Brad Feld

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A Museum Weekend In San Francisco With My Dad

Feb 12, 2006

My dad and I spent the last two days hanging out together in San Francisco.  We try to do this once a year – just the two of us – exploring a different city together.  This year we picked a perfect weekend – the weather in San Francisco has been incredible.  We stayed downtown in the Hotel Vitale – an ideal location right on the edge of the Embarcadero Waterfront. 

We spent Friday afternoon wandering around, followed by dinner at Lime and a semi-private viewing (e.g. surprisingly few people) of Firewall at the Metreon.  We both went running early this morning followed by another day of museums and a great dinner at A16.

We started the museum thing yesterday afternoon at the San Francisco Museum of Craft & Design.  They were between exhibits but let us wander around because I mentioned my friend Wendy Lea’s name (Wendy is one of the founding members of the museum.)  It turns out my membership expires in a month so I used the opportunity to delay my expiration by another year.  I’ll have to swing by again before May 29 to see the “Textile Art in the 21st Century” exhibit.  Since we hadn’t seen much art, we ducked into a few galleries – the memorable ones were the Himmelberger Gallery and the Caldwell Snyder Gallery – both on Sutter Street.

After an awesome run on the Embarcadero, we started our day at the Crown Point Press.  Amy and I collect several artists that Crown Point represents (such as Christopher Brown), as do my parents.  However, I was really disappointed this visit.  The exhibit space was sparsely populated and the artist (who’s name I don’t remember) wasn’t memorable.  Oh well.

SFMOMA (The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) was up next.  I love this building and the museum never disappoints.  The Chuck Close Self-Portrait retrospective felt a little meglomaniacal, but it was intriguing.  The 1906 Earthquake photography exhibit was great – it’s a superb perspective on how fragile the city actually is in the face of a major earthquake.  SFMOMA – as it often is – was one of the highlights of the trip.

We finished the day by taking a cab over to Golden Gate Park to take a look at the de Young.  The building – created by Herzog & de Meuron – looks amazing in photos.  Unfortunately, in real life I thought it was much less impressive.  I might be jaded by the new Denver Art Museum by Liebeskind – which is an incredible work of architecture – but I was disappointed by the de Young.  The trip up the de Young Tower to the top of the building was ok – the views of the city are great – but was also overrated.  The overall collection is a total hodgepodge of stuff.  The museum tries to make sense of it and rationalize the collection, but I thought the descriptions (and the art) missed the mark. 

Dad – thanks for the great weekend!