Friday, April 29, 2005

The Big One-Seven-Five

Happy birthday, Adolph Sutro! Engineering mastermind, savvy businessman, once-Mayor of San Francisco, builder of the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths, and planter of the Sutro Forest on top of Mount Sutro. This is where the Sutro Tower was built in 1971-72 (named for the location, not the man) and where it still stands, stoically watching over me and protecting my puppies as they run and play in Duboce Park. I'm a big fan of the tower. I love living near enough to it so that I can see it everyday--but far enough away so that I can avoid all that electromagnetic radiation.

The Sutro Tower is 977 feet tall, and weighs about 3.7 million pounds. It stands in the exact center of San Francisco, and I think that the city's landscape is incomplete without it. So many photographers focus on the Golden Gate Bridge (love it), the skyline of the downtown financial district (love it), the Coit Tower (love it), the TransAmerican--or, "Pyramid"--Building (love it), even the Bay Bridge (love it, except when I'm stuck on it).

But I love how all of these glorious and beautiful landmarks are all crowded around the mouth of the bay and the Embarcadero and the Presidio, all packed into this relatively tiny space (not unlike the Victorians throughout the city), and the Sutro Tower stands proudly above them and west up Market Street, balancing out the conglomeration of concrete and steel beauties. The visual is astounding. And once the fog gets involved, it's all I can do not to cry.

Sometimes I never want to leave this city.

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