I haven't been up for writing over the past week or so. I have some serious new administration blues that seem to worsen with each press release. So until I get my attitude together and figure out a way to contribute positively I will post about other's beautiful contributions to society! Today I want to share with you a few photos from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco.
Sharing this feels particularly relevant for me considering all of the political actions against the federal science agencies and anyone federally funded in the sciences (especially working on climate change and sustainability). As a climate scientist who relied on federal dollars for all of the research I have ever been involved in I feel the hurt. I hurt because this work, work seeking to help humanity and the most vulnerable communities do not receive significant funding from other sources, certainly not from private one. So this post is dedicated to the determined scientists out there, inspiring hope, art, and a better society for all on a daily basis. We shall resist, we shall overcome.
While at the YBCA I examined in depth Tom Sachs' third Space Program, Europa which ran through the 15th of this month. In the introduction to this work Sachs writes,
In our age of disaffection, the sculptures in this exhibition are also objects of love that support the rituals of studio practice, all things analog, and the handmade. Their meaning is born out of action in time - the original act of their making, and later their use, charges them with purpose beyond art for its own sake.
That's it for my little glimpse into this intricate exhibition and truly hope you get to see some of Sachs "postindustrial mashup of high and low culture" (as he has said) in the future! Save a few hours to if you do, it is very thought provoking and such a spectacle to see.
Weekend trips are so hard for me to plan, there just ins't enough time to see all I want to see (story of my life)! So I put this little guide together of my hit list of places to stay, eat and see from my recent trip to the Bay Area.
My first two nights I stayed at the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel, a super cute boutique hotel at the nexus of Japantown, Fillmore and Pacific Heights. Stylish and super hospitable, this hotel was offered a wine happy hour in the lobby each evening which is a added bonus! On my last night I stayed at the recently renovated Tilden Hotel. The Tilden is simple, budget friendly and located within walking distance of downtown and shopping districts.
San Francisco has many great restaurants, all of which I was dying to try! But between all of the running around and the conference I attended there were three stand out meals from my visit. One brunch spot I really enjoyed was Sweet Maple. Sweet Maple is in between the Pacific Heights and Fillmore neighborhoods and truly feels like an institution there. The all american menu gave me diner vibes with a Californian-freshness. One morning I popped over to Oakland (another place I am dying to get back to!) for brunch at Flora with friends. Flora is a stylish, art deco spot with an elegant and delicious menu. Finally, Akiko's Sushi Restaurant. Althoughquite the splurge this is some of the best sushi I have ever had (this coming from someone with a Japanese Grandmother!). I suggest sitting at the sushi bar and asking for omakase (chef's choice) and just letting them know about how much you'd like to eat/spend (scope out the menu ahead of time to get a feel for the prices.) Then sit back and be spoiled!
If you've been following me here you know how much I lovemuseums and my first recommendations won't surprise you. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is a contemporary arts space that aims to show socially impactful exhibitions while making sure it is affordable for all to see. On my visit I had the fortune of experiencing Tom Sachs' Space Program: Europa in all of it's toolshed fusion glory (read more here!). Just across from YBCA and the Yerba Buena Gardens it is nestled in is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Unfortunately I didn't get to pop in on this trip but I definitely will next time, I noticed they have several Richard Serra works (which I fell in love with since my visit to Dia: Beacon!). And finally, the de Young Museum of Fine Arts. From the architecture to the art within, the de Young is a must see destination. Read (and see) more about it in my last post.
As far as the traditional sights, I made my way to the Painted Ladies, drove down the crooked Lombard Street, and admired Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge. Honestly, the painted ladies and Lombard street are tourist traps. If I had it to do over again I would spend more time hiking the trails on either end of the bridge.
And thats about it! Tell me, what have or would you do in in the Bay Area for 48 hours?
Situated in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is the de Young Museum of fine arts, known for near panoramic views of the city as stunning as its collections.
On my first day sightseeing in SF my first stop after brunch was to this museum. I was eager to see the beautiful gardens, building and of course artwork and this turned out to be the perfect activity for what was a very chilly morning.
The majority of the museum is contained in just a few floors with wide, geometric galleries that transition one to the next with such ease that I would forget where I was coming from by the time I arrived at the next exhibition.
As a visitor to the city I was very eager to see the views from the museums twisted tower. From the glass walled observation deck I admired the hilly, yet very flat and brightness of San Francisco (a stark contrast to my tall and grey New York).
