, queer sites, murders, World War II shipyards, blues clubs, Zen Buddhist centers. She roams the political terrain, both progressive and conservative, and details the cultural geographies of the Mission District, the culture wars of the Fillmore, the South of Market world being devoured by redevelopment, and much, much more. Breathtakingly original, this atlas of the imagination invites us to search out the layers of San Francisco that carry meaning for us or to discover our own infinite city, be it Cleveland, Toulouse, or Shanghai.


Cartographers: Ben Pease and Shizue Seigel

-Designer: Lia Tjandra

-Artists: Sandow Birk, Mona Caron, Jaime Cortez, Hugh D'Andrade, Robert Dawson, Paz de la Calzada, Jim Herrington, Ira Nowinski, Alison Pebworth, Michael Rauner, Gent Sturgeon, Sunaura Taylor

-Writers and researchers: Summer Brenner, Adriana Camarena, Chris Carlsson, Lisa Conrad, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, Paul La Farge, Genine Lentine, Stella Lochman, Aaron Shurin, Heather Smith, Richard Walker

-Additional cartography: Darin Jensen; Robin Grossinger and Ruth Askevold, San Francisco Estuary Institute

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Customer Reviews

Infinite Pleasure! June 22, 2011
A San Francisco Atlas is a beautiful and unique series of maps that group the city by interests, or historical happenings. Solnit takes us on a tour that will forever change the way we think about place. You won't be disapointed. It's an entertaining, thoughtful, delightful and informative read as well as terrific reference. Well worth it.
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Infinite City: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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