Mission Heights

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicI was hanging out at home Monday enjoying Labor Day with my family when my twitter feed was blown up by news accounts of someone scaling a building in San Francisco. His name is Dan Goodwin but he’s alternately known as SpiderDan and Skyscraperman, and he climbs up the outside of tall buildings without ropes or nets. Monday, September 6, 2010 he conquered with only suction cups and a red suit the 60-story Millennium Tower at 301 Mission Street in the SoMa District. (Oddly enough I was just there the previous Friday; it’s precisely where I caught the MUNI 14 bus for my bus trip down El Camino Real.) At the top he unfurled an American flag before being arrested by police and charged with trespassing and being a nuisance.

Why did he do it? He says it is to call attention to the dangers of building towers too tall for rescue crews to reach. He also wants to show their vulnerability to terrorist attack. His publicist says he is generating publicity for his book, Skyscraperman. Some have suggested that as a cancer survivor he is making the most of every moment of precious life. My take is that he was drawn to climb the Millennium Tower by a confluence of synchronistic circumstances connecting back to events in his life beginning in the year 2000—the new millennium—culminating in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, a building he had climbed in 1983. I can relate. Symbols have power that can move people to do startling things.

The whole saga Monday lasted three hours during which emergency crews closed off Mission Street, rerouted MUNI, and generally disrupted life on San Francisco’s branch of El Camino. Local news stations webcasted live video feeds online. The Bay Area twitterverse was abuzz. On a slow news holiday, SpiderDan had our attention.

SpiderIn related news, our house was invaded by spiders that same weekend. Once or twice a day we’d find one of those big fat hairy suckers inconveniently ascending a wall above where we were trying to eat, sleep, or…um…think.  A local insect control expert (me) was kept busy capturing and evicting these unwanted creepy crawlers.

Why did they do it? Perhaps it was a show of solidarity with the events in San Francisco. Perhaps SpiderDan is a closet supervillain with the power to psychically communicate with and control hordes of arachnids. “Climb, my beauties! Climb!” Perhaps it’s just the time of year when spiders come out to look for food, water, or some other instinctive necessity.

Whatever the reason, my spider sense is tingling now so I can’t sit in a room without obsessively looking over my shoulder every five minutes. And the next time I go downtown, I suspect I’ll have my eyes pointed upwards, scanning for crusaders tilting at skyscrapers.

[Source: SFist via California Beat]

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