Day 1,281 of Traveling the World, San Francisco, CA – Part 1. August 4, 2021.

Greetings from Siberia! Or, uh, SAN FRANCISCO! As the old saying goes (repeated by Mark Twain but not originating with him) – “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It really has been chilly here, usually somewhere in the 60s during the day but often with a wind that makes it feel a bit colder. Most people are wearing jackets and caps, and it is early August! Unbelievable.

We have been doing all sorts of things here, too much for just one entry. So today we are showing you part of Golden Gate Park: the deYoung Museum and the Conservatory of Flowers. Both were delightful visits. The park is too far to walk to from our hotel in Union Square, so we tried public transportation, and the bus proved to be perfect. Senior tickets are just $1.25 to ride anywhere in the city, and $5 will get you unlimited rides. It is easy to use with the help of Google Maps.

The deYoung Museum had lots of artwork from Oceania and Indonesia, as you can see. There were carvings of fertility gods and many ceremonial items and masks. The more ferocious looking, the more likely that evil spirits will be kept at bay! However, the very first photo is of a contemporary piece titled The Scream (1966), created to voice a 22-year-old’s protest against the Vietnam War and social injustice.

We won’t describe each piece, as that would take forever, but ask that you just enjoy the various photos. We will point out that the purple petunias were painted by Georgia O’Keefe in 1925, and we were very taken by her nuanced technique, whereby she manages to make the flowers look like they are velvet. Extraordinary. Also, see the orange….tube? Guess what that is! It is a coffin for a cocoa farmer, shaped like a cocoa pod! We also liked the gruesome masks/headdresses, and lamented that reproductions aren’t available in the gift shop. The shop had all the boring, safe, scarves, notecards, mugs, and calendars of some of these items, but why not the really cool stuff? Not that we could buy masks anyway, homeless and traveling with backpacks, but in our former life we would have definitely purchased them!

We also liked the giant safety pin in the outdoor cafe space! Then we headed to the Conservatory of Flowers, the gorgeous, impressive domed white building you see. The inside was filled with dense ferns and flowers, with quite a few different rooms. Several pretty flowers are shown. Our favorite was the Bat Flower. Do you see which one it is? The black one, of course! It is elaborate and unusual. There will be more to come on this great city….stay tuned!