Best of the Bay 2012: BEST ESOTERIC GUIDEBOOK

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City Notes: San Francisco will never counsel you to try the chowder bowl at Fisherman's Wharf. Nor will it prove useful in finding the best way to walk between Chinatown and the Ferry Building. It won't give you directions at all, for that matter. The artful wood-bound guidebook, put together by a team of Wesleyan alumni headed by Jesse Coburn, is comprised of quiet shots and histories behind 25 little-known sites in San Francisco, such as the Columbarium, Molinari-Mana Park, Mount Davidson, and the Swedenborgian Church. City Notes doesn't spill the address beans, making it the perfect treasure hunt for the urban explorer-wanderer. The book's covers are hand-bound to the velvety sheets within; its producers had so much fun making the finely crafted object, in fact, that they plan on putting together similar guides for other cities around the world.

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