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God Save Us Nelly Queens
December 15, 2004 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Now that we may be renaming the rebuilt eastern span [pdf] of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge after 19th century character (and sometime MeFi topic) Emperor Norton I, the question remains: when the time comes, what shall we name after his devoted widow? [cached last link]
posted by expialidocious (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Did that naming plan survive all the recent re-plannings of what bridge to build?
posted by scarabic at 8:50 PM on December 15, 2004


It's a separate issue. If the legislatures of Oakland and California approve the name, it could be the least contentious aspect of the whole project.

As for the Widow's future memorial, Coit Tower would be the obvious cringe-inducing choice, I suppose...
posted by expialidocious at 8:59 PM on December 15, 2004


The most recent development is Governor Schwarzenegger has abandoned the suspension design in favor of a simple, ugly, "freeway on stilts" viaduct. Here's the previous MeFi thread. Glad to see I'm not the only one following this long sordid saga!
posted by fandango_matt at 9:11 PM on December 15, 2004


Wow. I missed that post, fandango. Good stuff. I'd like to see something beautiful adorn the East Bay's gateway, but honestly, I just want an unobstructed view of my homeland as I fly into it from SF. That tall viaducts doesn't look so terrible to me. Kinda. Sorta. Not too bad.

You're not suggesting they would rename Coit Tower, are you, 'docious? I don't think that will ever happen. I've heard of this Emporer of America character but it's nice to learn the real story.

Good post!
posted by scarabic at 9:55 PM on December 15, 2004


[I have no comment on Californian politics - apologies - but I'm in San Francisco for the first time, and went up the Coit Tower today. I just thought that was kind of cool. Plenty of people there; it was a gorgeous day.]
posted by carter at 10:20 PM on December 15, 2004


Thanks. I've been following the Bay Bridge Saga ever since October 18, 1989 and I'm astonished and disgusted by the ineptitude, mismanagement, poor planning and finger-pointing that's turned our opportunity for a new landmark into an enormous political clusterfuck. I dug both the single-tower suspension span and the cable-stayed option and knowing about the opportunity that's been squandered makes my disappointment at being stuck with yet another concrete monstrosity all the more bitter.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:44 PM on December 15, 2004


You ppl are making me hella homesick.

Anyone else first get to know Emp Norton through that issue of Sandman?
posted by damehex at 12:08 AM on December 16, 2004


I actually met a relative of his. Nutty through and through. But he's continued the tradition and publishes his own little zine.
posted by Derek at 12:26 AM on December 16, 2004


Maybe they could name it after Norton's contemporary successor, HRM Caesar St. Augustine de Buonaparte. I've spoken to this guy, and, may I say, "woo woo!"
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:37 AM on December 16, 2004


As seen in the Congressional Record.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:41 AM on December 16, 2004


first get to know Emp Norton through that issue of Sandman

That was a good episode, but the eclipse happened the day after his burial, not the same day as the comic book implied. Still spooky though.

With all the talk about BitTorrent and movies earlier on MeFi, nobody mentioned that another thing BT is excellent for is digging up old comics. Crazy people with too much time have scanned in the entire run of series so you can download the Sandman with a single click. I am just waiting for an XML annotation standard to emerge for these archives so you can search by character or quote on each page...
posted by meehawl at 6:53 AM on December 16, 2004


You're not suggesting they would rename Coit Tower, are you, 'docious?

No, that'd never happen. Coit was another of our beloved eccentrics. But the Widow Norton is just as interesting a character as the Emperor, and has achieved some remarkable things as well - first openly gay candidate for office in the U.S., founder of the Imperial Court system, all that. I wonder if we'd honor her the same way?
posted by expialidocious at 9:07 AM on December 16, 2004


Update: looks like the Emperor Norton name will not necessarily be the least contentious aspect of the project ...
posted by expialidocious at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2004


I think I first heard of the Emperor in the Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson, the author being another character wonderfully weird enough to name a bridge after.

If nothing else, read the joke about the 3 Texan surgeons on the JOKES page.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:57 PM on December 16, 2004


This is why I can't afford to get sick and miss days.
posted by NortonDC at 1:08 AM on December 21, 2004


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