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Golden Gate Bridge Walk

Get Close. Bring an Apple.

Walking across the Golden Gate bridge is a noisy experience: the cars, the wind. It’s a roadway after all, picturesque from afar (we started off at Chrissy Field), and breathing fumes up close. Walking is essential to gauge the physicality of a place or thing, its distance, the angles you’d otherwise not see: of the bridge, below it, on it, afar, underneath its towers, parallel to its cables. Sort of a walking Cubist experience. Tourists want to be in the photo with the bridge, it’s our biggest local celebrity. In the sunshine there is something especially cheerful and earnest and of course oversized about it, as if it’s the Clifford the big Red Dog of the Bay. (Although it’s darker side is indicated soon enough by the crisis phones installed there for potential jumpers. ‘There is hope. Make the call.’) But right now there are sunnier sorts around: Asian girls in cute outfits with impossibly un-windblown hair posing for pictures; and somewhere a fashion blog is updated. Men alone and men in groups ask us to stop and take their pictures and we do. All these pictures. All these angles. From that side, below or above, angled here then there, with ocean or Bay in frame, or with wildflowers, with others or alone.

The bridge draws us out and towards it, and others too, like trickles of iron shavings skittering towards its great metal breast, this strange attraction between our small organic selves and this big Beast. Our lives are small but the Bridge is Big! With some maintenance and some new International Orange paint slapped on from time to time, it will keep on living and living. And it itself bridges the physical world with the virtual world as evidenced by all the I-phones and devices held up to capture It, all the texts sent (‘guess where I am!’). In the physical world it is one, but in the virtual it multiplies and multiplies. Meanwhile my hunger calls out; I’m a woman in need of an apple. If you cross the bridge make sure you bring a snack because there are no concessions on the Marin side.  (Raeshma)

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