Tourist for a day

While living by a city of destination, one might as well take advantage of the sites. I had some friends from home come to visit for the weekend, and we decided to play tourist for a day…

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What’s one of the most touristy experiences San Francisco has to offer?

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How about a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge!

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In under 10 miles past Fort Mason, the Marina, Chrissy Field and just a couple of small-ish hills, you arrive to the adorable town of Sausalito!

Perfect weather to grab a beer and take in the view of the Bay to the skyline!

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If the ride over is enough for the day, you have the option to take the ferry back. Of course, this was the option we took. No shame. It is actually a fun opportunity. Even passed Alcatraz. It was the closest I’ve ever been, and I must say, it is definitely creepier looking than I expected. I might reconsider wanting to take a tour there haha.

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I’d recommend looking up the ferry schedule and arriving early. We just headed over after the restaurant, and had to wait in a huge line. The fact that it was a holiday weekend also probably didn’t help. If we do decide to go again, I’d like to start earlier in the day. With more hours in the day, we could have taken a path through the redwoods and into Tiburon. That would have been nice as well, but our adventure seemed to be just enough for all of us.

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One of the best parts, was that since we looked ridiculous in our stylish helmets and rented bikes, so many people kept asking where we were from. Could have made up some silly foreign scenario, but I think we just have too much NorCal pride. “Yaaa, we’re actually from here (or better yet, Tahoe!) ” And of course, they’re all just jealous 😛

Bay Area Bucket List

As the weather continues to be glorious, all I’ve been wanting to do is hang out in the sunshine. Now that I’m living in the Bay, I might as well explore the many wonderful places that are conveniently located nearby. Here is a complied list of some things I have been wanting to do and see. Hopefully now that they are written down, I can start crossing some off and maybe even finish the list by fall? Definitely a huge challenge, but hey, one can dream right? Some are pretty darn touristy, but too bad, don’t care. This is just a quick list. I am sure that there are many I’m forgetting and would be excited to visit. So, let’s play tourist, and find adventure.

  • Pacifica beach and coastal hikes in Southern San Francisco
  • Hike around Mt. Diablo
  • Trip to Alcatraz
  • Explore Tiburon and take a ferry ride to Angel Island
  • Off the Grid Food Truck night
  • Third Thursday’s in the City
  • First Friday’s in Oakland
  • Brewery tours. This site has a list of micro breweries you can walk to from BART. It’s also fun to visit and get a tour of the production. Those tend to be not as accessible by public transportation, but would make a fun outing
  • Wine Tasting. Trip to Napa anyone?
  • Ferry to Sausalito. Cute, historical, nice views
  • Sail in the Bay…so…make friends with a boat owner 🙂
  • Paddle board and Kayak in the Bay
  • Aquatic Park and venture to Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, etc.
  • Beach Blanket Babylon. If it was funny when I was younger, I’m sure the 21+ show is hysterical
  • Go to a Giants game!
  • Run a 5K
  • Dollar Day at Golden Gate Fields
  • Go to more Farmer’s Markets
  • Find Flea Markets
  • Find delicious burritos in the E. Bay
  • Take camping trips
  • Mini road trip to Santa Cruz
  • Bay to Breakers (May, 17th)
  • Hardly Strictly (Oct. 2nd, 3rd, 4th)

Well that should be enough to fill any free time. Can’t wait to try something new!

Tuesday Techniques: Arnold Newman’s Exhibition

As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to further highlight the Arnold Newman: Masterclass exhibition that was presented at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. As a portrait photographer, he utilized various techniques to capture the talents of many professionals. Throughout the exhibition, his portraits are set up in different categories. Those being photographed, or “sitters”, are placed in certain ways to really capture who they were, are and how they are remembered.


For another “Tuesday Techniques”, here are the strategies used by Arnold Newman:

Sensibilities: Sitters are portrayed with a hint of doubt. They are vulnerable and a tad fragile looking.

Geometries: Contrasting blocks of shapes and shades.


Lumen: Newman played with the idea of natural versus artificial light.


Weavings: These are double-exposures and prints. They are meant to be spontaneous. Sometimes the photos are torn, leaving jagged edges to remind the audience that even a photograph can “break the rules” too.


Signatures: Sitters are posing to explicitly show their talents.


Searches: Newman intended on being a painter, but found that photography suited him best. Using “still lifes” he attempts to combine the two methods.


Fronts: Powerful and active business professionals. Being constantly preoccupied, these hardworking men and women didn’t want to put too much focus into a photo shoot. Sometimes Newman would pretend to start packing up his things to spark their attention to him. They knew that this could be an opportunity for them to appear in something such as Life Magazine, so many of them would pose or make a certain expression to show their hierarchic power. Newman would try to counteract this by fiddling around or by making conversation to get them to relax. Tricky.


Rhythmically: Newman didn’t want to photograph people statically. To add an artistic flair, he attempted to pull the eye to a certain direction. For example, he would have the sitter lean one way or another.


Habitat: He never liked working in his own studio. He thought that one could gain real personality and character of a sitter by visiting and photographing in their studios. Not having full control over the environment, he saw this as a spontaneous approach that was a bit harder and riskier.


It’s neat to see how and where these artists found inspiration. I also hadn’t realized all the different ways to capture a moment in one’s lifetime. Thank you Arnold Newman and the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

SF Museum Outing

Exploring the city and finding things to do can be pretty costly, however almost anywhere has hidden steals and deals. As the new year arrived, I have been seeking affordable activities outside of the apartment. It’s always nice to get a little fresh air and enjoy the surroundings. With a little research, there are actually quite a few places to visit in the area, even on a budget.

Monday, I was fortunate enough to discover that on the first Tuesday of each month, many museums offer free admission. This webpage shows a list of local museums and when they have free entry days. I chose three that were within a few blocks of one another on Mission Street. After lunch at home, it was a quick Bart to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Most of the exhibitions allowed photography, so here are some I have to share.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presented two exhibitions. Landscape: the virtual, the acutal, the possible? highlights the curiosity of human activities creating a new landscape with a combination of nature and technology. Artists focused on two different environments, California (having diverse natural elements and the Silicon Valley) and Pearl River Delta region in China (having land struggles and being a major global electronics producer).


Paul Kos, The Sound of Melting Ice, 1970

Yes, those are two 25 pound blocks of ice being recorded by eight microphones.


Lois Weinberger, Field Work, 2010

The second exhibition, Alien She, had influences from the 1990’s punk feminist movement, Riot Grrrl.


   Next I traveled to the Cartoon Art Museum.

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I enjoyed the amount of detail placed into each drawing and the satire that many contained. It was also interesting to see the differences and similarities cartooning has across the decades. Almost felt like being in a fancy comic book store. Definitely a fun environment.

Lastly, I meandered over to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. This might have been my favorite of the day, since it presented a wide variety and great historical stories.


The large blue square to the left of the picture is the “Yud Gallery”. It is named from a letter in the Hebrew alphabet (as well as other languages) in which has a /j/ sound, such as Jerusalem. This portion of the building mainly houses sound installations and performances. While I visited, it housed a lovely tribute to Warren Hellman.


Among his many achievements, he is better known for his creation of Hardly Strictly. I have yet to attend the festival in the city, however it’s pretty neat to know how it all started. Warren Hellman basically wanted to play music with his buddies and put on a free show for the fans. Photography was not permitted in this exhibition, but it included his jacket, signed banjo, and plastic lawn chairs in front of a screening of the him playing with other artists. Great presentation.


This next exhibition comes from a children’s story by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh. The scene was adorable. As if I just jumped into the books. The picture above on the left, is from Mr. Lunch Borrows a Canoe. On the right, Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride. “Mr. Lunch” is a little dog who is apparently very good at chasing birds. J. Otto Seibold created the illustrations through careful computer animation.


The final exhibition I journeyed through was entitled, Arnold Newman: Masterclass. I was very intrigued by his styles of photography, that I have decided to write a whole new post for it. Overall, this gallery included photographs of various artists of the 20th century. Painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, dancers, statesmen, actors and actresses. In black and white photos, he brought each “sitter” to life.

As the sun began to set, my museum adventure came to an end. I haven’t been to many recently, so it proved to be quite a nice outing. There are still plenty more that I want to check out too. Perhaps next month. It’s always interesting to see something new and put yourself into someone else’s shoes.