Continuing my report from my Road Trip Oct 28-Nov 10 from LA to Seattle
The next day we bid goodbye to Elliana and headed to the de Young Museum. Enroute in an Uber Car (my first experience and a very good one) we passed the City Lights Bookstore and Publishers (citylights.com). City Lights is a landmark independent bookstore and publisher that specializes in world literature, the arts, and progressive politics. We just didn’t have time to go into the bookstore and from what I’m learning on their website, it would have been hard to leave in time to get to the museum.
Founded in 1953 by poet (and also painter) Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin, City Lights is one of the few truly great independent bookstores in the United States, a place where booklovers from across the country and around the world go to browse, read, and soak in the atmosphere of the Beat’s legacy of anti-authoritarian politics and insurgent thinking which continues to be a strong influence in the store.
Today, City Lights has well over two hundred titles in print, with a dozen new titles being published each year. The press is known and respected for its commitment to innovative and progressive ideas, and its resistance to forces of conservatism and censorship.
San Francisco’s Fine Arts Museum features over 1,000 paintings by American artists; collections from South America, Africa, and Oceanic countries; 13,000 pieces of textile art; and American and European photography. The de Young includes lower level galleries for special exhibitions; two floors of permanent exhibition galleries; and a 144-foot high tower with an observation deck.
When I asked what the museum was best known for, I was told its architecture, The Hudson River School/landscapes, the modern paintings and that much of the collection came from John D Rockefeller 3rd.
We were fortunate to be at the museum for a major exhibition that marked the centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), the San Francisco World’s Fair that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and the city’s reconstruction following the great earthquake of 1906. The grand exposition covered 76 city blocks and boasted national and international pavilions showcasing innovation, industry, and the arts.
At the heart of the PPIE was one of the most ambitious art exhibitions ever presented in the United States, encompassing more than 11,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs, in addition to a significant array of public murals and monuments. Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition is on view until January 10, 2016. The show was reminiscent of the Armory Show held at the New York Historical Society 2 years ago (Oct 2013-Feb 2014).
We left San Francisco and headed to Napa. To the Oxbow Market where Heidi could get a fig basaltic vinegar. We had oyster from the hog company and then to another restaurant in the market for a glass of wine and pizza. From there up to Calistoga and scheduled for mud baths.