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Frisco Utopia

[whitespace] Capitol Suggestions

By Hank Hyena

'Frisco's city hall is finally finished--she's on display presently, like a rich old socialite exhibiting her chin tuck, boob job and liposuctioned groin. The marble monster, we're assured, is now 100 percent Earthquake Proof, and ... let's all coo about the festive cupola! The gold splattering is so bright, it brings out the gray. The local citizenry is kowtowing meekly to the splendor of the achievement, but really ... hasn't an opportunity been lost? Sure, we can actually stroll inside it without getting crushed by plummeting concrete, but still--it's nothing to brag about or slap on a postcard. Famous architects aren't imploring their wives, "Let's vacation in 'Frisco! I must see their amazing City Hall before I die! It's the eighth wonder of the unnatural world!"

The Ugly Truth Is This: our City Hall is a ho-hum edifice. There are villages in West Virginia with classier neoclassics. Once again we've fumbled a chance to erect something stupendous. What's my armchair advice? Listen, it's obvious: we should have plagiarized a successful Tourist Attraction. Why not? If it flies anywhere, it'll fly here. ... The Taj Mahal, for example. Everybody digs that alabaster onion dome. We should have decapitated our own silly top and grafted on a Mogul replica. Surround it with phallic minarets and curry stands and nickname the neighborhood "Little India."

Athens has an astounding Acropolis, with a photogenic Parthenon. We could have stolen their aesthetic--why be neo if you can be classical? We could have dragged a useless hill over to Civic Center--Bernal, I propose. We could have populated the cliffs with goats and harpists, with a winding pebble chariot path to the summit. Placed Corinthian columns in abundance there, with enormous bas-reliefs of ex-mayors seated on thrones, like gods.

Paris has its Notre Dame cathedral--that's a gothic concept we could easily steal. Grande joie de vivre in this plan, 'cause there's nothing funner than pissing off the French. Our buttressed building would be bigger and cheaper than theirs, because plastic is less expensive than stained glass. We could hire local actors to pose as "live" gargoyles--I recommend Sean Penn and Clint Eastwood. A Quasimodo is also required--my hunch is that Frank Jordan is available for the role. ... The Potala Palace of Lhasa, Tibet, is a PC no-brainer, and it might be available. Everybody's worried about the Dalai Lama because he can never go home again (sob, sob), but what are we actually doing for him? Let's just buy his cold glittery temple off the Chinese and stick him in it, to share with the supervisors. Is it really for sale? Hey! The Chinese bribe us, so let's bribe them. The Potala's just a hassle to the Han, anyway--Tibetan pilgrims circumnavigate it 24-7.

Gay 'Friscoites would be gaga about getting a Rococo Castle--an ornate candy-hued concoction by Mad Ludwig of Bavaria. Imagine teal moats with lilies and swans, patrolled by cops with codpieces. The chandelier would be discarded for disco balls, of course. Numerous other options exist: how about a severely tilted in-your-earthquake-face Leaning Tower of 'Frisco? Or a ziggurat-enhanced geranium-dripping Hanging Gardens of 'Frisco? Egypt is excessively hot, but it's got three pyramids--maybe we can sell them some fog, for the Sphinx. I'm dreaming, I suppose, but--must I be content with just the Golden Gate Bridge? It's not horrible (engineering marvel, blah blah blah), but it would be thrice as fabulous if it were covered with oyster gems--we could call it the "Pearly Gates" because it would be the mouth of a metropolitan Heaven, if my advice was ever obeyed.

Hate my ideas? Send your own Utopian Schemes to [email protected].

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From the March 1, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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