Frank Chu, local color and noted sign carrier, turns 51 today. It's sad that, as far as we know, the city of San Francisco has yet to hand the man a proclamation, or honored him with an official day named in after him. Probably because he's slightly unhinged - seriously, the man you see carrying that sign every day isn't a performance artist, at least not consciously so - but just unhinged enough for most of San Francisco to find a place in their hearts for him.
Since we admire him from afar (it's best to admire him from afar, with the utmost respect), here's how Wikipedia descries the local icon:
Frank Chu (born 24 March 1960) is one of San Francisco's best-known eccentrics. His street protests against US Presidents, corporations, and a distinctive concept he calls the '12 Galaxies' have been held in San Francisco and nearby locales since at least 1995.
Chu lives in Oakland, California and commutes daily to San Francisco where he can find the largest audience of passers-by and television news crews with whom to share his thoughts. He supports himself through a combination of state aid, sign sponsorships, and small donations from his supporters.
Everyone from Laughing Squid, Barbary Coast Consulting, Harputs adidas, Learn iT!, Quiznos Sub, Rasputin Music, Chris Daly's 2006 San Francisco Supervisor campaign, and Phil Angelides's California gubernatorial campaign have purchased ad space on his famous sign.
Last year, fans honored his 50th with a party at the Palace Hotel's bar. Not sure if anything is happening this year, but certainly he deserves to be feted, yes? Yes.
Here are some of our favorite shots of Chu in action. Tell us your favorite Frank Chu story in the comments.
And one more thing: Happy birthday, Frank!