A Tribute to the ethnic diversity of San Francisco is that the Yerba Buena Garden in South of Market has the Largest Martin Luther King Memorial in the west Coast and is the second largest MLK Memorial after the King Center in Atlanta Georgia. The Waterfall is a prominent feature around the Gardens and you can actually enter inside where there are memorabilia of MLK and some of his writings etched in glass. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is situated behind a majestic waterfall fifty (50) feet high and twenty (20) feet wide which cascades over Sierra granite. The memorial includes back-lit photos from the civil rights movement and twelve shimmering glass panels set in granite and inscribed with Dr. King's inspiring words. The poems are translated into the languages of San Francisco's thirteen (13) international sister cities, as well as African and Arabic dialects.
I stumbled on this by accident. I had "done" Lombard Street and went exploring with my camera. The building is quirky with a blending of Spanish and modern and it's not far from the more famous Yerba Buena Gardens; only a block in fact.
Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) is a sprawling aromatic herb of the western and northwestern United States, western Canada and Alaska. What is now San Francisco, California was originally named Yerba Buena by its Spanish settlers in the 18th century because of the abundance of the herb in the area.
This building is internationally famous however for being the place where the iPad and iPhone were launched. However, its day to day life encompasses many art forms, particularly music In addition to being a venue for musical performances, YBCA also acts as a museum. The various art exhibits and collections YBCA offers emphasizes its celebration of both local and world art. For example, in 2008 the art group Royal Art Lodge presented their psychologically surrealist works, challenging the viewer using simple drawings and more pronounced techniques like cutups. Not only does it hold specific art shows and exhibits, but it in itself is carefully aided by various artists in the atmosphere in its space. Instant Coffee, another artist group, designed a lounge room within YBCA for visitors to simply sit and listen to records with a chic atmosphere, while Space 1026 created YBCA's mural, a showcase of social and physical dimensions.
Video/cinema and dance also have a significant presence here with innovative and thought provoking works either performed or conceived within these walls.
What the preceding gobbledgook means is that you'll see a lot of crap here as well as some inspriational stuff so don't be surprised if you come out disenchanted. The art here isn't for everyone.
Yerba Buena is a performing arts center and small park located near Union Square in the Financial District. There are plenty of art exhibits which change every so often and different performances which take place here, in addition to an IMAX theatre. I didn't have enough time to take any of that in, but did enjoy a walk around the gardens.
The park is a splash of green in a city where greenery is often lacking. Its also a nice spot to pass time away from the crowds. In the early mornings, groups of Asian women and others congregate in the gardens and perform Tai Chi exercises.
Here's a nice patch of green close to Union Square (and a whole lot less crowded). It's a couple acres of grassy lawn with tiered plantings, artwork, waterfall and nice memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King. Best of all, from May - Oct, it hosts nearly 100 free concert, dance, theater or other events and festivals. Attached or nearby is a children's museum, outdoor play space, carousel, bowling and ice skating facility and art center. The Museum of Modern Art is also just across the street - the shop there is great for a browse and you can grab a panini from the cafe for an al fresco lunch. For a quick snack, spring for coffee/tea/juice and a heavenly cream puff at Beard Papa's on Yerba Buena Lane by St Patrick's church (www.beardpapasf.com/index.htm).
There's a nice tea lounge and upscale cafe in the park and more eateries close by. If nothing else, it's a chillin' spot for a picnic, sunbathing or just letting the kids run off some steam. See the website below for event schedule, hours and info on the other facilities.
We visited Yerba Buena Gardens after our visit to SF Museum of Modern Art because it is just opposite the museum. It was full of people lying on the grass, I don’t think there is any other green area at this part of the city anyway which is full of concrete. The park isn’t very big but it is quiet and helps you escape from the busy city for a while. There are some nice flowers, a lot of big trees but the big grassy area in the center of the park is where most of the people relax or playing with a ball. We enjoyed the Waterfalls (pic 2), actually there is a Martin Luther King Jr Memorial just behind the water with some of hime quotes written on the walls.
We spend some time watching other people having a picnic in the park (there are numerous concrete seating places)
The park faces St. patrick’s catholic church (pic 3). It was founded in 1851 and landmarked on December 12th 1968. Next to it is the Contemporary jewish museum (pic 4). It is located at 736 Mission street on a beautiful building but we didn’t have the chance to go inside. It is open Thursday to Tuesday 11.00-17.00. The entrance fee is $10 but on Thursdays the museum stays open till 20.45 and the entrance fee in the evening is only $5.
An oasis of calm just a couple of minutes walk from one of the busiest sections of Market Street, we stumbled across this while checking out the Metreon Centre.
If you need a few minutes away from the bustle of city life, this is the place to go.
