Armistead Maupin Abandons San Francisco for Santa Fe
According to the Real Estalker blog Army has put his 1,600 square foot, 1906 Edwardian cottage on the market for $1.2M and is moving with his husbear-husband Chris Turner to Santa Fe. From the article I learned that Turner had sold his sex site Daddy Hunt. Armistead is only 68 - I thought he was much older. How can he leave SF after so many years there and his identification with Bagdad-by-the-Bay? I hope he's OK health-wise; he has been enormously fat for years and that can't be good for you. The blog said he is writing another book.
Here's something I found via a link in the article:
Armistead Maupin, who on Thursday will be honored with a Silver Cable Card award from San Francisco Travel, leaves town the next day as step one of a move to Santa Fe. Maupin, husband Christopher Turner and their Labradoodle, are driving cross-country to Provincetown, Mass., where they'll spend a chunk of summer, before returning west for a stop at Burning Man before winding up in New Mexico, where they plan to re-settle.
The re-location has "been percolating for a while," he said by phone Monday. Santa Fe "has a different magic from San Francisco, but it has magic, and I need an autumnal adventure." Turner, in the background, wisecracked that the move reflects Maupin's "retirement and my mid-life crisis." But "retirement" isn't really accurate because the author is working on a new "Tales" book, "The Days of Anna Madrigal." He'll be giving a series of readings while they drive cross-country on what they call "the Madrigal Mystery Tour."
The move is "nothing I'm taking lightly," says Maupin. "It's been 41 years since I landed here and it gave me my story. ... I keep reminding myself that Barbary Lane is portable and everything I learned here became part of me and is something I'll always have."
He and Turner are "both craving a little more space and some nature," he said, and the move is "giving us new dreams. There's nothing wrong with that."
I haven't been blown away by Maupin's last two TOTC books. The last book he wrote that I really enjoyed was 'Maybe The Moon'. Cadence Roth was quite a character.
Hopefully the move will shape the new book. I love the Tales novels, but the abundance of brand name mentions and place names became irritating in "Mary Ann in Autumn".
Also, he pretty much HAS to be killing off Madrigal, doesn't he?
He's still writing those tired books? And people are buying them?
He and Turner have already left SF and have arrived in Santa Fe. He looks terrible in those pictures, but it's just the ravages of time which catch up with us all.
He is 68. That is dead, buried and forgotten in San Francisco years.
Does anyone know him? Why did he do this? Is he alright?
Wet, cool weather is tough on old joints. I can understand the move at his age.
He has arthritis and cannot stand the cold damp SF weather any longer.
p.s. If one has a clip from back when his career was beginning his stated birthdate would make him 73 not 68. It changed over the years.
Not where I'd want to live in San Francisco, and not my style of house, but it's quite a nice place, especially the setting and views.
Listing at link:
I like him and love his books. A SF treasure. Sad to see him go but after 41 years, he's paid his dues and time to start a new chapter. I wish him well.
Those stairs could be terrible to get up and down. I had arthritis bad, but I lost a lot of weight and it seemed to go away. I have had no trouble in the last year.
Yes it is true R11. Arthritis is very painful and he can take it no longer.
I knew him well for a couple of years in San Francisco in the late 1970's. Our friendship ended suddenly, one day he stopped talking to me and I never heard from him again. I've written him a few times over the years, but I never get an answer. Other han being dropped as a friend, I have nothing but good memories; in my mind he is always handsome, young and funny as he was when I knew him. It was easy to fall in love with him then.
The link to those pictures made me feel very old - I am ten years younger than he is. It is hard to believe it was so long ago. There are many people who post in here who must be feeling the same. There must be a few who were there, too.
He's going to Burning Man? Yikes, talk about someting that's hard on one's system.
He goes to ogle the naked guys. He lives in a comfortable trailer with everything in it ...burning man is no hardship for him.
He's a big fat man, isn't he? Roomy.
Chris Turner will have fun finding new models for Pantheon Bear & HotOlderMale.com
95% of the 'new models' at both sites are repellent and interchangeable.
He told stories of gay men and lesbians at a time when being gay was shameful and only talked about in hushed voices.
