Every year I find myself traveling across the country to my beloved California. With loved ones by my side and new adventures each trip, I can never find my annual trip to California redundant. The Bay Area attracts many tourists to known spots such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, or picnics in front of the house from the TV show Full House. What I am constantly intrigued by from the Bay Area, is not the known tourist spots, but the simple walks around the bustling streets never knowing what you can find if you simply look up at the buildings and explore.
San Francisco- People watching on the Bart can capture a glimpse of the diverse groups of people found wandering around the city. City Hall stood mightily amongst the busy streets. The area was familiar as it reminded me of home in D.C. The Exploratorium was a great experience with interactive exhibits of human perception and science. My favorite exhibits were the shadow box, out quiet yourself, and human phenomena. I passed by the Opera House where the San Francisco Ballet performs and went to the Asian Art Museum where a special 28 Chinese exhibit was on display. The Boat exhibit featured a massive funneled structure made of Xuan paper, bamboo, and cotton thread.
Oakland– Oakland is one of my favorite places where you can really get a sense of community. Instead of sunbathing at a beach, many people lay beside Lake Merritt. The Lake is great for running, picnics, kayaking and relaxing. There are weekend farmers markets and every first Friday of the month the streets are filled with local musicians, food, vendors, dancing and art gallery openings for Oakland’s First Fridays. Many talented people come from Oakland and their artistry can bring the people together. There is a sense of pride walking around seeing every local wearing Oaklandish apparel and talking passionately about the people that live there. The Oakland Museum Of California had different sections starting from the history of California and the stories of the immigrants who helped develop the cities. The museums moves into different eras of California culture and the iconic moments that occurred throughout the years. There is a modern art section and a special Pacific Worlds exhibit where I learned a lot of the influences that the Philippines adapted. The last part of the museum was on the many varying landscapes of California. I was happy to continue dancing while on my trip and spent every night at Hipline. The choreographers were well trained and provided a sassy, electrifying, and empowering environment for the ladies to completely let their hair down and escape for an hour dancing.