CA Day 5 - Art, Architecture, and Automatons by the Bay
Today started with a walk to get some coffee at a place my friend Garrett recommended near his apartment. I opted for walking because, as you’ll see shortly, it was an insanely beautiful day outside. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and there’s something about a beautiful day by the ocean that just make it so much more lovely than the same day inland. The coffee shop my friend recommended was hip little spot called Spin City Cafe and Launderette. I’ve only seen one other coffee shop/laundromat business model before in West Texas, but I think it’s quite clever and I wouldn’t be opposed to it catching on. Especially if the coffee is actually very good, as was the case with Spin City. Caffeine and sunshine is a great way to wake up.
Properly awake, my first stop for the day was Golden Gate Park. This incredible public park is 20% larger than Central Park in NYC, clocking in at a whopping 1,017 acres, and it contains gardens, fountains, lakes, windmills, a Science Museum, a football field, a carousel, and my next destination, the de Young Museum. The de Young is notable for having the largest collection of non-indigenous American art on the West Coast as well a giant funky tower that looks out over the city and, to me, sort of resembles the obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The large special exhibition at the de Young while I was there was called Cult of the Machine which featured art from and inspired by the Machine Age (ca. 1880–1945). It looked very cool, but the museum was pretty massive so I felt like I had a good amount to see without paying for an extra exhibit. I did appreciate this cool airplane they applied to the windows to entice visitors. It certainly worked for me.
As soon as I entered the museum, I was greeted by a pretty amazing special installation in the main lobby called Genre Non-Conforming: The DIS Edutainment Network by the New York- based arts collective DIS. The piece featured about a dozen different short films in a variety of styles played on a grid of 36 televisions installed in the wall of the courtyard and then surrounded by a beautifully surreal painting with cardboard cut outs of children eagerly watching the programming making for a neat optical illusion. The videos were loosely arranged around the theme of educational programming for a dystopian society (naturally they spelled it DIS-topian), and they varied in tone and medium from satirical short films to creepy cartoons with fake advertisements in between. It was weird, fun, and super creative so naturally I loved it. If you want to check out some of their videos you can go to their website here
My first stop within the museum’s permanent collection was a room containing ten paintings by the Swiss born artist Gottardo Piazzoni that were initially intended to be murals for the San Francisco Public Library. Each mural, one entitled The Land and one entitled The Sea, is made up of five panels and they are two of the dreamiest most simply beautiful landscape portraits I’ve ever seen. Standing in a room with just these paintings for company was a pretty incredible experience, because it just sort of felt like you were looking out of windows onto two wildly different vistas.
Next up was a small gallery of paintings from big Pop artists to come out California. My personal favorites here were a portrait of Superman by Mel Ramos (more known for drawing naked girls with giant candy, seriously); a portrait of South America by John Wesley; and some surrealist landscapes by Wayne Thiebaud that had some wild perspectives. In all of these pieces the colors really jumped out at me, and maybe that’s something that contributes to me liking Pop-Art in general. It’s also always nice to see museums highlighting local artists, and one nice thing about California is that they certainly have a lot to choose from.
After that gallery, I took a step back in time a bit with some early Meso-American art. The highlight here for me was some stunningly intricate Mayan Censers. These ornate earthenware vessels were used in religious ceremonies for the burning of a special incense made of tree resin, rubber, and chewing gum (which I did not realize dated as far back as the Mayans) which supposedly produced “the odor of Heaven” and helped to communicate with the gods. Unfortunately at this point in time, they are not being actively used by the museum, so I guess I’ll have to wait for another day to find out what Heaven smells like.
Next up came some more contemporary pieces from Native American artists from all over the US including Alaska! I really loved seeing traditional techniques and motifs combined with more modern flairs for some really beautiful pieces. The stone work and ivory carving by Inuit artists really struck me because both the art and the materials were so uniquely beautiful. Inuit art is also an artistic tradition I so rarely see in museums that that also probably contributed to it capturing my fancy the most.
My personal favorite pieces from this collection were: a take on traditional Inuit Inukshuk (translation: Like a person) by Judas Ullulaq that features carved stones and musk ox horns arranged to make the visage of a pretty impressively un-charming wink; and a stunning piece called the Passage of Spirits by Abraham Anghik Ruben that features a combination of carved stone and caribou antlers showing a combination of humans and animals sailing valiantly into the spirit world.
