Category: Art


Ishizuki bonsai by artists at Edoardo Rossi Bonsai.

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Day 4: Saturday, April 28, 2018

Started out the morning with a walk to Gus’s Market for coffee, then we took the dogs to Golden Gate Park’s panhandle to do their business. Tim pointed out HOPI’s (homes of particular interest) like this one. There are so many details and gewgaws on this house it’s like a painted lady. Needs a powerwash, though, to get all the dust and soot off:

And this one, all done up in my favorite colors:

I spotted this tai chi class underway, and noted that, just like in all the best real-world YouTube videos, the badass kung fu master is wearing a dress shirt, dress pants with a belt, and street shoes. Like, office attire. Well, here it is!

Hit the post office on the way back to mail my postcards. Back at home I found Moby like this, poor thing helplessly trapped under some extremely heavy pillows: 

Then we took an Uber to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. It took FOREVER because we got caught up in baseball game traffic. We wanted to hit their epic farmer’s market and get something to bring to the dinner party that evening at Tim & Alex’s friends’ house.

BTW, Sinbad’s is GONE. Only some pilings and an earth-mover are where it used to be.

The Ferry Building was so crowded you could hardly turn around. First priority, getting some coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee, which Tim insists is the best. He got a pound of decaf to bring home, too.

Then we wandered about as we sipped our strong Gibraltars. The idea had been floated about getting some oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co., but the line to get in was RIDICULOUS. Forget that noise. More wandering. Farmer’s market stuff, all incredible. Found this guy selling crates full of the widest variety of greens – there must have been at least a couple of dozen. We got a bag full of all sorts of stuff – mustard greens, a new sort of cress, arugula, and more – even a few bunches of edible flowers thrown in for free.

Nice guy.

Next we caught the F-line streetcar going along the Embarcadero. It was one of those old-timey 50s style electric-cable buses:

Destination: the stop for the Alcatraz Landing, directly across the street from which is Hillstone restaurant. I’d been wanting to treat Tim to this place ever since Bon Appetit wrote a glowing article (love letter) about the chain. Apparently, the food is so good and so consistent, and the service so impeccable, that the chain has gotten the magazine’s unending admiration.

First thing I noticed was this gorgeous tabletop sculpture of an otter.

First thing Tim noticed was the dress code, which, while lenient toward the weekend tourist crowd’s typical attire, did mention “No Hats.” Luckily, he whipped off his sun visor before having to be asked to do so. #EmbarrassmentAverted

The second thing I noticed was half a dozen of Louis Poulsen’s iconic “Artichoke” lampshades. I worked in an architecture firm for 10 years and managed the reference library, and I used to drool over the Louis Poulsen catalog. These things are EXPENSIVE, folks. Like $7,000 to $12,000 apiece. Hillstone features a famous roasted artichoke dish, so they figured it’d be a clever match.

Tim ordered their ubiquitous cheeseburger with fries, and I got a (small) glass of champagne and the smoked salmon appetizer. One of the many nice touches at Hillstone: the napkins come with a buttonhole so one can pin it to one’s shirt:

Tim’s cheeseburger looked amazing:

So tall it’s like a Dagwood.

And my smoked fish was to DIE for. Came with some creamy herb dressing and grilled buttered garlic toast points which our charming British waiter Alec assured me could be replenished if needed, since I’d mentioned that that would be my meal.

OMG OMG OMG

It was a HUGE piece of fish for an appetizer, and it’s smoked in-house in small batches. You could smell the smoke before it was even in your mouth. So tender it was like butter. Shared with Tim but we still brought some home.

Outside, we stopped to take pictures of this unusual sculpture of a cowboy riding a bucking… fish.

Picked up the F-line again to Fisherman’s Wharf. Destination: the Musee Mecanique, a big warehouse filled with hundreds of old-timey arcade games, many of which are over a hundred years old.

