Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

"Yesterday. . ."

We had another fine day today. After spending the first half of the morning taking it easy, I went to pick up zokah, whose car "Gwen" is sadly out of commission, and brought her back to Jillian's for some New York Times-fueled conversation. Then we all left for San Francisco. I dropped Skylar and kdotdammit off at the MOMA, then drove Zoe to 16th and Valencia, where she was meeting people for brunch at the Brittany-themed Ti Couz. We had a good talk about relationships along the way. I then proceeded back to the MOMA, found a good parking spot on 2nd, and met up with Kim and Skylar. The Bean thoroughly enjoyed both the MOMA's architecture and the art it has sometimes threatened to overshadow. Kim reported that Skylar's said, "This is the place where they have that cool shoe sculpture I like," upon entering the building, then found it again on the walk through the permanent collection. The artist? Robert Rauschenberg.

Skylar also favored the Eva Hesse works, the Colombian artist's shoes-of-desaparecidos installation that looks a lot like an expanded Hesse project, and the Robert Gober room with the walls painted to look like a forest, prison bars in front of a window looking out on faux blue sky, bound stacks of newspapers, a sink with running water, and a box of "Rat Bait." In general, she demonstrated a marked inclination to prefer overtly three-dimensional works to those hung primly on the wall, a trend consistent with her recent declaration that she is, "tired of making flat art." She did adore the Chris Ofili painting of a "princess" hung on the left side of the main stairwell, but that one features decorated protrusions made from elephant dung.

What she liked best of all, though, were the decidedly flat but fluid moving pictures in Jeremy Blake's Winchester trilogy. She and her mom spent a long time swimming in his gorgeous digital images, periodically adding their own shadow play to the mix:

Afterwards, while we were eating lunch at the still overpriced but still tasty SFMOMA café -- my spinach ravioli were really good -- a German woman from Berkeley and the two four-year-olds she had in tow struck up a conversation with us in which both of the children lavished praise on Skylar's innovative work with silhouettes. The Bean was pleased.

Following a brief but exhausting period of miscommunication between the three of us -- we're all tired -- we met up with Zoe again and had lots of fun at "Teletubby Bye-Bye Park," Skylar's longstanding term for the play area on top of the Moscone Center. The three females in our party all enjoyed the big tube slide, then played various games together. Skylar ran down the incline into her mother's waiting arms and, more importantly, into the $10 French-made dress that she picked up at Crossroads on Friday:

Next on the agenda was hide-and-go-seek. Kim climbed onto the top of the jungle-gym platform and made like a snake:

Skylar made the aesthetically savvy decision of using the plant-I-cannot-spell as a foreground to offset her attire:

Zoe even found herself a way to turn herself pink as camouflage:

Once we'd blown off enough steam, we walked back to the car via the alley behind the MOMA while I admired the architecture of the lovely AT&T building, now diminished in stature by the SBC sign hanging out front. From the back, though, its beauty is unblemished:

We then drove up to Portero Hill for Mitchell's ice cream cones -- the three grown-ups all opted for the otherwise-impossible-to-find halo-halo -- and a nostalgia-sating coffee at Farley's, where Kim gave one of her best poetry readings back when Kurt Cobain was still alive and spent good times with her baby daughter back when the United States was not universally regarded as the planet's biggest bully. From there the Nicolini-Bertsch clan headed a few blocks away to meet up with our friends George and Christina, who were actually in attendance at that reading so long ago, and their 20-month-old daughter Zora. We hadn't seen Zora's parents since before leaving California, so the time we spent with them was especially welcome. Skylar and Zora immediately hit it off -- that five-year age gap works very nicely -- and had a grand time in the garden of the gorgeous house they sublet every summer:

I admired the stunning view of downtown San Francisco from the deck above and the equally stunning sight of the delicious burgers George was preparing:

Later on, as dinner neared completion, Skylar made her patented so-much-salt-they-look-like-Badwater tortilla chips and Zora emptied watering can after watering can onto the deck:

After Kim left to have her night out with Zoe, Skylar spent lots of time "cleaning" the pond in the garden while Zora watched appreciatively. I relaxed by doing some dishes and talked to George. Then Christina showed me the proofs for her sure-to-be-awesome book on 20s Soviet Constructivism while Skylar drew. By the time we finally left, the Bean was barely able to keep her eyes open. But she still managed to stay awake for tonight's reading from The Phantom Menace. She's sleeping soundly now, as I type this awaiting Kim's return from the movies. I should be sleeping too, given how drained I feel, yet felt the need to relate the day's experiences before they blurred into what has been an extremely blurry six weeks.
Tags: family, photography, travel
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