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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Phallic Barriers Are Oddly Appropriate

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 9:00 AM

  • Huh.

There are funny stories about the inspirations for San Francisco's prized Coit Tower, a monument to the bravery of the city's public safety officers erected by fireman-obsessed eccentric Lillie Hitchcock Coit.

So, yeah, it looks like a fire hose. It also looks a bit like something else. Especially when it's illuminated in a reddish hue as a nod to the 49ers' gridiron success.

Granted, anything longer than it is wide can double as a phallic symbol. But this reader photo of a set of sidewalk barriers struck us as especially -- and appropriately -- phallic, given they guard the entrance of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

These posts really do appear as if a mohel took a chisel to them eight days after their installation. One JCCSF official laughed uproariously at that suggestion, noting "Now I'll never be able to walk past them again without thinking of this."

Intriguingly, SF Weekly is told, those eye-catching pillars were partly funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

The barricades were installed following a grisly 2006 incident in which an SUV driver ran down 19 pedestrians in several Bay Area cities -- including two hit during a stint on the sidewalk near the JCC at Fillmore and California.

At the time, some believed the driver was a jihadist targeting the city's Jewish population with his Honda Pilot. That was not the case -- but installing barricades preventing someone from motoring through the front entrance of the JCC was still deemed a prudent thing to do.

It's uncertain if the posts have circumscribed anyone's behavior.

Perhaps they've inspired behavior of a different sort altogether.

click to enlarge rsz_posts_large.jpg

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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