San Francisco Hotels
One of the world's most iconic photographers, Ansel Adams's nature photography is instantly recognizable even twenty years after his death. Born in San Francisco in 1902, the young Adams become obsessed with photography after reading In The Heart of the Sierras while recovering from a childhood illness. An autodidact, Adams revolutionized both the artistic and technical aspects of photography. An early member of the Sierra Club, Adams was a lifelong conservationist and activist who often used his work to raise awareness of the fragility of the natural world. The recipient of three Guggenheim fellowships, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Adams was both critically and popularly acclaimed throughout his long career. In 1962, he settled in Carmel, along with his wife Virginia Best and remained there until succumbing to cancer in 1984.
One of the world's most popular and handsome actors, Brad Pitt is widely regarded as one of the finest and most intriguing working thespians of his generation. An anomaly in Hollywood for his lack of participation in major blockbusters, his fame is derived not only from his classic good looks, but also his performances in such films as Fight Club, Seven and Snatch. In 2005 he made tabloid headlines throughout the world by divorcing his wife, Friends actress Jennifer Aniston, and beginning an affair with his co-star in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Angelina Jolie. A frequent and vocal advocate for gay rights and a vegetarian, Pitt maintains a house in Carmel-By-The-Sea.
With a biography that reads as two parts Horatio Algiers to three parts Roald Amundsen, Roy Chapman Andrews went from sweeping the floor at the American Museum of Natural History to chairing the organization. Supposedly the model for Indiana Jones, Andrews is perhaps best known for his expeditions to China and Mongolia in the 1920's. These expeditions to the Gobi desert returned the first ever recorded specimens of dinosaur eggs as well as the remains of a mastodon and a giant rhinoceros, Baluchitherium. He left the directorship of the American Museum of Natural History in 1942 and spent the next eighteen years of his life in Carmel, writing about his adventures.
The creator of transactional analysis, this physiatrist was born as Eric Lennard Bernstein in Montreal, Canada. He changed his name in 1943, four years after emigrating to the United States. Transactional analysis is primarily concerned with the description and categorization of an individual's "ego-states" which Berne grouped into three states of being: Parent, Adult and Child. These roles are played-out in "games" which Berne detailed in his Structures and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups, published in 1963. Though widely rejected by the greater community of physiatrists, the theory is still used by a great number of analysts. In fact, the Transactional Analysis Association still boasts over 15,000 members. Berne moved to Carmel with his third wife, Torre Peterson in 1967 and remained there until his death in 1970.
The woman who gave the world Ralph S. Mouse and Ramona the Pest sill lives with her husband in Carmel. A former librarian and Newberry Award winner, Cleary is widely recognized as revolutionizing the genre of children's literature. Unlike the great majority of early children's books, her characters live simple lives in normal, suburban environments. Her tales are riddled with easy to digest moral lessons and cute jokes that make them enjoyable for both children and adults. One of her books, The Mouse and the Motorcycle was recently turned into a movie and her titles are still in print even after fifty years. The mother of twins, Cleary is a graduate of UC Berkeley.
Clint Eastwood is a man of many faces, Academy Award winning director, jazz musician, and former politician—but most still remember him for his .357 packing portrayal of Detective Harry Callahan, AKA Dirty Harry. An actor known for taking tough-guy roles, he got his start doing Spaghetti Westerns with Italian director Sergio Leone but gradually became recognized as one of the preeminent talents of his generation. In 1986, Eastwood was elected as Mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea, securing 72% of the vote. Though he ran as a Republican, Eastwood is widely recognized as promoting Libertarian political viewpoints. He is married to anchorwoman Dina Ruiz and serves on the Board of Directors for the Monterey Jazz Festival.
LA Confidential author James Ellroy makes his home in Carmel with his wife, Helen Knode. A crime writer who married the hard-boiled style of Dashiell Hammett with the truncated prose of Hemmingway, Ellroy is known for his grisly tales of Southland crime and his heroic depiction of the Boys in Blue. A political conundrum, he simultaneously has great respect for the fundamentals of law and order, but ardently opposes the death penalty. A vegetarian and teetotaler, Ellroy writes his tales out longhand, working from meticulously prepared outlines. A relentless pessimist, he is sometimes referred to as the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."