After admiring the view from above I was eager to see the sculpture garden I have been glimpsing through the gallery windows all morning. From there I could admire the work of architects Herzog and deMueron against the bright blue sky. The sharp geometry of the building and perforated facade created so many dramatic and subtle shadows as we approached midday.
A morning well spent in the company of lovely art, inspiring architecture, and beautiful foliage. What more could I have asked for!
In December I was giving a short talk at a conference in San Francisco for some research I have been involved in (yay! my first oral presentation!!). Since I was already making the trip to the west coast I extended my stay to include the weekend. Here is a tiny taste of what I packed into those two days!
Isn't this city so pretty?! Very different from NYC thats for sure. Look out for my San Francisco weekend guide, I will be posting it later this week!
In 2015 my partner and I spent a weekend in Greece to celebrate the union of 2 very lovely people. We arrived in Athens in the wee hours of the morning the day of their wedding and after much celebration late into the night we awoke the next day to take in as much as we could in 24 hours! These are 5 things you absolutely must do when you visit Athens, Greece.
Number 1 (and most important), eat! But don't just eat anywhere, avoid the tourist traps and eat where the locals do. One of our lovely Greek friends guided us to an incredible restaurant near our airbnb. The food was so amazing we didn't manage to take a single picture of it all (probably the truest test of an amazing meal these days)!
Of our many delicious meals our first and most memorable was a spot (I forgot the name of) located at the corner of Kidantidon and Kallisthenous in a neighborhood just west of Filopappos Hill.
Filopappou Hill, also known as Hill of the Muses, is a massive park with beautiful geologic outcroppings, trails for hiking and ancient ruins. A group of us wedding guests, led by our Greek diaspora friend-turned benevolent tour guide, slowly hiked through the park all the way to the Panatheanic Way.
We took in the beautiful scenery that gradually built up our excitement until the Acropolis was finally revealed!
Of course the Acropolis... no trip to Athens is complete without visiting the this rightfully significant spot. The site is home to many structures including the Parthenon, an architectural masterpiece. It is a symbol of democracy, citizenship, and western civilization as we have come to know it today.
Truly the Acropolis is an incredible sight to be seen and even more stunning than I had ever imagined. And the views of Athens cannot be beat!
After seeing the incredible ruins of the Acropolis we went to the beautiful Acropolis Museum for a deeper dive into history and afternoon cocktail. Be sure to schedule enough time here because you can honest spend hours here without realizing it!
And finally Pláka! Pláka is a historic neighborhood in Athens at the easterly base of the Acropolis. You can spend lots of time wandering the maze like streets imaging yourself in ancient times or just shopping around in the many shops that line the footpaths.
Stay for dinner and you may be lucky like us and find yourself a rooftop table with romantic views of the Acropolis and a pink sunset!
Although our time in Athens was short, it surely was memorable and I look forward to returning to Greece and seeing much more of it's capital city soon!
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Your guide to Barcelona's many neighborhoods. Where to go in Barcelona and how to get there!Read More
Less is More.
The Barcelona Pavilion, a reconstruction of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 1929 German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exposition (also referred to as the World's Fair) is a the phrase "less is more" in a building. The Barcelona Pavilion is notable because it represents some of the most dominant philosophies of the self-educated architect. Mies was a modernist who was thoughtful about hoe nature and built structures interact. The minimalist structure employs expensive stones, referring back to the architect's childhood working in his father's stone carving shop. The space features 2 shallow pools and a lush back garden. And the views from the different rooms are all so different and beautiful.
I fell in love with the pavilion. The space was quiet and meditative. I honestly didn't want to leave. And despite the building being completely exposed to a public square in a very touristy area it felt tucked away from the city. I felt like a like a house sitter to someone with very excellent taste.
After admiring the genius of Mies van der Rohe I had fallen in love with minimalism all over again. Event the travertines and marble I first thought a bit tacky had grown on me. I left feeling light and inspired. And each time I look back on these photos I get those feelings again.
I (obviously!) highly recommend a visit to the Barcelona Pavilion. You will be surprised how interesting such a bare bones place can be.
Last year, during a whirlwind Euro-tour, my partner and I spent a few days in the beautiful Barcelona. Him the architect, and me the architecture adorer made the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) our first stop. This modern museum is located at Plaça dels Ángels in El Raval, one of two historic districts adjoining the popular La Rambla neighborhood. Famed architect Richard Meier's largely glass and concrete building was erected in 1995 amongst the old gothic architecture of the neighborhood. The windows allow light to flood the spaces in streams. All in all the art was fine but the building was magnificent...
Ahhh, just so lovely. I mean look at us happy campers!!!