Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Gandhiji at San Francisco’s Ferry Building

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Gandhi statue behind Ferry Plaza building

Gandhi statue behind Ferry Plaza building

We found him last year, on Oct 3, 2007. We were killing some time at the Ferry Building. On a weekday, Ferry building still has a plenty to offer – Sur La Table for kitchen gadget lovers. and outposts of Acme bread and Cowgirl creamery artisan cheese shop, Recchiuti for chocolate lovers, and of course Slanted Door, the most famous Vietnamese restaurant in Bay Area. And, a beautiful view of the Bay – something that you can enjoy every day of the week.

We walked out on the deck to try and get some sun.  I think what first caught my attention was the wreath of flowers on his feet. There he was, large as life, high up on a pedestal. It took a few seconds before I actually believed my eyes. Of course, it was the day after October 2. And the flowers were courtesy The Consulate General of San Francisco.

Musicians on a market day

Musicians on a market day

Now, if it was a San Francisco pioneer, it would be most appropriate. But an Indian hero? But there he is. He faces the bay bridge, on one side is the back entrance of Sur La Table,  and behind him is one of the tourist trap cruise ship ticketing office. He didn’t quite belong there. That is what I thought, until I visited Ferry building  on a Saturday morning. Every Saturday, come rain or shine, he has a large Farmer’s market gathered all around him – artisan breads, organic sprouts, heirloom fruits, fresh milled wheat, fair trade coffee… How charmingly appropriate for Gandhiji, the one who spun cotton on a wooden wheel and led India’s freedom struggle through non-violence.

There is a bit of controversy surrounding this statue. Some people don’t like the location (click here to read more) and have requested he be moved to an alternate site. Also, this statue was made possible by Gandhi Memorial Internation Foundation, an organization run by a fairly disreputable person. But, whenever we visit Ferry building, we visit him. Sometimes we sit underneath him, on the bench overlooking the bay and the bridge.  Sometimes we just stare up to him, glad that he is there. Granted that he is an odd site, but it would bother me more if he weren’t there anymore.

One Response

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  1. […] So, go for the food, go for inspiration, blow your budget and watch the Bay from the viewpoint of Mahatma Gandhi. […]


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