Sunday, June 13, 2010

Golden Gate Park

This past Saturday I played with the Pleasanton Community Concert Band at the Golden Gate Park Concert Band Festival in San Francisco. I haven't been to Golden Gate Park in quite a while now, so it was fun to go back and see it again. We were one of six bands playing on Saturday, and another six played today. Its an annual event put on by the Friends of the Golden Gate Park Band, and its free for people to come see some of the bands that play in their communities. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (I'm glad our uniform is short sleeved polo shirts) and I got to play at the Band Shell on the Music Concourse, which was very cool.

Check out the detail on the frescoes:

I got to the park a few hours before we were scheduled to play, because I wanted to be sure I'd get parking (which turned out to not be an issue after all, but better safe than sorry). I wandered around the Music Concourse, which has many statues and was filled with people doing Tai Chi. Its flanked on either side by the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum. The Concourse is undergoing renovations right now, but there are still trees and flowers, including this particularly beautiful-smelling rose:

Since I had some time to kill, but not enough to really enjoy either museum, I headed over to the Japanese Tea Garden. Its a gorgeous Japanese-style garden originally built as the Japanese Village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, with pathways winding through beautiful foliage, koi ponds, a small waterfall, pagodas, statuary, and a tea house. And so early in the morning, it was nearly empty.

Crazy bridge

Pagoda and crane statues

Stepping stone bridge

Pagoda peeking through the trees

Rock garden


Stone pathway

Iron Buddha

I liked his hand, it reminds me of how you hold your hands for ballet

Fountain in a large granite boulder shaped like a canoe

Self-portrait and koi

What a beautiful day, and what a great experience!