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USA – Road Trip – San Francisco – 13th/14th October

We started the day with a visit to some very inspiring inspiring exhibitions housed at the SFMOMA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Galleries don’t open until 11am-midday in the city so we edited and wrote in a local cafe before getting the bus to the SOMA district where most of the galleries are based. SFMOMA played host to a fantastic photography exhibition called Face Of Our Time featuring 5 photographers’ work surrounding their interest in making pictures about the current condition of our world. One series that stood out for us was And Misrach’s depiction of the graffiti left behind in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

They were also hosting a private viewing of Richard Serra retrospective, closed doors for that one. But another project that definitely drew us in was The Lunch Break Times by Sharon Lockhart, it gave us quite a few ideas for our hopeful exhibition when we return to the UK. We moved on from the SFMOMA and crossed the street to the Contemporary Jewish Museum where an exhibition about the life of Houdini was taking place. This was a really cool exhibition offering us both an insight into a person we knew very little about other than the magic!

So we’d had our morning of art and then it was time to meet the boys and get ready for our Alcatraz tour. We’d booked onto an evening, sunset tour so as the boat set off and we listened to the tour guide describing the evening’s events we also got to enjoy the sun setting over Golden Gate and the Bay area. The tour was presented as an audio tour with a few rangers and guides around to help and answer any questions. There were extra activities and talks taking place throughout the evening making it different from the day tours and the hospital was open too. We learned about the prisoners, those that were famous, those that were deadly dangerous – Robert Birdman being one! And we had a really good experience of the prison as it was. By night everything seemed a little eerie and the evening ended with a description and presentation of the cell doors being slammed. The evening ended back in North Beach at an old favourite Italian bar.

The next day we had quite an easy one starting at our friend the laundrette before heading into Mission and Castro to explore the streets some more. We found a few vintage shops and independent clothing stores and waited for the boys to make an appearance (Dave’s friends that is!) and not the naked men on the streets we bumped into later on! Yes in Castro it’s legal to walk around naked in public as long as they have a flannel to sit on the bus with! So when we strolled around Castro Helen felt like she was out with her gay friends – only girl…4 men! ha ha! We had a few drinks and later on enjoyed a really good Thai meal back on Mission street.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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