San Francisco’s Got “Milk”
The new Gus Van Sant movie “Milk,” which was filmed in San Francisco, has sparked a number of special tours and exhibits throughout the city, including a streetcar dedicated to Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay individuals to be elected to a high public office in a major U.S. city.
“Milk” has been nominated for eight Academy Awards including best picture; actor in a leading role; actor in a supporting role; costume design; directing; film editing; music; and original screenplay. Much of the movie, starring Sean Penn and Josh Brolin, was shot in San Francisco’s Castro District and at City Hall.
The filming took eight weeks and often used extras in large crowd scenes, such as a re-enactment of Milk’s "Hope Speech" at the 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade. Many of the extras were present at the actual events.
The long-established “Cruisin’ the Castro” historical walking tours introduced “The Harvey Milk Tour” on Nov. 26, 2008. Offered on Wednesdays only from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the tour starts in Harvey Milk Plaza, Market and Castro streets, where a photo timeline of his life is installed; visits Milk’s former residence, photo shop, campaign headquarters and the final resting place of his cremated ashes; includes admission to the new “Harvey Milk” exhibit at the GLBT Historical Society; and public transit from the Castro to City Hall where Milk worked and is honored with a sculpture. For information visit www.cruisinthecastro.com or call 415-255-1821. Media contact: Kathy Amendola, 415-255-1821.
The new “Come Out to the Castro Tour,” led by one of FOOT! Tours’ corps of local comedians, and “Sister Betty’s Walking Tour,” both reveal the quirkier side of the Castro District. Each of these guided treks point out the famous and lesser-known spots frequented by Harvey Milk. For information visit www.foottours.com/tours/castro/php or www.sisterbettytours.com.
The GLBT Historical Society opened an exhibit in the heart of the Castro at 499 Castro St. on Nov. 26, 2008. The exhibit, “Passionate Struggle,” showcases four different facets of the community: People, Places, Politics and Pleasures. It will remain in the storefront location offered by Washington Mutual for one year. The exhibit places Harvey Milk in the context of his time and place. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except holidays. An online exhibit also supports the brick-and-mortar exhibit. The headquarters of the GLBT Historical Society is located at 657 Mission St., Suite 300, where one of the largest repositories of primary source materials about GLBT history is stored, exhibited and frequently accessed by filmmakers, including Van Sant, journalists and others. For information visit www.glbthistory.org or call 415-777-5455. Media contact: Paul Boneberg, 415-777-5455.
Paul VanDeCarr’s audio walking tour, “Harvey Milk: Out of the Bar and Into the Streets,” is approximately 70 minutes in length and features interviews with many of Milk’s contemporaries. It can be downloaded from www.insidestories.info. The site also has two videos featuring some of Milk’s inner circle sharing their memories of him. The tour starts at Milk’s former store, 575 Castro St.
On Oct. 28, 2008 the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), joined with its non-profit partner Market Street Railway (MSR) to dedicate historic streetcar No. 1051 to the memory of human rights pioneer and transit advocate Milk. Milk was the first San Francisco Supervisor to regularly use a Muni Fast Pass. Informational panels on Milk’s career are installed on the interior of the streetcar, the city’s “moving museums,” according to MSR Board of Directors President Rick Laubscher. The historic streetcar displays the green and cream livery of the 1970s and is the same Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) model that was in service at that time and was featured in the film “Milk.” For information visit www.sfmta.com or call 415-701-2311. Media contact: Judson True, 415-606-9281 (cell).
“Milk” has even inspired a signature cocktail. Collaborating with local mixologist H. Erhmann, Level III at the JW Marriott Hotel, 500 Post St., features “Harvey Milk Punch” on its menu, a spin on the classic New Orleans Milk Punch cocktail. For information visit www.levelthreesf.com or call 415-929-2087. Media contact: Nancy Uber, 415-672-2950.
Other notable landmarks associated with Milk’s political career include San Francisco’s City Hall. Docent tours are available Monday-Friday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. For information visit www.sfgov.org/site/cityhall_index.asp?id=4356. A bust of Milk, the only supervisor to be so honored, is also installed at City Hall. Harvey Milk Plaza at the intersection of Castro and Market Streets is anchored by a large rainbow flag and also features a series of panels with photos of Milk by Daniel Nicoletta.
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau continues its LGBT tourism efforts in concert with title sponsor gay.com; and official sponsors American Express; Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants; Starwood Hotels; the musical Wicked; and the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA), the country’s first LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Travel packages, including hotel stays, may be booked through the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com or by calling 800-637-5196. A link from the SFCVB home page takes visitors to the gay travel section.
# # #
The San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide is available at the Visitor Information Center, 900 Market St., at the corner of Powell and Market streets, lower level, Hallidie Plaza. A visitor’s kit may also be ordered online at www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com, by phone at 415-391-2000, by written request to the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, 900 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Domestic and international shipping charges apply.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop links with more than 30 international points on 25 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with more than 65 cities in the U.S. on 20 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com.
Note to Editors: To access and download images from the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau’s online photo gallery, simply click on the link www.sfcvb.org/travel_media/photolibrary.asp
More Recent Articlesview all
The Bold Italic meets the designers of San Francisco's parklets.
San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau announces partnership with Donna Sachet as contributing writer for LGBT marketing efforts
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) is partnering with Donna Sachet as a contributing writer for the Gay......more