Gorgeous memories of San Francisco, from bon vivant David Leddick
“San Francisco was my ship’s home port when I was an Officer in the U.S. Navy, from 1952 to 1955,” says David Leddick, writer, performer, bon vivant, and editor of Gorgeous Gallery, a gobstopping (or gob-inducing, as the case may be) new coffee table volume of homoerotic art—much of which is too explicit to be shown on this blog.
The moment I saw the statue of The Thinker by Rodin in front of the Legion of Honor Museum, I was immediately elevated into another realm of thinking and feeling. San Francisco always was, and still is, an important force in bringing European art and what it means to the United States. I lived in San Francisco again in 1959 when I studied dance with the San Francisco Ballet. The Legion of Honor Museum, along with a lot of other San Francisco influences, sophisticated me in a very brief period of time.”
We asked Leddick—who now lives in Miami, but is still a frequent visitor to the Bay Area—to muse upon his strongest San Francisco memories…
- “I remember climbing the stairs in Coit Tower, with its Art Deco murals (I also love the 1930s murals at the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park). On one wall of the tower is a man reaching for a volume among the many books painted there. The volume is by Oscar Wilde. If you can find it, note the books it’s wedged between. Here, gayness, period magic and the exhilaration of the view at the top mix for a one-of-a-kind experience.”
- “On my meditation chest at home I have a fat bronze puppy imported from Japan. I found it at Gump’s some years back when I was on location doing a TV commercial in San Francisco [Leddick worked in advertising]. Such wonderful taste in the selection of Asian objects can be found at Gump’s. A store like no other in the United States.”
- “The Top of The Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel is pure glamour. A great room, a vertiginous and remarkable view, swell looking people. I love to have a cocktail there, and then later, wander through the lobby of the Fairmount Hotel, just across the street. It was decorated by Dorothy Draper back in the 1940s. What a beauty. What a fantastic carpet!”