Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is a little hilly space nestled beside the hulking new de Young Museum building. It's been there for seemingly ever and used to be 50 cents to get in. Now it's seven dollars (unless you're a resident--$5, or you visit between 9 and 10 a.m.--those are retro-priced free hours).

This day was clear and sunny so I thought I'd revisit this small artificially created world. Looks good! Not as expansive and meditative as the Portland Japanese Garden, but still quite nice to stroll through, weaving around tourists with baby strollers. You can purchase relatively inexpensive tea service too. I got a mochi cake for $2.50. That's crazy high-priced, but I had to have that green mochi cake. Most places I visit don't carry it.

My favorite tree there. Artfully pruned and shaped over the decades.

I always thought the tall red pagoda was over-done. You're not really in Japan, Golden Gate Park! Kind of Disneylandish to my eye, so I obscured it with shrubbery.
This giant Buddha has always impressed me. Unfortunately, I didn't hold up a pencil or pose someone in front of it to give it scale. So just enjoy the lovely bamboo growing alongside.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Views from the de Young Museum tower - Golden Gate Park

I had never been in this tower until last week. I don't know why I missed this delightful trip in the sky. A super-clear day made it that much better. Bonus: lots of great Van Goghs too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ruth Bancroft Garden

It's hard to take a bad photo at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. It's like a combination dry garden/sculpture yard. Ruth Bancroft who's still going strong in her 90s, started collecting succulents in the 1950s and her interest blossomed into this three-acre wonderworld of rock and tough, drought-tolerant beauty. Plants from all over the dry world are thriving here within beautifully thought-out natural clusters.