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Old 02-09-2014, 05:15 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,317 posts, read 22,293,308 times
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Who cares what we're doing in SF compared to NYC? Union Square is perfect. Times Square, like the rest of that in-your-face city, is too loud, too busy, and too overbearing.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
474 posts, read 523,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
What does huge electronic signs have to do with being 'commercialized, international financial centers'?

San Francisco is already a major interational city and massive financial center.

And those electronic signs would NEVER be allowed by SF voters on account of they are seen as vulgar and tacky by lots of SF people. That said , I think a Times Square type deal would work better on the corner of Van Ness and Market, not so much Union Square.
Well, the electronic signs, "I love xx" t-shirts, neon lights, huge billboards and merchandise go hand in hand with how we market our cities to people both domestically and abroad, and that determines people's perception of us as global cities. The flashiest, showiest, city is taken to be the most important. Take the example of Shanghai: I Love Sh Photograph by Yew Kwang - I Love Sh Fine Art Prints and Posters for Sale
I'm curious as to why you say all those signs would look better on Van Ness and Market. I understand the layout being right for optimal placement of the digital advertisements, but that corner isn't nearly as popular or frequented as Union Square.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:27 PM
 
24,324 posts, read 26,708,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjohnyang View Post
That's not the point, though. What I was trying to get at is why, even though both are a sort of breeding grounds for American consumerism, advertisements in Times Square are digital and everywhere, while in Union Square (where people spend $$$ for overpriced clothes) ads are limited to a few billboards. It's much more than San Francisco not being New York. Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto isn't in New York, but it still reminds people of Times Square. Then there's places like Ginza, Shinjuku, and Shibuya in Tokyo, and everywhere there is plastered in neon lights and signs and screens. I was just wondering our dense city doesn't have any equivalent to that.
There are a ton of cities, especially in Europe that do not have flashy lights and signs in the heart of their downtowns. It's simply not SF style.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,148 posts, read 2,981,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjohnyang View Post
Hmm, well Union Square is already touristy anyways, so I don't really understand why they didn't just go full out with all the billboards and advertisements. San Francisco is already pretty commercialized too, and all the signs would be more symbolic of the essential "focal point" of the city. Do you think a taller, brighter, Union Square would attract more visitors?
No, but I do think a Union Square that is closed down to car traffic with pedestrians able to walk more freely through the streets would attract more people. I hate how the sidewalks are so congested there and the cars idling in traffic pump their fumes into the air. I avoid Union Square as much as possible because of this. I only go to the Westfield Mall on Market St. if anything since it is a more pleasant atmosphere.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:28 PM
 
24,324 posts, read 26,708,197 times
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I would also add, a lot of locals go to Union Square to shop, so while there is a ton of tourists, there are also a ton of locals too. I don't think Times Square gets a lot of locals going to Times Square unless they are passing through or showing visitors around.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,812 posts, read 32,262,905 times
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I was just talking about this the other day with another old timer :-) San Francisco used to have amazing neon signs. There was a Hamm's neon giant glass of beer just across the bay bridge. My memory from being a kid, is that there was a bear that climbed up the building to the glass of beer, then the beer overflowed the glass, and the bear would climb up again. When I just researched Google for a photo, no descriptions of the sign mention the bear. Was that another sign somewhere? The beer glass did overflow, as I read on one article, so that part of the memory is right :-)

There were a bunch of huge neon signs back then. I loved seeing those signs when I was a kid.

What happened was, as I recall, there was a huge energy crisis. I believe Nixon was president. The gas prices went through the roof, and the maximum speed limit was reduced from 65 or 70 to 55 mph, all in some effort to conserve gasoline and electricity.

So, the Hamm's Bear and the other beautiful neon/electronic signs were dismantled in order to save electricity and/or be politically correct, or for just random other reasons. Sad. I miss those signs!

The news clipping in this article I found, said the Hamm's Beer sign used enough electricity to light 200 homes. It apparently died a quiet death, without any protest.

What happened to the Hamm’s Brewery sign? - The Big Event

At any rate, there used to be signs, but between the energy crisis in the 1970's and earthquakes and development, etc., etc., they have mostly disappeared.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,628 posts, read 67,158,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjohnyang View Post
Well, the electronic signs, "I love xx" t-shirts, neon lights, huge billboards and merchandise go hand in hand with how we market our cities to people both domestically and abroad, and that determines people's perception of us as global cities.
Yes, and San Francisco is already one of the most highly regarded cities in the world. You seem to think that a great deal of importance hinges on these signs and that is not accurate. At all.

Quote:
The flashiest, showiest, city is taken to be the most important.
Then Las Vegas is the most important city in the world?

Have you ever been to Shanghai? I have and it's cheap and shoddy up close.

Quote:
I'm curious as to why you say all those signs would look better on Van Ness and Market. I understand the layout being right for optimal placement of the digital advertisements, but that corner isn't nearly as popular or frequented as Union Square.
It's flat, wider, and would be visible from far away and is the intersection of the 2 busiest streets in downtown. It would have a greater impact imo, especially since there is so much revitalization going on in that section of Market.

Plus that would create an entirely new focal point for tourism.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Market@Van Ness.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:41 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
326 posts, read 527,263 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjohnyang View Post
That's not the point, though. What I was trying to get at is why, even though both are a sort of breeding grounds for American consumerism, advertisements in Times Square are digital and everywhere, while in Union Square (where people spend $$$ for overpriced clothes) ads are limited to a few billboards. It's much more than San Francisco not being New York. Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto isn't in New York, but it still reminds people of Times Square. Then there's places like Ginza, Shinjuku, and Shibuya in Tokyo, and everywhere there is plastered in neon lights and signs and screens. I was just wondering our dense city doesn't have any equivalent to that.
Something tells me you don't get SF man. Over-commercialization is the exact opposite of what the vast majority of SF residents want from a city. Ditto for a place like Paris.

You don't need to sell your soul as a city to be relevant. The charm of SF is that it gets to be an international city with an incredibly high cost of living without having to over sacrifice on the charm and culture that made it so great in the first place.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:09 AM
 
620 posts, read 1,192,430 times
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I for one wish it were more like times square. This whole forum is filled with people with a new york complex. There would be more drunk ladies walking around. Enough said.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:27 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,063 posts, read 106,896,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomlcsc View Post
Something tells me you don't get SF man. Over-commercialization is the exact opposite of what the vast majority of SF residents want from a city. Ditto for a place like Paris.

You don't need to sell your soul as a city to be relevant. The charm of SF is that it gets to be an international city with an incredibly high cost of living without having to over sacrifice on the charm and culture that made it so great in the first place.
SO well said!
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