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California Day 2: The March for Art and Burritos


cows

At San Francisco Museum of Modern Art–Andy Warhol flowers and cows.

My feet and legs regretted the second day of our California adventures, but not the rest of me, and the use probably did my feet and legs some good. It was a great day.

Our daughter in law went to work Friday and had an evening engagement, and our son had to work from home on this Friday, so part of the plan for the day was for my wife and I to spend some time away from the apartment on a walk about the neighborhood.

I know from reports online that Friday was a stormy day in Iowa. It wasn’t in San Francisco. The morning was cool, but bright and sunny, blending into an afternoon that was, for an Iowan, still a little chilly at times, but at other times required my jacket to be carried rather than worn. To paraphrase a line from “Miss Congeniality,” in San Francisco, May 24, 2019, was the perfect date because it was not too hot and not too cold, all you needed was a light jacket.

On our late morning stroll, we walked down towards the bay, and instead of walking by the Giants’ ballpark, which we had done the first night, we turned in the opposite direction and strolled towards shipping docks. It was again pleasant to be beside that ocean inlet. We enjoyed the sights and took our time, me stopping to make images of many flowers in bloom.

lily

Day lily in small park by children’s hospital.

We played a game we sometimes play with grandchildren on a walk. At each intersection, we alternated who got to choose what direction to go in. Turns out, if you want to get lost in San Francisco, it’s a pretty effective strategy.

Not that we ever got all that lost. The big things—a children’s hospital, for instance, or a building I don’t know the purpose of that has what looks like a giant fungus growing on it, the top half being some sort of oval—where there to confirm we hadn’t really wandered out of the neighborhood.

And we enjoyed a quick stroll through an unexpected, small park by the hospital.

After we found the apartment again, we hung out for a while during a work meeting that was still going on in the next room via Jon’s computer. Still, we had timed our reappearance well; it was not long before Jon was done.

Lunch? It was mid afternoon by then, and Jon had made us a filling breakfast, but we were getting a bit hungry. Jon suggested a walk to the SF Museum of Modern Art, partly because he said there was a decent burrito place nearby.

And so, we were off. I am not sure how far it was to the museum—walking distance, but longish walking distance, well over a mile through probably under two. I was ready for the burrito by the time we found the place, and it was good.

Just before 3 p.m., we arrived at the museum, which closes at 5. They have an Andy Warhol exhibit going on, and we got tickets to see that as well as the general museum. Because the Warhol tickets had a time on them, we started there.

I’m no expert on modern art. I was aware of Warhol, in a general way, through a few of his most famous images, such as the Campbell Soup ones, but I was no aware of the range of his work. Although I still would not call myself a Warhol fan boy, I was impressed.

As is normal with modern art, my impression of the rest was a mixed. Sometimes, the oddly monotone rectangles or urinal placed on its side seem to stretch the bounds of what I do think of as art into the ridiculous. Then again, there was plenty to see, all of it interesting, much of it done with some thought and skill.

The San Francisco MOMA is a good place to spend the latter half of an afternoon. Not only was most of the exhibits worth seeing, but the building itself had interesting quirks—I thought the stairways themselves and a few of the halls were almost works of art.

The most interesting exhibit, besides Warhol, was a “Snap and Share” one about how mail was used to share photographs in the era before social media.

The walk back to the apartment felt a bit longish, to me, and as I noted before, my feet and legs were not entirely pleased with the day. But then again, if I can’t bicycle every day, long walks are a kind of RAGBRAI training, and I didn’t come to California to spend my days indoors.

The lunch had been late and filling, so we just snacked in the evening and played games. Jon knows how to make pleasant cocktails.

And now we are off to San Diego today. I may try a few quick blog updates via phone, but I am not planning to take the computer with me to the border, so you’ll just have to be patient, readers, for further California updates from sunny San Diego.

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