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My Little Grand Tour: San Francisco (3/3)

On my third and final day in San Francisco, I had my engagement to present at about 5 pm, so I couldn’t roam around much. I decided to catch up on a couple of things I missed during the previous routes, but no crazy walking, this time. 3.1 The Museum of the African Diaspora Of […]

On my third and final day in San Francisco, I had my engagement to present at about 5 pm, so I couldn’t roam around much. I decided to catch up on a couple of things I missed during the previous routes, but no crazy walking, this time.

3.1 The Museum of the African Diaspora

Of all the establishments in the area of my hotel, this museum was both accessible and open when I wanted to visit it (I wish I could say the same about the Contemporary Jewish Museum). It’s a thin three floors building on Mission Street and is currently closed: it will open again on September 19th. I do not know what there will be on display then. What I can do is telly you what was my favorite piece among what they had when I visited. I don’t have to think a lot about it: it has to be the two photographs of work by Mary Sibande: Her Majesty the Queen Sophie and I put a Spell on me. Especially the latter is particularly striking, with her aquamarine dress and the Louis Vuitton staff.

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If you google her work (please, do it), you’ll find some other wonderful compositions depicting Sophie, her signature main character, such as Caught in the Rapture and The Reign.

.aa_marysibande_06 Mary Sibande's The Reign.

Another marvelous artist I discovered during my visit is the Zimbabwean Kudzanai Chiurai, who mainly works with mixed media to achieve what appears a beautiful mixture between a photograph, an oil painting and a murales. His themes are socially related to the situation in his home Country and often quote famous paintings to get his message across.

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If you google him (please do), you’ll find one of my favorite works: the We Live in Silence series and, in particular, number XIIII (sic).

KudzanaiChiurai_WeLiveinSilenceXIIII

If I have to be completely honest with you, I also loved another piece of art but I didn’t take a picture of the label and I can’t seem to be able to identify it through the web. Any idea of whose this is?

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3.2 Transbay Transit Center

If I told you I went to see a bus station you would take me for mad but hold on for a minute because I did go to see a bus station. Ok, technically it’s “an intermodal transit station” (it’s a bus station) and I went to see it because it’s one of the most interesting developments in downtown. Wikipedia will help me make my point with a picture from above.

Thanks, Wikipedia.
Thanks, Wikipedia.

The project was designed by César Pelli and his buddies, the iconic skin is in perforated white aluminum and my industry won’t shut up about how the manufactured it. Honestly, it’s beautiful. Equally stunning is the landscape on the rooftop, designed by Peter Walker, the same guy who did the landscaping at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. If you’re not into architecture, I’ll give you another reason to go there: right next door, the Anchor & Hope is a beautiful spot, they have good oysters and the chips are to die for.

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3.3 Autodesk Gallery on Market Street

If you’re not into architecture, you won’t like my next stop as well. Giving my industry, I couldn’t not make a stop here, although I was pretty sure I would see more of the same stuff Autodesk has kept rolling out at every University for the past three years. Well, I’m glad to say that I was wrong. And if I ever have a Company that’s big enough to afford a common space (or any kind of space, that is), I would like it to be like this. It’s half museum, half lab and people can experiment, play with the new tools, craft things to take home. You have models, sure, and celebrations of projects that have been or are being done with their products, but that’s the boring part. Do you want a giant dinosaur made of LEGO, with a building in its belly? You got it. Do you want to 3d-scan yourself and see what’s the effect you would have on winds if you were the size of a skyscraper? There you go. Do you like 3d-printed ceramics? There it is. And if you want to build weird colorful stuff, it’s the place to do it.

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Also, it’s a nice place to be in case you like weirdly beautiful golden insects that move.

3.4 Vaillancourt Fountain

It was evening when I first saw it, so I didn’t notice. The water of that fountain is fucking green. Like really, really green. Guys. It’s not good when your water turns green, you know that, don’t you? Especially if it does that in a beautiful landmark made for people to walk in. Just saying.

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