September 9, 2008

Trip Highlights

Chihuly installation at the De Young Museum

 Sidewalk shrub off Telegraph.
 I love the residential small yard landscaping in the Berkeley area.

We were well organized with a list of things to do and places to visit, including two SF museum shows, the giant Alameda Flea Market,  Leslie's Ceramics  and ClayPeople for some supply shopping, a walk on the SF beach, lunch in Golden Gate Park, Flora Grubb nursery, and the UC Botanical Gardens. 
We strolled the College Ave. business district in Berkeley, where I finally make it into a store I have long been curious about—  Tale of the Yak, as well as hitting some bookstores on Telegraph (Moe's)
and a few other favorite stores on 4th Street (Cactus Jungle, The Gardener) and Shattuck Ave. 

View of the new Academy of Science (opening September 27th) from the DeYoung Museum Tower.

Chihuly basket installation at the de Young

Without question, viewing Chihuly's large installation projects in person, gave me new respect for his work and provided an exhilarating and colorful experience. It was great to view the film that introduces the team of master glass blowers, (Team Chihuly) who's skills contribute to making these installations possible. I think the basket series was my favorite. The glass baskets were displayed next to Chihuly's collection of northwest Indian baskets, which served as the inspiration for this series. The glass baskets are exquisite with delicate detailed patterned shards, blown extremely thin in a tobacco colored glass that transitions to almost clear. I was not able to get a good photo in the dimly lit room.

Chihuly ceiling installation detail

Mexican artist Freda Kahlo's work is at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) through the end of this month. This is a chance to see many of her well known famous works as well as many I was unaware of.
It was a bit crowded for my liking, but I was so glad I went. For all the hardships she endured in her life, her body of work is impressive and moving.

A crested pachypodium  in the Arid House at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley

Our last stop before returning home was the UC Botanical Garden where one could easily spend hours walking the areas representing different geographic regions. It was the perfect end to our trip.