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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

WPA Murals at the Beach Chalet San Francisco


One of the great things about walking on Ocean Beach in San Francisco is that you can drop by the wonderful WPA murals by Lucien Labaudt on the ground floor of the Beach Chalet. We were here last weekend and its a place I love to visit.

There's an explanation of the murals here... linking the images with  American ideals that hard work should be rewarded and that better times were to come. Unlike other socially critical images from this period, these murals represent an idealized San Francisco filled with happy citizens. The frescoes are very detailed with scenes of both work and leisure. They have a wonderfully lush sensibility and seem somewhat fantastical. I love that every time I see them I notice something new.







In addition to the frescoes there  is a lovely mosaic in the stairwell, including this lovely image pointing the way to the public facilities. Who says things can't be functional and beautiful!




Below is a picture of the Beach Chalet from the ocean, as you can see it lies at the very end of Golden Gate Park and looks out at the ocean. The upstairs restaurant has a view over the beach and though the food is fine but we prefer the atmosphere downstairs where you can sit outside facing the park. It's fun to stop for a drink or something quick to eat but it's the situation and the murals that will bring you back.




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