3 Things To See in North Beach That Aren't R-Rated (and One That Is)

3 Things To See in North Beach That Aren't R-Rated (and One That Is)

North Beach may be known for some of San Francisco's more questionable gentleman's clubs, but it's also been named one of America's "Top 10 Greatest Neighborhoods." All that acclaim's gotta come from somewhere, and we've got the--ahem--hookup.

1. City Lights Bookstore--Channel your inner Ginsberg by frequenting the independent bookstore where he, along with fellow beatniks Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, used to eye all the angelheaded hipsters smoking cigarettes. Now, City Lights is home to great collections of world literature and progressively political works. No squares allowed!

2. Sts. Peter and Paul Church--Located (hilariously enough) at 666 Filbert Street, this cathedral is known as the "Italian Cathedral of the West." Pilgrims journey from all of the world to attend one of its daily 11:45 am masses, while nerds come to peep the picture of Joe DiMaggio proudly posing with his first wife, Dorothy Arnold. It also appeared in a few Clint Eastwood movies, along with Sister Act 2.

3. The Purple Onion--In the 1950s, this cellar club welcomed the likes of Woody Allen, Phyllis Diller, and Maya Angelou. In the nineties, it was the stomping ground of such garage-rock raditude as The Groovie Ghoulies, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and the Go-Nuts. Now, it offers bearded comedy neo-legends like Paul Krassner and Judah Friedlander as well as a weekly comedy show. Go, quick, to see the next Zach Galifianakis before Hangover-type fame steals him away from the city forever.

4. The Lusty Lady--Okay, we lied. This establishment is definitely not family-friendly. But it's notable for being the only successfully unionized sex business in the United States! How cool is that?!

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