Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

11/11/2011

Fortune-telling parking in San Francisco

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

There is nothing more boring than finding parking. More often than not, it only causes anxiety rather anticipation. Unless, of course, you happen to be in San Francisco's North Beach Parking Garage.

This garage on Vallejo Street looks like every other lot, except for one startling detail; each time you park your car on an empty spot, you have your fortune told. In every space, artists Harrell Fletcher and Jon Rubin hand-painted fortune cookie prophecies they collected from around San Francisco. In one space it reads "opportunity is fleeting." In another, "you are only starting on your path to success." If I could have walked each floor taking photos, I would have.


The "Fortune Cookie Garage" (as it's fondly called) has been around since 2002, but I was delighted to find out about it only this past weekend. Though the project included enlarged photographs of neighborhood scenes as well, it is this tiny detail that has endeared this parking garage to me and many others that have come before me. 


This humble parking garage reminds me that it doesn't take grand architectural gestures to become unforgettable; it takes imagination and a sense of whimsy. If we can take the same sense of fun and infuse it on all our city projects (not to mention personal ones) I doubt anyone would complain of being bored.

Here's a look at more fortunes from Telstar Logistics.

North Beach Parking Garage
735 Vallejo St
San Francisco, CA

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