Monday, August 24, 2009

Miscellaneous: San Francisco Treats

Back from a long weekend in San Francisco, my home away from home (Seattle) away from home (New York). Good friends, good conversation and good cocktails abounded.

Among the highlights was a visit to Mission Dolores, part of an ongoing pilgrimage to the locations used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Alas, it wasn’t open. But I have it on good authority that Carlotta Valdes isn’t buried there anyway.

We spent an entire day at SFMOMA, which currently has some extraordinary exhibits. Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities does what every museum show should, which is make you see an artist or in this case two of them in a new way. Running concurrently is an extensive display of photographs by Richard Avedon. Plus there’s SFMOMA’s impressive permanent collection and the new rooftop sculpture garden. It’s one of my favorite museums.

Also stopped in at the Museum of Performance and Design’s tribute to Noël Coward. Personal papers and photographs galore, not to mention dressing gown after dressing gown after dressing gown. I’ve always admired Coward, but after seeing this exhibit he’s now one of my heroes. He came from nothing and transformed himself into the epitome of international style and sophistication by cultivating that image. He lived the life he wanted by living the life he wanted. There’s a lesson there. Some choices quotations from the man: “I can’t sing, but I know how to, which is quite different.” And, “The only way to enjoy life is to work. Work is much more fun than fun.” Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it.