I remember reading his column outloud in the breakroom at work. Those I worked with gained a greater appreciaton of our lives because of his stories. We weren't those scary people church folk were obsessed about. I even entered the Sunday night End-Up jockstrap contest and breathlessly shared the results the next day at work to a very non-judgemental response.
And who could forget Rock Hudson being outed. The very first blind item.
Armistead Jones Maupin Jr. b. 13 May 1944 and graduated UNC Chapel Hill in 1966.
Of all the men he met and had sex with in his life and he ends up with someone who runs two trashy porn sites. That says it all about the gay community.
What's wrong with running porn sites?
R22 he was an assistant to Jesse Helms. If you try to make him into something he was not, a true gay leader, then you were are starting from a bad place.
It took him 41 years to sleep with all the men in San Francisco, but now that he has, he has to move on.
Shouldn't his SF house be worth a lot more money than that? From the pics, it looks like he's giving that house away.
It is actually a pretty high asking amount for that house. He will probably get close to a million in actual sale.
I have always assumed that Chris was some sort of consort for Maupin, since they had an open relationship from the beginning and Chris has been playing non-stop on the side. I am sure Maupin knows it and accepts it. One can imagine it has been a long time since poor Maupin has had sex with anyone. He pays the bills, Chris has all the fun and Maupin lives on his past. That's what happens.
Maupin probably paid cash for that house when he bought it as a nest egg. For some reason they now realize they have to cash out and move someplace cheaper. His husband is some sort of shaman so it makes sense they would go to Santa Fe. I'll bet it's the husband who has been pushing them to move it says it was his mid-life crisis that was driving this. Why would Maupin be so passive about it. In San Francisco he is important and a symbol of the City, in Santa Fe he'll just be an old man who used to write books.
He's leaving that house because it's way up on a hill in a damp, windy neighborhood, and has too many stairs to climb. That's the trade off for the great views. Houses here with shingle siding are leaky and a bitch to maintain. I have one.
When I was at UCSF, I used to park on that block and walk the rest of the way. I was in my 20's. Can't imagine doing that now at age 50! Way too steep to walk back from Cole Valley or the N-Judah for a heavy older man with arthritis.
Nevertheless, the listing price seems low. Given that the place is being marketed with pics of Cole Valley and GG Park which is a long hike from this house, I wonder if they're trying to attract out of towners to elicit a bidding war?
They need to make another TV Tales. But with Marcus D'Amico instead of that other guy.
R29 if you read the GD fucking thread you would know the answer. Maupin decided to move.
When you get old you want to look at landscape. It's calming.
By the time you're an old fart you're worn down by people--their bodies start to look more primate, sweaty, and germ-infested. Food bags, as Bourdain calls humanity.
Totally disagree with r27. Views, views, views. And in a very desirable, low-crime hood. I have a much smaller place, not as charming, NO garage, somewhat lesser neighborhood, and would list it at 700K. The market is hot now. Bet his sells for more.
R15, I can relate to what you are saying. Though I was never a friend of his, I lived in S.F. during the 70's and 80's and he and I often frequented the same restaurants and bars. Castro Street used to have an annual Dog Show and both he and I (or, rather, our dogs) placed in the finals one year and spoke a bit to one another.
But the thing is, I agree that it hardly seems possible that it was that long ago. Seems like only yesterday in many respects and, though I have aged better than Armistad, the pics of him make me feel very old indeed. I am just happy that I was of that generation, despite the horrors we went through in the 80's with AIDS.
Let's hope he gets top dollar because let's face it, Chris is going to be expensive! Maupin is really pushing the sale on his Facebook fan page. I wonder how many people might want to pay an extra $100K to say they live in the Maupin house. Get as much as you can - you deserve it!
[quote]Maupin probably paid cash for that house when he bought it as a nest egg. For some reason they now realize they have to cash out and move someplace cheaper.
There are more than six million copies of the "Tales of the City" books around and has had other successes besides. The value of the house is modest relative to his income over a long career. I suspect he bought the place, as most people do, as a home, not as a retirement nest egg, and doubt he's so hard-pressed that he has to sell a modest house to economize. If it were a house worth many millions, sure, that would be a possibility, but not a probability for a $1M house.