A giant amongst Science Fiction authors, Robert Heinlein remains a controversial figure to this day. On one hand he was an advocate for sexual and emotional freedom by penning Stranger in a Strange Land. On the other, he was frequently labeled as a fascist by writing such tomes as Starship Troopers. A graduate of the Naval Academy and former military man, Heinlein was a lifelong iconoclast, promulgating ideas of radical free expression and libertarianism. Along with Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, Heinlein's work stands at the zenith of creative achievement in the science fiction genre. The fact that he still inspires heated debate is a testament to the kinds of issues that he raised in this much maligned genre.
The Central Coast's own version of Henry David Thoreau, Robinson Jeffers was known for his rugged individualism, his love of nature and his penchant for writing in classical styles long since abandoned by the modern world. After fleeing Los Angeles with his lover Una Call Kuster in the wake of a scandal, Jeffers settled nearby Carmel and built himself a granite refuge he name Tor House. Later a four story tower, named Hawk Tower, was added. It was modeled after Irish architectural forms. The residence is now in the hands of the Tor House Foundation, founded by another local luminary, Ansel Adams. A Writer who favored epic forms for his poetry, his unabashed love of the classics, combined with his retired lifestyle, made him an icon of simplicity during a time of great change in American culture.
The first American to ever receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, Sinclair Lewis lived the kind of romantic, fast-paced life that many of his characters did. A restless wander and hopeless hedonist, Lewis wrote stories of epic chivalry set against the backdrop of an America in moral flux. Some of his works, including Main Street and Babbitt are still recognized as masterpieces. A consummate American at the time when it wasn't fashionable to be one in literary circles, Lewis lamented that America is "The most contradictory, the most depressing, the most stirring, of any land in the world today." He died of alcoholism in Rome after wandering through Carmel, and residing in the artistic district of Montparnasse in Paris, France.
Jack London predated the Beats by almost 50 years. A former oyster pirate, prospector and hobo, London led a life of high adventure that led his all around the world. His novels, including the epic, Call of the Wild and the alcohol-infused self-biopic John Barleycorn are widely admired for their genuine American voice and themes of self-reliance and brotherhood. A nearly lifelong socialist, London was a political conundrum, one hand a proponent of the working classes and the other, and ardent detractor of Asian immigration. He spent a significant amount of time on the Central Coast, but his true home was in the North Bay at his Glen Ellen Ranch. He ashes are buried there, with his wife, Charmian, marked only by a mossy boulder.
Ira Remson exemplifies the fact that most great discoveries are made by accident. Like Flemming's discovery of penicillin, Remsen discovered the first artificial sweetener, saccharin, after forgetting to wash his hands before dinner. The rolls that evening were particularly sweet. He was one of the founding Faculty at an upstart medical school named Johns Hopkins and spent 35 years as the editor of the American Chemical Journal. After ascending to the Presidency of Johns Hopkins, Remsen retired to Carmel.
Muckraker extraordinaire Upton Sinclair is the grandfather of the investigative journalist. Woodward and Bernstein have got nothing on this man whose scathing novel about the Chicago meatpacking industry, The Jungle, can still send a shiver of disgust up the spine a century after its publication. A socialist and advocate of worker's rights, he complained that The Jungle "aimed at their hearts, and hit their stomachs." He ran unsuccessfully for governor of California twice, once as a socialist, and once on the Democratic ticket. His great forgotten work is the Lanny Budd series. Through 11 novels, he details the political landscape of the early twentieth century in an extended allegorical fashion.
Poet and raconteur, George Sterling was the "uncrowned Kind of Bohemia." During his day, he was as well known for his social calendar as he was his poetry, counting such luminaries as Jack London and Robinson Jeffers as members of his inner circle. He founded an artist's colony in Carmel. Perhaps best known for his poem "A Wine of Wizardry," Sterling was lauded on the West Coast, but unfortunately failed to garner much acclaim from the East Coast literary establishment. A direct descendant to the romantic odes of Keats and Shelly, he passed away young.
Edward Weston is Carmel's other great photographer. In contrast to Ansel Adams, Weston is known for his portraiture and small scale studies, including series of seashells and nudes. A member of Adam's photography group f/64, Weston was a true artist who viewed photography as the twentieth century's greatest technological advancement. Though born in Illinois, Weston is perhaps best known for his later work which he accomplished from his house on Wildcat Hill outside Carmel. Following his death in 1958, his Daybooks, were published which detailed the opinions and musings that led to his singular artistic vision.
—Carmel-by-the-Sea people reviews by Peter Koht
Spacious Colonial Inn overlooking Carmel
Intimate European Elegance in Carmel
English Country Romance in Carmel Village
Newly Decorated Suites in the Heart of Carmel
Charming European Inn overlooking Carmel