John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
San Francisco’s skyline is about to get much more twinkly.
A waterfall of sparkling diamonds, a beautiful, world-ending meteor storm—er, that computer screen from The Matrix—this will be the night skyline for San Franciscans, thanks to an art installation appearing tomorrow on the Bay Bridge.
It’s actually an encore for “The Bay Lights,” reportedly the world’s biggest light sculpture from New York’s Leo Villareal. Made from 25,000 twinkling LEDs, the piece went up in 2013 for a two-year run, transforming the drive from the city to Oakland into a seeming hyper-warp tunnel, and was switched off last March. But the nonprofit organization Illuminate the Arts managed to raise $4 million to turn the lights back on, and they’ll remain lit into eternity, or at least until the next time San Francisco is destroyed by a giant monster.
Locals wanting to witness the second coming of “The Bay Lights” should crane their necks toward the bridge’s western span at 7:25 p.m. Saturday. Here’s a preview from its earlier incarnation: