This week’s challenge is all about gatherings, so I thought I’d jump slightly ahead of my travel writing and give you guys the first glimpse my time in Europe. St. Peter’s Square sees thousands of visitors every day. It’s designed for people to gather and feel embraced; the columns look like open arms, beckoning you to come closer. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the intricate architecture and sense of scale. This place is much, much bigger than it looks; it took about a dozen tries to get this panorama to work. Just imagine how many people have been here…
When they hear the name Auguste Rodin, the first thing most people will remember (aside from him being one of the most awesome artists ever) is The Thinker: A gigantic man hunched over a rock, utterly focused on his philosophical pondering. The detailed design and musculature show off Michelangelo’s influence, but only Rodin could’ve captured that kind of expressiveness. In terms of fame in popular culture, The Thinker comparable to the Mona Lisa. What most people don’t know is that it started as part of a much bigger project (and serious contender for my all-time favorite sculpture I’ve personally seen) called The Gates of Hell. Rodin eventually decided to make this a separate work, resulting in a modern sculpting legacy. There are now over 30 Thinkers in existence, spanning museums and universities around the planet. This one is the centerpiece of the court at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Larger version is viewable here.
It was a nice day and I had some free time, so I decided to explore a place I’d never seen before. I took the bus to the literal end of the road – Geary Boulevard, specifically – and ended up at Sutro Baths/Point Lobos. This is at the distant northwestern tip of San Francisco, and more remote than most touristy places. Aside from the long ride, it takes a little climbing to get down to this beach. Definitely worth the effort, though! Larger version is viewable here.
This week’s challenge calls for a symbol, and no symbol is more prevalent these days than the rainbow flag. I actually skipped the huge celebration that happened after the historic ruling was announced; huge crowds and parades are definitely not my kind of thing. I waited a week and visited when things quieted down. As for what it means to me, I already wrote about it.