The Emperor's Bridge Campaign



The Importance of Being Emperor Norton

Travel writer and urban explorer Stuart Schuffman, a.k.a. Broke-Ass Stuart, has been a friend of this Campaign since before the beginning. Indeed, I was delighted to learn in late July — as I was putting the finishing touches on the petition that would launch in the next day or so — that Stuart, a couple of weeks earlier, had posted his own call to "reignite the movement" to name the Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton.

Yesterday, in another nice serendipity, Stuart was up with the latest in his weekly series, for 7x7 magazine, on San Francisco bars. This week's entry: Emperor Norton's Boozeland — the scene of the Campaign's launch party in late September.

In the course of his review — which includes a shout-out to the movement to name the Bay Bridge for the person most closely identified with the call to construct a bay-spanning bridge linking Oakland and San Francisco — Stuart explains why the Emperor matters now more than ever:

Each time they do something to appease the queasy stomachs of San Francisco’s nouveau riche, like ban public nudity or close our public parks at night or disperse the chess players on Market Street, the Emperor Norton myth grows. That’s because the importance of Emperor Norton is that he symbolizes San Francisco at its best: strange, unpredictable, curious, mysterious, freewheeling, and more than anything not willing put up with trifling bullshit.

As you'll learn from the review, "my" headline above actually was Stuart's original title for the piece. Read the whole thing.

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