The next gallery was all contemporary glass and ceramics artists. These pieces always blow my mind because even if I don’t personally love them aesthetically, the craft and skill involved is always impressive because I simply have no clue how it’s done. My best guess is witchcraft, because a number of these pieces truly seem to defy any physics I know about.
This whole gallery wowed me, but my personal favorites included: a very grumpy looking 9 ft tall ceramic man by Viola Frey; a chair that MC Escher would really love by John Cederquist improbably made out of just wood and dye; a beautiful bouquet of glass flowers by our boy Dale Chihuly in a funky upside down dog table by Italo Scanga wonderfully called Rover’s Garden Grows; and possibly the most beautiful rendering of road kill I’ve ever seen by Judith Schaecter using stained glass.
After the decorative arts, the next series of galleries offered a pretty incredible and sweeping survey of 20th and 21st century African American Art. Pieces here extended through every major medium and movement of the past 100 years, and varied from light-hearted to heart wrenching all the while showing off an amazing amount of skill and talent that shaped and influenced the landscape of American art (even when it wasn’t necessarily receiving any credit for it, which is sadly often the case). I think I may have started this exhibition backwards though, because the first pieces I saw were from some big names in contemporary art. Some highlights from this room were: A vibrantly colored dreamlike piece by John Bankston called Music (After Jess); a hauntingly beautiful silhouette triptych entitled Resurrection with Patrons by one of my favorite contemporary artists Kara Walker; and a cheekily poignant rendering of a white woman trying traditionally Black food called a Taste of Gumbo surreally painted by Robert Colescott.
Amidst all these incredible paintings, one piece really dominated the room and made the most powerful impression. The piece below, entitled Anti-Mass by Cornelia Parker, features charred timber from a Black Southern Baptist church that was burned to the ground by violent racists suspended in a dreamlike floating formation. The piece through its media is a visceral and inescapable reminder of the violence still perpetuated against people of color, but it’s ethereal floating form is a really lovely representation of the resilience and beauty of the communities plagued by this hatred. It’s not a piece that’s easily forgotten.
Next up was a showcase of two cousins, Thornton Dial and Ronald Lockett, who helped pioneer a form of Assemblage art where they combined found materials with painterly techniques to connect themes of Black life with the abstract expressionist trend of the art world at the time. This section is important because the contributions of artists who are not white dudes to the abstract art movement are often pretty overlooked, and these pieces really represent a pretty unique take on the form. Dial had more world-wide success breaking into the mainstream art world and receiving retrospectives at major museums, but Lockett was lesser known likely partially due to the fact that he died when he was only 33 due to AIDS related pneumonia. Personally though I liked his pieces slightly more, and I was glad this exhibition was giving this talented and influential artist his due. My favorite pieces by him were a piece called Poison River that uses found wood, stones, and tin painted with a combination of paint, enamel, and industrial sealant to create a visceral texture that I have literally never seen in a painting a before (the more you look at the more the paint seems to float of the wood), and a piece called Fever Within that might just look like Scrap metal until you notice a single nude female form made from careful cuts in the tin and strategically placed nails reclining peacefully amidst the otherwise harsh metal.
While I liked Lockett more personally, that’s not say that Dial didn’t have some impressive pieces, and his Lost Cows, made from bleached white cow skeletons and steel was a haunting centerpiece to this gallery and one I couldn’t look away from. To me it looks like a throne someone in Mad Max might sit in, but I’m sure the artist had larger themes in mind.
Up next came pieces by self taught artists. The museum talked about how these works are commonly relegated to being considered “folk art” and lesser than “fine art”. Personally I’ve really enjoyed a lot of artwork I’ve seen in Folk Art exhibits, but I had never realized just how much more readily art by Black artists was given that title which does seem pretty dismissive. Some of the artwork in this gallery was pretty out there, but a lot of was also a lot more interesting and refined than it usually gets credit for. My favorites were a painting called Jealousy by Joe Light that had a cool Dick Tracy-vibe to it, and two pieces by Mose Tolliver that feature bizarre two dimensional forms but vibrantly strange color patterns. The artists may not have had formal training, but they have a real knack for capturing emotions at their purest and simplest.
The next gallery of pieces concerned works from and inspired by the Civil Rights movements. These pieces were probably the most beautifully realized, but also the most brutal to look at thematically. My favorites here were a heartbreakingly lovely portrait of a worn out woman picking cotton by Robert Gwathmey and a stunning photograph by Bill Hudson capturing a truly appalling moment when an unarmed 17 year old Black student protester, Walter Gadsden, was attacked by a police dog. The photograph is incredible but the fact that it actually happened is pretty nightmarish.
