Lizzy’s brother, Dave, was to be married in Sea Ranch, California on October 6th, so we caught a morning flight from Nashville to San Francisco (via Detroit). Crossing time zones as one travels west creates a sense of going backward in time, or rather creates a “day” that is longer than twenty-four hours. So, it was a surreally crisp and clear afternoon when we finally checked into the Golden Gate Hotel on Nob Hill. We had stayed at the Golden Gate on our honeymoon, thirteen years ago, and it was still very much the same: More bed and breakfast than hotel per se, the small rooms are furnished with beautiful antiques and an even smaller (and also antique) bathroom. It is a splendidly Victorian experience complete with afternoon tea and a cat.
Further re-creating our honeymoon, we ducked into Scala's for an early dinner and a beverage. From our table by the window, I could watch the doorman for the Sir Francis Drake Hotel do his thing. He was hugely entertaining and it was a singularly San Franciscan spectacle with the cable cars trundling up and down Powell Avenue.
Sated, we headed down to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for a special preview of Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination. Unfortunately, we only had about twenty minutes to breeze through the exhibit before the panel discussion was to begin with curator Lynda Roscoe Harrigan. (That was OK, because we knew we’d be back and could spend some time in the galleries on Sunday.) The discussion was fascinating and a lot of fun, actually, because it was clear that these people were not only scholars, they were also fans of Joseph Cornell’s work. It was also a treat to see some excerpts from some of Cornell’s films, none of which I had ever seen before. I’ll have more to say about the exhibit itself later, but it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see so many of Cornell’s masterpieces together in one place. Wow!
Next: A Drive Up the Coast