Monday, May 9, 2016

San Francisco Is the Art

Here I am at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, city of bridges. This was the last stop on my California voyage.There is also a wonderful Claus Oldenburg sculpture of a bow and arrow, quite large of course,  down from where I am sitting.  From the ferry building to Fisherman's Wharf is this promenade along the bay. You may walk , or take a trolley. You soon learn  it is always necessary to have exact change for all public transportation.
I found  this to be a city which contains so many elements of art and design right  in the public view. There are the buildings themselves: new and hard edged; full of curlicues and ornament, which their colors accentuate; influences of the Chinese culture, everywhere evident. Then there are the old warehouses,with their dirty glass windows and massive size against the sky.
We visited an artist friend in the Mission district, who has his studio in the old Hellman factory. He was one of a  group of artists who bought this building years ago, and pay a reasonable maintenance rent. It is an entire building filled with such creative efforts. This was a real joy and inspiration for me.
 I have been visiting this city since the 1960's. I miss the element of low rent and slight decay that used to reside in certain areas.  I can't imagine it is possible to find reasonable  space to live and work there today. The technology boom has made this an even more desirable place to live, and it felt like New York  prices for everything we ate or did. There is a price to pay to live in a city which is the art. 

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