diamond geezer

 Tuesday, April 13, 2004

golden gate geezer (day 6)

Sights seen (1) Museum of Modern Art: A very modern five-floor museum full of art, photography, sculpture and design. Special exhibitions included a collection of 90s art (including Hirst, Emin and a blow-up Manga doll), the history of Pop Art (featuring Jasper Johns' seminal Flag, plenty of Warhol and much of the Lichtenstein that's not currently at the Hayward), plus a Dyson cleaner in a glass case. Mighty fine.
Sights seen (2) Cable Car Museum: Not so much a museum, more the wheelhouse at the hub of the historic cablecar network. A quartet of giant wheels rotate at a steady 9.5mph, turning thick cables that ratchet the city's streetcars uphill. Walk downstairs and you can see what look like spinning B-movie flying saucers in a subterranean chamber, diverting the cables down the four slopes of Nob Hill. I looked around for 15 minutes, then rode a cablecar back down Powell Street trying hard not to think about what was holding us to the hillside.
Sights seen (3) Carol Channing: We (somehow) acquired free tickets to go see an 83-year-old Broadway legend appearing back in her hometown to reminisce about life and her extra-long career. Carol swept on stage at the Geary Theater dressed in a thick blond wig and silver-sequinned mini skirt, and charmed the audience with showbiz tales and the occasional song and dance number. She rambled into unscripted anecdotes, and there were tons of references to American icons and Hollywood chums I'd never heard of, but a true trouper captivates no matter what. We were treated to her two signature classics - Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend and Hello Dolly - and for an encore she brought on her newlywed husband for a tea dance. "Look at the old girl now, fellas. It's so nice to have you back where you belong."
Fog index: Low wispy cirrus, all-day sunshine.
Seismic activity: No shakes.
Oversize portions: Max's Restaurant serves food supersize. The Whole Lotta Chicken Pot Pie was a bowl the size of a dinnerplate, filled with chicken and vegetables, topped off with a light pastry covering. I finished the lot, plus most of a giant chocolate eclair the size of a meatloaf.
Contours ascended: Maximum. This morning I climbed the highest hill in the city - Twin Peaks (originally named after a pair of native breasts, but nominal decency now prevails). I walked from the valley below to both of the fog-free summits, buffeted by ocean winds. Easter's not a public holiday weekend here, so me and a coachload of Japanese tourists had the fantastic panoramic views to ourselves. One trader at the top had a van selling drinks and snacks, plus there were two traders selling long-sleeved sweatshirts to windswept tourists, those keen to get fleeced.
Number of photos taken: 43


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