It's because the big one's coming.
Me too, r35. I'm "only" 50 and didn't become sexually active until 1980 but grew up here, so I at least got to watch the happenings of the 70's. It doesn't seem that long ago. Time flies... just glad to be alive.
BTW, wouldn't want to live here in my retirement years. Can totally imagine living in a place and fewer people like Santa Fe with more space and four "real" seasons. Maybe even a POOL!
[quote]He's leaving that house because it's way up on a hill in a damp, windy neighborhood
Is there really that much difference in climate between SF neighborhoods? SF isn't that big of a city.
I would buy his house in a heartbeat if I lived in SF. The only thing that would worry me is the shingle siding--I wonder how often it would have to be stained? Are shingle houses especially leaky?
I think the stairs and all the outdoor areas are charming.
Yes R41 there is a huge difference. It is called microclimates.
[quote]He's still writing those tired books? And people are buying them?
No, Rose, he stopped writing when he died two weeks ago. Nobody has bought his books for two years.
Santa Fe is NOT a good city to move to if you're a younger gay man. There's only one gay bar and it's an incredibly lowkey eldergay piano bar. But maybe that's what Maupin wants.
I looked at Santa Fe with Google streetview and what a dump!
R35 - I forgot about the Castro Dog Show! I lived in San Francisco from 1975 until 1992. I started out at 21st and Guerrero Streets so I could walk to the Castro. From there I went to Oak Street near Alamo Square, Taraval Street, then Monterrey Blvd and finally Glen Park. Knowing Maupin I was surprised he never got sick, he was a wild one, who could blame him, he was famous and handsome. I met lots of interesting people through him - I missed out on Rock Hudson in LA, though he asked to come once. he'd drag me around with him (what a lucky thing to have happen). Then I was hugely stupid and unsophisticated, a big blond lug. I knew nothing about sex really and he loved to shock me. I had a huge crush on him, but you could not pin that guy down. He had a number of BFs over the time I knew him. People used to flock to him at the time famous and nearly famous. Perhaps he got bored with my naivety. It was fun to talk to him about what he was writing and see it come out in the paper. I always hoped I was some inspiration, but I am sure I wasn't. The last time I saw him he was living in the Castro.
I had come to San Francisco a couple of times before I emigrated, so I had friends to put me up. I was sort of an A gay ornament for a while. I got into a relationship for a long time, which is what must have saved me. Almost all of my friends in that died.
r46, Howdy, Glen Park neighbor!!! Have live here forever. I wonder if we know each other?
What was it like living in SF in the 70s and early 80s--the "Tales of the City" era? It imagine it being extremely wild and sexual, with orgies every night of the week. Is that accurate?
I also imagine it being a very dangerous time with the Zodiac killer on the loose. Were there lots of murders and crime during that era?
Was SF as expensive back then to live in as it is today?
Was SF a lot gayer, in terms of gay population, back then? I've been told by some old-timers that the SF gay population was pretty much wiped out by AIDS in the 80s.
1)Yes, but weren't most gay communities anywhere like that back then?
2)Yes, and there still are, just like in any major U.S. city.
3)Absolutely not. Former run down neighborhoods filled with run-down Victorians - like the one my parents abandoned during the nation's 'white flight' to the 'burbs. Neighborhoods like the Castro, Haight, and Upper Fillmore were renovated and gentrified largely by The Gays as the Financial District job market boomed. The City became a much more desirable place to live... and prices rose.
4)I don't know, but doubt it. AIDS decimated a generation of gays in SF and for awhile seemed to 'wipe out' publicly visible gay culture for a decade. Things quieted down as we cared for each other. Straights moved in to places like the Castro, seemingly diluting the 'gayness'. New gays move to town every day. Meanwhile some gays moved out to the 'straight' neighborhoods seeking more affordable housing, making every SF neighborhood gayer.
5)You are very naive and your friend is simply ignorant.
Not familiar with all the SF neighborhoods except the major ones (Haight,Castro,Pacific Heights,etc...)
What major neighborhood is this house closest too ?
Is Armistead Maupin the worst name of all time? I think it is and I hate this guy just for the name alone.
r51, he's very close to the Upper Haight.
