The Real Places of The Catch
You may well wonder - are any of the places mentioned in The Catch real?
The Outer Sunset is the very real neighborhood where Julia and William grew up, in the southwestern part of San Francisco, just blocks from the beach and the ocean. It's known for its middle class, suburban character, and is also infamous as one of the foggiest parts of the city.
Visit these links to see more photos and learn more about the Outer Sunset.
Cardone's / Pier 45
Although I never actually name it in The Catch, Pier 45 is where Cardone's is located and it's where William fishes out of with his uncle. Pier 45 is the last working pier in San Francisco, where you find all the remaining fisherman and fish processing plants.
Cardone's is loosely based on Caito Fisheries, which is pictured in the link below, along with many of the other people and places of Pier 45.
In the video in the link below, you can see many of the people and places that I interviewed and toured.
Ocean Beach (and Taraval Beach vs. Pacheco Beach)
Bonfires on Ocean Beach in San Francisco are quite the tradition, and they made their way into an important scene in The Catch. If you want to watch what that bonfire scene would have looked like and read more about it, check out this video:
My friend who grew up in the Outer Sunset told me that she and her friends would steal wooden pallets from behind the Safeway store to burn in bonfires on Ocean Beach. Though I never named it, Julia and William would have been at Taraval Beach, the part of Ocean Beach that Taraval Street dead ends into. My friend also told me that the more "upper class" kids (like Julia's cousin Holly) would go to Pacheco Beach, the part of Ocean Beach that Pacheco Street dead ends into.
46th Avenue Diner, a.k.a. Bashful Bull Too
This is the local neighborhood diner where Julia and William eat a couple of times. I've never been here! My friend who grew up in the Outer Sunset told me that she and her friends used to eat here a lot, and that they called it simply "The 46th Avenue Diner."http://www.bashfulbulltoo.com/
Grand View Park, a.k.a. Turtle Hill
Although I never actually name it in The Catch, this is the hilltop park where William gives Julia the mermaid necklace. I have been here, and the link below contains more photos of this hidden gem:
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
This is where Julia and William go instead of their prom, and where an important scene in The Catch takes place.
William takes Julia and her daughter Paige into this chapel during one scene in the novel. I have been in this chapel. To see photos of the interior of the chapel, follow this link:
Although not a real place, Dunphy's is very loosely based on Scoma's Restaurant, which overlooks the fish processing plants of Pier 45:
People familiar with the Outer Sunset and San Francisco in general will immediately think of St. Ignatius College Preparatory. But Holy Cross, the private Catholic college preparatory school that Julia and William attend, was not really based on S.I. at all. I have never toured S.I., never known anybody who went there or worked there, and know nothing about the curriculum or the academics.
UC Santa Barbara, and Anacapa Hall
Obviously, these are real places. But I have never actually been there, and despite my best efforts, I'm sure it will show to anyone who is really familiar with the campus.