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Sanfrisco

Posted on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Dave!"I DON"T LIKE SANFRISCO ANY MORE!"
        —Kid waiting in line for a cable-car ride this morning.

Much like the side dish made famous as a "San Francisco Treat," I find Sanfrisco delightful. I fall in love with the city all over again every time I'm lucky enough to come here and never pass up on an opportunity to visit... even if it's just for a job.

After breezing though mountains of paperwork and a presentation, I was able to escape for an afternoon of bigtime fun with long-time blogging friend, Jester (right after randomly running into another bloggity friend, Dickie Maxx!).

First it was lunch at Boudin Sourdough (where we both got a slight case of food poisoning?). Then, after neither one of us could think of anything to do, I remembered an ad for "The Walt Disney Family Museum" I had seen yesterday, and away we went.

The museum is a pretty big deal, encompassing three buildings in The Presidio. I never quite figured out what a museum dedicated to the life of Walt Disney is doing in San Francisco, but they couldn't ask for a more beautiful location. The view from the back of the museum's glass panorama wall is great...

Walt Disney Family MuseumView

Having nothing to do with the mega-corporation that is The Walt Disney Company, the museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to Disney's life, and was founded by his eldest daughter, Diane (who sadly died last November).

Everything about the museum screams "quality," and the numerous displays all look as thought they could have been designed by Disney Imagineers (and who knows, maybe they were!). The lobby features some of the many awards won by Disney, including his Emmy and numerous Oscars...

Walt Disney Family Museum Lobby

Walt's early days are explored via audio recordings of Disney himself, which are accompanied by fantastic Monty Python-esque animation screens. Throughout the displays are many photos, letters, and other personal effects which are (as with everything in the museum) beautifully exhibited...

Walt Disney Family Museum Early Days

Walt Disney Family Museum Animator

Eventually... inevitably... you get to Mickey Mouse, whose creation is given an entire room. Here begins Disney's many, many innovations when it came to animation, including the way audio was recorded via visual cues. There were no multi-track recorders during those early days, so coming up with the sound for a cartoon was an elaborate affair involving several people working together at the same time. An interactive display shows how it was done...

Walt Disney Family Museum Sound Station

And, of course there is a nice chunk of Mickey memorabilia...

Walt Disney Family Museum Mickey Poster

Walt Disney Family Museum Mickey Clocks

The animation process is explored thoroughly, and displays include many props... including an original Disney animator's desk and the revolutionary multi-plane camera, which added depth and realistic camera panning...

Walt Disney Family Museum Desk

Walt Disney Family Museum Multi-Plane Camera

Animation cels, color tests, production drawings... it's all here...

Walt Disney Family Museum Drawing

The section on Disney's war-time contributions is interesting. In addition to anti-Nazi propaganda, Disney artists did all kinds of things to support Allied war efforts... including illustrating pin-ups for the troops, which I did not know. Why children were included in the drawings I can't fathom, but there you have it...

Walt Disney Family Museum Hitler

Walt Disney Family Museum Pin-Ups

It's not all fun, games, and gratuitous cartoon nudity though... the museum also takes a look at the not-so-nice stuff that Walt went through. Including a cartoonist strike (which Disney attributed to a Communist plot... but wasn't everything back then?)...

Walt Disney Family Museum Strike

And then things get really interesting because... DISNEYLAND!!! Here the museum pulls out all the stops, and leads you through all the planning that went into making the park...

Walt Disney Family Museum DISNEYLAND!
Click photo to embiggen in a new window.

Walt Disney Family Museum Disneyland Map Plan

My favorite part of the museum is a relief map of Disneyland... not as it exists, but as Walt Disney had dreamed it would one day be. So much of it is the same as what we ended up with, but very different at the same time. Space Mountain, for example, had the roller coaster on the outside of the structure instead of being a dark ride inside of it. Thunder Mountain Railroad was not the high-speed thrill-ride it turned out to be, but a scenic ride through the American Southwest (and included a ride under a waterfall). It's all just so fascinating. If you're a Disney parks whore like me, you could stare at it for hours...

Walt Disney Family Museum Disneyland

Walt Disney Family Museum Disneyland Space Mountain

The museum is a cradle-to-grave experience, and includes a nice video montage retrospective of his life as you exit...

