I woke up before the alarm went off, even though it was dark. I was a little confused when I first woke up (Where am I? Why did I have to get up again? Why are my dreams so weird? Where’s the coffee?), and disappointed to find a cat-free bed. I miss them already. After one day. This may officially make me a crazy cat lady.
I had coffee in bed while I woke up slowly. Somehow, even when I bring the little French press and my own coffee, I still make crappy in room coffee. It would be worth having a maid just to have some else make (good) coffee for me.
Once I was faux grown up-ized and ready to face the world, I called my friends at City Wide Dispatch and clacked out to the street in my heels. I hardly had time to notice the fog before the taxi arrived, sweeping me to my first meeting of the day. It went well, and I caught up on some industry gossip too, before heading to the second meeting, across the palmy expanse of Union Square:
That’s the lovely and historic St. Francis hotel peeking through the fronds, where the Fatty Arbuckle scandal started and they still have an employee who washes all the change in the hotel so as not to soil the gloves (or the sensibilities) of guests.
After work was done for the day, I made my way to the de Young Museum, which is, at least for blogging purposes, beginning to take over from the Legion of Honor as my favorite San Francisco museums. I seem to be warming up to its copper clad, monolithic charms, perhaps because of all the copper improvements in my own modest salle de bains. Here’s a shot of one of the many interior gardens:
I find that they refresh the spirit as well as the eye, and play to the organic quality of the building.
I was there to enjoy the Modernism exhibit on loan from the National Gallery:
My father used to say that if he had to choose one art museum to visit for the rest of his life, it would be the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and this exhibit confirmed his view, though he probably would not have enjoyed the artwork. He was delighted when all “the rubbish” was moved from the original Tate, home of the immortal JMW Turner and wonderful Restaurant, to the Tate Modern, while yet appreciating the architecture of the Modern.
I was stunned by the beauty of this Frank Stella, “Flin Flon IV”, from 1969:
In the same room was this strong, dancing “First Theme”, from 1964:
I was delighted to see two boxes by the quirky and inimitable Joseph Cornell, “Sand Fountain”:
and “Les Constellations Voisines du Pole”
I was moved by a series called “The Stations of the Cross” by an artist called Barnett Newman. He was inspired to create a series of paintings while recovering from a heart attack in 1958. The series grew into the stations of the cross, and Newman commented that it may seem strange for a Jew to make art based on this story, but he said that his inspiration was really Christ’s cri de coeur “Why have you forsaken me?”, which Newman looked at as an eternal, unanswerable question more than a religious theme. Here’s a picture I sneaked of the first few paintings in their minimal majesty:
The paintings were sited in quiet, peaceful room of their own, going around the room and ending with a fifteenth painting which was titled simply, “Be”.