Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Roadblogging: San Francisco Tue

We took off Tuesday morning on the Fulton Street bus bound for Golden Gate Park. The rains of Monday gave way to a brisk, but sunny day with temperatures in the 50s. We visited the Conservatory of Flowers which is well worth the price of admission. Several greenhouses house tropical plants of great variety and orchid lovers will hit the jackpot here.

The next stop was the De Young center. I was disappointed that a giant curly-haired singer for Styx was not cast in bronze, but apparently it was named after some other De Young. After getting raped for $50 to feed 4 people cafeteria style food, Ladybug and I decided to forgo the museum section (which threatened to make Dadaism seem normal). We left that to Minisnab and Grandpa while Ladybug and I wandered towards the Japanese tea garden. We were out of cash thanks to the De Young money pit, so we proceeded to the botanical gardens which were quite beautiful considering the early season. We wandered through the East Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa cape country sections before Minisnab called us away.

On the way back, Ladybug and I wandered into the Asian Art Museum while the other two practiced corporate consumerism (shopping) downtown. I enjoyed what I saw, but Montezuma's Revenge prevented me from enjoying it as much as Ladybug. If you want an excellent visual primer on the progression of Eastern religion, you can't do much better than this.

My knee was behaving, so we walked all the way back to the hotel. We enjoyed an exquisite french dinner at the spendy, but worthwhile Le Cafe de la Presse. We especially recommend the beef Bourguignon. It was a long, but fun day.

Here are the pix...

Chinatown (Mon Eve)

MiniSnab and Grandpa as we ride away from the Asian Art Museum.

There were plenty of houses in this era and style throughout the coastal side of town.

The Conservatory of Flowers

Three familiar figures walking towards the De Young center (oh, how Avant Garde...)

A beautiful day at the Botanical Gardens

Some South African native flowers.

Just outside the Japanese Tea Garden

If Escher had tasteful hardwood flooring and an excellent selection of cooking supplies...


The Moody Minstrel said...

Last time I was in San Francisco our hotel was right in the middle of the worst section of the city, and walking in its vicinity (as we were forced to do) was a scary experience. We had to wade through mobs of homeless, pimpy-looking guys kept barging into our group to hit on the girls, and we saw an attempted robbery (which resulted in a guy getting the crap beat out of him by the victim's bodyguard). It was an experience I wouldn't care to repeat, and the cool sights we saw hardly seemed to make up for it.

Of course, that was in 1988...

Pandabonium said...

K and I had a fun time in Golden Gate Park and the gardens. Its been a lot of years since I visited the Asian art museum, but I agree it is a great one. The de Young has a lot to offer too (though I guess food is not one of them). That tab would have put me off too - ouch.

I'm getting double enjoyment from these posts. I get to share your trip and remember ours. Thanks.

ladybug said...

Moody-I know what you mean, on the way back from the Asian Art Museum, we ended up inadverently walking through the Tenderloin district-of which there is nothing tender!
My best advice would be, of course, to not pick the cheapest hotels (they are in the worst areas), and pick a place near to where you think you'll be spending most of your time -Union Square, which has been totally cleaned up, isn't a bad choice, and you are close to the transportation hub of Market Street.

Also one of the things I love about the city is the ease of public transportation. We even took a train ride down to the South Bay (Santa Clara) to visit my Alma Mater, it's awesome. Next time I'll drag everyone onto BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to go hang out in Berkley for a day to catch some weird wackyness!

Don Snabulus said...

I am glad you are enjoying it PB. MM, your trip planners needed to increase their cultural awareness. Taking a bunch of students into the ugly gut of a town is completely avoidable.

Ladybug...yep! Also, I might mention that SF transportation is cheaper than Portland and covers the city better. Tri-Met should take a lesson.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Actually, I was there with the Oregon State University marching band! We were in one of the more popular tourist hotels near Union Square...before it was cleaned up.

Oh, I like the cultural elements of San Fran a lot! It's definitely a city with a lovably unique character! But having a guy jump through my group, grab a handicapped beggar's bowl of money, and then wind up getting his face bashed in (again right in the middle of my group, which he tried in vain to use as cover) wasn't fun.