Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beach Chalet

The Beach Chalet across the highway from San Francisco's Ocean Beach was another 1930s WPA project, and this explains the lavish decorative schemes, every available surface covered in fresco or mosaic. A plastic inscription told me that the man among roses below, leaning with his cigarette over the back of a park bench, is the beloved local sculptor of animal kitsch, Beniamino Bufano (1898-1970).

But the Beach Chalet was overflowing with tourists (in contrast to the beach itself) so I did not linger there but made my way back outside and headed through the park toward the MUNI stop.

Out at this western end of Golden Gate Park the weeds are rejoicing even more vociferously than the weeds I have been watching with more consistency at the eastern end (as here and here and here and here). All this unseasonable rain is good news for the weeds, and even better news is the absence or indifference of gardeners – who are victims like all the other municipal workers of the city's budget sorrows.

Nowadays waiting for the bus can be truly suspenseful, since there is a much better chance than in the past that it will not come at all. But my miniature Friday seaside vacation was graced with luck from beginning to end, and my short wait was made even shorter by the Emerson String Quartet playing Schumann through my headphones, an ardent soundtrack that kept me company all the way home.