The Castro is San Francisco's renowned queer-friendly district even though the city is queer friendly indeed. However, the district is the hub for the city's queer-friendly businesses and residential areas. The district stretches out in a five-block radius between Market Street and Castro Street. Since the location is the most queer-friendly of the area, thousands of queer people flock to the district daily. The area is the central stage for the novel.
Barbary Coast Apartments. I found Ryoga's apartment complex while taking a walk around the northern area of the Castro district. The apartment is located conveniently one block from the main Market Street which makes it easy for Ryoga to walk around the Castro area to work and other places in the district.
Ryoga found the apartment while apartment-hunting with Ryan in Chapter Seven of the first novel. The name of the apartment is a tribute to Maupin's novel. Also, the woman who sold Ryoga the apartment is none other than Mary Ann Singleton, the main character of the original "Tales of the City!"
Ryan's House. I can't remember where exactly Ryan's house is located again but it is located also in the North area of the Castro...slightly two or three blocks from Ryoga's apartment. Hitomi's flat is very typical for the Castro area because many of the houses styles are classic Victorian. The house has two doors, one leading to the bottom floor and one leading to the top floor. Ryan lives on the top floor of the apartment. Too bad the apartment didn't have the Rainbow flag like the novel says so.
Ryan's apartment building first appears in Chapter One of the novel in which Ryan takes Ryoga to his apartment for the first time. Characters will make frequent visits to this apartment.
Squat and Gobble Cafe and Creperie (no pun intended!). Located across from Gold's Gym, next to Cafe Flore and below club Metro, the restaurant has a convenient location in which it can attract many queer adn non-queer customers. Part of a California chain also known as La Creperie, the restaurant serves neo-Californian cuisine and French desserts wrapped in warm pancake dough.
The restaurant first appears Chapter Thirteen of the first novel. Ryan's connections help Ryoga find a job there as a waiter and part-time chef. Ryoga's natural good-looks also keep a certain crowd of young, single gay men coming into the restaurant.
Gold's Gym of San Francisco.
The infamous "meat market" of San Francisco. Located at the center of the district, the gymnasium is the second-home for a large number of young men and women. It provides state-of-the-art equipment and aerobic and weight-training classes. Participants come to the gym to work out and admire others. The locker rooms and steam rooms are also hook-up spots for many downe folks in the Castro.
The gym first appears in Chapter Five of the second novel, in which Ryoga meets the infamous Kerry Kwok while being a kempo instructor for Gold's Gym. The location becomes more important in the novel as more characters visit it.