75 years ago today, my fourteen-year-old grandmother walked across the Golden Gate Bridge for the very first time. For many years now, I have seen it every time I leave my house. And it is spectacular.
Few structures have captured my imagination quite like this bridge. It is beautiful, with its bright color set against the Marin Headlands (or the grey fog), and the Art Deco style is clean and bold. (On my walk to the train, I decide if it will be a good day depending on whether I can see the bridge or if it is obstructed by fog.)
I’ve driven across it numerous times, from childhood, to when I was a teenager and my best guy friend drove us to Muir Woods at night, to now, off to taste wine with my mom. I see it when I ride the 28 line to the Marina. I have watched The Bridge, adocumentary capturing suicides from the Golden Gate, and found it tragic but strangely striking.
I have walked across the bridge twice: a cold, windy, and surprisingly strenuous walk. Nothing about this scenery ever gets old.
The Golden Gate Bridge, to me, exemplifies everything I love about San Francisco: it’s the gateway to the city, rich with history (some of it my own family history), bright and big and larger than life. I never fail to be excited when I drive back into town and see the skyline through that rich red doorway. And when I see it tonight, lit up with fireworks, I will raise a glass to the visionaries, the architects, the construction workers…and my grandmother, of whom I am reminded every time I see it. Happy 75th, Golden Gate. I can’t picture life without you.