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–Daphne Gray-Grant

Most Recent Blog Post

Resembling R2-D2′s neckline…

Nathan HellerReading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from Nathan Heller.

I love San Francisco. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon and returned for our 10th wedding anniversary. (The remarkable aspect of that, was that we left 5-year-old triplets at home. It wasn’t so much time to revel in the delicately slanted early summer light, as a time to sleep.)

We hope to go again soon. Thus, I read a New Yorker article by Nathan Heller, “California Screaming,” with particular interest. In it, Heller explores why many SF locals dislike the tech industry so intensely.

Nathan HellerThe issue, of course, is gentrification. I live in Vancouver, a city being similarly gentrified — although for entirely different reasons. In our case, it’s the influx of Asian money. In the case of SF, it’s the influx of dollars from companies like Apple and Google.

But apart from Heller’s argument, with which I agreed, I really liked his writing. Here, for example, is a metaphor that struck me:

In the spiritual geography of San Francisco, Davies Symphony Hall —a glass-and-concrete half rotunda much resembling R2-D2′s neckline— sits between hills steep with layered mansions and the urban basin where the city’s gritty elements now rest.

When I thought of R2-D2, I hadn’t recalled much of a neck. But when I Googled photos of Davis Hall (one shown, above), I could see what Heller was driving at. Doesn’t the similarity strike you, too?