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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tourism for Locals: Leave your He(art)s in San Francisco

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Tony Bennett's heart that started it all - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Tony Bennett's heart that started it all

As tired as we San Franciscans may be of the turn of phrases and puns with Tony Bennett's anthem to our city, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" in advertisements (and this series), it can be universally agreed upon that the crooner's ballad has registered its mark here.

Even if you aren't a fan of this song, we are pretty certain you will begin to heart it after this post -- because it's charitable association and contributions will warm your heart.

This week's "Tourism for Locals" will take you all over the city and turn you into cupid or a hopeless romantic seeking hearts throughout the city -- more specifically the 128 hearts.

The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation's Annual "Hearts in San Francisco" Charity campaign has spread love throughout the city with massive, jumbo-sized heart sculptures in different areas of our city.

Every year, the foundation selects various local and national artists to create uniform heart sculptures that display a unique love for all things that makes our city unique. From scenic landscapes to chronicles of our social acceptance and progress, the hearts are then auctioned at the end of the year to support their medical research and services. The statues are then placed on display throughout the city, most notably in Union Square, along the Embarcadero, Well's Fargo bank branches, and the San Francisco General Hospital.

The Hearts project is a public art installation that began in 2004 to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation as a fundraising effort to support the hospital's projects that provide services enhancing patient care.

The 130-year-old institution is the only acute care hospital in San Francisco that provides a 24-hour psychiatric emergency room, according to the foundation. The hospital has also been on the forefront of critical and compassionate care for patients with AIDS, including an innovative and remarkable procedure they developed to prevent the transmission of HIV from birthing mothers to their unborn infants.

The Hearts in San Francisco installation has raised $10 million since the inaugural event, with the 2013 auction racking in a hefty check of $1.6 million, according to SFGH director Stephanie Bray.

After nine years, various designs and artistic statements have being created and are now spread throughout the Bay Area and around the nation, as the map below denotes:

View Hearts in San Francisco in a larger map (Also, scroll to the left on the map above)

Although there are close to 130 works of (he)art, we decided to point out some of the main ones that resonate with us and are open to the public.

Tony Bennett's America's Greatest City By The Bay: The singer has proven that he has other artistic talents aside from those silky vocals. Located on the corner of Post at Powell on Union Square, this heart depicts a scenic panorama of our foggy city and our famed Golden Gate Bridge. This was the first heart that inaugurated as a permanent fundraising staple for the foundation. The other three corners of the plaza display this year's creations.

click to enlarge Don't go breaking my heart! - JUAN DE ANDA/ SF WEEKLY
  • Juan De Anda/ SF Weekly
  • Don't go breaking my heart!

Deborah Oropallo at City Hall: Located in the east side of the building, Oropallo's heart features a list of same-sex names representing some of the 4,161 gay marriages that took place in 29 days when gay marriage was legal in California in 2008. At the center of the heart are the names of Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 79, who were the first couple to get married in San Francisco.

click to enlarge Let your heart take flight.
  • Let your heart take flight.

Hung Liu in Pacific Heights: Situated at the base of the Lyon Steps, this heart features motifs of traditional Chinese art with gold hues and beautiful duck-like fowl in flight.

Tim Yankosky in AT&T Park: A giant cocktail olive in the shape of a heart is a whimsical interpretation and glorification of our lively food and drink culture. We are the best food city in the country after all!

So take a look at the provided map with this list of hearts and follow its path toward a heart that suits your very own.

Hopefully knowing that Bennett's signature song is associated with a charitable cause will cause you to have a change of heart.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, Juan at @JuanPDeAnda, and like us on Facebook

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About The Author

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda

Juan De Anda is a cultural correspondent with a concentration in tourism, literature, and lifestyle and has been writing for SF Weekly since 2013. As an avid traveler, he enjoys discovering destinations abroad as well as the never-ending hidden gems of San Francisco. #DondeAndaJuanDeAnda?


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