San Francisco’s Legion of Honor

It’s my favorite museum in San Francisco and entry is free on the first Tuesday of each month. These photos are from my most recent trip last month.

Under that same arch

I should’ve been more diligent about writing down artists and titles corresponding these pictures, but instead I’ll just call it a scavenger hunt. Here are my favorites.

This one I admire for the color of the sky.

This sculpture of Rodin should be called “The Hokey Pokey”

Note the three pink roses at different stages of life. I overheard a docent talking about this painting, and it is deeper than it seems. You can enjoy it as just pretty flowers, sure, but it’s actually rich in social commentary and criticism as well.

It’s unfortunate that modern portraiture doesn’t seem to turn out this well. I guess it’s gone out of style

The next two were sisters. Alice Gray, who looks like a docile people-pleaser

and Sophie Gray, who looks like a defiant trouble-maker.

Okay, not technically art, but I like this chandelier and its wire-sock

I like sitting by this horsey and his man to write

 

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Christmas songs

I’ve been attending tree lightings lately. They seem to be in season. Being in the San Francisco Girls Chorus when I was little made the Christmas season especially hustle-bustle and bright. I miss it. We performed a sing-along yearly at Davis Symphony Hall. We sang at tree lightings of posh hotels, where they would bribe us with intricately frosted sugar cookies. We even performed for the Elks club, and for a morning news show to air on Christmas day.

What does Christmas mean to me? Well, I’m an atheist, so to me, it means singing to dear, sweet Christmas trees. O Tannenbaum is one of my favorite Christmas songs. German club would sing it at the retirement home on Geary street. Some residents were moved to tears, saying that they hadn’t heard a Christmas song in their native German in decades.

It also means snow. I would wish for snow every year because I grew up seeing it in the movies and read about it in Molly’s (American Girl) series. I never saw a white Christmas in San Francisco, but there was one time, when the temperature was below freezing and I tried to jump in a puddle but slipped and hit my head on the concrete because it was completely frozen over. Of course, I love “Let It Snow”.

The true meaning of Christmas for this spoiled girl, though, is getting every damn thing I want. From tickets to the SF Symphony’s new year’s eve ball to plane tickets to exotic locales (omg, only kidding). But wanting just one thing, and having that thing actually be a person is sort of adorable. And it’s in my favorite Christmas movie too, so “All I Want for Christmas” is probably the best Christmas song of all time.

Confession time: my favorite Christmas cd when I was growing up was actually Christmas with the Vienna Boys Choir. Especially the Mozart mass. It didn’t sound like any of the other Christmas music but I figured it was probably just what the Europeans listened to…

Milo

I went in to volunteer today after missing a few weeks while traveling. My darling, my love, my Milo was adopted during my absence. Just a few days after my last visit. I know I should be happy, and I’m sure that he’s happy out there with his new family.

I know that I didn’t have much to offer him. I saw him infrequently. But I would brush him, stare into his pretty blue eyes and cuddle him until I had to go. I already have a cat. I know that. But I just don’t adore my cat the way I do Milo. I really think we could’ve been happy together. Ah, ignore me. I’m just wistful because he’s gone forever. I missed my chance.

Who knows, maybe he would’ve eaten my shoes and yowled all night. And maybe he couldn’t trust or love ever again after being dumped at the shelter anyway. I thought we had something special, but I’m told Milo purrs for anyone.

Still, I’ll never forget holding him and brushing him. Beautiful, sweet boy.

Eternity Beach

This is my favorite of all beaches I’ve visited. My friend taught me a game he played as a boy growing up in Kona — “seaweed”. It’s simple: stand on a mossy rock and resist the waves trying to push you off. I’ve never managed more than 10 seconds.

Apparently, Nicki Minaj’s Starships music video was filmed here:


My friend brought it to my attention, and I love that he was so distracted by a familiar beach that he was blind to the nearly naked gyrating woman being splashed with neon paint.

Berry tart

I have nothing useful to say about this. You can tell I have feelings for this subject though, since I have never captured anything else so beautifully on camera.

It’s a berry tart from Tartine, and it’s heaven.

Isetta

isetta

I met this charming car at the BMW museum in Munich a couple of months ago. More adorable than its refrigerator door face are the stories from families that owned one. They were produced in the 1950’s, when the way to get from Germany to Italy was over the Alps. Young couples off to see the world would purchase an Isetta, pack their things and pray that the little car could chug its way up and over the mountains without a breakdown. Now that’s adventure!

Cioppino

cioppino

I’m not telling where this is from. I wouldn’t want you to come and make the line longer for me. San Francisco looks like a sleepy seaside town in many parts. It’s easy to forget how big it is. The light. What one pays for when dining here is the light at golden hour. The way it softens reality towards the ideal. But it isn’t bright or garish. It’s a grey-blue dying haze. If fog could be illuminated… It makes all the simple things beautiful: white lion head soup tureens, tubby bumblebee striped salt and pepper shakers, the veteran aluminum pitcher and all its icy condensation. Everything is crisp.