Playing tourist in San Francisco

Considering how often I’ve gone up here, it was so surprising that I have never actually crossed the Golden Gate Bridge by foot. So here’s a first. Since the bridge has been photographed so many times in so many ways, I couldn’t think of a unique angle for this one. But hey, this is the best I could do.

Now for a little history:

Formerly the longest suspension bridge in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge was first constructed in early 1933 and completed in early to mid 1937. Made of steel and painted in the bizarrely chosen International Orange (could’ve been yellow and black which I would’ve preferred. Why? Hufflepuffs, that’s why), it was designed with hints of art deco features which I didn’t notice until I was up close to one its towers. (Le sigh. I used to love art deco until I discovered Ayn Rand. Thanks a lot, Ayn Rand.)

Anyway, what the Statue of Liberty was to the early immigrants arriving by ships from Europe in the east coast is what the Golden Gate Bridge was to the early immigrants also arriving by ship from Asia in the west coast. It’s a very symbolic sight, I’m sure. You know, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to a new and better life of freedom and all that. But first, a trip to Angel Island, the immigration inspection center equivalent to Ellis Island in the east coast except with more extreme vetting (it also contains a detention center). Because you know… them Chinese immigrants were so suspiciously… ummm… well… something. They were so suspiciously something. Or I should say not American, whatever flimsy and selective definition of American was at that time. You know how it went and you know how it goes. Thank gawd, that was so last century, right? RIGHT?

The first time I ever crossed the Golden Gate Bridge was when I was just a freshly migrated 10 year old with big hair, on my very first summer road trip in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. My first thought was “That bridge ain’t gold!” It’s like calling a banana “Blue.” Go figure.

International Orange… peh.

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