The next time you are on the Embarcadero at night, you many want to look up, up, up. A recent dinner outing to Palomino Restaurant to catch up with Chef Adam Jones, profiled for Bay Area Bites LGBT Pride last year gifted me something extra: the chance to see the Bay Bridge lit up in a spectacular and unusual fashion. Palomino staff and guests were downright giddy to see the blinking lights on the bridge that has traditionally gotten short shrift when compared to that other iconic bridge on the other side of the Bay.
The Bay Lights is the name of a living art sculpture with 25,000 lights that is said to be the biggest of its kind from artist Leo Villareal. It is a definite coup to have Villareal on this privately funded project, because he is known for his expertise in using LED lights and computer-driven imagery. Plan-ahead types may want to book that restaurant dinner now for March 5 to see the main lighting event. Everyone else can rest easy knowing that the Bay Lights will be shining bright for the next two years.
Homes, restaurants and bars along the Embarcadero have the best views of the Bay Bridge, including Waterbar, Epic Roasthouse, Sinbad’s, Perry’s, Americano and Chaya Brasserie. Bay Area residents can also expect frequent testing and sequencing in the nights leading up to March 5. If you have a friend lucky enough to live near the Bay Bridge, butter them up to nab an invite now!
I interviewed Villareal recently to find out more about his work, where to view The Bay Lights, and how Burning Man played a role in his creative process. His comments have been edited for clarity and grammar.