San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Herb Caen Way
Herb Caen published his first column in the San Francisco Chronicle July 5, 1938; he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996. His last weekday column appeared January 10, 1997. When he moved to the San Francisco Examiner in 1950, 30,000 subscribers went with him. He returned in 1958, and 35,000 subscribers came back.
Herb Caen, drawn by Dugald Stermer
Past Midnight, as the Last Streetcar Stops at the Ferry Building, October, 1941
Herb Caen: Famed are the nights of San Francisco for the stuff of which storybooks are made... San Francisco, the city born with the soul of harridan, is more herself at night when street lights flicker up on her hills and in her valleys. The night becomes her. Suddenly there are implications of melodrama in the blackness of the Bay, splotched, here and there with amber reflections from the bridges... You can hear the water sighing over the rotten timbers of the piers... Cable car slots sing more loudly along the quiet streets, and the fog drifts in and out of alleys, turning them into stage sets for a play that needs no actors.
Hyde Street Cable Car Heads Over the Lip of the Hill, Alcatraz Off-Shore, May 17, 1988
Herb Caen: The Truth is that like many a country bay before me, I respond to the city. I’m at home where the tall buildings grow, where the hustlers hustle and the buses bustle, and the best way to climb a mountain is on cable car, clinging to the outside step and watching all those natural beauties teeter past on high heels. Give me a place where you can pick up the phone, and call room service and have anything in the world delivered on a silver tray in 15 minutes. July 1, 1960
Filbert Street Steps on Telegraph Hill Herb Caen: It was a long, slow June dusk, daylight – saved beyond its normal span for an enchanting hour or two. I was standing on a deck on Telegraph Hill, looking out at a view as though I’d never seen it before... 60,000 people says the census, had elected to live elsewhere... Soft glow through glass doors, murmur of voices through open windows, flicker of cigarettes, tinkle of ice cubes – and a thousand and one eyes trapped by the endless magnetism of the view; the amber bridge, the disembodied lights of moving ships... $500 a month apartments next to $50 shacks, and all of them looking at the wonder of it... the 60,000 who gave up the title San Franciscan,
Supervisor Harvey Milk in Gay Freedom Parade, June 26, 1978
Five Months Later
Herb Caen: Horror upon horror, shock upon shock. The Mayor, a good man is dead. The Supervisor, a good man is dead... George Moscone and Harvey Milk had much in common. They were joyous men, celebrants of life, believers in people. They were eminently sane and reasonable. It they has any faults, they were those of generosity and a willingness to think the best. They loved their friends and they loved San Francisco... In the best sense of the word. George Moscone was a sweet man. Harvey Milk was a sweet man. November 28, 1978
Standees Enjoy Supper and Keep their Place in Line in the Opera House Lobby, Opening Night, September 5, 1986.
Herb Caen: The opera opening is not only the city’s leading tradition, topping cirrhosis of the liver... Grand opera is a splendid anachronism, going back to Enrico Caruso being thrown out of bed during the ’06 earthquake and saying, “I’ll never set foot in that city again!”...I enjoy the intermission when the standees sit and the sittees stand and head for the mezzanine bar. Why is the bar so tiny in relation to the grand theater?
Right side of the pylon
Herb Caen wrote on June 15, 1958:
Herb Caen wrote on February 17, 1970:
Herb Caen wrote on August 19, 1970:
Herb Caen wrote on May 21, 1972:
Left side of the pylon
Herb Caen wrote on July 23, 1978:
Herb Caen wrote on June 15, 1958:
Herb Caen wrote on June 14, 1996:
Herb Caen Way became the official name of the walkway by the waterfront where this pylon appears.
Embedded around the base
Erected by San Francisco Art Commission for the Waterfront Transportation Projects.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil Rights • Communications • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #28 Woodrow Wilson series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 5, 1835.
Location. 37° 47.828′ N, 122° 23.724′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on The Embarcadero near Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Piers 1½, 3 & 5 (a few steps from this marker); The River Lines (within shouting distance of this marker); The Embarcadero Freeway (within shouting distance of this marker); Pier 1, Working Waterfront: Design and Construction (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Captain Leidesdorff (about 400 feet away); Pier 1, Working Waterfront: Ferry Service (about 400 feet away); Ferry BoatsPier 1, Working Waterfront: The 1934 Strike (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. This marker is located in front of Pier 1 1/2.
Also see . . . Herb Caen, 80, San Francisco Voice, Dies - New York Times. To call Mr. Caen ''Mr. San Francisco,'' as was sometimes done, was redundant. No other newspaper columnist has ever been so long synonymous with a specific place. To his fans, Mr. Caen (pronounced cane) was sui generis, a towering icon in his adopted hometown... (Submitted on May 7, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Additional keywords. LGBT, LGBTQ
Credits. This page was last revised on July 2, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 7, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 525 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on May 7, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.