Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Frank Stella Retrospective at the DeYoung Museum

Damascus Gate, 1970

There is just another month to see the Frank Stella: A Retrospective exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. It closes on February 26, 2017.

The exhibit covers this iconic American artist's career over the past nearly-60 years.  It follows his work from his flat bright-colored canvases in the late 1950s, to his cut-out canvases, through his use of different structural materials in his 3-dimensional works, up to present day and his use of computer technology to aid in his creations.  

Talladega (1980) is my favorite piece in this exhibit.  

St. Michael's Counterguard, 1984

Indian Bird maquette

The exhibit includes both Stella's very large pieces and intimate smaller ones such as Indian Bird maquettes, as seen above.

The main exhibit is on the lower floor of the deYoung.  It continues to the first floor to a room of his prints.

Allow at last an hour for the exhibit; two hours, perhaps, with the audioguide.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Women's March, January 21, 2017

Today was the day of Women's Marches all over the United States.

The Washington DC and the San Francisco Marches got the most media attention, but there were many more marches in other cities across the country, including my own city of Walnut Creek.

The Walnut Creek Police estimate that over 3000, women, and children...attended this march.

I arrived with my friends at about 9:30 a.m.  Much of the event was a rally in our Civic Park.  Local politicians, representatives from women's and family organizations, and even Miss Black California spoke.  There was entertainment and, overall, an amazing amount of spirit, despite a mostly rainy day and our standing in nearly ankle-deep mud.

The actual march part of the event was through the entire Downtown.

Amazingly, it was peaceful, orderly, and the local police and other authorities managed to keep traffic flowing on almost all streets. One some streets, the lanes on one side were for marchers and the lanes on the others were for traffic.

It worked and, at the end of 3 1/2 hours, we came away energized and knowing that we can, going forward, make our voices heard if there are issues and policies in the next few years that we feel are harmful to our human rights.

Here are some photos, taken between raindrops, of the Walnut Creek Women's March.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Farewell to Lefty O'Doul's, for Awhile, at Least

While I was in San Francisco this week during one of our recent ferocious rain storms, I popped into Lefty O'Doul's to take cover and for one last lunch.

Although all of the 400 pieces of baseball memorabilia that usually cover the walls and fill every nook and cranny of Lefty's have disappeared, it still had its usual comfortable feel.

The hofbrau cafeteria line was busy with other hungry customers in here for one last Turkey dinner or Corned Beef or Pastrami Sandwich.

I had my "usual," a Corned Beef Sandwich on Rye.

I must admit, it's been a few years since I last ate at Lefty's and, now, I'm regretting it.  My sliced-to-order hot corned beef sandwich has to be the best corned beef sandwich in San Francisco.  The corned beef was hot, moist, and lean...everything I want in a Corned Beef Sandwich.

Why have I been going to Wise Sons and Max's most often for my Corned Beef "fix" when I should have been going to Lefty's?

The future of Lefty O'Doul's is not certain. It is scheduled to close on February 3, 2017.

The restaurant dates back to 1958 when baseball player Francis "Lefty" O'Doul opened it in San Francisco as a place where family and friends could come to eat and meet sports stars.  Lefty was born in San Francisco and played in the Pacific Coast League as well as for several Major League teams.  In 1929, he had the highest batting average (.398) of any National League outfielders in the 20th century. 

The owners of the restaurant's building are in dispute with current owner Nick Bovis who's been running Lefty's since 1998. Bovis says that he has the rights to the Lefty O'Doul's name and all its 400 pieces of memorabilia and will reopen this fall in a nearby location.  The building owners say otherwise and that they are planning to remodel this site and reopen it as their version of Lefty O'Doul's.

The only "decorative" item remaining, is a Marilyn Monroe statue in one corner of the back dining room.

I guess all we Lefty's fans can do is to stay tuned. BUT, if you can get over there in the next two weeks for a sandwich or platter of hand-carved roast beef, ham, corned beef, pastrami, or turkey, you will not be disappointed.  Lefty O'Doul's is open every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m.