Approved by Armistead Maupin himself, this is my love letter to 28 Barbary Lane. Imagine a keepsake box owned by one of the residents of that legendary house! Including cards, postcards, a journal and a map, this is the perfect gift for any Tales of the City fan.

I was struck by how confusing it can be for some people to actually find the famous wooden steps, and since I had trouble myself, I created an illustrated map with a very straightforward representation of where the house should be. The set contains several new artworks, all featuring the most famous apartment building in the LGBTQ universe.

The notebook was designed in a scrapbook style to evoke a younger Anna Madrigal and her adventures, from Copenhagen to the Castro. Inspired by old Gitanes cigarette posters, I named the book ‘High on the Hill,’ completing the age-worn retro theme of the box set. ‘Logical Lockdown’ appears as a postcard and greetings card and the famous wooden steps feature in ‘Halfway to the Stars’ which is probably the first time the house has been depicted from the street below.

You can write in the journal, take the map to San Francisco, send the postcards to your logical family, frame the greetings cards or keep the whole thing as a memento of the world of Tales of the City.


1 x Notebook 105 x 148mm, 40 full colour illustrated pages of mementos and souvenirs

4 x Postcard 105 x 148mm, 4 different designs printed front and back, including Logical Lockdown

2 x greetings cards, 125 x 175mm with envelopes in protective cellophane covers, including Logical Lockdown

1 x map, 210 x 297mm full colour illustrated front and back, featuring a hand drawn view of Barbary Lane, looking down Taylor Street to Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz, clearly marked for visits to Macondray Lane.

1 x illustrated keepsake box 230 x 165 x 17mm, brown paper finish and black velvet insert, strong construction.

Buy the box set here.    See my Tales of the City page here.

All of the items are functional and can be written on, sent in the post or kept as a keepsake box. The map is accurate, although sadly there is no Barbary Lane and the houses you will see up there are not quite the full Madrigal fantasia. If you are making a pilgrimage to the steps, please respect the residents! For a more authentic Barbary Lane experience, visit Napier Lane with its wooden walkways and more familiar wooden houses, balconies and cats.