Tales of the Quack

Russian Hill, San Francisco, California

With David Backman and Kathleen Donahue

May 2013

Starting in May of 1976, the San Francisco Chronicle began running a the first installment by Armistead Maupin of what would become the Tales of the City series of books. Following the adventures of the denizens of the fictional Barbary Lane the tale would eventually span nine novels, three television adaptations and a stage musical.

The fictional lane took its inspiration from a real life oasis in the city - Macondray Lane - a pedestrian lane on the southeastern side of Russian Hill in San Francisco.

Macondray Lane

NOT checked it out with his friendly neighborhood San Francisco denizens - David Backman and Kathleen Donahue.


No plaques or such adorn the out of the way lane, just the quiet seclusions of an oasis in the city, and the power of inspiration.

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Photos courtesy of David Backman
Last Updated 2014