What lies beneath the streets of San Francisco?

Paving over the past to make way for the future is a story we know well in San Francisco. But few people I know have taken the time to understand what lies beneath the streets of San Francisco: who those people were, and the impact they had on the birth and growth of neighborhoods and infrastructure. Local author Beth Winegarner is the exception.

San Francisco’s Forgotten Cemeteries: A Buried History is Beth’s newest book, and it’s out now. Beth stopped by the Muni Diaries podcast to discuss how the city’s dead have impacted some of our most well-traveled roads and public transit, early NIMBY antics from our Victorian forebears, and our civic responsibility to residents who’ve passed on.

Beth is a journalist, author, essayist and pop-culture critic who has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The San Francisco Examiner—where she first met me in the paper’s Peninsula bureau. She is the author of several books, including Sacred Sonoma, Beloved, The Columbine Effect: How Five Teen Pastimes Got Caught in the Crossfire and Why Teens are Taking Them Back, and Tenacity: Heavy Metal in the Middle East and Africa.

When we get together, the conversation often veers toward San Francisco politics and socioeconomics, and this more “official” talk wasn’t much different. Here’s Beth in conversation with … me!

Visit BethWinegarner.com for info about in-person and virtual events, as well as to order your own copy in time for spooky szn.

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