We all know Tony Bennett Left his Heart in San Francisco and since 2004 artists have been leaving their hearts around the city too. It began as a fundraiser to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Local artists were commissioned to design giant hearts to be put on display throughout San Francisco.
Toronto tried this with moose in 2001 and other cities have done the same thing with cows, but it is the San Francisco heart that is truly unique.
It may have been a quick fundraising project in 2004 to spruce up San Francisco and cut through the fog that falls upon the city but the tradition continues to this day, and each month a different artist’s heart is featured at Union Square. They add their unique flare by painting and decorating a heart to showcase in Union Square before being auctioned off for charity. It stands proudly in the middle of the city and thousands of tourists pose beside it to have their pictures taken with San Francisco’s heart. We were told that there are hearts on display in other parts of the city as well and in the coming days, we hope to see them too.
There is one artist who is revered enough to have his painted heart on permanent display. His painting of the Golden Gate Bridge with a heart in the centre, may not be the most magnificent work of art, but it is the most famous.
It was in 1962 when Tony Bennett recorded his signature song, winning him a Grammy and shooting to the top of the charts. I Left My Heart in San Francisco became a world wide phenomenon and the city adopted it as it’s anthem.
The hearts and song epitomize the romantic image of San Francisco, it is known as one of the most romantic cities in the US and with hearts on display, how can you not agree? Sung by one of the last of the great American Crooners, I Left My Heart in San Francisco has endured the ages. Tony Bennett is still going strong and shows no sign of slowing down but you can be sure that he will live on in San Francisco and he will literally leave his heart here forever.