Here’s to weighing in on the consuming, critically important discussion of not naming the new eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge*—but not too heavily, because it couldn’t withstand the load. Before I get into that, though, didn’t anybody think of pontoons?!
The issue has been decided, and the other side won. No lives were lost, but it did look for a while like Willie Brown might have to be rendered dead to qualify as the western span’s namesake.
While the rest of the nation focused on the Middle East, not naming the bridge distracted Bay Area residents from the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars being spent by Congress yapping about Syria, when they would otherwise have been boosting our domestic economy by hanging out at local bars and legislating which side of Pennsylvania Avenue you can walk your dog on. And they’ll probably be tied up with all that long after the Bay Bridge collapses again, so I’m fairly confident that we’re safe from federal intervention.
For those of you who concentrate on real news, let me explain that we’re talking about the infuriatingly elitist attitude that resulted in not naming the eastern 2000-foot piece of the bridge which connects San Francisco to “the hinterlands”—all land, sea and sky to the east of San Francisco (in the opinion of City dwellers). San Francisco is hermetically sealed from the East Bay by Treasure Island, which bisects the bridge; the point at which commuters from the hinterlands morph into hip geeks so that they can be assimilated into the culture that is Silicon Valley North.
I, for one, am against separate names for the two sections of the bridge. It only exacerbates the region’s bipolarity. But since San Francisco needs, needs, to distance itself even further from any association with the plebeian East Bay, I suggest renaming the whole bridge, “Bridge to Somewhere.”
*East Bay dweller and proud of it.