Yes, I do Know the Way to San Jose

It's about an hour SE of SFO on the 280. Sunday, November 19: We had to wrap it all up by early afternoon for the flight home.  Awoke to another spectacular sunny mild perfect fall morning.  We took an Uber into an undeveloped section of Mission where there was a (well worth it) 30 minute wait for Tartine Manufactory where we shared an egg sandwich on a soft bun with greens and ham, and a smoked salmon tartine with pickled onions, cream cheese and meyer lemon.  Then coffee and a scone.   Next door things were hopping at Heath pottery for a pre-Black Friday 20 per cent off sale.  We joined the hordes for a few SFO-unique take homes. [caption id="attachment_5000" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Pics from Paxton Gate "ethically sourced" taxidermy[/caption] Then a longish walk to Valencia, up and down the heart of Mission, where the shopping ranges from urban revolt to taxidermy.  At about 7,000 steps we detoured to the BART back downtown.  Had late checkout at the W before an Uber to SFO. [caption id="attachment_5003" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] I kid you not. That's a six year old Golden Retriever in economy class.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5004" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Above the "blue and windy sea." Sayonara.[/caption]

Remnants of the Street of the Dead

[caption id="attachment_4982" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] The "carbuncle" which is the de Young[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4981" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] The most spectacular views in SFO are from the tower at the de Young in Golden Gate Park[/caption] Saturday, November 17, 2017: Up pretty early, Nespresso in room, snack from Starbucks, then Uber to Golden Gate Park to visit the de Young Museum.  The Teotihuacan show was spectacular.  Spectacular.  Objects from an unearthed tunnel, unseen for 1700 years, pillaged reliefs never displayed for the public, chunks of pyramids and relics from the long lost Street of the Dead.  Nina enjoyed the regular collection, including a Maori Portrait show.  Snack in the museum café sculpture garden.  Upstairs: Best collection of African and South Pacific artifacts I’ve ever seen. [caption id="attachment_4983" align="aligncenter" width="756"] Incense burner lid. Just the lid. C. 350 AD.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4985" align="aligncenter" width="1008"] Fire god sculpture, C. 150 AD[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4986" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Small exquisitely intricate figurines of women in headdresses which emphasize the burdens upon them and the tears of the work required of them[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4988" align="aligncenter" width="1008"] Avian effigy vessel C. 250 AD.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4987" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Incense holder. Very, very elaborate incense holder![/caption] [caption id="attachment_4989" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] A collage of spectacular reliefs savagely looted by opportunistic archaeologists in the 18 C, then bequeathed to an SFO museum, then repatriated to Mexico, then restored, and on display for the public for the first time since antiquity. The serpent, over top of trees replete with roots, tells a story for which all Teotihuacan residents could recognize themselves—i.e., as some part of the social order.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4990" align="aligncenter" width="822"] Seated figurines taken from the Moon Pyramid burial, C. 250 AD.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4991" align="aligncenter" width="2172"] This life size figure is marble. It would have been adorned in obsidian and other jewels. When the Street of the Dead was burnt, when the Teotihuacan culture imploded with an uprising against the elites, he was looted and burnt and resurrected by archaeologists from over 80 fragments.[/caption] After the Mexican show a skinny around the rest of the galleries, the most impressive of which was definitely the African and South Pacific collections. [caption id="attachment_4994" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Clockwise from top left: Funerary statue, Indonesia, ancestral figures and masks from Cameroon.[/caption] Around noon we took the #5 bus down Fulton towards the downtown.  Something of a “local experience” if you get my drift.  I opened the window and did my best to bear it.   Walked extensively through the Hayes Valley neighborhood window shopping, Nina picked up a snag at Timbuk2, we lunched at Absinthe, a lovely classic French bistro, where a gem lettuce in tarragon dressing and burger and fries and chocolate pot a crème went down a treat.   Later we wandered up to Fillmore and cabbed to Pacific Heights where we shopped amongst elites in quaint overpriced boutiques on quiet residential streets, then ambled back to Fillmore for another round of window shopping.  Got some swag at Ministry of Supply.  Hit 10,600 steps sometime around four, so cabbed back to the W for pre-dinner downtime.   Back to Pacific Heights for dinner at SPQR.  We had seats at the bar (to the restaurant) where the well-oiled machine of chefs and sous chefs turned out plates of simple antipasti to $72 portions of Wagyu beef.  A beet salad with chicken roulade was a star starter followed by a couple of pastas, the standout a bucatini with gorgonzola and fresh walnuts.  A donut for desert, with sautéed apple and caramel and crème fraiche was ludicrous.  House made marshmallows with the cheque.  Uber back. [caption id="attachment_4995" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] A "donut" and some half eaten appetizers. Watching the chefs at SPQR.[/caption]

City by the Bay

[caption id="attachment_4961" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] A whole exit row to myself![/caption] November 17, 2017:  A weekend away in San Fran. Passing through US Customs at seven in the morning at YVR. Agent asks me why I’m going to San Francisco. I say there’s a show on at a museum I want to see. He says, and I quote, “Look at you Mr. Intelligence.” A half decent Friday morning in Vancouver with, unfortunately, a thirty-minute navigation system upgrade which set us back off the tarmac. Nina and I spent the best $25 of our lives, with exit row seats and no seat companions. Spread out on the "divan" and watched a movie. A glorious day in San Fran. Mild, sunny, blue sky. Cabbed into the hotel which gave us our room early. We set out promptly. All the way next door to the SFMOMA, SFO’s version of MOMA. The two special events were a Walker Evans retrospective and 30 years of Robert Rauschenberg. [caption id="attachment_4965" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Lamb Shank Manti[/caption] Before we took in the art we enjoyed an exceptional light lunch at the museum restaurant, In Situ, which was a menu of items from celebrated chefs. Of special note was the lamb shank manti, a Turkish dish with tomato puree, smoked yogurt and sumac. [caption id="attachment_4967" align="aligncenter" width="1008"] Rotunda looking up and rotunda looking down[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4968" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Walker Evans collage. Top left is a Ringling Bros wagon[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4971" align="aligncenter" width="2896"] Close, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Fitzwilson[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4973" align="aligncenter" width="512"] A man in red stands in front of a red Robert Rauschenberg. Thanks Nina![/caption] After our dose of culture we waded into the depths of downtown for a mosey then back to the W for a siesta. Took an Uber early evening to Nopa, a hopping neighbourhood landmark just on the border of Haight Ashbury and Alamo Park on Divisadero. Food wavered between very good and OK. Uber home and bed before 11. [caption id="attachment_4972" align="aligncenter" width="1008"] Chuck Close is the Bomb[/caption]