33 Grant Ave., San Francisco
It’s no wonder that fashion designer Betsey Johnson—known for her punk-inspired prom dresses and the cartwheels she does on the catwalk—wore a neon balloon hat at her store-opening party. That’s just the sort of thing that legions of adoring fans expect from the designer who staunchly refuses to grow up. Local followers sang an “I love you, Betsey” chorus with the intensity typically reserved for A-list rock stars, and their idol spray-painted a mural on the store’s facade, and the words “Betsey was here! always,” before she was whisked away.
Black Rock City, Nevada
When Marin artist Laura Kimpton asks for love, she gets it. At least 40 couples were married over the weekend in or near the 12-by-40-foot steel sculpture she and her husband, Jeff Schomberg, built for this year’s Burning Man festival, a venue where she likes to show off her big words (which always include the same letter O). Ablaze with LED lights, LOVE proved to be her most popular creation to date. No surprise that it beat out last year’s OINK, but let’s hope that MOM, from 2009, was a close second.
Ayala Cove, Angel Island
This is how you know that Kurtis Gillespie, Sheldon Simas, and Mark Langston (left to right) are not competing in a major race: These swimmers from Sacramento, who train with the U.S. national team, usually follow a strict dress code, so when they compete in lower-level races, like the RCP Tiburon mile open Water Swim, they like to mix it up. The neon suits are a tradition inherited from a coach at the boys’ hometown swim club. “It makes people look,” Gillespie says. “At first they think, ‘Oh, he thinks he’s so cool,’ but then they see you swim and they know: He means business.”