Anybody else here from Miraloma Park by the way? I bought a house here in December and was really surprised by the number of gays living in the neighborhood. My realtor calls it Mirahomo.
I think I recognize the interiors of the house from some of the porn videos
Do many gays live in Sausalito or Marin City? Are the home prices more reasonable in these towns?
I was more interested to hear that having sold his Italian dream villa, Gore Vidal is now selling his Hollywood Hills house.
Is he moving into care? He looks in a bad way.
What's Santa Fe like? I imagine a dusty nowheresville with artistic pretensions that's 1,000 degrees F in summer inhabited by solar-grizzled Nan Michiganwomyn wearing lots of turquoise and beaten silver jewellery and stone-washed denim.
Where'd you emigrate to R46? And why?
Dopes this mean there shall be an end to the relentless oft-repeated "tributes" to his literary legacy?
r50 and r35, what was it like living in San Francisco when the Castro was a sort of Gay Camelot, if you will?
I just moved here a little over a year ago, but as a young thirty-something who was expecting the Castro to be a gay Mecca, an enclave, I was disappointed to find it more or less to be a gay-friendly version of an open-air shopping mall. It doesn't have that sense of community I was hoping to find.
I'm sure the proliferation of communications worldwide has kind of fostered that since community is where you find it now, and not exclusively confined to enclaves like the Castro, WeHo, Chelsea, Boystown, etc, but it still seems like it should be...for lack of a better word, "more".
I've gone on a whole Castro history kick lately, and it's incredible how much of the American gay movement originates in those few square blocks, much of it lost on my generation. I feel like it's almost our duty to preserve it for future generations in the name of those who fought so hard to create it and are no longer with us.
Some say there's no real need for enclaves now with community everywhere, but I say as long as kids are being bullied for being gay or our brethren in Middle America are killing themselves because of who they are, there will be a need for places like the Castro.
Unfortunately, I think the neighborhood has completely priced out the young creatives who would be driving the cultural development of the Castro. As I walk through the neighborhood, which is a shell of what it used to be, I can only imagine what it was like to be here then, when the streets were ten-deep with people at any given time.
For those of you who were here, what was it like?
Just a side note. As a person who did hook up with the writer in question years back I might say the man has a very hard time lugging that monster tool of his up a hill. It alone weighs about 10 pounds I believe. Really, I am not kidding. It was so large I finally had to back off from our dates.
Armistead Maupin died back in the early 90s.
No he didn't.
His San Francisco house was very tasteful - definitely one of our tasteful friends.
There was a documentary made on the Castro back in the late 90s. It showed how the neighborhood morph into the gentrified enclave it is today, and how even then the younger kids could not relate to the area as a mecca because they saw it as just a place filled with rich old white guys.
Around the same time, AM was interviewed about the neighborhood and he too felt the loss, but even in the late 80s, Vitto Russo noted what killed a lot of gay creativity and political development was just the old American need to start a small business. So what we see in the Castro today stems not from a gay sensibility, but from an American one.
I moved to San Francisco in 1978 and never really felt as if I belonged to the Castro. Instead of being inclusive it was like a return to high school where I needed to worry about having the right hair cut and right clothes.
It was hardly a community even then. More of a great place to meet sex partners at 2:15AM in front of Toad Hall.
It is and was what it always was. A street with shops on it. No real reason to feel romantic about the place but it didn't have horns either.
Any word how life is working out for AM in New Mexico?
This shows that he is truly an older retired lesbian.
I thought all lesbians retired to Berkeley.
He's a nasty old cunt in person. If you aren't 22 and a muscle boy, he has no time for you. I've met some famous folks and AM's attitude is far bigger than his fame. Miss Maupin thinks he's God's gift to literature and that his shit doesn't stink.
He's no grand novelist. What he is, frankly, is a decent soap opera writer. The Tales Of The City story was originally written as a serial for the SF Chronicle. And that's what he does best, soapy melodrama. Good eye for characters, though - at least the originals.
Well, in many ways he was the last famous person living in San Francisco. Why is that?
I would never say Maupin is "abandoning" SF. Sometimes you just need a change. Pure and simple. Change can be good for the soul.
