I’m staying near the Bay Bridge; it’s an awesome sight each morning but it doesn’t
compare with the true original: The Golden Gate. Symmetrical, immense, a colour-coordinated guardian to San Francisco Bay.
For some time I’ve been following a blog dedicated to the California High Speed Rail project, which would provide a two and a half hour link between downtown Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given the current economic climes, the author never misses an opportunity to point out that the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were both built at the height of the Great Depression, putting thousands to work and providing infrastructure for the subsequent recovery.
It’s not perfect; shamefully, its ability to carry trains (in addition to cars) has never been realised. Boarding a Sausalito-bound BART and traversing the Golden Gate would be so wonderful; think how much more exciting a view even than that from the red line T over the Charles River, bound for Boston. Nevertheless, to me, the Golden Gate is a potent reminder of what America can do when it can be bothered: when it put its massive resources to work and built nothing less than a symbol of the 20th century.
Today, in more interesting economic times, I mulled this and how things may or may not change in three weeks time as I merged with the never-ending stream of visitors and residents and walked its 2.8km span towards Sausalito before catching the ferry home.