Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fisker Karma

If you haven't heard much about the Fisker Karma yet, you will soon. Us car guys have been drooling over it for months.

Monday, February 16, 2009

San Francisco: Chihuly Exhibit

 Let me start this post by saying it right off the bat: This art looks ten times better in person than it does in any photo ever taken of it. It truly does. I knew this exhibit was in town but we had decided not to see it because we had not bought tickets in advance and, quite frankly, I wasn't overly impressed with the photos.
 But when we got to the de Young Museum, we decided to ask to see if, by chance, any tickets were available for the current time - and there were! So we bought two and headed down to the basement, where the exhibit was. The basement was a maze of totally black rooms, save for the spotlights on the art itself.
And every room took my breath away. We'd walk around a corner and I would gasp. Unfortunately, I only brought my pocket camera along and it really, really struggled with the low light levels, but in processing the pics this week I was actually pretty happy with the results. The photos aren't perfect, but they are darn good for a pocket camera.
 Here is another amazing room. As you can see, the crowd would enter and stop dead in their tracks, all heads turned upward. This photo does not do the glass justice, but it does give you an idea of the feel.
 There's Nikki to the right. It is amazing how people would just stop and look, for minutes at a time. Words, and photos, cannot describe the beauty.
The artist's name is Dale Chihuly and his website is here. Mark my words, he will go down as one of the great artists of our time. Yes, they look overly ornate and a bit gaudy in photos, but you have to see it to fully appreciate it.
 One thought that kept going through my mind: how do they keep these things clean? Dust must be a real problem!
 But they are absolutely wonderful to look at, especially in the environment provided by de Young in the totally dark rooms save for the well-placed spotlights.
 And these pieces are huge as you can tell in those where I've included persons. I've done that intentionally to give them scale.
 This is one of my favorites....it drew a constant crowd.
 Here is a detail of the object.
 Being a big fan of the color blue, this one also ranks among my favorites. It reminds me of very pure ice crystals.
 Another beauty. Oh what the hell, they are all my favorite!
 And the last room...this one is a little much for me, but it is a showcase for all the shapes and colors that Chihuly likes. Note the person on the left that lends scale to the objects.
A photo of the same objects after my fourth Rum and Coke. Actually, someone bumped my arm but I rather like the result. It actually looks better than the previous picture to me! Anyway, enjoy and if you get the chance SEE A CHIHULY EXHIBIT.

San Francisco: de Young Museum and Golden Gate Park

 Since the de Young Museum had been closed for renovation during our last few trips through San Francisco, we made a point of visiting it last August. The day was nice, though the shade could be a bit nippy. As we strolled through the park, we came across a young man coaxing a bird out of the tree with a peanut. The bird would swoop down and pluck it from his hand, though I never caught it with my camera.

 When the bird tired of the game, the local squirrels were more than willing to keep it going. Here is one friendly fellow balancing himself using the young man's hand.
 Before long the news had spread on the squirrel grapevine and he had his hands busy keeping them all at bay. He is really lucky that none of them decided to climb his leg!
 This is the view as we approached the plaza where the de Young Museum is located. There is some parking in the area, but not alot. Luckily we had taken a bus.
 Here is the exterior of the de Young Museum. I personally don't think it is the best looking building, but it is different.
 Let's walk through a few of the displays.

 Although this looks like a smaller table top display, this is actually sitting on the floor with each of the pieces of "fruit" roughly the size of a beach ball.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

San Francisco: Union Square Area

 I took out my pocket camera this week and to my surprise, there were photographs from last summer on it that I had forgotten about! Nikki and I needed a break one week last August so we booked a quick trip to San Francisco and stayed in our favorite area, Union Square.
 There is always something going on in Union Square and that weekend was no exception: it was the Korea Day Festival. We weren't quite sure what we were watching, but it was fun anyway.
 When they found out I was the famous J, they posed for me. Yeah right. I leeched this snap while they were posing for someone else.
 Then I spun the camera around a took photos of the buildings around Union Square. Here is Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany. The tall building in the background is the Sir Francis Drake where we have stayed before. The rooms feel very turn of the century (a phrase that now needs to be explained...I'm talking about turning from 1899 to 1900, not 1999 to 2000). The one drawback to a stay there is that the trolleys start early in the morning and the clang clang will make you sit straight up in bed.
 Moving the camera further to the right yields this shot. A few blocks back this direction is the Ann Fontaine store, a favorite shopping spot for Nikki.
 Further right yet and this is what you see. Apple in their favorite lime green and hot pink 60s colors.
 Macy's is always a fun store to visit while in the Union Square area. It is always decorated very nicely and is very busy. We usually spend a bit of time in the shoe department before heading to the nearby Westfield San Francisco mall.
 Another shot of Macy's. On an upper floor behind this large display is The Cheesecake Factory. We always end up there around lunchtime but have not yet eaten there because it is always P-A-C-K-E-D. Makes us think the food must be G-O-O-D.
 A favorite photographic subject of mine: the St Francis Hotel. This photo is not as good as others I have taken of this San Francisco landmark, but I like it just the same. We stayed there once and we're glad we did. But we've found a hotel we like better so we haven't been back.
 Here is the beautiful Nikki enjoying some of the warm San Francisco sunshine on that great summer day.
And finally, while walking in the financial district, I spied this beauty: an Aston Martin Vantage V8. Be still, my heart. Those lines are perfection. I certainly can't afford one right now, but they are starting to pop up used. Once the prices fall a bit more it will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.