Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It only takes a tiny corner of...

It's dangerous business, to visit the past expecting to find it as one thought it to be. Inevitably there is the shock and disappointment and realization, that, not only are things not as one remembers, but it may call into question as to whether they ever were.

From Tank Hill and Kite Hill to strolling along the streets and lanes of The City; from the highest vantage point to along the very shore of the Bay, there was plenty which was familiar and belonged uniquely to The City, even as particular landmarks and cafes and shops have disappeared or have been altered beyond recognition. This is a place, mind you, whose very edge has been pushed out far beyond its original
shorelines; a city leveled and rebuilt more times than even most natives are aware.

The fondest icons of The City such as the Transamerica Pyramid or Sutro Tower were themselves initially spurned by the local citizenry, just as they fought long and hard to retain the foghorns that bellowed across the Bay long after they had been rendered obsolete.

The City is in turmoil yet again over ambitious plans to build enough to make the current skyline virtually unrecognizable. Preservationists and the advocates of livable neighborhoods once again are sounding their call to arms. The piers and breakwaters are crumbling away as I write, and the means to save them remain ethereal as ever. Deep beneath the surface, the San Andreas fault bides its time before it throws all of the best laid plans to ashes as it has so many times before.

Yet the silhouette of The City approaching the Bay Bridge remains as magical and alluring as ever. The fog continues to pour over the hills in the afternoon, giving even the most dependable of views an ever shifting and evolving appearance. Millions of visitors still flock to leave their hearts there. The denizens remain as cynical and enamored as they ever were, passionate about their tiny piece of this great big world and comfortable in the knowledge that God has shown favor on them for granting them the rare privilege of living there.

1 comment:

Scott Haile said...

Best read ever