de Young in the Dunes
mixed media photo collage on board, 10”x8”
Being an apartment dweller without a garden, Golden Gate Park has always been my backyard. After 25 years I have seen the park change with restorations, renovations and even the replacement of the original de Young Museum with the current building.
The park has continued to evolve since its creation. While it is a wonderful retreat from urban life, the park could also be called unnatural. All of the trees that have been planted, gardens laid out and buildings added still cannot defy the seemingly constant wind and fog.
Today the de Young Museum and the Academy of Science sit atop an underground parking garage with the well-groomed Music Concourse in the middle. Back in the 1860s much of what is Golden Gate Park was windswept dunes. I miss the old de Young — as a museum it was a like a comfortable old pair of jeans and a tattered sweater. While the new museum building has its merits, I always laugh when the outdoor café has to be wrapped in plastic tarps to protect patrons from the incessant winds. The starchitects chose to ignore the wind and the ghosts of the dunes. The original de Young had an outdoor café sheltered from the wind on the other side of the building.