When San Francisco Tried to Be the World’s ‘Queer Sanctuary’ for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

In the 2010s, the Bay Area Worked to Resettle LGBTQ People Fleeing Persecution—but Then Policies Changed

Early one morning in 2012, Subhi Nahas woke up in a hospital bed near Idlib, Syria. The bright, boyishly handsome 22-year-old couldn’t remember how he’d gotten there. The day before, his father had slammed Nahas’s head into the kitchen counter so hard that he had to be carried to the emergency room.

Around this time, a militia group called the Nusra Front, with ties to al-Qaida, had formed near Nahas’s town. He had heard rumors that they’d kidnapped and killed several gay men.

Nahas, who had near perfect grades in his third …

In The Kitchen | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In The Kitchen

So we’re remembering the years
in San Francisco, the apartment
on Gough followed by stays
at two nearby boardinghouses—
breakfast and supper and a double room
at the end of …

When ‘Codfish Fever’ Swept San Francisco  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When ‘Codfish Fever’ Swept San Francisco 

Hungry Gold Miners Craved the Salted Fish, and so a Ragtag Fleet Set Off for Alaska

An affliction jocularly known as “codfish fever” swept San Francisco in the late 1800s. Caught up in the craze, a number of enterprising young men set to sea in whatever …

San Francisco Has Never Been More Pathetic—or More Powerful | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

San Francisco Has Never Been More Pathetic—or More Powerful

Vilified by Both Conservatives and Progressives, This Poor Little Rich City’s Problems Are Now National News

Dear San Francisco,

My heart breaks for you.

My eyes cry tsunamis when I think of you.

But I must stop weeping now, so I can summon the strength to offer …

When San Francisco Kicked Hollywood to the Curb

Angered by Negative Depictions of Their City, in the Early 1970s Civic Leaders Regulated Filmmakers Out of Town

Canada’s motion picture industry earned the nickname “Hollywood North” because the country so often serves as a center of location production for American films. But in the early 1970s, this …

California Needs Frank Capra to Rewrite Its Story

The Legendary Film Director Knew That the Golden State Isn’t About Rich Moguls, but About the Struggles and Triumphs of Ordinary People

The California story needs a remake.

Get me Capra!

Frank—legendary director of films including It Happened One Night to It’s a Wonderful Life—has been dead since 1991, you say? No matter! Just …