Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Ghostly Metreon

Folks who were in San Francisco pre-1998/99 will remember when the current site of Yerba Buena Gardens and the Metreon was a massive field of steel girders -- literally the roof of the Moscone West conference center. The place was bleak -- part of the desolate industrial wasteland that SOMA was back then.

Then came the Age Of Fun I (The Internet Era), and space-age dreams of a Wired future led Sony to plunge headlong into a building a family entertainment mall for everyone and everything (showcasing Sony products, of course). At one time, all available space in the Metreon was packed. There was a futuristic arcade with Virtual Reality games, a movie theater, a Microsoft Store, a Sony Style Store, a Playstation Store, a Where the Wild Things Are ride for kids, a food court, fancy restaurants, and long forgotten other treats. On weekend nights the Metreon was packed with people. You could barely move for the over-stimulated tourists, SF residents, and bridge and tunnel visitors clogging the silver arteries.

Fast-forward to 2009 and you have a largely abandoned, still intriguing structure where most of the businesses are shuttered. Even the Starbucks is gone. The beautiful views remain, along with the movie theater, and the sports bar (where conventioneers get drunk and attempt to mate), and the Playstation store (where kids hang out to play games and not buy anything).

The place is spooky. A few people hang out here and there. It's easy to find yourself alone on a quiet floor that's all odd curved walls and pointy corners of rooms. If anyone were there, it might be a good place to commit a crime or two.

1 comment:

Fred Wickham said...

Wow, that is desolate. I remember taking my son to the playstation store. Always packed. That was ten years ago.