Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Incredible View from the Lawrence Hall of Science Parking Lot

The San Francisco Bay Area has some incredible parking-lot views. The parking tower at UCSF on Parnassus with the entire Golden Gate Park and Pacific Ocean to its left, comes to mind. Same with the top floor of the structure above the Festival Theater in Walnut Creek, surrounded by three mountain-ridge formations plus Mt. Diablo towering over all and more often than not, shining in the sun.

But the parking-lot view adjacent to Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science is the most breathtaking in scope. Yesterday we pulled into a space overlooking the sweeping panorama of the San Francisco Bay where five cities were easily viewable, along with the Bay, Golden Gate and Richmond Bridges. Plus Mt. Tam and the Berkeley campanile. Why, we could see our old house from there! (Not really, but with less tree cover—no doubt we could).

It was a bit hazy in the afternoon, clearing up by sunset. My little camera cannot do it justice, but here's a captioned image of the view from our car. As always, click to enlarge.

The Lawrence Hall of Science is a fun, interactive kids' science museum. A big bunker of a bomb-shelter-like building cut into the side of the Berkeley Hills. The cafe has more breathtaking views from the hillside basement. Best time you'll ever have eating a bag of chips, I promise. The roof of the museum has gigantic whale and dna-strand climbing sculptures, but surprisingly, for such an expanse of concrete—no plant life in containers or otherwise. I guess you need to drive down the hill a quarter-of-a-mile and visit the excellent UC Botanical Garden. Hey, somebody get a grant to hire a gardening team for that rooftop.

Jackson and his friend Clarabelle had a very fun day, building stuff, testing flight patterns of modified junk in air tubes, riding a tricycle with square wheels, petting a snake, viewing a baby mastodon skeleton, and creating dams in the outdoor water and rock garden. Good stuff.

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