As a kid growing up in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but snicker every time we crossed the intersection of Broadway and Columbus Streets. There at the corner stood a giant illuminated sign advertising The Condor, the city’s infamous strip club. The sign promoted Carol Doda’s Topless Love Act and there was an illustration of her and her storied breasts. The part that really got us kids going, though, was the red light blinking right where her nipples would have been.
The sign was taken down when The Condor was converted to a Sports Bar sometime in the 90s, and Carol has moved on to selling lingerie. But that image of her blinking breasts remains seared in the memories of all San Franciscans.
When I showed my soft circuit test to my girlfriend, she immediately grabbed the piece, put it to her chest and said, “Hey, I’m Carol Doda!” Thus I set out to pay homage to Carol and to San Francisco’s freewheeling past.