Episode Summary: Alexandra Kostoulas is an award-winning writer who teaches creative writing in the City. She’s been teaching the Jack Grapes’ Method Writing Program for a number of years. This program helps students find what’s called their “Deep Voice” and she explains more about this on the show. Alexandra has also recently launched the San Francisco Creative Writing Institute to teach even more creative writing methods. This podcast is great for anyone who wants to write more but is struggling or having a hard time getting started. Alexandra shares some tips by going through the routines, processes, and tools that have helped her become a better writer. My favorite part of the interview, however, was when Alexandra talked about her own writing. She tells me about the novel she’s finishing up, Persephone Stolen, and then does an on-air reading of one of her poems, Los Angeles of my Youth. I had read the poem before our interview and thought it was beautiful. But hearing Alexandra give the backstory and read it from across the table has been one of my favorite podcast moments.
Neighborhood & Favorite Spots: Alexandra lives in NOPA and has watched the neighborhood transform over time from its earlier days as Western Addition. She has come to love the new neighborhood and even enjoys the $4 toast at The Mill. One of her favorite places in the ‘hood is Barrel Head Brewhouse. Alexandra thinks they have amazing service and loves the friendly people who work there. She also likes the cheeseburger at Bistro Gambrinus which is nearby. Other favorites include Little Star Pizza, Bean Bag Cafe, and Lucky Penny which is an old-school diner. We also talk about one of my favorite restaurants, NOPA, and the stress involved with getting a seat there.
If you had to move away, how would you spend your last day in San Francisco? Alexandra would spend her last day doing her usual comfort things in the City. She would order Chinese takeout from Golden Rice Bowl and then head to Caffe Greco in North Beach for a cappuccino. Alexandra would visit two of her favorite bookstores, City Lights Books and Green Apple Books. She would also take a walk in Golden Gate Park and say goodbye to the buffalo. Alexandra would have one last meal at Burma Superstar, one of her favorite restaurants. She would spend her remaining time walking around the city looking at beautiful things and appreciating the architecture.
Listen to Alexandra’s story here:
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