San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood reminded me of Vertigo, the Embarcadero put me in mind of The Lineup, and Nob Hill was saturated with Hammett.
And then there was Inner Richmond (left/above), home of the excellent Green Apple Books. The neighborhood reminded me of no particular book or movie. But, like other areas of the city, it had the general feeling of an older time. If Nob Hill looks like the 1920s, Richmond looks like a small city in the 1940s or '50s. In both cases, the noir and hard-boiled ambience is rich.
Paradoxically, the city's modernity is partly responsible. The streets are honeycombed with overhead cables that power San Francisco's environmentally friendly electric buses. This evokes the days before power and other cables went underground.
The palm-lined block at left is somewhere on the way from Noe Valley to the Mission District, and if you saw a street that pretty in a movie or read about it in a crime novel, you'd know something dreadful was about to be revealed.
Finally, a mural from the Mission District (above right), just because it's cool, and a political candidate whose name is bound to keep the voters mellow.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010