That big hulking building that blocks out the sun at 25th and Capp, lit up like a jack-o-lantern on Halloween

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It’s actually known as Mission Telco, as we learned in our post from last year called “About that big hulking building that blocks out the sun at 25th and Capp.”

And also, you can get a pin of it.

What’s that big superstructure on the Highland Street Bridge all about?

I’m sure the last few times you took San Jose Avenue out into the southern part of the city (like to go to Fort Funston or the Daly City In-N-Out), you were puzzled by this huge new addition the view:

I walked up there and got a closer look:

This helpful sign explained everything:

And if that’s too hard to read, I just realized the fine folks at Bernalwood have been covering this news for months.

[Top photo by Google Maps]

Represent your favorite local infrastructure

Tired of the incessant Sutro Tower worship, Britta made these rad buttons celebrating our lesser-known local infrastructure.

I managed to get one of the last Bernal Towers (known to locals as “Sutrito”), but she was unsurprisingly fresh out of the more dreamy Mission Telco. Hopefully we’ll get a few more buildings by the second run! I’d personally like to throw SFFD Station 9‘s training facility into the hat.

We were into Mission Telco waay before it blew up, BTW.

Looking down at the Mission from high atop Starr King Open Space

What a view! Click on it to view it bigger.

Calling all mallrats: Celebrate the inventor of the shopping mall at Gruen Day

Are you an architecture nerd, scuzzy ex-mall rat, or a person who loves cool and interesting things? Then you’ll love the first annual Gruen Day, taking place tomorrow, July 18, at the Bayfair Center in the Eastern Bay!

Back in May, 99% Invisible‘s Avery Trufelman wrote and produced an excellent episode on Victor Gruen, inventor of the shopping mall. Avery then joined forces with Tim Hwang (founder of the Bay Area Infrastructure Observatory) and SPUR to produce Gruen Day: a celebration of our favorite suburban merchandising complexes and its creator.

Festivities include talks, tours, nerding out, and hanging out in the food court at Bayfair Center (which, FYI, opened in 1957 as one of the first Gruen-designed shopping centers in the country). There may or may not be Minions present.

Gruen Day tickets are still available here! Plus, every ticket scores you a limited-edition poster designed by Justin Carder and two shiny limited-edition pins designed by yours truly:

(Fun fact: One of these pins may or may not have been inspired by my misreading of “Gruen Day” in an email subject line…)

RSVP and invite your friends here!

And grab yourself a ticket here before they sell out!

San Francisco’s iconic neon signs

Atlas Obscura talks to Randall Ann Homan and Al Barna, authors of the new book San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons:

Which neighborhood in San Francisco has the highest concentration of remaining signs?

Grant Ave in Chinatown has the most legacy neon signs per block. This is probably because Chinatown has never experienced a major “redevelopment”phase. Sadly, only two or three of these signs are still illuminated.

Is their loss something that is universally mourned in SF?

People mourn the loss of legacy neon signs, and also the small businesses they represent, which are being squeezed out by gentrification. A neon sign often marks traditional gathering places in neighborhoods, where generations of city residents congregate to watch movies, drink martinis, buy raviolis, eat fish, and even park cars.

The Q&A contains some great shots of iconic neon here in the Mission. Read on.

Star Wars condom wrapper or Star Wars fruitsnacks?


Both possibilities present their own set of unexplained questions.  For instance, what does a wookie taste like?  Some would even say that Star Wars condoms are themselves a paradox, but given enough time and enough galaxies (some far far away), odds are that they would eventually find their way onto some Jedi’s lightsaber.

Every day I’m not walking on pretty stairs is…

“…a piece of shit,” says my esteemed colleague Vic Wong, taker of this lovely ‘gram:

And he’s absolutely right. All the pretty stairs in SF — we should all be getting our fill!

Behold, the new Whole Foods…Tit Mobile?

Not sure if this is real or fake (or some daft new food truck), but hey, San Francisco everybody!

[Photo by Captain Alex DeWall]

What would you do with Fleet Week’s million?

On last week’s Roll Over Easy my fellow Mission Mission contributors Luke and Chris talked about the joys of watching the Blue Angels buzz the city during Fleet Week. They pointed out that there are always complaints about the noise and rattling windows. But there have also been complaints about the cost. Last year KQED suggested that it costs about $1 million to fly the planes over SF. Luke and Chris thought they brought a lot of joy to people, with no specific cost to anyone who wanted to watch (excepting residents’ tax money). Beyond that, I would assume that they’re meant to sustain excitement and support for our military might and justify its spending.

[photo by John 'K']

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the Angels. Their skill is impressive, but it’s not my thing, and I agree that the noise is annoying in that it’s not opt-in. So, I invite you here to speculate with me about what we could do with one million dollars that would still not really accomplish anything, but would bring joy to all kinds of people around the Bay Area, with no added cost to them.

What would you do? What would you like to see?

Here’s my stab at it: a life sized At-At standing with the Oakland cranes shooting It’s Its all over the Bay Area. Now, I know there are people out there who aren’t Star Wars fans (I’m not), and people who can’t tolerate ice cream (I can’t), but even so, how cool would this be??