de Young Museum
We spent the Labor Day weekend in San Francisco, planned to visit museums and dine at some good restaurants. Once we settled down at Le Méridien in the downtown, we took Uber to the de Young Museum. It’s bit of late, only less than two hours left to us to explore. The good thing was through the “Museums on Us” program, the entrance is free for the first weekend of every month, as long as you show the Bank of America card.
This was our first visit to the museum since it was reopened in 2005. It impressed me more with the modern architecture design than the exhibitions they hold, especially the open exhibition hall and lavish green wall at the side. It’s a great venue that provides valuable art experience to the visitors.
After the museum visit, we went to Hayes Valley area. We had made a reservation at “A Mano” restaurant. It’s interesting to learn how Hayes Valley had transited from an area plagued with homeless and drug program to a trendy commercial district. Surprisingly, one of the factors is attributed to the collapse of highway 101 in 1989’s earthquake. The freeway had caused noise and traffic issues to the area. When the freeway is gone, shops started to move in. Now, the area has become a destination spot with many chic shops and top notch restaurants.
“A Mano” is an Italian restaurant specialized in pastas and creative dishes. Highly recommended.
I went to Museum of Modern Art the second day morning. The museum, designed by the Norwegian firm Snøhetta and reopened in 2016, is another huge yet elegant art venue of the city. Modern Art is always said to be hard to understand, because it’s about the expression of emotions so viewers are not supposed to “see” it but to “feel” it. I think putting the viewers and the arts in the same frame is an interesting angle, so are the following pictures.
We had a walk in the North Beach, Little Italy district. It’s called North Beach because it was the northern end of the city with a beach before the late 19th century. The area filled with cafe, restaurants and shops today also has great tradition in literature and poem. It’s the birth place of so called “the Beat Generation of poets”. “The City Lights Bookstore” is just like “Shakespeare and Company” in Paris, “Caffe Trieste” is like “Les Deux Magots” or “Café de Flore”. They are the popular meeting place for writers and poets.
Mission District is an another neighborhood with the long history since the establishment of the city. We came at night to have a dinner at AI’s Place.