Nion McEvoy, owner of Chronicle Books and founder of the McEvoy Foundation For The Arts, shares with us what he loves about San Francisco.

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December 4, 2019

How I See San Francisco: Nion McEvoy

Nion McEvoy is the owner and CEO of Chronicle Books. Nion's interest in music, design, painting, and media led him to create the McEvoy Foundation For The Arts, which facilitates and engages conversations on the practice of contemporary art. We asked Nion about his favorite places in San Francisco and what inspires him the most.

What does a typical day in San Francisco look like for you?

Foggy. Or perhaps it is I who am foggy, either because I got up too early or stayed up too late. Or both.

Which neighborhood, other than your own, do you like to explore?

I like exploring the Mission, which seems foreign to me now, but with small, disorienting notes of familiarity.

What do you still love about book publishing?

The actual physical books. Finding words, ideas, or images—or words, ideas, and images—that will move people in one way or other, putting them into tangible form, and sending them out into the world.

What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?

Go out to hear music, whether at SFJAZZ, the San Francisco Symphony, or Slim's.

Where do you indulge your artistic side in San Francisco?

SFMOMA, SFJAZZ, SFFILM, American Conservatory Theater, ODC Dance, CCA, and Southern Exposure. Also 49 Geary, Minnesota Street Project, Park Life on Clement, and the occasional jam session in need of a drummer.

What gave you the inspiration for the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts?

We show artists who have moved me and have informed or restructured my view of the world. Sharing that with others seems highly worthwhile. Exhibiting art is like storytelling. It's like another type of book.

What’s one part of San Francisco that you wish visitors knew about?

Clement Street, from Arsicault Bakery to restaurants like Chapeau and Burma Superstar, to Green Apple Books and, of course, the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market.

What's your favorite annual event that happens in San Francisco?

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?

A bowl of pho from OTD.

Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?

Nightbird. Or Nari, though it would be my second time there.

Where do you like to view sunrise and sunset?

I like to see the sunset where Pine St. turns into Euclid Ave. The sunrise…I think I’ve seen it rising over Berkeley. But when was that? And where was I? Or did I dream it?

Any final advice for visitors coming to San Francisco?

Dress warmly. Eat adventurously. Read "The Maltese Falcon". See everything.


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