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February 21, 2007

TT: Under the rainbow

I’ve fallen hard for San Francisco. Needless to say, it didn’t hurt that my blogfriend Heather Heise, who showed me around town, was the ideal guide, funny and fey and unpredictable in the nicest possible way. Still, the city itself proved to be no less to my liking, and though I can’t add anything to the reams of prose that have been written about its physical beauty, I can tell you that the observation tower of the new de Young Museum is the perfect vantage point from which to get a sense of its satisfyingly intimate scale.

The de Young is a fascinating place in its own right, a really remarkable piece of art-friendly architecture whose spacious galleries are full of happy visual surprises. The curators have done right by the de Young’s spotty, arbitrary permanent collection—I can’t think of another museum that gets more out of fewer first-class paintings—and the Charles Sheeler retrospective currently on display there is one of the best museum shows devoted to a modern American artist that I’ve seen in ages.

In addition to visiting the de Young and driving all over town, Heather and I lunched with Rachel Howard, the San Francisco Chronicle’s dance critic, at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, whose members quizzed me aggressively and extensively about artblogging. In the evening we met Chloe Veltman, SF Weekly’s theater critic, for dinner across the street from the American Conservatory Theater, where we saw Hedda Gabler (about which more in next Friday’s Wall Street Journal).

As if to remind me of what a good time I'd had, I looked out the window of the car that drove me to the airport this morning and saw that the cloudy sky was cloven by a perfect rainbow. Now I’m about to board a plane for Los Angeles. I can’t wait to get there, but I wish I didn't have to leave here. It's a nice problem to have.

Posted February 21, 2007 11:52 AM

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