I lived in Atlanta for 45 years and long thought I would never leave there. I loved Atlanta so much. But some changes conspired to make me need to move to the northeast, and now I love the northeast. That doesn't mean that I "abandoned" Atlanta or don't love it. You can love any place, really. And starting a new adventure in the northeastern US has been damn good for my soul.
He got very lucky with the first installment and later with the casting of Laura Linney. Though amusing, the material is pretty thin. The recent musical was, well, taxing. I wonder if ACT will have another go at it.
The "return" novels were horrible -- except for the tiny little turns that made the first books a delight
My best friend has always said that my home and the collection of colorful people I collect reminds her of Anna Madrigal and I take that as a high compliment.
I loved Anna. She made the stories for me, and any TOTC story was instantly better for her presence.
Chris featured a handful of hot daddies on his two sites when he started them, but it's been years since he's had any attractive men.
Every so often Allan Silver will make a guest appearance, but mostly Chris's stable of performers are skanky wasted lookalike street trash.
As a San Franciscan I can understand wanting to get out of the city, especially if you have arthritis. It is cold and damp here. I keep thinking about moving to LA.
Met Armistead numerous times and Christopher, too. Armistead was always nice and Christopher is a complete doll and a heck of a guy. In fact I ran into them when I was in Athens and it was my "Tales" moment when two people from the hood ran into each other across the world.
Of course they have an open relationship, but it is agreed upon and mutual satisfying to each. That is pretty much the norm in San Francisco for better or worse.
Seriously, though, you'd have to be in an open relationship to be with Armistead Maupin. I've heard he's a monster.
[qupte] Of course they have an open relationship, but it is agreed upon and mutual satisfying to each. That is pretty much the norm in San Francisco for better or worse.
De rigeur for the over 40 set and most of the "bear" set too. It's middle aged men trying to reclaim their youth.
These are the same bitches who sneer and roll their eyes at "circuit parties" but then go to bear runs, Blowoffs and Saugatuck/Provincetown and do the SAME. DAMN. THING.
[quote] I would never say Maupin is "abandoning" SF. Sometimes you just need a change.
I think Miss Maupin left SF because she's fucked every possible man in SF who was or will ever be interested in her.
Time for fresh meat! Mama's mussy is hongry!
No one finds you interesting BabyGay, we keep you around if you are interesting to look at, but we don't find anything you have to say interesting and all roll our eyes as you try to be important or intelligent.
Even when I was a kid(I'm 41)San Francisco always seemed like it was meant only for rich white men, like it was an exclusive club the plain and the poor(sadly I'm both)would never be allowed into.
That was amusingly weak, R83. Punctuate that statement properly, push your anus back into its cavity, and we'll get back to you.
[quote]As a San Franciscan I can understand wanting to get out of the city, especially if you have arthritis. It is cold and damp here.
Santa Fe is covered in snow for much of the winter, so I don't see how that's going to help his arthritis any.
Santa Fe also has zero gay scene, so I can't imagine how two guys who are used to a very active gay scene are going to adjust to that. Maybe they expect to travel a lot to offset the boredom that is New Mexico. Maupin's marauding days are behind him, but the bf will die of boredom after a couple years.
It isn't so much that AM is a monster but instead that Am has a monster. Am I the only one here who has seen it? He sure is a member of the big boy club.
[quote]Even when I was a kid(I'm 41)San Francisco always seemed like it was meant only for rich white men, like it was an exclusive club the plain and the poor(sadly I'm both)would never be allowed into.
Maupin represented the two gay societies in his books and mini-series. Paul Bartel played the head of the rich gay cartel in SF, while Marcus D'Amico represented the poor, hot, gay faction of the city. Billy Campbell's character was caught between the two.
I'm kind of excited for his next book, except for the knowledge that Jake Greenleaf is in it again.
[quote] It isn't so much that AM is a monster but instead that Am has a monster. Am I the only one here who has seen it? He sure is a member of the big boy club.
Huh? That's a new one on me.
[quote] I thought all lesbians retired to Berkeley.
Sounds unlikely. What do you base your comment on?
AM includes transgendered people in our tribe, even though many do not like us.
