Friday, December 14, 2007

San Francisco, There I Went

This past Saturday, I headed over to SF with my friend, Elaine. She likes to drive. I like to ride. It's the perfect blend. I pay for gas and parking and we are good to go.

Saturday's mission had been planned for several weeks. We went to SFMOMA (SF Museum of Modern Art) and the Cartoon Museum. Two exhibits waited to be enjoyed. The drive over could not have been easier -

No traffic
no accidents to slow things up
no weather

It was clear sailing all the way.

A Joseph Cornell exhibit was at the MOMA through early January. Cornell is an assemblage artist, producing boxes and building secret and mysterious worlds within these boxes. I picked up a JC book before going to the exhibit to familiarize myself with more of his work and along the way immersed myself in his life. I'm glad I did because I saw so many of his assemblages there that I had first met in the book.

Seeing them personally was such a rich experience. The pages of a book gives the viewer only a taste of what he did. To see them in a exhibit was a completely enriching experience. I kept on wanting to reach in and touch everything, even moving in close at one point to view the box more closely only to be stopped by the glass case. Ouch!

The Cartoon Museum had an Edward Gorey exhibit of his costume and set designs for the 1970's Broadway production of "Dracula." You know, the one with Frank Langella (be still my heart). It was terrific being able to see his designs in their various stages. It was also good being able to see this show separate from Gorey's more recognizable work many of you may be familiar with. It was like getting a peek into a very specific part of Gorey's world.

Elaine and I walked down Mission over a four block area. I had never seen so many museums packed into a few short blocks. All were specialized and rate further exploration, especially the African Diaspora Museum on Mission.

We passed Buena Vista Gardens with its beautiful fountains and setting for outdoor music and opera.

St Patrick's Catholic Church was across the street from the gardens. We visited it as our last stop before returning home. While there, enjoying the quiet and utter peace of the place, I was approached by one of the city's ubiquitous street people.

"Sorry - no purse with me."
"Is it at the Marriott's next door?"
"Sorry - no purse", I replied, stunned by this brazen question.

Moments later he and another homeless person started yelling at each other across the church, slashing a ragged tear into the peaceful fabric of the place.

The sad thing is that as I recall their yelling words, they didn't make any sense. It was like they weren't even seeing each other but rather they were seeing someone else and hearing other words in reply. Only a physical body was taking up space, each body the image of someone who wasn't really there.

Between museum visits, we hit Mel's Diner, enjoying good burgers and sublime onion rings, and way overpriced coke, no refills. Next time I'll ask. The place was packed from 11 a.m. when we first walked by to 3 p.m. at least, makig our final pass as we returned to the garage to pick up our car and head back home.


Julie Marie said...

I'm sorry your peace was broken by those two hooligans, but glad you had a fine day otherwise. I love S.F. I got to visit there ONCE.


Mary Timme said...

Isn't it sad to see the people taking up bodies and space, using resources and no one is home? I can't think of worse thing to be, than homeless and missing part of self. Their sort of being is just heart-rending. But, the rest was really beautiful.

Pear tree cottage! said...

Your day sounds just wonderful! to think there is all that art and museum pieces for us to enjoy and knowing that the beauty of such pieces is for the eyes of the beholder and even if we do not like a piece we know to honour it for it is "art"

How sad it must be seeing how lost the ubiquitous street person is, seeing how they try to survive when infact they are not surviving at all, knowing sadly their path is no longer easy to find........I wish I could guide them all to their rightful paths again.

Annie - You sound EXACTLY! as I imagined, May these next days be gentle ones for you & your family. I am always here for a "chat"

(smiles) Lee-ann

miss*R said...

I love San Francisco. I visited a few years ago and I was approached by street people too.. it was near a church.. not sure if it was the same one. Your day sounds wonderful xoxo

Lea said...

Thank you AnnieElf for taking us along on your trip to SF. It is a city that has everything... everything... from such wealth and art to barely surviving. How lucky for us to share in your day and this exhibit!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

what a wonderful trip; i live next to it and have envy of your being able to attend

enjoyed looking through your good reads

Inspired Tokens said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day. You and your friend sound like you are a perfect match.

Marja said...

What a great day out. I love the wonderful boxes at the exhibition. Hope you have many more lovely days

Jeremy said...

An eventful visit. It must be nice to be able to pop in to San Francisco for the day.

Bimbimbie said...

I enjoyed my visit to SF with you - especially seeing the artwork by Joseph Cornell *!* Will visit his link you provided.

lila said...

What a mostly wonderful day!
I will be in SF for a weekend in January (surprise birthday party for an aunt!)
Have a good week and a Merry Christmas!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love assemblage art, thanks for sharing some here! LOL, when I read SF Museum of Modern Art I though Science Fiction - I must have been with my partner too long (he's an SF fan!).

Britt-Arnhild said...

What a great day!