Tag: San Francisco

Have You Visited Any of Keith Haring’s Public Sculptures?

Have You Visited Any of Keith Haring’s Public Sculptures?

Seeing Haring’s public sculptures is always a treat for me. They hold a special place in my heart and imagination. His oft-whimsical and colorful forms tap into a place in my imagination that feels child-like.

He perfected saying so much with so little, leaving your imagination to do the rest.

Haring’s Public Sculptures Visited

Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) – San Francisco

At the tail end of a bicycle trip in Mammoth, California – we spent some time in San Francisco, before flying back home to New York. With no plan to be there, we found ourselves wandering around the city, just taking things in.

While walking outside of the de Young Museum, we were treated to this happy Haring piece:

Keith Haring – Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) – 1989

Haring in New Hyde Park, NY

Keith Haring created this piece as well as some interior murals for the then-named Schneider’s Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY in 1987.

Today you’ll still be able to spot the sculpture it the courtyard of the newly-renamed Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

My Visitation Note

This photo was taken while doing a bit of a snap and go. Because I was on my motorcycle and look really tough (I don’t), I parked at the valet parking curb and walked over to take some photos.

Sometimes if I break the rules and do something like stick my teeny motorcycle somewhere it shouldn’t be – if I flip my helmet up, smile and act like everything is perfectly normal, no one says anything.

I’m not so sure I would have the same result in my car.

Google Maps Location

Haring on Astor Place, NYC

Haring’s Self Portrait at 51 Astor Place in NYC, sits in the shadow of IBM’s Watson. It also has a big Koon’s bunny as a neighbor.

Both the Koons and the Haring are controversial pieces with many on both sides of the love/hate divide.

Put me firmly in the love column. They’re both my kind of not-so-serious.

Keith Haring – Self Portrait – 1989

Google Maps Location

Hometown Haring – Kutztown, PA

On my way home from sleeping in a caboose, I stopped to visit Haring’s Figure Balancing On Dog at Kutztown Park in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

This piece pays tribute to the late artist in his hometown.

Visiting this one felt a little melancholy. This place where he began was a strange reminder that he is no longer here. What would his work have evolved into if he lived? Sadly, we’ll never know.

But, we can celebrate what is.

Keith Haring – Figure Balancing on Dog – 1989

Google Maps Location

My Take-Home Thoughts

These simple shapes can prove difficult to photograph, for me. If you catch them on certain angles, some of the figures all but disappear. Is that his way of making us walk around the piece? Or is he directing us to the “correct” viewing position? I wish I knew.

After years of reading about his life, viewing his work, walking by Pop Shop when it was still open in New York, it seems like he’s always been a part of my consciousness.

How is it you can miss someone you never knew?

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Musée Mécanique: Steam Powered Motorcycle

Musée Mécanique: Steam Powered Motorcycle

While sifting through photos on my iPhone this morning, I found a few (terrible) images that I’d snapped of a steam powered motorcycle that was on display at the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco.

the steam flyer san francisco

The Steam Flyer


My pic of the informational card stinks. Thankfully, you can read the full David Sarlin article A Motorcycle Full of Steam in a pdf on the Musée Mécanique website.

A quick search around the web for The Steam Flyer turned up lots of photos of the bike, so do give that a whirl. I also found this video on YouTube that methodically looks over the motorcycle in its current display. (Turn off the sound unless you REALLY love air hockey.)

Pretty nifty machine. Jules Verne would be drooling.

Musée Mécanique
Pier 45 at the end of Taylor Street
Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133

California Love: It’s Time to Hit the Road

California Love: It’s Time to Hit the Road

Hotel Room Wall at Tomo JapantownIf there were roosters in San Fancisco, I’m sure I would’ve woke them up while making my morning coffee. I was up long before the sun rubbed the sleep out of it’s eyes. By the time blondie finally came to and began his usual morning scratch, I’d already put the room’s Keurig machine through it’s paces, read dozens of blog posts and chewed what was left of my fingernails. The breakfast of champions.

We had the hotel front desk call a cab for us and soon after were on our way to pick up our rental bikes. I must’ve had some residual tension about the inability to get a cab the day before. We weren’t a 1/4 of a mile away from the hotel when “why’s it so freakin’ hard to get a cab in this town,” swan-dived from my lips. The daggers in the rearview mirror didn’t go unnoticed, but I could tell that the driver did his best to be pleasant and conversational about it. The answer, by the way… there isn’t one.

