San Francisco Examiner Review, 10/12/04
New book reveals best spots for love in Golden Gate Park.
By Bill Picture | Staff Writer
Published on Tuesday, October 12, 2004
First off, J. McGanty, author of "Fifty Places to Make Love in Golden
Gate Park," wishes to make it clear that he isn't encouraging frisky
Friscans to get it on in one of San Francisco's most-visited and
most-treasured attractions. After all, sex in public is against
Rather, he's just providing a list of some of the sprawling park's
most beautiful and least-visited areas for those looking for a little,
ahem, privacy. What they do with that privacy is totally up to
them, from meditation to a romantic picnic to, well, you know.
"I expect this [guide] will inspire a full range of morality," jokes
The one-time resident of San Francisco's Sunset District -- he now
calls Southern California home -- admits the title of his book is a
bit misleading. While readers are certainly free to take full
advantage of the privacy of the locations detailed in the guide -- at
their own risk, of course -- McGanty says his intention was more to
point out some of the more off-the-beaten-track areas he discovered
during his frequent jogs through the park.
"I think everyone in San Francisco has a favorite part of the park,"
he explains. "But it tends to be the part they're already
familiar with. The book is really designed to help people who love the
park explore it a little more."
McGanty's naughty twist on the run-of-the-mill guide book, he says,
was actually inspired by the similarly randy reputation San Francisco
picked up during its Barbary Coast days.
"It's very tongue-in-cheek," he adds. "And it's really a tribute
and a celebration of the open mindedness that characterizes Bay Area
culture. I mean, this book wouldn't have been written in the
One of McGanty's favorite spots in the park is Mallard Lake, a small
body of water off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just west of 25th
Avenue that he says most visitors to the park drive right by without
even noticing. He recommends a "walk" in the wooded area behind
Another must-see, says McGanty, is Metson Lake off Middle Drive West,
one of the prettiest but least known lakes in the park. McGanty
recommends the grassy area up on the hill just behind the artificial
waterfall for "cabernet and brie... [or] whatever else strikes your
Right about now, you're probably wondering what qualifies McGanty as
an expert on outdoor nookie and if he personally tried any or all of
these spots himself.
"Of course I didn't," he jokes. "No, I'm not telling.
That's a whole 'nother book."
Fifty Places To Make Love in Golden Gate Park
By J. McGanty; $14.95; Tenaya Publishing. Read more at