Category Archives: Museum

San Francisco : Closing Credits

I was going to write more separate posts about SF trip , but it will be a busy week with even more things to post. Here are some photos of other things we enjoyed from our trip.

From Upper Left Clockwise: Exploratorium, Sunset @ Ocean Beach, PIE, Niece.

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Exploratorium is a hands-on science based museum. You might think this venue is just for kids. So very, very wrong. Yes, it might be geared toward tween and younger but I saw teens, adults, grandparents all equally interacting and enjoying. Niece and I spent 4 hours here and that was just a survey trip.

Sunset at Ocean Beach. It didn’t appeal to me on paper as much as niece but once I got there I think I enjoyed running up and down sand dunes more than she did. It was also nice to prove, yet again, that the Pacific Ocean is unbearably cold in these latitudes.

PIE! We walked past Green Chile Kitchen with their big-ass PIE sign dozens of times in our week staying in the Castro. One day we stopped and split a slice of  their Apple & Hatch Chile Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust and Ancho-Honey drizzle. I don’t usually eat pie but I managed to distract niece a few times to take bigger bites. Odd combo when you hear it but it is truly delicious.

Niece. People who know me know I don’t post photos of myself or anyone I know. If I wanted to do that I would not have deleted my FB account years ago. Usually, but this is an exception. Niece is still in high school but she has decided to become a forensic neuro-psychologist.  Specifically, she wants to study the psychology and neuroscience related to serial killers. This doesn’t seem to be a passing fad, like when she was 11 and wanted to be the president. Shes already looking at undergrad programs to help her get into the right graduate program so she can go to work at the FBI. Hence the tour of UC Berkeley. Yeah, Cal might be a good stepping stone.

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Intent

I was going to write separate posts about The Wari Exhibit at the Kimbell Museum and Ellerbe’s Fine Foods, both very enjoyable parts of my weekend, but  instead just a brief bit about both, then on to an observation I found interesting.

The Wari Exhibit at the Kimbell Museum is well-done both in content and presentation, the later more an artifact of the Kimbell’s incredible design considerations. The Wari were a Peruvian culture pre-dating the Incans. In fact, most speculate that the Incans derived a substantial portion of their customs from the Wari. The Wari did not have a written language nor a consistent symbology yet they recorded details using colored threads which were assembled in disturbingly elaborate patterns. Also, the textile based tunics they wove – by hand – look painted; a precise and detailed craftsmanship that boggles the mind, considering their reign was 600-900 AD. Alas, no photos were allowed so you’ll just have to see for yourself before the exhibit leaves 8 Sept.

After the Wari Exhibit there was a birthday dinner. Ellerbe’s Fine Food was the venue we selected for an in absentia birthday dinner for our friend, The Italian. Highly favourable ratings with some exceptions. Personally, I was a fan across the board – comfortable in-house atmosphere, decent prices, excellent service,   innovative and high-quality dishes without being complicated or pretentious.

Now, onto my observation. In the past month I’ve had numerous conversations about my intent for blogging. Most people don’t ask the simple question – Why? – they just make assumptions based on their perspective of the world. In one day I heard so many different perspectives on why I blog that it made me laugh out loud, mostly because they were all wrong. Absurdly so.

And now the weave in. At Ellerbe’s there were 6 people and I appreciated the group symmetry – 2 couples, 2 singles, 3 men, 3 women, 2 right-brain thinkers, 2 left-brain thinkers, 2 center-brain thinkers – the couples were both composed of one right and one left-brain thinker. Its unfair to lump cognitive abilities into left, right and center brain granularity, world being shades of gray and all, but its generally true. Left brain thinkers process objective information and make decisions on such, right brain thinkers process subjective information and make decisions on such. Center brain thinkers are more difficult to understand since they context switch between left and right brain modes or create hybrid models, whatever they think will work the best situationally.

I’m center brain and true to form, it was the other center-brain thinker at Ellerbe’s who pegged my blogging intent without much effort. Its a database, a resource, a place, given my rather frightening inability to imprint minutiae to long term memory, to recall details.

In other words, an objective mechanism to extract the subjective.

Perot Museum

IMG_1239After hearing about how difficult it was to get into Dallas’ Perot Museum but how extraordinary an experience it was, I finally decided to go. I bought tickets on the internet about a week out and found that there were 400 available and they let in 400, so not so hard to get in at all. Actually quite a bit easier to get in than the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

About the experience, I had mixed feelings.

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First, the Perot Museum is a beautiful building and it is architecturally fascinating, somewhat presenting itself as the Borg having landed to assimilate downtown Dallas. You can see most of architectural aspects from the outside. And aside from some interesting views of downtown Dallas, there isn’t much of a reason to go inside, unless you are a kid or have them in tow.

That’s the rub here, the content is geared for those about 14 or younger. I would imagine even a high school student would find the exhibits trite since most of the content is taught in primary school; oil industry and Texas wildlife displays notwithstanding. That said, if you have kids in the tween or younger range, they are going to find it engaging if only for the plethora of hands-on, interactive displays. The interactive displays are extraordinary, however the problem with them is the ridiculously long lines that queue up for each experience. I didn’t wait in any lines since I wasn’t interested, however I did find the constant long lines of children forming a road block an irritating aspect of navigating the interior. Maybe its better during the week?

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One of the more interesting hands-on activities was the bio labs. Kids are queued up for their white lab coats, goggles and gloves then they travel from station to station inside the fishbowl area performing experiments and looking at results through microscopes. There is a focus here on DNA, so I’m thrilled that single digit kids are being exposed to the fundamentals of biotechnology, there is no reason they shouldn’t.

If you do have kids, this is a great stop for 2-3 hours, otherwise I would do a 1-2 stop about the exterior, snaps some shots, then move on to something more interesting.

Glad I went, won’t be back.

12 July 2013

Perot Museum | 2201 N Field St | Dallas, TX 75201