SyneRyder - journal

USA Trip 2005 - Part 3

July 2005

San Francisco Sights

Together with my business contact Evie, I took an informal tour of San Francisco. We went past Fisherman's Wharf and it was very pretty, but quite touristy. I didn't get a chance to go through it on foot though, so I may have missed some of the good points.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Of course, we visited the Golden Gate Bridge. You can't really visit San Francisco and not see the bridge, and it was just as impressive as I'd hoped. We drove across and the other side was even more interesting. The landscape was more natural, and you could look down on the bridge through the mist and clouds - quite a sight.

To fill in time on my own, I visited the Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). The artworks were vibrant, edgy, and crossed a variety of mediums. One section was devoted to the design of everyday objects, like modern furniture. It felt like walking into an Apple Store, since every new Macintosh and iPod would count as a work of art there. Also the bright lights, splashes of vibrant colors and minimalist pure white walls are all reminiscent of Apple products.

San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Of particular interest was an original Andy Warhol painting (his self portrait), a couple of Roy Lichtenstein originals, and also an artist I'd never heard of called Yves Klein. He did almost all his work in a single patented color, very close to what I call "Suppression Blue" (ie the shade of blue I use on almost all namesuppressed products somewhere).

At the end of one night (11pm), Evie took me on a guided tour of Castro Street, which San Francisco is famous for. Castro Street is the gay nightclub area of San Francisco, at least on a Friday Night. It was quite "full on" as you might expect. It seemed more like a XXX district than just a nightclub zone - think male dancers gyrating against each other in the windows of bars and clubs - but I survived it easily and wasn't propositioned at any stage. So I feel I've survived just about all San Francisco can throw at me (including the drunks, homeless and numerous beggars/addicts).

Update 2009: I'm terribly embarrassed by that last paragraph. I don't think I'd even had much experience of nightclubs at the time, so I doubt that Castro Street is much more "full on" than most cities around the world (though it is more open than some). As for the fear of being "propositioned"... what on earth? Even if anyone of any gender had flirted with me, it should probably have been flattering, not cause for mortal fear. I'd love to blame my opinions on being my first solo trip overseas and coming from the world's most isolated city... but honestly, I just had a lot of growing up to do. I'd hope that I'm much more open minded nowadays.

Streets of San Francisco, near SFMOMA