Walt Disney Family Museum Death

Walt Disney Family Museum Legacy

And, no, you don't get to see Walt Disney's cryogenically-preserved body at the end. You do get to see a very nice tribute to one of Walt Disney's favorite artists, the incomparable Mary Blair, if you go down to the restroom level though...

Walt Disney Family Museum Mary Blair Tribute

Walt Disney Family Museum Mary Blair It's A Small World Artwork

   
All in all... the museum is worth your valuable time to visit. I had a great time, could have spent the entire day here, and thought it was worth the $20 price of admission because there's just so much... stuff... to see.

Since taxis didn't seem to exist in The Presidio, we decided to try an Uber driver. For those not in the know, "Uber" is an iPhone app that allows you to call a car to your location and have them drive you to your destination. It's pretty cool, because you are given a map with a real-time GPS location of your driver, the driver's name, a car model, license plate number, and an estimated time of arrival. For the budget-conscious, there's an Uber-X service, where you can hire regular people driving their own vehicles to give you a ride. In San Francisco, the price is up to 35% cheaper than hiring a taxi. Needless to say, this is not without controversy. Taxis are regulated... have experienced, knowledgeable drivers... and operate under safety standards dictated by the city. With Uber, you're just getting some dude and their car.

The first diver I tapped was nearby and had an estimated arrival time of four minutes. But, even after calling me, he couldn't figure out how to enter The Presidio and ended up driving all around it trying to find a way to get to us. It was pretty comical watching his GPS location on the map, because he'd drive one way... get frustrated... turn around... drive the other way... get frustrated... turn around... AND EVENTUALLY CANCEL OUR PICK-UP BECAUSE HE COULDN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIND AN ENTRANCE! I was relieved to get the cancelation, because the ETA went from 4 minutes... to 8 minutes... to 12 minutes... and I was going nuts (on the bright side, we got to watch the worst 20-minute parallel parking job EVER).

When I tapped a new driver, he was much more knowledgable on how to get to THIS MAJOR CITY LANDMARK, and picked us up in just five minutes. Nice guy too.

If you want to try Uber for yourself (and live in a city it services) you can get $20 applied to your first ride by using the promo code ba9az (just tap the little "person" icon in the upper-left corner of the FREE Uber App and go to the PROMOTIONS link).

   
Anyway... Jester and I goofed around the Mission District for a while, and eventually decided to find a tapas bar for dinner. Yelp suggested a tiny little place called Lolo, and off we went...

...to a fantastic meal. Seriously delicious food. The guacamole was flavorful and amazing... the chips super-crispy... the corn with crema was so tasty and sweet it was like candy... the quesadillas unique and mouthwatering... the flaming cauldron of melted cheese was creamy and dangerous*... the berries and mascarpone with honey crumbles was mind-blowing... everything was great, and the service excellent as well. Highest recommendation for Lolo!

Lolo Flaming Cheese Cauldron

*Dangerous because the cheese is kept melted under an open flame and, if you're not careful (like me), you can set your chips on fire!

   
Thus ends my first day of adventure in Sanfrisco, and how great was that? The kid complaining about the city this morning obviously didn't spend time with Jester, Mickey Mouse, and a flaming cauldron of cheese.

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Categories: Travel 2014Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. LOVE this recap. and your pictures are fantastic! i am surprised they let you take so many.
    thrilled that your day was better than that poor kid’s.
    say hi to my jester for me, please!

  2. Dagny says:

    I thought the museum didn’t allow photography.

    • Dave2 says:

      No FLASH photography. Nobody cared that I was taking photos… heck, the staff watched me do it.

      • Dagny says:

        OK. I know when photography is allowed in museums, flashes are a no-no. Just thought I had read when they first opened no photography. Then again, could have been the case but then they changed the policy.
        By the way, one of the many things that irks me to no end is to see someone using a flash in a museum.

  3. I’ve used Uber in NYC, San Diego, Washington DC, and a bunch of times in Atlanta. Only a couple times have I had bad experiences like this, and both of them were drivers who’d just started the day before I had the misfortune of meeting them.

    Given how often I go down there, I wish New Orleans would get the service!

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