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Friday, April 30, 2021

A to Z 2021 – Z is for the Zoo and Zuckerberg SFG

We are lucky to have the San Francisco Zoo so close. I can remember visiting when I was a child and I revisited several times when the kids went on school field trips. Our next door neighbor works there and she has told me a couple of times to go and hold a koala but so far I haven’t.

In 2007 a Siberian Tiger named Tatiana attacked some visitors who were taunting her and throwing things at her. She was put down, which was sad because it really wasn’t her fault. That was the first visitor fatality due to an animal attack in the history of the organization. Of course the zoo was closed to visitors for a while and they made modifications so it could not happen again, although how do you modify for stupid visitors?

Right now the Zoo is open but you need to make a reservation to go. It is a fun place to visit, however, it is very close to the beach so the weather can be a bit iffy sometimes. Dress in layers. There are some amazing animals who live there but sadly no elephants since 2005. Many different exhibits and beautiful gardens as well. There is also a carousel to ride and a Children’s Petting Zoo. That’s where our neighbor works so if you go, say hello to Irene and tell her Janet sent you!

Our final “Z” is for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. It used to be just San Francisco General Hospital but in 2015 Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $75 million toward the renovation project and so they renamed the hospital after them.

The hospital is very impressive from the outside. It is a teaching hospital for the UCSF medical students and provides 24-hour psychiatric services, just in case you were wondering. According to their website, it is the “safest place in California to have a baby and is the only certified “Baby-Friendly” hospital in San Francisco, also nice to know.

“Everyone is welcome here,” is their motto, which brings me to the hearts (you didn’t think I would forget did you?) In 2004 the “Hearts in San Francisco” art project was started by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation as a means of fundraising. The idea was taken from the song by Tony Bennett, “I left my heart in San Francisco.”

Each year sculptures are designed and placed throughout the city including Union Square. At the end of the year the hearts are auctioned off to raise money for the hospital. Here are this years designs.

There is a map of over 80 hearts that are around the town. Some of them are in private residences or in buildings not accessible to the public although that seems kind of selfish. I mean, if I was going to pay for a statue like this, I certainly would show it off. I found a few of them but ran out of time to find more.

I am adding the hearts to my “list of things to go back to,” kind of like a TBR list of places instead of books.

And we’ve come to the end of the A to Z Challenge for 2021! I made it! I have really had a great time going exploring for you. I hope you have had an interesting journey as well. Oddly enough, what started because of a coloring book and the fact that my son worked in San Francisco turned into a great staycation. The pandemic limited my complete participation in some of the places but I think I managed to capture the essence of each area. One of my vision cards for this year is Experience and I can definitely say I’ve had some experiences so far. Time to start thinking of what to do for next year. My reflection post will have a link to all the places in case you missed any and I am definitely going to use May to go visit all of the other interesting blog participants this year that I didn’t get a chance to read. Another staycation! Thanks so much for all the comments and kind remarks that you have left for me. It is sincerely appreciated!

from WordPress

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A to Z 2021 – Y is for Yerba Buena Gardens, the Year of the Ox and Yoda

There is so much going on in the Yerba Buena Gardens! In addition to the gardens there is a children’s carousel and museum, an ice skating rink and bowling.

I walked around the block to see what I could fiind. Near the Center for the Arts building is the gardens. Such a beautiful spot and the church in the background was lovely. Lots of room to sit and enjoy the views.

Then I turned around and saw this:

I walked behind the waterfall and inscribed along the wall was a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King.

It was very impressive. I also took a short video of the fountain and the garden.

In the Chinese New Year, this is the year of the Ox and because of COVID the traditional Chinese New Year Parade was not possible so instead the Chinese Chamber of Commerce decided to have statues placed throughout the city and call it The Year of The Ox on Parade. This one was across the street from City Hall.

Unfortunately, they were only on display for a month or so and I wasn’t able to get around to visiting any other ones. Also, I didn’t realize that there was a contest going on and you could take a picture near the statue and submit it to win a prize. These are what the other statues looked like.

If you look really closely at this picture of Union Square you can see the orange ox right in the middle. This one actually was defaced and had to be removed. Sad that people do things like that.

I have one more “Y” for today since I wasn’t able to get to see the Ox on Parade, I did find another statue that starts with “Y,” Yoda! I mentioned when we were driving around the Presidio that the Letterman Hospital building had been sold to LucasFilms and this statue is in the garden entrance.

Isn’t he cute? Well, one more letter to go. You have to come back tomorrow to read the story of the hearts. See you then!

from WordPress