The City That Would Be King

To maintain its natural position atop the local political food chain, San Francisco must be benevolent, as well as strong

But because of the intervention of the Chronicle, and in defiance of this larger Circle of Life, the new garage will be surrounded by 1,600 parking spaces that will be free. There is every chance that people wishing to partake of the new de Young will be willing to stroll a short distance through beautiful Golden Gate Park and avoid a $10 parking charge.

If this happens, the financial lions holding the parking garage bonds would be at risk of losing money. The Circle of Life occupied by bondholders, rating agencies, bond lawyers, and investment banks would be broken. Billionaire benefactors behind the new de Young might clamor for Golden Gate Park parking meters.

And the Chronicle might have a hard time foiling them, no matter how many pages it devoted to a media campaign.

The Circle would be rejoined. The meters would drive fee-paying motorists into the garage. Their money would flow toward Wall Street bondholders. Those who parked in metered spaces would help fund the excavation of lead-contaminated soil from Sharp Park and the spraying of mosquitoes in the nearby swamp. Marin County motorists would lose their free park 'n' ride lot. Once again, to cite Rice and John, the Circle of Life would move "us all, through despair and hope, through faith and love, till we find our place, on the path unwinding, in the Circle, the Circle of Life, in the Circle, the Circle of Life."2


1 Chorus from "Circle of Life," music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, presumably spoken in an African language understood by humanlike animal species of the African savanna.

2 Ibid.

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