Last weekend I had the pleasure of travelling to San Francisco for the wedding of an old friend. In additional to travel Mill Valley for the wedding, there was the delight of a few days to explore San Francisco, including visits to "little Russia" (home of grocery stores with some unfamiliar snacks and Russian Orthodox churches), Fort Point (which has an awesome view of the water from the vantage point of the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge), the Sutro Baths (ruins of public baths that were around until the mid-20th century--7 pools that could accommodate 10,000 people at a time!), and a hike in Pacifica (along this bluff called Mori Point, which runs along the water).
On Sunday, a day which was uncharacteristically warm and sunny for June in San Francisco, we made a visit to Golden Gate Park. It's really a stunning piece of public infrastructure, which includes a buffalo pasture, botanic garden, and Japanese tea garden. The experience was made even more fantastic by the fact that the roads are closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays, so bikers and walkers rule the roads. I was particularly taken by the Music Concourse, a grand plaza which separates the de Young museum (also really interesting) from the Academy of Sciences. It is a public space that feels European in nature, particularly the Spreckels Temple of Music, a classically designed bandshell located at the west end of the concourse. So, I sat on a sunny afternoon, before the Temple of Music and painted the elegant arcade of Ionic columns, while enjoying a rehearsal and performance by Circus Bella and the Golden Gate Park Band.