City Limits is a collection of eight versatile short stories about the diverse people living in and coming from San Francisco's Mission District. These people, spanning a range of races and cultures -- all with dreams, hopes and plans -- are living on the meanest streets of America's most beautiful city. For some, lives are filled with promise; others face only a dead end. Here's a look at the stories.
"Baseball Blues": Set in 1962, and concluding today, three boys ditch school to camp out for tickets to the Giants-Yankees World Series. They get the tickets but discover they can make a small fortune selling them. They do but are arrested as scalpers. In a detention facility they meet hardcore delinquents. Detained only a short time, the experience changes their lives forever. But the Yankees won the series 4 games to 3.
"Building Fences": Set in 1968, a troubled young man is offered the choice of a jail term or volunteer for Army service. He’s selected the latter but wonders if he made the right decision. Friends are returning from Vietnam in boxes and his father and uncle, who despise each other, give him advice based on World War II experiences. He hates to leave, especially with the friction that rages between him and his father, new wounds opening daily.
"The Opponent": Set today, a failed boxer makes one last-ditch attempt to shine in the ring before making a solid commitment to a career in crime. His criminal colleagues think he's wasting his time and theirs. They are just about ready to do something about it if the boxer doesn't join them on a computer chip heist. The boxer has other plans. He'll try to evade them.
"Poodle Palace": Set today, a young black sailor returns to the city to find limited vacancies. He's forced to take a dingy room in the house of an eccentric old woman, apparently a bigot. Bothered by her and her poodles and cats, he attempts to move on but is somehow stuck. Though he shacks up with his new girlfriend, he ends up back at the old house. But that house is about to change -- and so is he.
"One-Way Ticket": Set today, a successful writer reflects on his life when joining three high school friends to celebrate his birthday. His present? They have kidnapped a parolee who, when they were teens, killed their best friend and injured them all in a drive-by shooting. It's time for revenge, but can these now prosperous adults conjure up the rage to murder their life-long nemesis. Yes and no.
"Frisco Noir": Set today, a female Mexican-American detective is facing economic hard times and pressure from her family to find respectable work. Meanwhile her wealthy brother needs her services to scare his son straight off of drugs. She plans a night tour of San Francisco's dark side. It's tense, dangerous, exciting. It works.
"Whale Watch": Set today, an Italian-American insurance man has had enough -- of everything. He'll ditch his family, his job and his life in the waters off Maui. He has a plan. But now it's complicated by the captain, crew and passengers of a snorkel tour boat and a giant whale. Will it work? Aloha.
"Last Mile": Set today, the black sheep makes one last effort to return home and smooth things out with his family. It's not easy and he meets strong resistance. Grudges run deep and understanding is pretty thin. In the end, there's a surprise and maybe half a victory.