I'm having a hard time figuring out why San Francisco (SF) is my favorite city in the United States. Would it be the climate, the palm trees, the well-known mountains and tramways, or the views of the crossings, bridges, and the Bay? When I arrived in San Francisco from Chicago, it hit me that, even though the major towns have almost the same surprise wow effect, San Francisco is far more laid-back. Many of the skylines in this city are so massive that your eye always keeps moving, questioning when it will hit the roof. They're much more spread apart because there was more sky. Presidio and Oceania Heights, for example, sound like different villages.
I had been in town for Christmas and new Year, and the whole city was transformed into a huge street party, with huge numbers of people cheering on the twisting procession of instrumentalists, dragons, singers, apparatchiks, fire fighters, and leaders in outdoor sedans. For a country obsessed with safety and health, it was incredible how chaotic everything was, with deadly rockets bursting in the middle of a busy street and then almost no security presence.
My parents had already sent me here for a fun weekend and me time before my not-so-difficult job of having supper with nearby relatives. These vacations are without a question the biggest perk I have... perhaps as enjoyable as reading itself.
Suddenly a winter storm had shut down most of the East Coast, trapping me here. I was not really going to moan. My prolonged stay allowed me to tour the San Francisco Museums of Contemporary Art, which resurrected as being one of the world's foremost contemporary art galleries museum after such a three-year shutdown and kudos to the kindness of Donald Fisher and Doris. The design is so stunning that sections of the structure, including the modern Oculus bridge, are pieces of art. The traveler is guided from one artwork to the next by period of significant corridors, uncovered stairways, and tidy, spacious galleries.
Numerous new galleries are opening around the nation that pledge far more than they offer. Not so in this case. The SF Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has the best collection of Frank Stella in the world. It features works by Anish Kapoor, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Ellsworth Kelly, among others. I personally despise “exhibitions” because the terms themselves are often an exaggeration. But I was fascinated for a moment on the sixth floor by a (unfortunately temporary) job by William Kentridge that would be the nearest I'd come to experiencing a hallucination experience while awake.