We were just over in North Beach (to see Beach Blanket Babylon, which embarrassed us in front of a bunch of tourists more on that later) and we didn't see any space at Columbus and Broadway that looked like a "new public plaza." The intersection seemed as crowded as usual, complete with a manly moron standing in the middle of the long crosswalk on Broadway, screaming "Rita!" over and over again. He nearly lost his baseball cap. But we hear a park-type space is indeed opening right there, and not only are Mayor Newsom, Supervisor Peskin, and other importantos scheduled to talk about it today, but the plaza also comes with art. Public art around here tends toward awful; need we mention what's on the Embarcadero? But Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn's Language of the Birds looks pretty good. It consists of solar-powered, lit-up plastic books suspended by wire above the intersection, and words that appear to have fallen out of them and onto the ground. The words are taken from local literary lights, of course: Gary Snyder, Jade Snow Wong, Armistead Maupin.
Sun., Nov. 23, 4 p.m., 2008