Saturday, February 11, 2012

I -HEART- San Francisco!!!

One of my favorite places in the entire world is the "City by the Bay!" 

Since childhood, San Francisco has held a sort of magic. It's the big city nearby - teeming with art, music, and culture. A place where you can walk. A plethora of restaurants, concerts and events. A collection of unique neighborhoods. Fresh air and ocean. History on every block.

Recently I've been coming to the city often- to visit family, to visit friends, to see an exhibit or simply to spend the day away from everyone and everything.

The Legion of Honor Museum

Easily one of my favorite places to escape to! I've only missed one major exhibit here in the last year. The ones I have seen were phenomenal. The Mourners, Pulp Fashion, Ukiyo-e prints, and my favorite so far:

Often, some of the warmest and sunniest San Francisco days are during Fall and Winter. Here are some photos taken near the Legion of Honor in October:

Equestrian Statue of El Cid on the front lawn of the Legion of Honor 

The Golden Gate Bridge from my walk outside the Legion of Honor

Close up!

Baker Beach

 The San Francisco Bay framed by Cypress Trees

However, clear and sunny days are somewhat rare and more often than not the weather is foggy, overcast or raining. But I tend to love the gray and gloom as well; there's a romance to the mercurial and unpredictable weather.  

View of Golden Gate Park ;P 

Here is a picture out of my car window. It was a funny day! I completely forgot that on Mondays the museums of San Francisco are closed, even if you can get "member-only" tickets to special exhibits. Hence an hour spent waiting in my warm and dry car to see the Picasso Exhibit! Sadly, it wasn't my favorite, although several paintings of Picasso's wives and mistresses were exquisite. All in all, I much preferred the Picasso, Dali, Miro I saw at the Palazzo Stozzi in Florence.

The M. H. De Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park

Side entrance

Along with the Picasso exhibit, there have been some amazing exhibits at the De Young in the last two years. Two were encroyable! While under renovation, the Musee D'Orsay in Paris lent San Francisco: Birth of Impressionism and Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne and Beyond. There was also a breathtaking exhibit of Ancient Mexico art called Olmec.

On days that are overcast the Legion of Honor is often cloaked in mystery and beauty:

Equestrian Statue of Jeanne d'Arc on the front lawn of the Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor Court with Rodin's The Thinker

Entrance to the Museum with a small replica of the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre

On such cold, foggy and rainy days it's always nice to warm up with yummy food. Here is my lunch from one of my favorite Burmese Restaurants- Burma Superstar- in the Richmond District! 

Both of the dishes we ordered are Food Network recommended and utterly delicious! Mmmm :-)

Vegetarian Samusa Soup- it has falafel in it!!!

Rainbow Salad-  made with 22 ingredients!

Last Fall, I also had the chance to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. 

It's funny how being a native usually deprives one of pursuing touristy activities. When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to experience the views, wind and walk!

View from the Golden Gate Bridge- you can see the San Francisco cityscape and the Bay Bridge (left) in the distance!

Although I rarely drive into downtown San Francisco, because it's a pain to navigate and an easy place to crash my car, I do occasionally have to drive there. 

View of the Bay Bridge from the Embarcadero (near downtown)

Usually the reason is to pick up/drop off family, but occasionally it's to experience something AMAZING- like seeing an unforgettable exhibit...

My dear friend in front of the SFMOMA, just after we finished seeing the Steins Collect exhibit. 

San Francisco was the premier of this exhibit which traveled on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and then to the Grand Palais in Paris. It was a rare treat to see these paintings- many reunited for the first time since World War II. Plus, the Steins were born in San Francisco and it seems fitting that the impressive collection they acquired should begin its travel to Paris- as the Steins did- from our City by the Bay!

Beyond its museums and cityscape, San Francisco also has some incredible public art! Case in point- this discrete staircase:

Tiled Steps Project in the Sunset District

 Me! After a day of museum hopping!!!

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