Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Quality Poor to fair - I committed the crime of the century. It was pleasant weekday evening, not another soul in the plaza, when I engaged in an act so atrocious, that the security guard marched straight at me with an unrelenting urgency to remove me from the plaza immediately. And yes, I admit I did it. I took pictures of the fountain in Levi's Plaza. I've pretty much photographed every square foot of San Francisco, so I am well aware that photography is the most horrendous possible crime in the eyes of many security guards. And I've dealt with plenty of them. "Fair enough" I said as I packed up my stuff. After all it was private property and they have every right to ask me to leave. But I wanted to know, is it really the policy of Levi Strauss that I cannot take photos of their fountain? Levi's has always been good to SF--do they know what this ABM security firm is up to? I asked more questions, but the security guard turned his back and walked away while describing me to someone on the other end of his radio. Enquiring minds want to know, so I went looking for him again. When I found him out on Sansome Street, I asked his name. "My name? My name is ABM Security!" he barked as he pointed at his patch. At this point, he sprung into a defensive stance and frantically shouted into his radio. He needed backup and he needed it pronto. "Ok, I'll just need to get a few photos of you because I'm going to write about this" I said. This sent him into a tizzy as he shielded his face. "Now he's taking pictures of me without my consent!" he screamed into his radio. I reminded him we were now on public property and I have the right to take photos of anyone or anything. "Now I need your name!" he demanded as I was now going to be arrested somehow. Ok so I admit I can be a bit of a jerk sometimes to these security guards, but this attitude is becoming engrained in me from countless encounters with security guards who have emerged from inside their buildings and demanded that I not take photos of their building from public property. And I was fine with this guy until he went into a tizzy when we were on public property. It makes me think that your average security guard has absolutely zero training. The rights of someone to take photos from public property should be a cornerstone of Security Guard 101 training. Real cops know it well. But then again, cops actually were able to make it through police academy. And come on Levi Strauss, you are better than this. Are you really concerned about photos getting out there of your fountain? Since I was now a fugitive of Levi Strauss, we cancelled our dinner at Il Fornaio since it is on Levi Strauss property and had to go elsewhere to eat.