Hello, Yerba Buena Garden

It's been rainy on and off throughout the day..."We have to leave in 5 minutes!" DH rushed impatiently. Why? We won't make it to the Toll Plaza before 10 to take advantage of the commuter lane if we don't hurry. Thank goodness we made it--another triumph!

Mom was meeting a friend and won't be home until noon. We took advantage of the extra time in the city touring the 5-acre Yerba Buena Garden, across from my old office where I worked for many years...many fond memories for me as well as for DD#1.

Main Entrance to Yerba Buena Garden, located between Mission and Howard Streets on Third Street. There is another large fountain in the middle of the Garden.

SHIP SCULPTURE, made of glass and metal and inside it are live plants, in the East Garden--just one of many artwork pieces scattered around the Garden.

I found humor in this. If you look up (from SHIP SCULPTURE,) you will see...duh...the Sky. You won't need this to show you where to look to see the sky!

The most dramatic, outdoor waterfall, created by Sculptor Houston Conwill, poet Estella Majozo, and architect Joseph de Pace as a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sheltered behind this peaceful 50-foot-tall waterfall are 12 glass panels,

each inscribed with quotations from Mr. King. I can sit here all day, relax, and listen to the water.

Now at the top of Martin Luther King, Jr. waterfall, called Sister City Garden where several sculpture pieces are on display (as photos below.) Center for the Arts Theater is the building at the other end of the plaza; which presents music, theater dance, and visual art. To the far left is Center for the Arts Galleries & Forum, which features galleries and a space designed specially for dance. They also have cutting-edge computer art and multimedia shows are on view in the high-tech galleries. The brownish red building with round skylight is San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Full view of Martin Luther King, Jr. Waterfalls from Sony Metreon. There is a walk way to get up here from Yerba Buena Garden...you can get several other good views of the city from the large elevated patio.

San Francisco skyline is one of the most photographed cities in United States.

In front still standing is Saint Patricks Church, built in 1851, survived earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. I used to spend my breaks there praying, away from work (two buildings over.) To the right is the Mexican Museum, relocated from Fort Mason.

My Old Office next to now the Mexican Museum, transformed from a parking lot.

We were so looking forward to check out the 32,000 square-foot, professional-size indoor rink--with a National Hockey League regulation-size surface for team play and practice, figure skaters, skating exhibitions and general skating--located near the heart of Downtown San Francisco. Though it's open to the public all year round, it operates irregular hours. Disappointingly, it wasn't open until noon. When DH and I took a peek through the glass, guess who we saw practicing and performed the 'tano Lutz' jump....my teenage, local idol (he was 6 months of my junior,) Brian Boitano! Brian began to skate at age 8 when he went to a figure skating show starred Peggy Fleming. Brian fell in love with the sport and quickly became very accomplished. At times, he even gave the 1984 men's Olympic Champion, Scott Hamilton, a run for his money. In '88, he won "The Battle of the Brians" between himself and Canadian Brian Orser. He went pro and has skated and toured with skaters like Tara Lipinski, Michelle Kwan, Scott Hamilton, Paul Wylie and Kurt Browning. Even admiring Brian from a distance, separated by a piece of glass, it was enough for me...

Truly unique Circle Play was the highlight of the Garden, a neighborhood playground built in the heart of downtown. Our kids spent most of the time there...with no intention or desire to other cultural places the garden or nearby museums has to offer.

The bowling alley was empty except for the staff. This is a slow time of the year for tourism. We pretty much have the place to ourselves. I got to chat with a young docent/guide who manned the Circle Play. Since he is fairly new to the Bay Area, I ended up educating him...while the kids had a blast running around.

Zeum Store is in the large building in the center of the Garden.

Here is the all-glass, restored carrousel, originally built in 1903 by Charles I.D. Looff in Rhode Island. It was first used in Seatle until 1913 when Looff moved it to Playland at the Beach in S.F. It remained there until the park closed in '72. From '72 until late '98, the carrousel has been around. The animals on these old carrousels are all hand-carved, hand-painted, with real horse hair tails. Music for this carrousel is taped and played over speakers; versus old music used to be real musical instruments that played mechanically with a paper roll that recorded what to play, just like a piano player. In old days, you could grab a brass ring on your way around, throw it and try to get it into the big clowns mouth. You can't do it now because the building is all-glass.

The World's largest urban $85 million, 3-D IMAX Sony entertainment complex "Metron", with 15 stadium-seating movie theaters, opened in June, '99; next to Yerba Buena Garden lawn.

The lobby has a post modern brushed steel look to it and that is not all, there is much more going on at the Metreon than besides just movies.

In this lobby, you may purchase a card for different attractions including movies and food. You may increase its value at machines (like an ATM) located throughout the complex.

As with many other tourist-focal attractions, we skipped Portal 1, a dimly lit cavern with all sorts of video games and looked alot like a gambling casino. You have to have a card to play the games, like the one mentioned before. Machine design is very futuristic. THere is a simulator ride where you get in a pod and go into space and compete with others trying to get the fuel before they do.

Nice wrap-up to our one-hour visit in downtown...biggest X-box interactive advertisement I've ever seen and the kids were crazy about!

0 encouragements:

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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