WHET Terry Anderson? Did he go Tom Robinson on us?
This thread has got me thinking. Wouldn't everyone who lives in San francisco like to leave?
I stayed for years hoping at some point it would pay off but it never did. Even Bangkok was a step up.
No city is what it used to be, but SF is the prime example of what happened to all of our favorite places.
Don't tell me I am the only one this thread who has seen AM's penis. The man got around. Now, this all happened back in the dark ages so perhaps it has gotten a little hidden in all the flab but let me tell you...it was big.
He told us about it in an early TOTC book, r96.
He did? Which one?
I think the first one when he complained he was the target only of size queens and couldn't find true love.
I am not so sure too many people would target him or it. Most smart people ran. Really, it is in the 1% of big.
Maupin is pretty much a star-f***er, read his Facebook it is all about Laura Linney. Surprised he left SF where he is a big fish in a small pond
What an odd decision to move, unless it is not just the Castro, but the whole city that now disappoints.
He'd never admit it, though.
I remember when he moved to New Zealand and was soon back. He won't be able to do that if he sells the house.
He left because of the high taxes which are getting worse. Over the next year, watch the exodus
What could be in Santa Fe?
Goodness, could R96 be any more transparent? Hi, Armistead!
Santa Fe is a relaxing place to own a second home, but I would die of boredom living there year round. Most of the celebrities who have bought homes there end up selling them after a few years.
Mary Ann in Autumn or whatever it was titled was pretty bad. I bought it and read it out of a sense of loyalty. Bought a first edition at a gay second hand book sale, soon after it came out, which meant someone else had bought, read it or not, and then quickly donated it. What struck me, other than the contrived nature of the narrative, which of course all of his Tales of the City stories have but which one forgives for the characters, is that he just doesn't "get it" anymore. I read the old stories when they came out, I'm slightly younger than Armistead, and did not live in SF (New Yorker) but spent, and still spend, lots of time flying back and forth, so I sorta had a sense of the city then, and certainly knew that gay culture. That's why I'm loyal. And I do have younger gay friends, and the characters in this book don't sound anything like them. They are weird, distant, characters. Three things missing probably 1. the drug and alcohol abuse present among younger gays 2. their attempts at recovery in AA and CMA, and 3. their difference, their lack of much of internalized homophobia which we had, and sense that they should by rights be treated equality and their sense that they are making something new. His young characters are insecure and needing of advice and assistance from the old and the drugs are just not present. Anyone who has spent any time in SF in the last few years knows that's not true. Not judging, just describing.
Has anyone heard how life turned out in Santa Fe for Armistead?
I was just offered an opportunity to move there but know so little about the place.
He's staring at lizards, and cactus, as I write. He'll be back in SF in 2-3 years. Other than warmer weather, Santa Fe is a ghost town, next to SF. Never should have sold his longtime house - the sticker shock will amaze him when he moves back.
That doesn't sound too promising. I have an opportunity to move there soon but do wonder what it is like. I did live in SF for a long time as well and remember Armistead.
He wins the "shallowest reason you ever broke up with someone award"
I have several friends who used to have vacation homes in Santa Fe, but they sold them after a few years. They said it was too boring a place for even for a vacation home. I can't imagine anyone under 50 wanting to live there full-time.
He's too old and he smoked for a long time didn't he? He won't be able to breathe.
No one is seeming very encouraging about Sante Fe. Maybe I should rethink my decision about moving there.
I've been to Santa Fe a couple times. The altitude really bothered me during a short stay, but I suppose most people get used to it. I was there in late spring and froze my ass off too. Very limited nightlife. I think it's really better suited as a vacation destination.
There doesn't seem to be any big fans of Sante Fe out there. Maybe I had better not move there.
Maybe he doesn't want a "big gay scene." Maybe a sleepy restful town is what he seeks at his age.
This happens to a lot of people who get charmed by an area while on vacation. Once they live there they see it for what it really is: provincial, boring. lacking in culture, entertainment and good restaurants, slow paced, natives who are uneducated, unwelcoming and bigoted.
Is there any gossip on how he is doing in Sante Fe? I am really curious how any of us go from a large city to living in a smaller town.