Friday, December 9, 2011

Dawn at the Golden Gate

Last night I attended a sold out screening of Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 6 at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. Film archivist Prelinger splices home movies, outtakes from films, and early ads to highlight San Francisco's cultural and natural past. A flash of last night's footage showed a Golden Gate without a bridge.

This morning, I walked the Golden Gate Bridge at first light and watched the sun bust through today's skyline. The commuters, the joggers, and the industrious cyclists reminded me of a description of early San Franciscans. With them, wrote the authors of The Annals of San Francisco in 1855, there was “no sauntering, no idleness, no dreaming. All was practical and real; all energy, perseverance and success. In business and in pleasure, the San Franciscans were fast folk: none were faster in the world."

I resisted any practical and real energy this morning. The city flamed against the sunrise, a match lit, and I was walking on water thanks to the industriousness of those who designed and built this bridge. The bridge turns 75 in May 2012.

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