Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Golden Gate Bridge

This pewter Golden Gate Bridge thimble is available through the Golden Gate Online Store for $8.99 plus S/H. They have a whole lot of other GGB stuff there. The usual souvenirs, plus some unusual things: a four-inch piece of Original Golden Gate Bridge Cable ($174.99), in all its International Orange loveliness; a Golden Gate Bridge Rivet ($19.99: make your friends guess what it is before you tell them); and various Cancelled Series bonds.
I am trying to remember as I write this if I have one like this. I know I have one with a little dangly bridge, but I don't remember where exactly it's from. Sausalito? I have several GGB thimbles because I live just outside San Francisco. Some of them are from friends, but three different ones are from the little gift shop at the south end of the bridge. I purchased them the first, and--as God is my witness--LAST, time I walked across the bridge.
A lot of travel guides to SF highly recommend a little stroll across the Bridge. The writers of such guidebooks (A) have never walked it, or (B) are nuts.
Herein I detail my reasons why you, gentle reader, should not walk across the Golden Gate Bridge:
  1. It's really, really high and if you chance to look over the side at the bay below you will get woozy.
  2. It's really, really windy and between the wind and the traffic whooshing by you are always in mortal danger of being blown off the bridge. If you must walk across, DO NOT wear your Sister Bertrille hat.
  3. Again, the wind. It's always blowing against you. Into your face. Making your nose run. And you won't remember to bring any tissue.
  4. Smart-ass bicyclers from Marin County riding to San Francisco.
  5. Smart-ass bicyclers from San Francisco riding to Marin County.
  6. Wherever you are on the bridge, whichever direction you're heading, you have to walk uphill.
  7. The public tranportation to the bridge just sucks. You have to transfer a zillion times to different buses in these little neighborhoods where, depending what end of what block you're on, can be pretty sketchy.
  8. The alternate to public transportation: fighting for a parking spot in the dinky tourist lot near the toll booth/tourist center/gift shop, which will drain you of the your energy to walk across and/or will to live.
  9. The kind soul you've conned into walking with you will have permanent scarring where you've dug your fingernails into his/her arms.
  10. Once you make it--nose dripping, calves throbbing, tummy churning--to the other side, you pretty much have to walk back.
Also, back when I walked across, they didn't have a railing between the sidewalk and the traffic speeding by, just this little mid-calf-high concrete barrier, on the other side of which was this six-inch-wide gap running the length of the bridge. You could see straight down to the Bay. I think at some point a little toddler (from Germany?) fell through. They've fixed that, but still. . .
Drive, yes. Bike, if you want. Walk, no.

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