Some reporters of The UOS Times visited San Francisco last February (At that time, the coronavirus did not spread around the world). The UOS Times is going to show readers the San Francisco that we have seen and felt through this and the next article. San Francisco is one of the sister cities of Seoul. Although The UOS Times did not know well about the city, this visit was a good opportunity to get to know the city in detail. The UOS Times would like to introduce San Francisco by three points.
When you think of San Francisco, what kind of image first comes to your mind? Plenty of iconic places of the city may pass through your mind. Among them, The UOS Times have been to two of the most monumental spots in San Francisco: the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts.
The Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco to Marin County in California has been recognized as a symbol of the city. Construction of the bridge in 1937 was an astonishing accomplishment as it was very difficult to be completed due to environmental constraints. With this historical value and its beautiful view, it became a symbol of San Francisco, featuring in many famous movies such as the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. As soon as we arrived at the location, we were all amazed by the beautiful architecture and the scenery around it. Deep blue ocean shining under the cloudless sky made the bridge even more stunning. Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge in this sunny weather was a great luck, as fog covers the whole structure often times. The lucky visitors seemed all pleased and enjoyed the view in various ways. Some went across the bridge by riding a bicycle while others tried it on foot. For those with good stamina, we recommend crossing the bridge in this way. If you prefer moving across it with less effort, you can simply take a bus. By doing so, you will get a chance to fully catch the amazing landscape the Golden Gate Bridge provides.
We also headed to another landmark of San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts. The Palace of Fine Arts is an architecture originally constructed to exhibit art pieces for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. Nowadays, this medieval Greek style structure is being used as a park that welcomes everyone. Due to its European design, it felt like we were somewhere in Europe once we went into this place. The first thing that we faced was the tall column along with the palace, which reminded us of an ancient Greek temple. While following the way among the columns, we were greatly dazzled by the magnificence of the palace. The elegant dome-shaped building, the lake that reflects the whole architecture, and the surrounding natural environment were beautifully harmonized. Appreciating this splendid sight, we could completely understand why the Palace of Fine Arts is considered as one of the monumental places in this city. Just taking a walk around this structure will be enough for you to have a marveling experience.
San Francisco has a deep history of transportation like a cable car, but it is also a city of new technology. Uber was not activated in Korea, but it was launched in San Francisco for the first time. Today, kickboard sharing that can be seen all over Seoul, including the University of Seoul, and this also started in San Francisco. Like Seoul's bike sharing Ttareungi (dring, in English), it is a system that lets you borrow and use a kickboard through application. The difference with Ttareungi is that kickboard is more free to rent and return a spot. The Ttareungi should be set up the wheel at a port like a bus stop, but the kickboard can be just parked by the side of the road or placed in a round ring. Compared to Seoul's dense public transportation networks and facilities, San Francisco has a wide travel distance and it takes a long time to reach the residential and downtown areas. Cable cars and buses are only on the side of the boulevard, so it will very convenient if you move long distances through them and then move more specifically with the kickboard. Therefore, the kickboard sharing system seemed to be very useful in this city.
Next we tried the cable car which is known as the one of mascots of San Francisco. It is not like the cable cars in the mountains in Korea. It is like a tram but more open. Unlike its name, the body is not connected by a real cable, but it is powered by electricity. It is thought to be a tourist attraction in the eastern part of the state, where tourist spots and downtown are mainly located, but when you actually use it, the operating range is wider than you think and local residents also used it as if it were a village bus. At Powell, both the starting point and the last stop of the cable car, you can see an interesting scene. When changing the course of a cable car, a person gets off, pushes it, and manually turns the body, which has been done ever since the cable car was made. The fare was eight USD per ride, but if you travel to San Francisco for more than three days, you can ride it without a limit by using a muni pass. If you stand by the pole and ride a cable car, you can enjoy the cool breeze and the wonderful scenery. It may seem like just a means of transportation but it was unforgettable that we could not forget the freshness of the time even after we finished our trip. If you go to San Francisco, you should try to ride it at least once. Maybe, you won’t be able to stop at just one ride since it’s so fun!
On Thursday, The UOS Times visited The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). It is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and it was built in an environmentally friendly way. Since it was a must travel course in this city, we arrived there with great expectations.
As soon as we passed the entrance, we could see the grand stairs and many people like us. Luckily, the day when we visited was a free museum day for the community, so we entered SFMOMA for free!
As it was a six-floor building, we got in an elevator and started to watch from the 6th floor. On this floor, there was German Art After 1960 exhibition which is ongoing. We could see large sized and dark atmosphere art works in here. Art works were classified by artist. Slowly adapting how to appreciate the art works, we went down to the 5th floor. Pop, Minimal, and Figurative Art exhibition was on the 5th floor. By contrast with the previous exhibition, there were a lot of vivid and bright colored works. Also, we could see various types of art works that used unique materials such as wall drawing, LED, recycled plastic. In addition, Andy Warhol gallery was on this floor. Watching his works that we have seen through the media with our own eyes was an exciting experience. Moreover, as we saw familiar and funny works, we began to feel interested. There was also a café and a terrace that exhibited the famous LOVE statue. After breathing in fresh air on the terrace, we moved toward the 4th floor. On the 4th floor, Approaching American Abstraction exhibition was ongoing. Just like its title, there were a variety of drawings. They were simple and used colors that we could often see in real life, but the techniques applied were all different. From exactly drawing lines to hand-printed ones, every single work was truly impressive. At this time, however, our legs began to ache, so we had to take a rest sitting in the bench. On the 3rd floor, we could see unusual pictures. In particular, there were many collages which consisted of several photos of the same object. Also, we could compose easy art paper with machines. We recommend this because it is free and can be something to celebrate your visit to SFMOMA. Next, on the 2nd floor, there were Open Ended exhibition. There were lots of legendary paintings and sculptures including the works of Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko. Some of their works were breathtaking. However, many people were watching them as these works are so famous, so it was hard to take pictures of them. Lastly, we came back to the 1st floor. We looked around the main museum store. Store was also wide and had countless souvenirs, but most of them were expensive. Looking around meaningful goods of SFMOMA, we it took us about three hours to finish the tour.
Although it was a little exhausting and our feet were about to burst, to watch the works of SFMOMA was definitely a meaningful time. We had the chance to think about what we usually do not think about. Watching the complicated works and guessing the intention of artists, we could have an opportunity to actively appreciate the works. Besides, we could realize our taste. Even when we came back to Korea, experience of SFMOMA continued to come to mind.
Visiting San Francisco for this cover was an unforgettable experience. The UOS Times had a chance to explore the landmarks, SFMOMA, and transportations which helped us to better understand various characteristics of San Francisco. The UOS Times highly recommend our readers to travel to San Francisco someday and have a fabulous experience when the coronavirus crisis is over.
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