San Francisco 30 Oct
It was a very nice morning , bright and sunny, we had decided to go and visit the City Hall and at the same time take in Museum of Asian Art both on the same square.
But first we had some shopping to do, as we had promised Richard we would cook him a meal that evening. We had decided on a recipe from a dear friend of ours, Mamta, and it would be her wonderful butter chicken.We walked the few blocks to the Noe district as directed by Richard and found the "Whole Food" Supermarket, first we had breakfast, sitting in the sun on wooden benches in front of the Supermarket, I had a monster beef roll, it is a good job that they cut them in half as it was enough for lunch as well. This Supermarket is really special, most of what they sell is either Bio, free range or comes from named farms in the close vicinity of the City. We bought everything that we required there, I thought we may have had problems getting some of the spices, but no everything was to be had, right down to the whole meal naan.
Shopping done and deposited in the apartment's massive refrigerator, we headed for the Metro a short distance from the house.
We went first to the City Hall, Richard had told us a lot about it and his praise was not misplaced, it is truly an imposing piece of architecture, outside it stands in regal splendour, but this is only a cocoon for what awaits the visitor inside, after entering the vestibule and passing through the security you are hit right between the eyes with the magnificent sweeping travertine stairway that seems to fill the whole ground floor.
It sweeps up to the first floor with its gilded wrought iron rails and marble balustrades. But cast your eyes up and above is a massive domed ceiling, supported on a multitude of columns, everything covered in ornate carvings and moulded reliefs.
A wedding ceremony was taking place right at the head of the stairs, it was a small affair, but carried out with great aplomb by the black robed official, I am sure the happy couple had selected a wonderful setting for their special day. We wandered around the first floor level. Stopping in front of the Mayor's office to take a photo.
We could have lingered a while longer, but time was pressing and we really did want to see the exhibition across the road. So we left through the main entrance and crossed the square to the Chong-Moon Lee Centre of Asian Art and Culture, there was a special exhibition on called Celebrating Korean Art during the Janyo Dynasty. We first ventured into this part before going on to look at the museums permanent displays of Asian art. It was a delight to see the intricate carved pieces and the delicate paintings. We spent a very worthwhile couple of hours just wandering from room to room drinking in the Asian culture.
So the soul sufficiently immersed in culture we walked back through the Farmers market on UN Plaza (Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and hopped on the metro and back to Dolores, to eat the other half of the beef roll for lunch and start on the preparation and cooking of the buttered chicken, a tarka daal , rice and naan.
Mamta's buttered chicken and daal turned out fantastic, but then her recipes always do, we all enjoyed it immensely washed down with a couple of beers. It was then time to hit the sack as we wanted to visit the Franciscan Mission a few blocks down early the next day.