One way to sightsee: stay in the neighborhood

How do you narrow down what to see when you travel to a new place?  You might research and choose the best or most popular sights in the area.  If you do, you might be ricocheting across a city from one sight to the next, spending way too much time getting from one sight to the next.  Here’s an alternative:

– Concentrate on a small geographic area;

– Find some interesting but maybe more local sights to visit; and

– Try to see as much as possible by walking or biking.

We had less than a day in San Francisco. What to do?  We were planning to meet friends for dinner in the Mission District so that set our neighborhood for this visit.  In a quick survey of the area, we saw a Museum of Craft and Design nearby.  We didn’t know anything about it but decided to give it a try.

The Museum charged a standard museum fee and turned out to be very small.  Oh, well, if the displays were good – it would be worth it.  First stop was the restroom, the most impressive design in their new building.  (After 150 days on the road, a good restroom is always impressive and appreciated.)


As we turned the corner Arline Fisch’s hugely colorful display “Creatures of the Deep” pulled us in.  Spectacular color.  Sea creatures in shimmering yellows-oranges-pinks were suspended in a sea of deep green-blue.  The creatures were knit and crocheted with coated magnet wire.  We’re not big fans of crochet but thought the Sea Creatures were the perfect medium for its use.



Michael Cooper’s sculpture is not like anything else we’d seen.  The pieces appeared to be highly sophisticated vehicles on a human scale – with seats, spoked-wheels, gears and wires snaking everywhere.  Parts are made of beautiful woods and shiny metals.  Unexpected features appear as integral parts of the “machine”: wooden hands, propeller, sail, and guns.



After the visit we discovered a strange coincidence.  Our daughter, a design major at San Jose State University a decade ago, had Michael Cooper as an instructor for a number of courses.

We’re glad we went to the Museum of Craft and Design.  It was small but had a show that was interesting to us.

Our adventures in San Francisco started in the previous post and continues in the next post….

June 2013

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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2 Responses to One way to sightsee: stay in the neighborhood

  1. I totally agree with you, on two points especially. Ricocheting is definitely not our style when it comes to travelling. We prefer to see a place thoroughly rather than rush and just skim the surface everywhere. I don’t like coming home and thinking I need to go back because I missed most of a place. And a nice clean restroom is essential to happy travelling!

  2. Excellent advice for sightseeing!

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