About a year after it opened its new 5-story addition I headed out to see the new designs and expanded galleries.

The main entry way was entirely remodeled, if you ever went to the old one, this is quite theĀ  contrast to the modern version it used to be

The sky light is still the same though, this was taken from the walkway you can see at the top of the last picture

The bathrooms on each floor were super futuristic with recessed lighting and bold, single color paint jobs. This floor was a dark teal, the yellow and red floors were vibrant

The staircases between floors were really trippy, they all had different lengths, angles and step sizes

And somehow were placed on top of each other without overlapping

This art installation is so big they had to bring them in during construction and build the building around them!

Super fun to play in

A classic Calder mobile from the old collection in a new, more appropriate display with lots of space

I think my favorite new feature was the living wall, a wall with pots and plants arranged in a quilt-like pattern

There must have been 40 varieties of different ferns and plants

These fuchsia were blooming nicely

The pretty views of the city kept getting obscured by rando art

Lots of people and lots of photography

The following shots were quite difficult to obtain, as they have no people in the shots despite there being several thousand here that day

I love these bold pieces with the sharp lines

Sometimes things were kinda random though

This was just a extra large, solid blue canvas, but I loved the tone. Unfortunately the camera and monitor do not adequately convey the intense level of blue this was

Also loved these, the artist took a film and identified the most prominent color in each frame and created these with the results


And now into really cerebral art. Why? Just why



Dirt on the floor with mirror

And of course rocks on the floor

At least it transitioned into more traditional art

The last area was my favorite, all about fonts. My favorite font is Helvetica, a font created in the 60’s for the NYC transit authority that has very clean lines that reduce the impact of my slight dyslexia

Familiar no? I use it wherever I can

And they had many famous posters from the 60’s concerts that are so iconic of that era

A final giant art piece near the lobby on your way out

See you next time

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A Foothill Fourth + Hot Springs

Apologies for the delay, I got a bit of writer’s block. A couple years ago I went into the foothills with my best friend to see fireworks and check out the state parks’ events.

We had a great time in Columbia State Historic Park, where they had all kinds of old-timey activities and historic structures.

They have cool rock formations left after they power-washed all the dirt away looking for gold, then built cabins

Pretty spartan inside though

Lots of cool ruins around from the old brick buildings

This is still a functioning saloon, with really good sas

Old wagons on display

And the blacksmith shop was up and running, with an old-timey character selling the iron wares

Lots of fun activities for the kids, such as the watermelon eating contests

And the greased pole climb? There was also an adult pole in the back, the prizes were some cash and was hilarious to watch

Candle dipping shop, I made a cool one with like 10 shades of dark blue

Can also do some panning

My favorite part of any visit here is going to the tea house, they have great food and a wide selection of teas available

So lovely

At night we headed down to Mokolumne Hill (Mo-call-uhm-nee), named after this high hill

It really dominates the area

A ton of people showed up to the high school football field to watch the fireworks get set off. It was a great show but camera’s do not capture them well unless you get special equipment

As a bonus, here is a side trip I took to Buckeye hot spring outside of Bridgeport, starting with this view of the eastern sierra

The springs come out of the ground with a very hot fury

And then heads down the hill in it’s mineral-lined channel

It then hits this overhang, created by mineral deposits and erosion from the nearby creek

Even this far down from the source, these drops are super hot

So people hang out underneath it in hot pools, or head over here a few feet to pools mixed with creek water

Primitive springs are unique and fun. Next time let’s take a tour of the vivid SF Museum of Modern Art.

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Rock Lakes in Nevada County

100th post on this site!

If you keep heading up the trail from the meadow you eventually get to the rock lakes. Did I mention where this is last time? Off bowman lakes road, which is near where highway 20 and I-80 intersect in the mountains.

This is a white California Lilac (ceanothus), smelling lovely along the trail

A few years ago a small fire took out this stand, not sure if lightning or campfire, but the size indicates lightning

Will take a while to recover

But all around is beautiful mature forest

The drought hadn’t killed off many trees yet here, this meadow was full of mule’s ears

I only just saw the caterpillar in this one

One of my favorites, larkspur

A wonderful mariposa lily

So nice, let’s see it twice

Looks like a phlox to me

Looks like a berry to me

A pink penstemon?



A very special coral root orchid, they are parasitic plants like the snowplant, feeding off the roots of the conifers

Once up a pretty steep hill, the sierra crest peaked through and the late June snowbanks on the north faces were still around

Only one there, it was spectacular

Slightly windy day kept things cool, the water was ice cold

It was super full too

See them?

A swarm of beautiful dragonflies

More mountains with snow peaking up

Back at the lake (this was the upper rock lake, the lower one isn’t quite as picturesque


till next time

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Loney Meadow Wildflowers

Off of Highway 20 in the sierras there are some PG&E lakes and some very tricky 4WD roads that take you to some spectacular areas. One of those is Loney Meadow, a hidden gem that was recently restored from cattle grazing.

I hate when people do that to the signs.

Pink pussy paws


A different lupine

Can you see the spider?

A little closer then

Some shooting stars


Not 100% on this one, well, not even 5%

This looked like a lilac


Some penstemon near the center and lots of blue eyed grass

I think these were just weeds

Crimson columbine

Towering larkspur

Look a bit like white elephant’s head

A clover

Wooly mule’s ear

Elderberry or poison angelica

A much better view of this spectacular meadow before we head up the hill

On the way we saw these immense aspens which were all connected at the roots around a boggy area

The snow plant indicated a high elevation and pines nearby

They are parasites of the pines, feeding off the nutrients in the roots

Next up, Rock Lakes further up the trail from the meadow.

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