Lastly my favorite pieces in the entire exhibit were these amazing surreal color woodcuts by Lonnie Holley that are weird and beautiful optical illusions filled with an improbable number of swirling faces. They’re super strange, but captivating in their colors and shifting forms serving as unabashedly unique celebrations of Black creativity and bodies.
The next exhibit was a showcase of the Bay Area photographer Judy Dater. Dater’s photos were all black and white with a real knack for humorous juxtapositions both staged (the old woman and the naked woman at top right) and spontaneous (the man just proudly holding two lobsters at top left). She just clearly has love for all things bizarre but despite her winking nods you get a real affection for the subjects too. Personally my favorite series (bottom row) were a collection of nude photos she took in Yellowstone, gorgeously capturing how small humanity looks in comparison with the natural world.
After the photography, I just couldn’t wait any longer to see the top of that observation tower. In the hallway, on the way there were two paintings by a former husband and wife team of Bay Area surrealists William H Brown and Joan Brown, who’s creepy landscapes with silly figures did momentarily distract me from my quest to reach the top.
Returning to my quest, I was not disappointed by the views from the top of the 144 foot observation tower. I had a full 360 degree view of San Francisco which was just breathtaking, especially with all those hills. As great as the views were of the city though, I think the thing I was happiest to discover was just across the street from the museum, and that’s that the science academy roof is secretly a giant green garden. What a fun easter egg!
The views in the tower weren’t all at the top and the lower lobby was decorated with 15 copper wire sculptures by the artist Ruth Asawa. I think if i just saw these weird abstract forms on their own, I probably wouldn’t think too much of them but the brilliance of hanging them all together really lies in the way the wires disrupt the light and cast incredible shadows on the wall making for a strangely immersive art environment. It was sort of creepy but also oddly serene and peaceful to just hang out and watch the shadows spin and change.
The last special exhibition before delving into the museum’s sizable permanent collection was a gallery of fine art fans from the 18th century. These incredibly delicate pieces were so much more wildly opulent than fans have any right to be featuring beautifully painted designs as well as inlaid ivory and mother of pearl and gold leaf and silver embellishments. That’s some next level conspicuous consumption, but I do have to admit they were pretty to look at it, and it was weirdly fascinating to see how they were incorporated into 18th century culture. For example, a Spanish aristocrat developed a secret language based on gestures that could be performed with a fan which fancy ladies could use to gossip and insult each other on the DL. What a weird world we live in.
I started delving into the permanent exhibit with works from my favorite period, The Modernist Movement. I loved these weird, dark, geometric paintings. Some of my personal favorites included: This lonely portrait of a cello player by Edwin Walter Dickinson; a cubist painting of Venus the God of Love by Manierre Dawson (because of love is a cube); a painting by Japanese American artist Teikichi Hikoyama called Mt. Tamalpais that features the nude form of a woman doubling as a mountain skyline; a haunting painting of POWs being marched like cattle during the Mexican Revolution by Jose Clemente Orozco called Acordada; and an incredibly dense cubist landscape painting of Lower Manhattan by George Grosz.
Naturally my favorite piece from this time period was by main weirdo, Salvador Dali. This Dali is actually almost a straight forward portrait of Dorothy Spreckels Munn, an SF Sugar Baroness for whom the painting is commissioned, if you don’t look at any of the bonkers stuff going on in the background or the fact that she’s sitting on a dolphin. I’m sure she knew going into a Dali painting that some funky stuff might be going on but I do like imagining that it was a total surprise.
At this point, I noticed that the museum sneakily hid a beautiful sculpture by Kiki Smith way up on the ceiling. The piece, entitled Near, featured two copper figurines glittering alone amidst a spooky cardboard backdrop as well as several glass tear drops (not pictured) hanging nearby. It sort of makes you wonder how much you don’t notice if you don’t think to look up.
After inspecting the ceiling for any further gems, I dove back into the collection with some beautiful impressionist works. My favorites here included": a gorgeously ethereal painting called the Blue Veil by Edmund Charles Tarbell; two more paintings by the man who made those library murals Gottardo Piazzoni featuring lonely figures in luscious backdrops; a painting called The Bridge by John Koch where that is not even close to the most prominent image in the work; a dreamy painting of a lady in a boat by Louis Ritman; a creepy glowing nude by Guy Pene Du Bois; a beautiful painting of someone not paying attention to Opera by Everett Shinn; an incredibly dense and swirling May Day party by William James Glackens; and a lovely tulip garden painted by George Hitchcock.
