We Wanna Be Friends With Local Author and Illustrator Wendy MacNaughton


Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

Local author and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton knows a lot about San Francisco (April 2 is even Wendy McNaughton Day in SF!). And though she's been touting her rad illustrations and diagrams for The Bold Italic, Dell, The New York Times and more, for a while now, her new book, Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in its Own Words is what's really putting her in the much deserved spotlight.

Meanwhile in San Francisco is a collection of illustrated documentaries chronicling seventeen important, historical, and often unsung communities and places in the city. Plus really important diagrams, like what makes the perfect Mission burrito: 


Image from Meanwhile in San Francisco courtesy of Wendy MacNaughton.

MacNaughton spent several years documenting these groups and locales – including City Hall, Mid-Market and 6th Street, The Dolphin Club, and the Golden Gate Park Bison – by spending up to month with those who work or play there, getting to know them and their lives, drawing them, and recording their words. She combined her drawings and the locals' words to tell their stories and depict a wide angle view of a vibrant, diverse San Francisco, from the inside out.

Considering her adventures around town, we couldn't help but pick her brain about all her favorite local spots: 

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?  

Potrero. Love the hood, the history, the weather, and the views, though the hills make biking a bit impossible. 

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

It’s a tie between a giant bowl of soup at the Citrus Club in the Haight, and the gemelli at Tosca. And Black Jet Bakery’s salty nut brownies and baked’s rolo brownies. And wait, are cocktails considered food? 

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

Having some friends over for snacks and a drink. 

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time

Outdoor, dog friendly brunch, then a park, any park.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

Monte Rio! It’s a beautiful town just a couple hours north on the Russian River. A big group of friends just bought the local movie theatre up there so we’re spending more time there and love it. 

6. Quick-fire round

Burrito or Burger? Duh, burrito.

Presidio or Golden Gate Park? GGP.

BiRite or Mitchell's? Ugh, don't make me choose. I stand by Mitchell’s but will wait in line for BiRite.

Bike or MUNI? Muni. 

Fort Mason or Dolores Park? Dolores. 

The Independent or the Fillmore? Independent. 

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach? Ocean.

7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

That’s not a fair question, and you know it. How about: It is home.

Want more Wendy?

Website. Tumblr. Twitter

See all our favorite locals here! 


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