Thursday, July 31, 2008

San Francisco: Day 4

This was the second day where I was the event coordinator. Our day started with breakfast at the hotel as usual. Then we hopped a cable car and headed to Chinatown. I bought a replacement backpack (mine was coming apart quickly) and my mom picked up a giant package of incense and a calendar while we were there. I took us to dim sum and the place I picked was not awesome. What I got was good but nothing was new or exciting about the choices. Mom and Becky had a few very weird desserts and a few other veggie entrees but I know they would have rather went elsewhere. Thanks for humoring me. Anyway the weirdest place we saw was the live game hens place with a lady walking out of there with moving bags in her hands. You can't accuse them of not knowing where there food comes from.

From there we headed to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They had a Frida Kahlo exhibit that was pretty intense. The audio tour helped us gain some insight into the paintings and her life. The audio tour was very helpful in that exhibit. We went downstairs and had a beverage and some bread (I skipped the bread since my dim sum was a little more filling). Then we went to the main exhibit. Some of which was interesting but as we headed further in the art became more "modern". Of course I still maintain modern art really translates to crap to fool snobby rich people into paying too much for. The selections of complete and utter stupidity included the infamous urinal as art, canvas painted white, a long blue light hanging slanted on a wall, metal shelves too small to be useful, stupid colored boxes within other colored boxes, and paint painted on canvas in for no apparent reason. The audio tour had me bent over in tears as they tried to justify hanging some of this crap up and insisting it was art. The only thing I could say was "REALLY?!?" Anyway a sucker is born everyday... and if you disagree with my assessment of "modern art" feel free to tell me why I am wrong. Anyway the final exhibit was photography and included work from Lee Miller. She was a model, photographer and war journalist. We watched a video on her where they showed most of the pictures they included in the exhibit so the exhibit was pointless. The worst part is the narrator for the photos is her son who seems strangely Oedipal about her. In fact in one disturbing scene during the documentary they show him staring at a naked bust of his mother and his eyes are focused on her chest as he waxes on about how he loves this piece of art and spends time staring at it frequently. Cue the repulsed shivers. Anyway I stopped listening to the audio tour in the pictures after he spoke for a while because not only was he creepy but it was as if someone who did not know anything about art or the artist were asked to comment. The guy was a freaking idiot. Of course she was pretty talented and managed to tell interesting stories with her camera. Her pictures of war time were intense ans she shot some fairly interesting portraits of people interacting in total devastation. Some of the picture included the concentration camp and a few beaten or dead SS officers that had been found by people they had imprisoned, tortured and intended to kill. One picture was of a body laying in a river and it was very evocative. The museum was fascinating, intense, powerful, sometimes funny and occasionally creepy. I would definitely recommend it even if you are not a huge modern art fan.

When we left the museum we headed to Chevy's for dinner and Thirsty Bear Brewery for a couple of beers. We watched the tour there while we imbibed and then headed to the hotel. The next day all we did was eat, pack and head to the airport (my mom and Becky went from the airport to their parked car).

Editor's note: As we spent a good majority of the day in a museum there were not many pictures taken. To make it even worse there were only 6 decent pictures of the ones I did take. Oh well.

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