Yesterday morning after I wrote I took a walk down to the Wharf. It was an overcast sky, but in a sweatshirt and jeans the cool air was refreshing. It felt good to get out of the hotel room. That’s the problem with city hotels – it’s rare you have a balcony.
That said, the Wharf doesn’t exactly cure all – it was a strange experience for me. There were many people, but it felt so isolating for some reason – it felt really busy and rushed – people closed off to their own worlds and families.
It’s not exactly what I’m looking for in my explorations. The Wharf is very commercial in attitude – not much warmth or character. There’s a Burger King and an In-N-Out, a Hooter’s, Joe’s Crab Shack – seeing those restaurants makes me roll my eyes. There’s no creativity in that – just the familiar face of Corporate America.
I don’t mean to beat on the Wharf, though. You can look around and see its potential – how amazing it must have been 100 years ago. Those thoughts make me happy, and walking through yesterday they were on my mind, as were the views of Alcatraz and the street performers.
General observation: Over the past few years, I’ve noticed street performers seem to be getting better overall. Has anyone else noticed that?
Amongst the chaos I found a place of peace – an escape from the concrete into a world of nature, tranquility, and beauty.
No, I’m not talking about the Rainforest Cafe.
I’m not too big on museums and galleries – I enjoy them, but don’t seek them out when I travel – but a picture of a gorgeous fall scene caught my eye as I walked by, and then I saw the two real trees in the entrance and the bright colors of the pictures.
It’s not a huge place – you could spend fifteen minutes and see it all – but I took a little more time. Next to each painting Lough describes the picture in a small blurb. Nothing rehearsed or forced – he’s very honest and open about the moment he took the picture and what it means to him – something I obviously appreciate.
Don’t travel all the way across the city just to see the gallery (as I said it’s on the small side), but do stop in when you find yourself at the Wharf. I found it to be a very rewarding escape from the concrete, from the crowded streets.
A few examples of his work – check out his website for more: