A fantasy getaway in San Francisco
Pulling weeds and wrangling dishes are behind me. Through the gracious generosity of a dear friend (who prefers anonymity), Orllyene and I are living like royalty. Our domain is the luxury of a high up condo on Nob Hill. “Making you happy, makes me happy,” our friend tells us time and time again.
Since plans have been were underway, she has been collecting passes from friends who are “heavy hitter” contributors to museums and other cultural activities. This makes it possible for us to indulge our love of fine painting, sculpture and other artistic outlets at minimal cost. We have visited the Legion of Honor (a magnificent art museum), and seen a traveling exhibit of post World War II period Japanese artists at the Asian Art Museum. On our final day we took in a decorator/antique event in one of the warehouses of Fort Mason on the Bay. To our delight, we also saw Downton Abbey at the Vogue, the 2nd oldest single-screen movie theatre in San Francisco. Of course, this meant driving all over the impossibly steep hills of San Francisco. (if flattened out, an area the size of Nebraska would result).
As a dancer in New York, I fell in love with Rembrandt’s painting at the Metropolitan Museum in Central Park. A visit to the Legion of Honor rekindled that love. We may have apps and cars that drive themselves, but nothing compares with what Rembrandt did with a tiny brush and a hefty amount of talent.
Next door in the Rodin Gallery one piece of work, “The Prodigal” had a shivering effect on me. The man in the statue was someone who had severed himself from God. His head thrown back, arms stretching heavenward, he tells the story of what happens when we think we are greater than God. I vowed to keep myself in better check.
The Asian Art Museum is a building of light and beauty. Lydia Zane a docent, filled her fact packed discourse with what the post WW II artist’s works achieved. They completely broke all ties with classical Japanese art. After her presentation, we cornered her and heard her story of what art means to her.
By then we were starving so Orllyene and I lunched in the Museum’s elegant café (Orllyene’s prawns were succulent and tender and my bowl of diced vegetables in a curry broth were spicy and delicious). Having satisfied our senses, we took a taxi back to the condo for a nap
Next day, Japantown was our goal. Chizuru, our dear friend here in Smith Valley seemed homesick for Hiroshima, and a gift of a Japanese fashion magazine seemed in order. Also, Orllyene fancied the idea of getting a story book for our 4-year old Japanese twins so that Nozomi-san (their Mother) might read to them. A mammoth Japanese book store satisfied both needs.
Orllyene forewarned me before we left Smith Valley that she was packing a lovely outfit, in the event we went to dinner. This is the kind of hint I respond to. Our good friend knew just the place, the “Oriental Pearl.” The dinner was the frosting on the cake and Orllyene was a knockout in her lacy, red top and charcoal gray slacks.
Ron Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org