January 12, 2011

tourist attractions of San Francisco

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photo by Donald Kinney

Someone was telling me that if you have a transit-pass the cable cars are a great way to get around San Francsico.   Otherwise the fare is $5, one way, age 5 and up.

I've never ridden a cable car -- I haven't wanted to look like a tourist.   Maybe I'll give it a try.   I shouldn't let the tourists have ALL the fun.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

It was only 9AM but the cartoon sketch guy was apparently out to lunch.
I wanted to ask if I paid extra, if he could make me look like Tom Selleck.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A heads-up to tourists -- you may THINK you're going to find parking at Coit Tower, but you probably won't.   And forget the $5 climb to the observation tower -- they have scratched plastic windows and the views aren't all that good.

But, if you can find a way to get there, Coit Tower has a large collection of fresco murals in it's circular lobby depicting the struggle of the common worker.   These walls were done by artists working under grants from the WPA during the great depression of the 1930's.

When the doors first opened many local citizens were aghast at socialist themes in some of the artwork. One section contained a Russian symbol that was deemed so offensive it was ordered to be white-washed over.   The orientation focuses mainly on "leftist" and socialist topics, popular in the 1930s.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A frequent mistake is to credit Diego Rivera with the murals at Coit Tower, but in reality, 26 artists worked on the murals, although many had studied under Rivera or were influenced by his style.   Victor Arnautoff, himself a student of Rivera, directed the technical aspects of coordinating the artists and assistants.   (((a job probably similar to herding cats)))

CLICK for my set of Coit Tower frescos on what I call my "big" site.

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Your comments are invited and welcome.


photowannabe said...

$5.00 is a bit steep for the cable car to my way of thinking. I think I'll pass. Its been about 10 years since I road one and that was when it was included in my work expense account.
Love the Coit tower shots. Don't want to spend that much for the view either. You've hit me on an El CheapO day.

Tomate Farcie said...

Oh, no!!!! You're missing out! You should borrow my pass.

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