After leaving Yosemite we took a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area. We had tickets to see Robert Wilson’s and Philip Glass’ “opera,” Einstein on the Beach, which was staged at UC Berkeley as part of an international tour. I’d known the work since it shook the new music and theater circles in the 1970s, but West Coasters like me haven’t have a chance to see the work until now.
It’s a piece that has to be seen to be really appreciated, but I’ll give you a one-word review: Wow.
So, while in the neighborhood, we cross the bridge to San Francisco for a quick day of even more culture.
With so many offerings you have to choose. This is the sun hitting the famous green roof of the California Academy of Sciences. We didn’t have time to go inside…
…but we did get a good overall view from the view tower next door at the de Young Museum which was renovated fairly recently. Architects Herzog & de Meuron clad the building in an amazing mantle of copper and added a multi-story tower capped off with a rhombus-shaped viewing chamber.
The odd angles and walls of glass made for a glimpse of what it must be like to live inside a kaleidoscope. The views were great, but the reflections inside the viewing chamber were at least as amazing.
Even the floors were polished and reflective.
The entrance to the de Young features a charismatic piece by Andy Goldsworthy that’s been written up many times by bloggers and journalists. How can you not like a big installation of oversized cut stones and pavers that nods to California’s seismic origins by featuring a delicate but assertive crack that travels all throughout the entry plaza where the piece is installed? You can click this little panorama to the left and see the line exit one of the big stones and end at the museum’s front door.
And below are some of the cleaved stones. It’s easy to miss the little crack at first, but when you start to follow it around the courtyard the piece really comes to life.
Wow, all over again.