Yerba Buena WAS the Original Name of San Francisco during the Mexican Period! The Gardens,is composed of more than 15 museums, performing arts facilities, and other cultural institutions; a 5.5-acre park; restaurants (thirsty bear); hotels (Mariott); movie theaters (Meteon); shopping; housing for a variety of income levels (many Filipinos live in nearby in Lapu-lapu, Rizal and Tandang Sora Streets); and one of the most heavily used convention centers in the world (Moscone). It is a nice place to hang around in Downtown Area since it is free!
Opens: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. free admission
A cool place to visit for an art exhibit, movie presentation, dance performance..
Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun: 12pm – 5 pm, Thu: 12pm – 8 pm. Closed Mondays and major holidays.
When all galleries are open: $7 regular/$5 seniors, students & teachers, FREE for YBCA Members.
When galleries are partially open: $5 regular/$3 seniors, students & teachers, FREE for YBCA Members.
Galleries are FREE 1st Tuesday of a month.
Check the monthly list of performances, movies and exhibits to find out what`s playing.
A recreational area where you can find various activities such as skating and bowling, museums, a movie complex, activities for children, etc…
We spend some time in the Metreon, which is a huge complex including a movie theatre, restaurants and bars opened by Sony. It shows technological developments of the brand.
We ate a quick meal at one of the bars, and then went to the movies.
We went back the next day to enjoy a brownie and a coffee in the park, near the fountain. Tasty brownie but coffee too large (as usual) and not very good…
From there, we had a good view on the San Francisco Museum of Modern art and its 38m cylindrical glass wall, in art deco style.
The Yerba Buena Gardens also shelter the Center for the Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts Theater, the Moscone Center, Martin Luther King Junior Memorial, the Rooftop Children’s Center, the Zeum, and California Historical Society Museum.
About 1/3 of the way across the Bay Bridge, heading from Oakland into San Francisco, you’ll come to an island with a sign saying Yerba Buena – Treasure Island. I can’t tell you how long I believed that it was the name of the Island. What it actually is is two islands: a natural island called Yerba Buena which has a large hole in it for the cars to pass through, and a man-made island named Treasure Island. The best reason to stop there is for an amazing view of the Bay and San Francisco. Just follow the signs to Treasure Island and before you get to the security gate you will see a parking area. You may need to take two trips there, one in the day time and one at night to get its full effect.
This artificial island was built by the federal government in 1939 for the "Golden Gate International Exposition" by dredging up dirt from the bay
Treasure Island was planned for and used as an airport for Pan American's China Clipper. After the World's Fair 1939–40 exhibition, the island was scheduled to be used as an airport when the Navy stepped in and offered to exchange Mills Field on the San Francisco Peninsula near the city of Millbrae for the island. The City and County of San Francisco accepted the swap and the airport was built at Mills Field.
During World War II Treasure Island became part of the Treasure Island Naval Base, where it served largely as an electronics and radio communications training school, and as the major Navy departure point for sailors active in the Pacific theatre of the war.
Treasure Island was closed to the public for around 60 years, until September 5, 1998 when it was decommissioned and a small portion of the island was opened to the public. Treasure Island is now part of District 6 of the City and County of San Francisco, though it continues to be owned by the Navy.
You can get there by car or by bus. For the bus schedule, check out http://www.sfmta.com/cms/asystem/routedesc.sfmta?rted=108.
Yerba Buena, the original Spanish name for San Francisco, means "good herb". It was a type of plant that grew in abundance here when the first Spaniards arrived. These gardens are dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King. They provide a small oasis of tranquility in downtown San Francisco.
Unfortunately, for me, I know I have not taken the time to check out everything the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts has shown. But judging from the few things I have seen, if I weren't moving I would be making a serious effort to see everything they do. I have seen two exhibitions here. The first was one on Maori culture that displayed an interesting variety of artistic items and also highlighted the culture in general. Most recently I saw an exhibit on the Black Panthers that was outstanding. You could feel what it was like back then just by seeing all that was on display. It really was powerful. If you enjoy culture and the arts, it's definitely worth checking out.
Yerba Buena Gardens is a miniscule park near the busy shopping district and Union Square. The park is surrounded by tall buildings, but still it is able to calm you down. In the mornings, you can see Chinese people practising taiji on the park.
The park is especially beautiful during springtime, when cherry trees are blossoming and delicate white flowers sport in several trees around the park.
The park has some grass to lay on, and there are a few cafés around it to buy something to eat. Bring a good book with you and before sitting down, remember to check that the grass is not wet -- it is sprayed out every morning to endure better the heat of the California sun.
Located near Moscone Center and the Museum of Modern Art, the gardens offer a pleasant outdoor stroll. They even have an old fashion carousel and a bowling alley.