When we pulled up to Dubbelju we found our two Tiger 1050’s ready and waiting for us. All we had to do is cross a few T’s and dot a few I’s. Then we were free to drop our stuff into their Givi boxes.

I’d opted for only a top box and a tank bag on my Tiger. Kenny went for a set of side boxes and a tank bag. This decision would prove to be a Godsend a week later.

By 11:00am we set off for 7 days of riding aboard the 2 orange Triumphs.

Rented Triumph Tiger 1050s on Highway 1

The first few miles after pulling away felt tremendous. There was a palpable feeling that it was the beginning, the start of something great – it filled me up with a sense of infinite possibility. Do you know that feeling?

When you leave on a strange bike, there is a period of adjustment as you get to know each other. You learn about it’s power delivery, the feel of its suspension, the clamp of it’s brakes. It’s all new and adds to the excitement of a trip.

I’m glad to say that the Tiger and I got along famously right out of the gate. The familiar whirrr of the 1050 triple made me feel right at home.

Now, it was time to get the party started!

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Hello, San Francisco – So Good To See You Again

Hello, San Francisco – So Good To See You Again

Bike chick street art san franciscoThough our trip to California centered around motorcycle riding, we padded that time with a day up front and the tail end of the trip for hanging around in San Francisco. Our first visit in 2008 left such a great impression on both Kenny and I that we were very much looking forward to walking it’s streets again.

The city in many ways seems so “un-city like” when you compare it to a place like Manhattan. At least on the surface the frantic hustle just isn’t there. There is a laid back vibe that I love.

Hotel Tomo Lobby San FranciscoWe stayed at Hotel Tomo in Japantown again. I just love the feel and the decor. From the artwork on the walls and ceilings, the furnishings and cartoons playing in the lobby – this place is just my speed. I’m not a fan of fancy; fun is where it’s at.

Being a morning person means that when I am on the west coast, I’m up in the morning long before the sun rises. I quietly padded around the room and surfed the web while the rest of the world was still asleep. I sat around drinking coffee and considering all of the things we could do with our day of leisure. Everything pointed to what I like to do best: wander around and just see the city.

Medusa Mural near Haight Street

Legs over Haight StreetWe left the hotel on foot and walked up to Haight street. Given the early hour, nothing was open. Aside from a few people who appeared to live in the park it was pretty much just the two of us peering in to closed shops. I’m not much of a shopper, so just looking through windows suited me fine.

Eucalyptus trees in the PresidioWe charged our batteries with some breakfast at Whole Foods and set off again on foot, walking towards Presidio Heights and into the Presidio. We strolled under the canopy of the Eucalyptus trees on Lover’s Lane.

California’s roads are so twisty, even the paths through the trees are serpentine!

By the time that we’d walked from our hotel in Japantown, to Haight Street, through the Presidio and on to Crissy Field, my feet started to protest a little. Perhaps walking so many miles in a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors wasn’t exactly brilliant. It wouldn’t be until later in the evening with a few more miles on their treads that I would realize just how dumb that would be.

The Palace of Fine Art - Exploratorium San Francisco

Love left to be found on the jettyWe parked ourselves on the end of the jetty by the Golden Gate Yacht Club to rest our feet and listen to the sounds of the bay being piped through the tubes of the Wave Organ. On our way, I managed to find some love that someone else left behind. That made me smile just a little bit more.

In true tourist form, we continued our walk along the bay past Ghirardelli square, to Fisherman’s Wharf where we stopped for a bite to eat and a few cold ones and then on to the Embarcadero.

Cupids Span San Francisco

By the time we’d made it to Cupid’s Span we’d logged 14 miles on our Converse. My dogs were BARKIN’! They’d reached the point that I could no longer think about anything but the desire to stop walking. The soles of my feet felt like they were swollen with a layer of water. Raygun Gothic Rocketship - San Francisco

We finally decided to give in and hail a cab. If you’ve walked San Francisco’s street you may in fact be snickering as you read the words “hail a cab.”

I’m a happy person. I would go so far as to say that it takes a lot to make me angry. We discovered on our walking tour that non-existent cabs in major tourist thoroughfares and empty cabs that drive right by are 2 things that will peg my freak-out meter into the red. It took us no less than 25 minutes to finally get a cab back to Japantown.

About 1 hours worth of time has been expunged from my memory surrounding this time frame as I recovered from my meltdown.

My love - Kenny

Between the jet-lag, the throbbing feet and the anticipation of getting our road trip underway the following morning, I was done for the day. Shortly after dinner I sank into the beautiful fluff of my Tomo pillows and slept the sleep of the righteous.

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