SF Life: Flower Piano, Exploratorium, Pygmy Forest, Pop Ups
Hey Tomatoes, starting this weekend you can go to the SF Botanical Gardens, drink in the magnificence of the flower filled gardens and hear live piano music. At the other end of the spectrum it may be time for a re-visit to the Exploratorium on Pier 39. Not just for kids, the Strandbeest exhibit and demonstrations will leave you breathless – welcome to the future. Summer often finds us heading out of town and if you are thinking Mendocino, you might want to visit the pygmy forest.
July 7 – 18. Flower Piano
The beauteous San Francisco Botanical Garden brings back twelve pianos tucked among the various flower-filled gardens for an outdoor concert hall unique to SF. As you stroll through the gardens, reminiscent to me of Seurat’s painting featuring ladies with bustles and umbrellas, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, you can have a seat and tickle the ivories.
Any budding Liberace can play chopsticks to Joplin between 9 and 6 daily. On weekends there are scheduled performances that range from classical to Pop, Sinatra to Debussy, Tangos to Punk Rock. Exploring the gardens each weekend you will discover the pianos tucked away and can wander to each location as the music draws you in. Don’t you just love our city? Get the details.
Now – September 5. Exploratorium
If you haven’t been to this playground for all ages, ever, or since your kidlets were young, it’s time to visit. One of the current exhibits that drew me in is Strandbeest – live demos of wind-driven, walking kinetic sculptures. These “beings”, which really seem alive, are created from PVC tubing, zip ties and string.
Created by Theo Jansen, a Dutch physicist turned artist, you will be awed by their realistic behaviors. They come to life the second they begin to move. Art and technology are married in his work and I guarantee you will be drawn in and mesmerized by the 6 moving creatures. Get the details.
Should your summer travels find you heading up the coast to breath-taking Mendocino, a stop at the Pygmy Forest should be on your itinerary. This fascinating forest in Van Damme showcases unique forests of low stunted trees and shrubs. Here in Northern California we have our microclimates, and we also have differing soil conditions just moments away from each other.
Poor soil fertility and wetness of the soil inhibits the growth of vegetation and causes a dwarf condition in many of the plants. Some of the tress are thought to be 100 years or older. However, growing nearby are also giant redwoods. Don’t we just have it all? Get the details.
July 9. Medieval Pop-Up Feast
Should you be looking for a unique evening out, tomorrow night, July 9, you can dine like the nobles of the 14th and 15thj century while enjoying musical performances of the Renaissance era. Held in one of SF’s private Victorian mansions, you will get to feast on elaborate medieval recipes, enjoy beautiful love songs performed by the dynamic and internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Cut Circle. Don’t know much about the era? Stanford Professor, Jesse Rodin brings you insights into fifteenth-century food and music. You will get to experience the way the nobles threw lavish parties.
Menu items include, among many other selections, hen and bacon pasties, roast suckling pig, kid and pea pottage, fried fig pastries and rose pudding. It was a decadent age of eating and living, and you can experience the extravagance for one night only. I love an event for a good cause and the evening’s proceeds support Cut Circle’s mission, which includes bringing early music education to our underserved communities. Get more info and tickets.