A self-proclaimed, “shameless self-promoter,” Broke-A— Stuart, also known as Stuart Schuffman, is in the process of making a name for himself. As one of San Francisco’s mini-celebrities, he continuously comes up with ways for us to enjoy our city without emptying our pockets.
Spending his college years at UC Santa Cruz, he often made the trek up to USF for friends and began falling in love with the city, beginning with our very own Hayes-Healy (but you’ll have to ask him for those specific details).
Before his book there was his zine—a 33-page, single-photo mini publication with the first edition containing only 50 copies. To his surprise, the people of San Francisco loved his zine and left bookstores sparse, begging for something more. Twice he won the “Best Local Zine” award in the SF Bay Guardian newspaper.
It was at this point that he thought his entertaining descriptions of various restaurants, stores and dive bars might be worth more than just a good laugh. After some serious research, which included scouring the city for the cheapest and most enthralling epicurean outlets, he finally settled on more than 280 pages of raw and fresh San Francisco. However, you’ll learn more from his book than just cheap and free eats (though the free-food section is quite expansive). He breaks down the neighborhoods, describing the best places to shop, people-watch and loiter.
Both wise and hilarious, Stuart provides insight into the city’s underbelly, exposing some of the most exciting and eccentric places the city has to offer. In not-so-subtle ways, he steers away from big corporations and fights for the little guy by endorsing the small businesses that make the city come to life. His no-BS descriptions offer an unrefined honesty that even make you want to visit the places he bashes.
Don’t know what to get your friends for a belated holiday, their birthdays, for forgetting their birthdays? “Broke-A— Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco” is the perfect ‘just for you,’ ‘happy birthday,’ and/or ‘I’m sorry’ gift. Along with checking out some clips from his writing, you can buy Stuart’s book online at Amazon or Powell’s, or you can head on down to The Booksmith bookstore on Haight.
I couldn’t say it any better than him: “Broke-A— Stuart writes for busboys, poets, social workers, students, artists, musicians, magicians, mathematicians, maniacs, yodelers and everyone else out there who wants to enjoy life not as a rich person, but as a real person. Namely, he writes for you.” So buy this book already; then you and your friends can finally venture into the city beyond The Haight.