Friday, March 20, 2009

Wigged-out trees invade San Francisco City Hall.

This is one of those 'double take' moments. Seeing as every tree in the square has had the stuffing pollarded out of it. Suddenly you get an uncomfortable feeling – something ain't quite right – and it takes a moment to realize that this is indeed, intentional.

In fact, there is quite a fantasy fairyland feel to the dozen or so trees a cross-walk away from the doors of San Francisco City Hall. Artist Patrick Dougherty has woven 18,000 lbs. of freshly cut willow saplings atop the Sycamore trees. This is an installation/sculpture experience worth a couple of trips under different daylight conditions to really sense the magical 'Harry Potterish' quality of the intricately woven branches embracing and provocatively probing each other, while in the background the preposterous, domed edifice of City Hall aloof – undecided.

Cast adrift at sea – what do you think about?

It never fails – 20 minutes splashing about in open water in a flimsy bathing suit makes a quick lunch at my favorite fast food joint a real treat and despite the fact that Fisherman's Wharf is a mob scene, I find myself soldiering on through the noisy rabble to order. Eons pass and my number is called – a tray of greasy goodness is thrust my way. The 10 minutes wait has allowed a miserable chill to now visibly take hold of me and I can barely subdue the shaky knees and wild watery eyes. Finding an unoccupied table is all but impossible - especially when looking as unwelcome as a hyena, so the option is to head outside, past the street hucksters and entertainers skillfully snaring willing tourists, and dive up an alley before I can tuck in.

Is it really is worth it? You betcha – for the visual effect alone.