Saturday, July 25, 2009
Invasion of the Google Experts
In front of the Veterans Building at Van Ness and McAllister, a new piece of signage has sprouted on the sidewalk, which has the feel of advertising but the presentation of public art.
It turned out to be the former, a placemarker designating that celebrity Berkeley food guru Alice Waters, owner of the extremely expensive Chez Panisse restaurant, has officially designated Herbst Theatre one of her "favorite places."
It seems that Google Maps has added a feature where you can see what passes for local celebrities, complete with their own identifying logos, map out their favorite places in San Francisco.
I don't mean to be rude, especially, but I really don't give a flying fig that Alice Waters likes Herbst Theatre in the Veterans Building, and don't particularly care to be reminded of that trivial fact every day as I walk past Google's sculptural ad. It will require extraordinary restraint, in fact, not to vandalize the thing.