...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Monday, October 17, 2005

It's De lovely, it's De Young

If you think about it, the cyber-fun of the past week--in the sense that extremes always lead to their opposites-- was bound to lead to a night-time peregrination to Golden Gate Park.

The original plan was to go hear Chris McGrew --the fab drummer for Griddle and sometimes True Margrit--playing at Skip's on Cortland with Jason Overton. We pop up to Bernal Hill--and, no, that is definitely not Chris on drums. Oh well. Sarah & I head home where our roomies say they have heard through the grapevine (actually, it was mentioned in the NEW YORKER), that the brand-newly rebuilt & tricked-out version of the De Young Museum is to be open to the public for 32 straight hours with FREE ADMISSION.

It's only 10 pm, so we figure we have a few hours to spare. So we wander up to Medjool at 22nd and Mission for the Litquake After-Party which required invitations (and we had them there invites, cuz Sarah is cool). But the event itself, when we arrive is less glamourous than it sounded and seems to be winding down. Nonetheless, Litquake is a very cool event with its books & authors-driven-Mission-District-Pub-Crawl. We hang for a bit & people-watch, but we soon feel the urge come over us to see the art that is waiting in the park. We call Gary & he is anointed designated driver for the escapade.

Gary zips us up to the Sunset District & finds a miraculous parking place on 9th ave. As we head into the park, crowds are heading the opposite direction (uh-oh)...And as we turn onto Hagawira Tea Garden Drive, it's hard to say what is more spectacular: the almost-full moon, or the huge mass of folks waiting in line and milling about goodnaturedly, or the De Young itself. It's a crazy, coppery, structure with nervy angles and corruscation, and a tower that looks like a hallucination. We are quite simply transfixed by this new landmark, lit up as it is in the night.

We run into our pal Scott Goff who informs us that although it's 1:30 am, the end of the line is at the Panhandle (over half a mile and possibly three hours away). There is a sweet odor of marijauna in the crisp air and the sense that nobody is going home anytime soon. We peer into one window and there's a DJ spinning to a crowd of writhing dancers under strobe lights and art installations. In another window we see some of the lucky ones inside playing with a touch-screen display of virtually-rotateable ancient art. Gary points out that it is a mere step away from holographic projections. Yes. Very 21st century.

We walk around the perimeter and stand under the crazy-angled tower. Gazing upwards past the jaggedy planes of the walls I can see stars and the moon, and all around me are upturned faces of San Franciscans enjoying the wee hours of this Saturday night and their new museum. So we'll come back another day to see the inside. This is more than enough.

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