When we arrived at Golden Gate Park I followed her directions and found the destination was the new Academy of Sciences Museum. Even though we got there before the doors opened, the lines were so long it took us thirty minutes to enter the building. Once inside, we stayed there until closing at 5:00. A surprise benefit was the food available in the two cafes. Usually, food in these places is overpriced and underwhelming. We forgot we were in San Francisco, the Mecca of fine food. The meals were delicious.
The California Academy of Sciences is a world-class scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. The Academy recently opened a new facility in Golden Gate Park, a 400,000 square foot structure that houses an aquarium, a planetarium a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof.
The new facility is also home to the Academy's staff of world-class scientists, an education department that provides a wide range of student and teacher services, and an extensive science library with over 20 million specimens and artifacts.
The Ferry Building by the Bay is an unusual building. Not only is it a ferry landing but it is also the site of one of the best Farmer’s Markets in California. The large Saturday market is found in front of, inside, and behind the building that overlooks the Bay. About ten to fifteen thousand people crowd into this place each Saturday. Being San Francisco, the food is exquisite.
We were planning to get up early, drive to Muir Woods on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and do some hiking. Instead, we slept in and just goofed off for a time. At 10:00 we walked about a mile to the new Contemporary Jewish Museum. Quite a place! Although founded in 1984 it took over a historical landmark, the Jessie Street Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Power Substation. They hired the renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to design their new home. The architecture is full of contrasts: historic and contemporary; subtle and boisterous. The blue cube in the picture on the right looks like it is falling down but is actually a part of the museum’s external structure. The inside is open and airy and is full of surprising angles. One of the exhibits we enjoyed highlighted the work of Marc Chagall and his work with the Russian Jewish Theater in the first half of the twentieth century. Other exhibits included "Being Jewish": A Bay Area Portrait, Jews on Vinyl, and Susan Hiller: The J Street Project. Fascinating.