Monday, January 23, 2006

A Day in the City

Saturday, after a lovely breakfast at Lafayette Circle Cafe, we drove into the city, with the intention of going to Morrison Planetarium. We knew that it was being redone, but weren't completely clear on the details...Ted knew there was a new museum in where the old City Library was, but he had forgotten that we had actually gone there a year or so ago, and that it is the new Asian Art Museum. I remembered reading that the aquarium was near the Moscone Center, downtown, but wasn't sure where. So we parked near Moscone, and went into the Metreon to use the bathroom and find out more. Of course, I didn't remember that the planitarium was in the Academy of Science, but I did remember the DeYoung museum, which was also very recently renovated. So I asked about that. They said it was complete, and back in its original location in Golden Gate Park. Hmmm. That was fast, I thought. So we got back in the car, and went to Golden Gate Park. The building that I was thinking of? Torn down. The DeYoung? Open. But it's not a planetarium and an aquarium and creepy's art (which is what it always was, but we were confusing it with the Academy of Science, so we're clueless). So, we looked at art. We saw a lot of cool masks and statues and figuerines from Oceanna and Africa. Some of them were REALLY cool, like this one, from Africa:

We saw European paintings. We saw photographs from the civil war. We saw chairs that were very cool looking, including one that was from Philadelphia before the revolution, which was cool. One of the most interesting things to me was this photo:

It's Lewis Powell, who was a conspiritor of John Wilkes Booth, and was convicted of attempting to murder William Seward. Apparantly he stabbed Seward several times, and almost succeeded in his dasterdly plan. He was hung not too long after this picture was taken. There was a quote under the picutre, which I wish I had's something about how when viewing this picture, it's of a living person who is condemned to die...and really, all portraits are just that, as we are all mortal, and thus we are all condemned to die at some point. Interesting way of looking at it. I'm not sure who the quote is from, but it wasn't the artist.

I also really liked this paining:

John Singer Sargent, A Dinner Table at Night, 1884.

Anyway, after we left the museum, we decided we were hungry again, and we went to Ton Kiang for Dim Sum. Mmm...dim sum. (Want restaurant pictures? Menus? A map? You're welcome.) We had steamed pork buns, vegetarian egg rolls, crab claws stuffed with shrimp, potstickers, dumplings with shrimp and snow peas, chicken wrapped in foil, shrimp balls, and eggplant stuffed with shrimp. Ton Kiang is pretty much the best Dim Sum in the city, at least, that's what they're famous for, and it's REALLY good. The only thing that wasn't that great was the eggplant, because the skin was really tough and hard to eat. But the dumplings with shrimp were GREAT, the eggrolls were crispy and full of mushrooms, celery, and other veggies, and not at all greasy. Try it sometime...esp if you like seafood. It's worth the drive. Of course, it gets REALLY crowded there, so go during the off hours for the best chance of getting in.

That was our was a really nice, relaxing day, and we didn't get anything done around the house, which was fine with all of us. :)

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