Among these paintings were two works by some American masters that were real highlights. The first by John Singer Sargent was very indicative of everything that made him great, featuring a wonderful color palette and an incredible eye for details and fashion, and the second was a total anomaly in John McNeil Whistler’s catalog featuring a very surreal and hilariously petty drawing of an art patron who owed him money as a giant grumpy peacock man. It’s a valuable lesson about paying artists what they’re due.
Next up we had some seascapes which always remind me of New England even though lots of other places are also on the water. I feel like I should find seascapes boring at this point, but there’s something about the way artists render light and water that always gets me. My favorites included: two pieces by Martin Johnson Heade called The Great Swamp and Singing Beach, Manchester, Massachusetts (what’s the difference? *cue rim shot *); a piece called Fog Over San Quentin by Sandow Birk which just about the prettiest painting of a prison I’ve ever seen; and a more impressionistic but incredibly textured seascape by Rockwell Kent.
On a more modern note, there was an incredible 3-dimensional ceramic rendering of the waters flowing through Rapid Canyon. Again I can only assume this kind of artwork is made by witchcraft and is highly dangerous. It’s just too impressive to be made by mortal means.
This floor also had a pretty lovely view of the museum’s sculpture garden, where you can make out a giant safety pin by Claes Oldenburg as well as creepy maternity figure by Joan Miro among others. Again I can’t stress what an incredible day it was outside.
Inside the museum was still some impressive sculpture work with an imposing marble figure of Dalilah, the Bible’s Benedict Arnold, by William Wetmore Story.
The next gallery was dedicated to the art of the still life and the trompe l'oeil optical illusion, with a mix of classic examples as well as more modern pieces. Normally I get a bit a bored by still lifes but I love optical illusions, and it was fun getting to see how different artists bring their own styles to a common genre. My favorites here included: a jawdropping still life of blown glass flowers, candles, books, and fruit on a table cleverly painted to look like everything came from a single piece of glass by Beth Lipman; a weirdly beautiful painting of Grape Juice and Bread in a plain white box by the ocean by George Ligare; a dastardly deceptive sculpture of books and cigarettes that is improbably actually all carefully shaped and painted porcelain by Richard Shaw; and a more classic but wonderfully gross still life of Salmon, Trout, and Smelt by Samuel Marsden Brookes.
Up next we had some more romantic and realist pieces from 19th century American artists. My favorites here included a seascape with a volcano by the absolutely insanely name Jurgan Huge (yup that’s a real human); a not-at-all-homoerotic painting of Ironworkers on their lunch break just bein’ dudes by Thomas Pollock Anshutz; a super wacky sphinx by Elihu Vedder (another ridiculous name but one of my favorite early American painters for just being so much weirder than his contemporaries); and a gorgeous rendering of the French master Bouguereau’s studio painted by Jefferson David Chalfant who studied there.
The real knockout here though was a fictional portrait of the last moments of the abolitionist John Brown’s life before he was executed painted by Thomas Hovenden. It’s a beautifully detailed piece and I’m sure the image of a white man kissing a black baby, must have been unprecedented in 1884 when the painting came out, only a few years after the Civil War and still a long way away from Civil Rights.
Up next came some grand American Landscapes. Naturally my favorites (on the top row) were by my boy Albert Bierstadt capturing some early views of California in all its untouched glory, though some other guys who held their own were William Keith with a fiery sunset called the Glory of the Heavens and Thomas Cole with a dramatic imagined landscape called Prometheus Bound which if you look closely does have the mythical Greek figure chained to one of the rocks for a little macabre flair.
One of the showstoppers just as you were exiting the gallery was this massive diptych of the two falls at Niagara by Gustav Grunewald that really captures their roaring power.
The next pieces tucked in a hallway were two contemporary takes on the classic American staple of the portrait of George Washington. One painting by a collaboration of William T. Wiley, Robert Hudson, and William Allan features called A Window on History by George features a sprawling abstract representation of the pulls and links of History connection two smaller images of Columbus landing in America and George Washington dreaming of Independence showing that History is not a neat line and that maybe there are darker forces underneath the idealized vision of history. The other was a more straightforward but incredibly technically impressive piece by Ray Beldner using entirely folded and sewn dollar bills to make a pretty dang good likeness of the man on the bill itself.