**Next post: Day 4 (Part 2) – Musee Mecanique, Lombard Street, Dinner party

Day 3: Friday, April 27, 2018

Took the N train inbound toward downtown. The train was packed around 11:30 – this seems to be a normal occurrence, but I’m not sure why. I can understand morning rush hour, but lunchtime?

Met up with my old high school friend Erik for lunch at a soup and salad place. He works downtown. I got a smoked corn chowder that was quite good.

Erik

Afterwards, Erik showed me around a bit, walking us through Maiden Lane, a two-block-long pedestrian lane that was once a red-light district and now houses high couture shops like Chanel, Hermes, and Prada.

Also walked through Yerba Buena Gardens before parting in front of the Museum of Modern Art.

Boy, there’s nothing like seeing a bunch of vacation photos to realize how fat one’s gotten. I’ve started on the Keto Diet, BTW.

Catholic church across the street

MLK Memorial

Got to MOMA and began exploring all seven floors on offer. There were plenty of artists I recognized, like Warhol:

Self-portraits

Brando

Dolly

Elvis

There were several gigantic wall-sized Chuck Close pixelated portraits:

Photographer Diane Arbus:

Surrealist Salvador Dali:

Several Lichtensteins:

Not really my bag, but I kinda liked this one.

Frieda Kahlo:

And her husband Diego Rivera:

Several of Rineke Dijkstra’s beach portraits:

Georgia O’Keefe:

This ghastly thing:

Michael Jackson with Bubbles, life-size in gold and porcelain. Ugh.

Even a few by Henri Matisse!

“The Bathers.” My mom, when she was in art school, did a version of this. It still hangs in her home.

Several paintings that I saw I ended up getting the postcard versions in the Museum Store:

A few automated pieces like this butterfly machine:

Or these self-playing violins:

And interactive stuff, too, like this sleeping couple projected in real time onto a bed:

Or this printer spewing out news articles in real time. People are encouraged to pick up parts of the scroll and read what’s there, but to not tear the paper.

Or this pocketless billiards table:

Sculpture gardens:

A permanent snowman!

Such charming detail.

As I was exiting a gallery, I was taken by this huge double image on the wall. It didn’t have an identifying placard next to it, and it didn’t seem to be a part of the exhibit around the corner. I asked a guard, but she didn’t know anything. I think it looks like my favorite 30s film star, Carole Lombard. One of her favorite photographers, George Hurrell, used to employ multiple images like this. But the hive mind on all my CL fan sites says no, it’s not her.

I still think it’s her.

Update: I’m told that this is surrealist photographer Dora Maar.

Even the bathroom was amazing!

Lots more stuff that caught my eye. This is just a small sample of what’s there – I only took pics of stuff I liked or found intriguing.

 

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I really enjoyed the Louise Bourgeois “Spiders” exhibit, but was sorely disappointed they didn’t have any spider t-shirts in the museum store:

 

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**Next post: Day 3 (Part 2) – Twin Peaks Tavern, Super Duper Burgers

Puddles Pity Party smooshes up Celine Dion and Metallica.

Photographer Martin Pfister lit the undersides of mushrooms with tiny LEDs for an otherworldly effect.

Photographer Martin Pfister lit the undersides of mushrooms with tiny LEDs for an otherworldly effect.

Photographer Martin Pfister lit the undersides of mushrooms with tiny LEDs for an otherworldly effect.

Photographer Martin Pfister lit the undersides of mushrooms with tiny LEDs for an otherworldly effect.

Lucas the Spider is a test character created by digital animator Joshua Slice for the purpose of working on his techniques. “I’m responsible for the design, modeling, rigging, animation, lighting, and rendering,” he says. Lucas’ form was inspired by jumping spiders and is voiced by Slice’s four-year-old nephew, also named Lucas. People are saying that Lucas is the cutest spider EVAR and is helping cure their arachnophobia. Folks are also asking Slice to expand Lucas into his own movie!

Photographer Martin Pfister lit the undersides of mushrooms with tiny LEDs for an otherworldly effect.

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