Back in March, when I last posted regularly to this blog – for shame! – my Financial Adviser and I took a friend of a friend of hers around San Francisco. We dragged her to burritos, we insisted she take a scenic walking tour, and we were so worried that she’d miss the Golden Gate Bridge that we walked across with her.
Granted, this was about two weeks before the unofficial beginning of summer. That’s okay as long as you remember that global warming doesn’t exist. Summer months for San Francisco, traditionally, tend to be a bit in April and May, with a bit more in September before a big final hurrah in Ocotober.
Lisa, as she insisted we address her, was from England. Our fog rated high on the “wimpy” scale.
To be honest, she loved our namesake bridge. As did the FMA, and even myself. Y’see, there aren’t many natives, or even transplants, who’ve walked across the entire span, up from the Presidio in SF and down the hill to Sausalito. THe day we went was windless and warm, with clear blue skies reflected above the bridge towers and in the water below.
That, of course,is part of the grandeur of the Golden Gate. It not only inspires, but it kills. The waters beneath are notoriously lethal for both suicidals and those who make tragic mistakes.
The bridge, though, she perseveres. We love her for her beauty and symbolism, and rarely curse her for the lost souls that throw their bodies over her barriers. Like the moon, she is a harsh mistress. Yet nobody leaves her presence without realizing that despite all the metal, despite the era that she was the pinnacle of and not the entrance to, she has maintained through the years to assert her prowess as a symbol that we all respond to.
To write about San Francisco and ignore the Golden Gate is to write about New York and assume that the World Trade Center never existed, or that the canals of Tokyo were nothing but a fiery dream.