The next room I walked into had early Spanish Colonial portraits but I’ll be honest the only thing I really noticed was this wooden sculpture by an unknown artist of Death as a smiling old lady in a rickshaw. I was very happy about this.
Lastly for the museum’s permanent collection was it’s African Wing which is a large and actually well researched collection dating as far back as the 13th century up to today with pieces from all over Sub-Saharan Africa, though the largest collection comes from Ghana. The majority of the pieces either consisted of jewelry, carved wooden figures and masks, or metal sculptures, and naturally I was drawn to the wide array of shapes and forms taken by the more mythological figures.
My personal favorite pieces in this collection included: an intricately beaded Elephant Society Mask with a Leopard Crown from Cameroon which would have been used ritually to show class status as imported beads were very expensive; a coffin in the shape of Cacao Pod made the famous Kane Kwei workshop in the Ga tradition of figurative totems initially used to carry deceased royalty but now adapted as a fairly common ritualistic and artistic practice which puts a fun spin on saying goodbye; and two ancestor figures from Oceania (which was also sort of randomly included with the African Art), one very goofy boy and one made from an actual human skull that had been bedazzled.
After leaving the museum, I strolled through some more of Golden Gate Park. My First stop was to see Three Gems a hidden art installation by James Turrell that was built into a natural grassy hill in the park. Getting there is half the fun because you have to go down a secret tunnel and then follow a path to the main dome of the installation which consists of a spiral of red plaster and concrete that looks really lovely among the natural greens and blues.
The heart of the installation is a dome built into the hill with a hole in the top making a frame around the views of the sky. Along the rim of the hole is a series of subtly places LED lights that pulse and change with the moving of the clouds making for a really peaceful and unique sensory experience.
My next stop was to see the parks Japanese Tea Garden, but it turned out to be a tad out of my price range so I just snapped a pick from the entrance and honestly that was a pretty amazing view in its own right.
Up next I needed some more coffee after all that fine art fatigue so I went to a fancy spot called Flywheel Coffee Roasters which had a real sleek aesthetic and some excellent coffee.
Re-energized I made my way to the Palace of Fine Arts, a stunning Rotunda inspired by Greek and Roman Architecture leftover from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo. The Palace itself is an astounding piece of architecture with grand columns that look like they came from another time and another place all together, and the views are accentuated by the natural beauty of the lagoon all around. Movie fans might also recognize it from both one of the all time best movies and one of the all time worst as it was featured in both Vertigo and The Room.
After strolling around the Lagoon (sadly no creatures for a Shape of Water romance of my own), I was feeling pretty hungry so I made way to Chinatown for a lunch I’ve been excited about for this whole trip. Finding parking on the steep hills was an adventure in its own right so I ended up parking a little away, but with views like this I didn’t mind the walk:
SF’s Chinatown is the oldest and largest in the US, and the largest Chinese enclave outside of China so there’s a rich and longstanding tradition of excellent authentic Chinese food which I was very excited to dive into. It was hard picking just one place to eat, but I settled on getting lunch at a place called Sam Wo Restaurant, a place famous for offering great Chinese comfort food since 1907 and at one point in time being home to Edsel Ford Fung, the world’s rudest waiter. The thing that put them over the edge for me though was that Conan filmed a remote bit there, so they had good food and a comedy connection. Not wanting to have to choose a meat, I got the house fried rice which came with Shrimp, Chicken, and Pork on an absolute mountain of rice, veggies, and egg. It may seem like a relatively simple dish, but it was very much the best fried rice I’ve ever had and the whole monstrous platter was under $10!
After my meal, I refreshed myself with some iced Taro Milk tea with Boba, from a hip spot called STEAP Tea Bar. It was delicious and perfect for the warm walk back to my car.
After lunch, I made my way down to the famous Fisherman’s Wharf to check out a place that was recommended to me by both the Atlas Obscura and all my friends in the bay area: Musée Mécanique. This arcade/museum features over 300 vintage video games and coin operated automata dating as far back 1889! Naturally, I had the most fun playing the pinball games, in this case mostly Indiana Jones, but the coolest things there were all the old timey machines that would act out various scenes with the drop of the coin ranging from the charming like a bustling farmhouse or a carnival to the wildly macabre such as opium den or a gallows. The craftsmanship necessary for all the carving and clockwork parts is so impressive, especially considering how limited the technology was at the time. Another big highlight was a steam powered motorcycle from 1912 which is the only one of its kind and still in perfect working order!
