Amy Tan: Still Good At What She Does

In today’s edition of The Seattle Times, famed local novelist Amy Tan leads journalist Cindy Loose on a nostalgic tour of the “exotic, colorful, [and] dreamy” sides of San Francisco. Despite a move to Sausalito’s lush hills, Tan maintains her romanticized notion of the greatness of San Francisco, past and present:

“My vision of the city was formed during [the late 1960s],” Tan says. “It was the city of love. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Fillmore, Haight-Ashbury. That was the city to me. I dreamed of living there — literally dreamed of it.” Thing is, even after decades of living the dream, Tan is as in love with San Francisco as she was then.”This city is like an opera — very dramatic, historical, tragic, funny, lyrical, beautiful, over-the-top,” says Tan, who hit the literary scene in 1989 with “The Joy Luck Club” and has since published four more novels, two children’s books and a book of essays. Tan knows San Francisco like she knows the quirky characters of her books, and best of all, she’s willing to share. In a one-day whirlwind tour, she reveals her favorite places to eat, play, walk and be entertained in the City by the Bay.

Tan takes Loose (and us) on a whimsical, almost pastoral tour, from staring at the skyline to waxing poetic on the bay waters (“constantly changing, from glassy to choppy, gray, blue, sometimes with hints of gold, or the pink and orange reflections of a sunset”) to the Ferry Building Farmers Market and Tan’s tea shop of choice, the Imperial Tea Court, where she likens the tea mongers to wine sommeliers. Just reading Tan’s quotes in the article serves as a reminder of the greatness of a sublime writer. The article also reminds us of San Francisco’s magic. Lest we forget.

Also worth noting are Tan’s favorite restaurants in the city: Hayes Street Grill, Ton Kiang, Yank Sing, Quince, Zazie and The Slanted Door.

Dim sum and then some: Amy Tan’s San Francisco [The Seattle Times]

Imperial Tea Court [MenuPages]


Amy Tan: Still Good At What She Does