SANF January 2009 : 27

JANUARY 2009 SAN FRANCISCO 27 GUTTER CREDIT HERE CLICK WHEN: 6:06 p.m. 11/23/08 WHERE: Columbus and Broadway, San Francisco Books can be enlight- ening, but Brian Gog- gin and Dorka Keehn have taken that idea to a whole new level. For their North Beach installation, “Language of the Birds,” they mounted 23 booklike sculptures on stainless steel wires suspended above the street. The unveiling took place in an evening ceremony during which scantily clad members of the Extra Action Marching Band scaled ladders to remove the illuminated books’ Velcro covers. The artwork is powered by solar panels atop the aptly named City Lights Books, showcas- ing the neighborhood’s impressive literary pedi- gree. The entire project sheds light—literally and otherwise—on the side- walk below. PHOTOGRAPHER: Navid Baraty

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Books can be enlightening, but Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn have taken that idea to a whole new level.<br /> <br /> For their North Beach installation, “Language of the Birds,” they mounted 23 booklike sculptures on stainless steel wires suspended above the street. The unveiling took place in an evening ceremony during which scantily clad members of the Extra Action Marching Band scaled ladders to remove the illuminated books’ Velcro covers.<br /> <br /> The artwork is powered by solar panels atop the aptly named City Lights Books, showcasing the neighborhood’s impressive literary pedigree.<br /> <br /> The entire project sheds light—literally and otherwise—on the sidewalk below. While speed climbers Hans Florine (from Lafayette) and Yuji Hirayama were out breaking records on El Cap, this young adventurer was aiming for his own kind of mountain miracle—but without any peaks, serious climbing gear, or even a breath of fresh air. With more than 350 routes that take you in all four directions, Mission Cliffs’ climbing wall offers plenty of challenges.<br /> <br /> You can achieve a new personal best anywhere on the wall, but the view from the top is especially sweet This evocative image of San Francisco resident Mario Hernandez seems to conjure Walt Whitman’s famous line “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Refl ected in Hernandez’s sunglasses is a group of 7,500 demonstrators who came together to protest the passage of Proposition 8, which denies gay people the right to marry, as well as other antigay initiatives in Arizona, Arkansas, and Florida. Simultaneous demonstrations took place in 300 cities around the country, and they evidently made some headway. A recent poll by SurveyUSA shows that in the wake of these events, 8 percent of gay-marriage opponents have changed their minds.

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