Doug Dorst has provided handy notes to help you place some of the spots whose names have been changed in the book...to protect the innocent. *Spoiler Alert - You may want to finish the book before you read these!*
Fern Grotto is in Cypress Lawn Cemetery, on the east side. Go in the main entrance (under the archway, where Featherstone was found), head up the hill to your right, and you’ll see it on your right after a couple hundred yards or so.
The Death’s Door Tavern is loosely based on the Globe Tavern, 379 Mission St. in Daly City.
The Hard Ten is based on The Page (formerly Chances, and before that, another name that I’ve since forgotten). 298 Divisadero (@ Page). (ed. note - did you know we're having One City One Book One Bar at The Page on 10/12/09? More info if you scroll down here.)
Mia’s apartment is on Grove Street, near Broderick. I used to live on Baker between Grove and Fulton, and I’d walk down Grove with my dog twice a day (en route to Alamo Square Park).
The DiMaio house is at a nonexistent address on Buena Vista Park Ave. West. Interesting thing about Buena Vista Park itself - if you look closely at the stones that line the walking paths, you can find some with letters and numbers. These are pieces of old tombstones that were “repurposed” after the cemeteries were taken out. I’m told that old stones were also used in the retaining wall at Fort Point.
Neptune, where Mercer’s gang gathers, is loosely based on Mars (798 Brannan @ 7th St.). The SF Writers’ Grotto folks used to gather here for a weekly happy hour. This was back when I was working as a lawyer, and I really enjoyed having this social connection to other writers in town.
The Tonga Room, where Toronto proposes to Mia, is at 950 Mason (bottom floor of Fairmont Hotel).
The San Francisco Zen Center, where Toronto has a moment of grace, is at 300 Page (@ Laguna).