jlw at February 13th, 2014 12:11 — #1
univac at February 13th, 2014 12:30 — #2
Check out a video I shot driving across the Emperor Norton I bridge on the first day it was open to the public:
Willie Brown bridge is a terrible name for it. Emperor Norton I would be a much better name!
geth at February 13th, 2014 12:34 — #3
I support naming it the Emperor Norton, both because it more properly suits the nonconformism San Franciscans are known for, and also because I find the modern trend of names public structures after living persons to be in very poor taste.
crenquis at February 13th, 2014 13:47 — #4
I thought that he also tacked on "King of the Jews" to his name...
Google is failing me, so perhaps I got that from the Principia Discordia or a RAW book?
daemonworks at February 13th, 2014 13:54 — #5
On the other hand, with the official name, we can all talk about San Fran's giant willie.
steven_e_caplan at February 13th, 2014 14:09 — #6
Check out the wonderful Sandman story (by Neil Gaiman) about Emperor Norton to learn more about him.
brainspore at February 13th, 2014 15:06 — #7
Important distinction: It's only the western span of the Bay Bridge named for Willie Brown, not the new structure that connects Treasure Island to Oakland.
The eastern span isn't even in San Francisco, so it wouldn't really be fair to Oaklanders to name both structures after famous San Franciscans.
[Edit to fix embarrassing misattribution]
jlw at February 13th, 2014 15:31 — #8
Emperor Norton of these United States
brainspore at February 13th, 2014 15:32 — #9
dave_baxter at February 13th, 2014 20:25 — #10
His dad founded Judaism in South Africa after leaving England, but the Emp believed he was secretly adopted and not Jewish at all, but instead hidden away bastard Bourbon royalty after the French deposed all the Bourbons of the time. This belief is what eventually led him to believe he should be an Emperor, of the US if France wouldn't have him. But due to this quirk I doubt he ever proclaimed himself "King of the Jews". From what I've read he very pointedly rejected Judaism in his youth and stuck to that his whole life.
johnlumea at February 13th, 2014 21:16 — #11
Building on last fall's 4,600-signature Change.org petition, a new group — The Emperor's Bridge Campaign — is laying the groundwork to incorporate as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit to carry forward the effort to name the entire Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton.
This is not in competition with the recent subtitling of the bridge's Western section. The two can exist in tandem.
echolocatechoco at February 14th, 2014 01:39 — #12
Likewise! I thought this was something only dictatorships did.
funkier at February 14th, 2014 02:03 — #13
[sf weekly rant]
Damnit, SF Weekly
In addition, Norton is best-known for his many decrees about bridges and tunnels that he had hoped to build, connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
The fact that sentence began with "In addition" means something else, earlier in the article, was a better introduction.
[/ sf weekly rant]
On the matter of the bridge it seems clear that Norton has become an icon for the city who's most notable monuments consist of a tourist trap "museum" and a dive bar with a decent pool table. We can probably do better than that, bridge or not.
After all, he was a weirdo vagabond with +5 to charisma.
gschuy at February 14th, 2014 02:34 — #14
Collected in Fables and Recollections for those interested.
johnlumea at February 14th, 2014 20:23 — #15
The Emperor often spent a few months of every spring and summer in Oakland — which he considered his "summer capital."
lightningrose at February 15th, 2014 22:25 — #16
Willie Brown glared at me once, so yeah, Emperor Norton Bridge it should be!
l_mariachi at February 16th, 2014 00:26 — #17
I’m no fan of Willie Brown but come on! What, they all look alike to you?
noahdjango at February 16th, 2014 03:18 — #18
brainspore at February 16th, 2014 11:45 — #19
Ouch! That's exactly the kind of faux-pas that's been ruining my odds of being invited to speak at DNC fundraisers and MLB conferences.
I obviously meant to type "…named after Steamboat Willie" (pictured).
jlw at February 18th, 2014 12:11 — #20
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