Walking in Sonoma County…mostly

walking for those with bad knees, bad habits or bad attitudes

The Real and Surreal in San Francisco

Having lived in small-town Sonoma County for many years, it can be challenging to visit San Francisco. An easy way to transition is to cross Golden Gate Bridge, head right, along Lincoln Blvd and go west. Some of the roadside trail has recently been restored so walkers and joggers can have a safer trip from the bridge to Baker Beach.

We turned off at Baker Beach and took a right to the day-use parking lot. This way we could eat our sandwiches in the car and still have a view of the gate. A clear sunny day with some high fog, showed us Pt. Bonita, the Marin Headlands, the Golden Gate Bridge and Ft. Baker. All of these are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Golden Gate Bridge view to Marin County

Not sure why Baker is on both sides of bridge and gate. (Anyone?)

Baker Beach runs from the Sea Cliff neighborhood, with its mansions to the serpentine cliffs near Golden Gate Bridge. A mile long it provides a flat walk. But you may have noticed I said eat sandwiches in the car. San Francisco can be a little chilly. Picnic tables lead a lonely life.

Baker Beach and Sea Cliff San Francisco

Our main goal was to visit the Palace of the Legion of Honor and see an exhibit, “Man Ray | Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism.” I am a sucker for black and white photos. In Paris from 1929 to 1932, their collaboration and relationship pushed their art and their manipulation of photos. Lee Miller started as a Vogue model and became a Vogue photographer. Not of the fashion-kind, but the reporter-kind taking some grim pictures after the World War II in Germany.

René Bouché’s illustrations in a complementary exhibit at the Palace are charming ink drawings with color wash of Paris and a few other European cities also published in Vogue magazine. (I believe he did fashion drawings too.) Reading about the pictures though, I could then see a people with no resources after World War II, trying to survive and yet have a good time.

Grasses at Palace of the Legion of Honor

Besides the striking images these artists created, these exhibitions made me think about what Vogue created. As a child of the 1950s and 60s with the Civil Rights movement, the Viet Nam War and the women’s movement swirling around me, I saw Vogue focus on fashion and celebrity.  I couldn’t have imagined it presenting the kinds of images and stories Bouché or Miller fashioned. Vogue wasn’t leading or reporting the women’s movement as much as exploiting it.

Ha! But I digress. Bundle up and go for a walk in San Francisco in fashion or not.

Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

Baker Beach and Golden Gate Bridge

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7 comments on “The Real and Surreal in San Francisco

    August 21, 2012

    After living 12 years in SF..I moved to Guerneville for 14 years. What a treat to see Baker beach! I had my 30th birthday there!
    Thanks to you both for photos and text…XOXO

    • badwalker
      August 21, 2012

      Oh. Be thirty again. Go on. Were you at the clothing optional part of Baker?

  2. Suzanne
    August 21, 2012

    I’ll be traveling to the Legion next week where I will meet with Carolyn Burke, authro of Lee Miller: a Life. She’ll take me through the show and we’ll record a segment for future broadcast. She recently appeared with me on KRCB’s A Novel Idea with her most recent book on Edith Piaf, No Regrets.

    Digression. It’s not always a bad path.

    • badwalker
      August 21, 2012

      Wow. I’d like to hear that. Miller was one tough woman. – Lynn

  3. FeyGirl
    August 22, 2012

    Ahh, I would have liked to have seen that exhibit!!!

    Half my family lives across the bay from San Fran — I love this area. Love it. Wish I could live there…

    • badwalker
      August 22, 2012

      People have been known to visit SF. Let’s go for a walk. – Lynn

  4. natureintheburbs
    August 31, 2012

    Nice photos of a beautiful area

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2012 by in Not Sonoma County and tagged , , , , , , .

Lynn Millar

I am a writer of short stories, poems, plays and two someday-they’ll-be novels.

Join my walks on Saturday mornings -October 11, 10am, Sonoma Valley Regional. Check out Groups and Other Walks page for more.

The pictures are by my husband and walking companion.

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