sf // moad + ferry building + library


There are plenty of perks to living in a house with forty people (yes - forty). These include: access to a sewing machine and blender, instant advice on how to mitigate period cramps, never having to watch Netflix alone, and the occasional slice of homemade cake (Ruth - that streusel was bomb). More importantly, though, living in a co-op has allowed me to meet an incredible diversity of people. These past few weeks, I've bonded with some of the ladies on my floor, and especially with Lydia, a Scottish native enrolled in Museum Studies at USF. It turns out she went to the University of Edinburgh, which means we must have crossed paths at some point (especially given that we're both huge fans of the Improverts). Also, I now have three Lydia's in my life: two vegans, two Brits, two artists and all equally wonderful friends. Oh, the mysteries of the universe.

Lydia (SF Lydia, in case you're confused as to which I'm now referring to), is the perfect museum companion. She actually needs to visit museums on a regular basis as part of her grad studies curriculum, which means neither of us ever have to go explore them alone! Last week, we headed out to the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD), a bright and modern building on Mission St., not too far from the MoMA. We pay for our entry and start with the exhibit on the highest floor. The Grace Jones Project pays tribute to none other than the multi-talented pop icon Grace Jones. Its most memorable piece is undoubtedly Heather Hart's Jumeaux, which invites viewers to pick a piece of gold foil from a box and gently paste it anywhere on the canvas. I don't quite remember how exactly it fit into the whole Grace Jones theme, but I like it. Much interactive. So wow. Another work that pops into mind is a floor-projected black and white video (picture below) of a crouching woman wildly stuffing her face with cake. She's wearing painfully high heels and it really looks like she's choking on handfuls of dirt. Interesting.

One floor below is Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity. I very much enjoy this exhibit, which features photographs of Black men expressing their unique points of view through conscious fashion choices. In addition to being fascinating visually, the images and outfits involve deeper discourses of ethnicity, colonialism, class and gender, and bring to light a complex and powerful cultural phenomenon. I find the exhibit description found on the MoAD's website to be particularly evocative:

"Dandy Lion [..] provides an exploration of a popular conversation in nuanced contemporary sartorial expressions and the fluidity of cis-gender Black male masculinity. As a statement, it is not definitive. It is provocative and inquisitive – meant to provoke, indulge and glorify.

Before leaving the building, we spend a few minutes browsing through the offerings at the gift shop. I was correct in assuming there would be some kind of merchandise relating to the Dandy exhibit: indeed, we find an assortment of ultra hip bow ties and hankies in one of its display cases. Also noteworthy is Afro-Vegan, a cookbook by the museum's own chef-in-residence Bryant Terry. The book features a panoply of delicious-looking recipes, and I personally can't wait to try Terry's Sweet Potato and Lima Bean Tagine. Mmm!



Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco


After the MoAD, we're feeling motivated to see some more of the city - there's simply so much to do and we still very much feel like tourists. Speaking of tourists: we walk along Market St. until we reach the famous Ferry Building, located on the Embarcadero. Completed in 1898, the edifice currently functions as a food hall hosting dozens of gourmet shops, restaurants and, of course, the inevitable Sur La Table. And because we are there on a Sunday, we are able to catch the weekly farmer's market just before closing time. Lydia and I sample just about every piece of fruit on display, but hey - someone's gotta help the vendors clean up.

Culinary highlights include Stonehouse California Olive Oil, whose Aglio Olio blend Lydia quickly develops an addiction and keeps coming back to, Far West Fungi (adorable mushrooms of all kinds, as well as kits to grow your own), Rancho Gordo (beans, beans, Mexican cuisine ingredients, and more beans), as well as Miette (a pastel Ladurée-like pastry shop selling overpriced yet charming sweets). We also drool over the beautifully-crafted pieces by Heath Ceramics (more inspiration for my mom's pottery endeavors) and the notebooks, cookbooks, mini spoons and hanging plants in stock at The Gardener.

One of the downsides of having all-organic, fresh and mostly local food provided at home is that we really have no need for most of the goods offered in the Ferry Building. That said, we definitely enjoyed the massive amounts of samples we tried, from hand lotion to garlicky olive oil.








Miette in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Miette in the Ferry Building in San Francisco


Heath Ceramics in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Heath Ceramics in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Rancho Gordo beans in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Rancho Gordo beans in the Ferry Building in San Francisco


The Gardener in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Ferry Building in San Francisco

The Gardener in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

The Gardener in the Ferry Building in San Francisco

Stonehouse California at Ferry Building in San Francisco





Palm Trees on Embarcadero in San Francisco

Our trip ends with a visit to the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, which is rather nice (though not as beautiful as Montreal's BANQ).

San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Victoire for all these great posts on SF. I feel like being on vacation again! Looking forward to reading what you will post on the SFMOMA as I enjoyed it very much. As one says, keep up the good work!
    Stephane B.

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    Replies
    1. Merci!!
      On ira peut-être au MoMA quand Maman viendra me rendre visite dans deux semaines... stay tuned!

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