Monday, July 6, 2009

I left my heart.... in San Francisco...

Since the Bay Area is such a melting pot and accessible from all over, today I adventured over to see the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park (SF's Golden Gate Park is bigger than NYC's Central Park, thank you very much!). Matter of fact, Joe DiMaggio himself played baseball on the park's diamonds as a kid.

Unfortunately, cameras weren't allowed in the exhibit, so the images will have to live in my mind (which is a shame, since the lighting in there is so spectacular!).

Remember to click on the pictures to see them full-size!

The item used here is the top of one of his canopic jars. It's amazing to see the amount of detail and construction in all these items, and yet they had no benefit of our modern tools and technology.

Ponds all over the place... and the waterlillies were blooming!

Okay, you movie buffs... does this look familiar?! What movie was it used in?

(if you guessed "The Wedding Planner" with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConnaughey, you're right!)

We next headed across the concourse and went to the California Academy of Sciences. It was founded in 1853 and they recently re-opened in the park in their new $500 million state-of-the-art building. This building is AMAZING... it's all about being green and sustainable. 60% of the building is insulated with recycled blue jeans, the roof is a garden that cools the building as well as collects the rainwater to be used for watering, radiant heating in the floor, solar panels for energy and heating, lots of windows for natural light thus eliminating the need for artificial light, and on top of that, this museum was recently certified as the "greenest museum in the world." I'm not one for being over-the-top green and eco-friendly, but the things considered here are mind-blowing!

A panorama of the new digs...

The Northern California Kelp Forests...

Docents cheerfully assist academy visitors at the ever-popular tidepool exhibit!

An eel is rocking the black and white.

One of the intriguing alligator gar fish.

A snapping turtle chilling in the swamp exhibit... to his friend, the albino American alligator! For obvious reasons, he can't live in the wild!

The Academy claims this guy was used for research for the Jurassic Park films... I'd hate to tell him otherwise!

I then headed towards the Living Roof.... this shot is of the coastal shore exhibit as well as the queue waiting to get into the rainforest exhibit that's 4 stories tall!

These two shots are of informational panels about the roof.

Shot across the concourse, showing the de Young Museum (where the Tut exhibit was) as well as some of the 60,000 solar cells.

This shows their plan for using nature's AC--the marine layer and Bay Breeze--as a way to cool the museum. The area in the center there is an open-air piazza where there are tables set up to eat lunch or just enjoy the sunshine (assuming the famous fog hasn't rolled in!)

Even though the building is almost a year old, they're still planting on the roof!

A panorama from the roof....

And a parting shot... picturesque Sutro Tower with the Living Roof in the foreground.

Thanks for "coming with me" on the excursion!

1 comment:

  1. That was a wonderful excusion! I am all about "greening" things up, so this was very fascinating and promising - many could learn from the work that has been done here. Thank you so much for a fun and informative tour!
    Oh, and your pics are awesome!