September 29th, 2009
David Byrne spoke in San Francisco at the Herbst Theatre.
The tickets sold-out quickly but to my lucky luck, my fabulous friend Deep, hit me up letting me know that he had a spare ticket. Awesomeeeeeeee.
So after we had some yummy crepes for dinner, we headed over to the theatre. It surprised me that there was no bike valet parking that I could see (or did I totally miss it?!…), but well, every meter and sturdy fence between Van Ness and Grove st. was beyond jammed-packed with bicycles.
I attended the lecture after reading the book, so many of the points Byrne touched upon, was almost like listening to a live version of an already summarized version, which was nice. We all want to someday have bicycle traffic as Copenhagen, yea yea. We all know that. Europe is great.
He talked with his own elegant humor a bit of crap about Texas, which I’m sick of people always talking so much shit about Texas. The 2 photos he displayed from Austin, were underneath a freeway. Meh. I have been to Austin (&I know is UNLIKE the rest of the state) but I read numerous blogs from people on bicycles based out of the Lone Star land, and that are tremendously active in their community, so I don’t think they deserve that. Sure it is a freeway mess, but I can say that there are some great people that do try and care for cities, and for their future. The bicycle community in Texas might be very very small, but it is there. And wagging 😉
I don’t think that was his point, or I’m sure hoping it wasn’t but so, ok I’m just saying… And come on, we don’t have to even go outside California to talk crap about conservative non-bike friendly crap like that. Bakersfield anyone?
ANYWAYS -David Byrne looked fantastic. I know he has said before that he dresses as if he is pretending to be someone else, but whatever. His style is swoon, his humor was present and he looked divine, dressed impeccably in all-white. I hear white jeans are the hit in Argentina. Angelical – period.
SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum & the one supervisor in SF that does not own a vehicle and commutes by bicyle David Chiu, also gave interesting personal bicycle stories and points of views about our beloved city and what direction we are headed.
Shahum also said something like: ‘Ok, let’s not focus on Europe so much for the moment, and see the changes that are happening now, in the States.” I really enjoyed her before and after photos of various US cities included in her slideshow. Asides the NYC closure area of times square, she of course had to proudly present our own SF street closure series (which I was so happy to see on the big projector screen!!) such as the Castro/17th corner, shown below.
Emeritus Professor Michael Tietz, was also part of the panel and perhaps my favorite perspective because he admitted he was not a cyclist now (I calculate he is in his 70-80s) but has a vast knowledge about all things urban, development and structure. There was (it is SF, so there always will be) a smart ‘question’ from the Q&A at the end of the lecture, directed to him on how he thought was the best way to make SF bikers TO STOP at red lights. His reply was something similar to:
“Well, for motorized vehicles as well as bicycles, you can place a cop on every corner of the city for that sole purpose and ticket everyone for a week, then, I supposed you can say you tried”
The lecture hall was filled not only by bicycle enthusiasts, but also by season ticket holders to the Herbst Theatre lecture series and loyal David Byrne fans. Many signed books were sold by Books Inc, a west coast indie bookseller. Good experience overall.