Can the American Republic Survive the Stubbornness of San Francisco?

The City by the Bay Keeps Producing Leaders Who Won't Quit—Even When They Should

San Francisco stubbornness is holding the republic hostage.

The hostage takers are two of California’s oldest and most powerful mules. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer are past retirement age, but refuse to quit their jobs now, when they could be replaced by allies who share their California values. Their stubborn insistence on staying in power could end up elevating right-wing political forces hostile to California, and to democracy itself.

The 88-year-old Feinstein, by not quitting while Gov. Gavin Newsom remains in office, could end up being …

Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’

For Nearly 30 Years, I’ve Come to the City’s Highest Natural Point to Orient Myself

At 938 feet above sea level, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco. And for nearly 30 years, since I was a child, it has been my …

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 …