Trade shows got you down. Looking for something various before you take a San Francisco Airport Limo back to the airport. Why not have your Quicksilver TownCar driver drop you off at John’s Grill for a martini and take a look at Sam Spade’s San Francisco.
Author Dashiell Hammett developed detective Sam Spade. Hammett was the creator of the “hard-boiled” school of investigator fiction throughout the ’20s and ’30s, with criminal offense stories featuring the Continental Op and investigator Sam Spade. Spade’s criminal offense exploits covered all San Francisco looking for ideas. Today travelers are lucky since Hammett tape-recorded the routes with unexpected precision.
San Francisco itself became a primary character in the Continental Op stories as well as a motivation for Hammett’s best fiction, The Maltese Falcon. The 1941 noir movie based on the unique, stared Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, with classic performances by Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. The film was the directorial debut of John Huston.
Though John’s Grill, 63 Ellis Street, does not appear in the 1941 film version of The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett composed in the 1930 novel,” [Sam Spade] went to John’s Grill, asked the waiter to rush his order of chops, baked potato, and sliced tomatoes, ate fast, and was smoking a cigarette with his coffee when a thick-set youngish man with a plaid cap set aside above pale eyes and a tough cheerful face entered into the Grill and to his table.”
The restaurant is still serving chops, potatoes and sliced up tomatoes; you can stop and have a Martini too.
The Thin Guy, Black Mask, and Maltese Falcon author resided in at Tenderloin house building, 891 Post Street # 401, one of his many San Francisco addresses in the 1920s. The Tenderloin was a preferred neighborhood for Hammett. This downtown community located in the flatlands on the southern slope of Nob Hill, nestled in between Union Square shopping district to the northeast and San Francisco’s ornate Civic Center to the southwest. It encompasses about fifty square blocks.
Hammet filled his work with Tenderloin places. Today the Tenderloin is consistently described in many tour guide as “the worst area in San Francisco,” – great factors to have Quicksilver TownCar, 800.486.9622, drive you.
San Francisco’s foggy streets and strange environment were a perfect match for Hammett’s dame-and-gumshoe imagination. “Grant Opportunity, the primary street and spinal column of this strip, is for the majority of its length a street of ostentatious shops and flashy chop-suey homes, accommodating the traveler trade, where the racket of American jazz orchestras drowns the occasional squeak of a Chinese flute.” From Dead Yellow Women
In the Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade’s partner, Miles Archer, is shot to death on Bush Street over the Stockton Tunnel where you can stroll securely today. Info on the Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco walking trips are offered at www.donherron.com/tour.html.
For those who desire their TownCar, www.qstc.net, driver to browse after martinis at Johns and whiskey at a Grant Street “chop-suey home” there is well documented Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco book. The book is edited by Ed Sams with photos edited by Ric Botelh. Using the book as a guide, you can find exactly what remains of Hammett’s San Francisco, and Hammett’s immortal criminal offense stories.
The doll’s eyes resembled the cold fog rolling off the hill …