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Remnants of the Street of the Dead

The “carbuncle” which is the de Young
The most spectacular views in SFO are from the tower at the de Young in Golden Gate Park

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.

Incense burner lid. Just the lid. C. 350 AD.
Fire god sculpture, C. 150 AD

Small exquisitely intricate figurines of women in headdresses which emphasize the burdens upon them and the tears of the work required of them
Avian effigy vessel C. 250 AD.
Incense holder. Very, very elaborate incense holder!
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.
Seated figurines taken from the Moon Pyramid burial, C. 250 AD.
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.

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.

Clockwise from top left: Funerary statue, Indonesia, ancestral figures and masks from Cameroon.

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.

A “donut” and some half eaten appetizers. Watching the chefs at SPQR.

The author of Here Hare has traveled to over 45 countries on six continents, and has lived in Canada, the UK and Australia.

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