Just outside of the Musée on the wharf, there was a clear view of Alcatraz Island and it’s famous prison which once housed Al Capone and one of the least crazy Nicolas Cage action movies. I sadly didn’t have enough time in SF to take a boat and see it up close, but I was still happy with the view.
After the Wharf, I made my way to the famous counter-culture neighborhood of Haight-Asbury where the night’s open mic would be. At this point, I need to mention that it was April 20th, which is the closest thing Marijuana gets to a national holiday, and I was venturing into one of the hippiest neighborhoods in one of the hippiest cities, so it looked like a straight up zombie apocalypse had taken place as Haight Street was packed to the gills with red-eyed people shuffling around in a stupor. I personally didn’t want to partake in the festivities, because I find performing high or drunk to be very stressful and all my friends in the Bay Area were going to be coming by so I wanted to give them my best. I did however partake in my drug of choice, caffeine, by getting more coffee at a nice hippy shop called Coffee to the People where I sat and did some writing.
The open mic was going to be at a place called the Milk Bar, which more bar than dairy establishment, but it ended up getting pushed back from when it was going to be originally likely because the city was bit harder to navigate than usual. Luckily there was more than enough weird and fun things to see just walking up and down the street. Case in point:
After a little bit, I was able to meet up with my friends at the Milk Bar. A number of my friends from college band had ended up in the Bay Area post-graduation, so the extra time waiting for the mic to start provided us with plenty of time to catch up and enjoy some local beets. It was great getting to have so many friends all in the same place again, and as for beer I was partial to a local red ale called the Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales and Lagers.
When the open mic started, the host and other comics were all super friendly. The host, Rose, was an east coast ex-pat and she was nice enough to give me a little extra time for being an out of towner, which I really appreciated. The room was a bit more of a mixed bag, since everyone there was pretty high and so the audience attention span varied greatly from comic to comic.
Rose (Host)- I have what’s called resting hippie face
Sabrina Miller- I’m transgender which is great, except that I get to go through second puberty
Jeremiah Laurice- You should never approach the freeway like a twelve year old who got star power on koopa beach
Kip Fuller- marijuana is a gateway drug to gentrification
My favorite comic of the night was the special guest headliner, a comic who went by K Kidd who just had a ton of confidence and really knew how to work the crowd. She did a hilarious seemingly improvised bit based off this one guy in the audience who was practically falling asleep where she talked about there was being high and then there was being “real high” and this guy was “real high”.
My own set went pretty well, which is probably largely because I brought about half of the audience so you don’t get much friendlier odds than that. Still I got some solid laughs from people who weren’t already my friends, and I was happy that they got to see some of the new jokes I’ve been doing.
After the mic, we got some late night snacks at a little Chinese restaurant called the People’s Bistro. I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I got the People’s Sampler which came with three egg rolls, three wontons, and three crab rangoons which were all fried to perfection. There’s no better way to catch up with friends than with good comfort food.
As we were bidding farewell to one another, we saw what maybe my favorite store tagline in the country. Sort of sums of San Francisco in a sweet way though:
Favorite Random Sightings: Uncle Cafe (even in Chinatown shops still have little stereotypical Italian chef statues); The Crab Station; Blazing saddle bicycles (sounds painful); “Win 10 years of free shoes because I'm the future we will all have robot wheel feet” (possibly the most batshit insane deal I’ve ever seen);
Regional Observations: The hills are so steep in SF that you actually do have to turn your wheels the right way when you park or you might get a ticket. I hadn’t thought about this since Driver’s Ed so I was glad my friends were able to remind me.
Albums Listened To: Songs from a Room by Leonard Cohen (some beautiful songs but a bit of a downer); Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox by the Snails (some jaunty Philly garage soul); Songs from the Woods by Jethro Tull (I really like this album, but I’m always surprised a band this weird was such a massive success)
People’s Favorite Jokes:
I didn’t get one today, so here’s one from the internet:
Two newlyweds are riding in the back of a limo on the way to their honeymoon boat cruise. The husband says, "Honey, I want to stop and pick up some condoms before we go."
"Good idea," she says. "While you're in there, pick me up some Dramamine."
The groom gets out, walks into the drugstore and says to the clerk, "I'd like a box of condoms and a package of Dramamine, please."
"Yes sir, says the clerk, "but do you mind if I ask you a question? If it makes you nauseous, why do you do it?"
Songs of the Day:
Bonus Video of What I Hear Every Time I think of Alcatraz: