I just came back from a week in San Francisco. I had never been before. It
was wonderful. Saw two great shows at the SF Museum of Modern Art, the
photographer Diane Arbus, and artist Marc Chagall. Both shows were
breathtaking and thought provoking.
I was able to take advantage of two of the free City Guides tours, The
Victorian Houses, and Coit Tower Murals. I recommend the tours
wholeheartedly. The volunteers who give the tours are knowledgeable, and
take you into areas you wouldn't be able to go on your own. For the
Victorian Houses one, we not only went by the "Painted Ladies", but we
highlighted other famous victorians as well. The guide also got us into one
of the houses that has been refurbished by it's owner who has been
collecting stuff for over 40 years. The house was a magical gem, compleat
with authetic wallpaper, rugs, furnishings, lamps, cornices, and 9 player
pianos. The murals at Coit Towers were painted by WPA artists influenced by
Diego Rivera. The murals at the base of the tower are available to the
public. With this tour we got to go into a locked staircase and see two
other artists works, that were breathtaking as the murals made their way up
the stairs. The stairwell was painted to look like Powell Street in the
l930's. All the murals were Frescoes except for the one at the top of the
stairs, which was painted with tempra.
As for San Francisco itself, what a beautiful city, repleat with culture
and art, easy to get around, full of very friendly people, delicious
food,and great shopping. Only downside for me was that there is a distinct
lifestyle of homeless people...what I mean to say is that they do not intend
to be invisible, and you will have to make a choice about your response to
them. I think life is about choices, and while I can respect their choice of
lifestyle, I do not intend to support it, so I would just smile and say "no
thank you", when approached. Many citizens in the street came up to me and
said something to the effect to not give to anyone who asked because there
are plenty of shelters, church run organizations, and soup kitchens that can
and do take care of the homeless.
Just thought I'd share.