I Left My Heart….

in San Francisco.  

And here it is!

This was in Union Square, right outside of our hotel. I have no idea what it was about, just public art I guess, there were about three different ones around the square. Lots of tourists took pictures of their kids in front of them, it was so cute. Wanted to take a photo of this darling little Asian toddler posing in front of this one, but I didn’t want to scare her parents.


Here’s the famous bronze monument in the middle of Union Square of the goddess Victory. It was placed there in 1903. And how do I know this, you ask? Because I Googled it. What, you think that kind of stuff is just floating around my brain waiting to be plucked out and typed into a blog post? No, I have to WORK at coming up with this crap for you guys. (Sorry– I’ve only had one cup of coffee so far and lack of caffeine has a tendency to make me talk smarty.)



Ahem, OK, back on track. Here’s a great street scene from Downtown SF–


And here’s the Mother Church of Shopping. I’ll give you a minute to soak it all in. The one in NY is my favorite of all time, but I had to at least pay my respects to the West coast version. I would have lighted a candle or something, but they have fire laws.


Wouldn’t be San Francisco without a streetcar shot, right? (Hey Linda– look at the blue awning on the right– that’s Scala’s, the great Italian place, home of the gnocchi.)


This guy looks amused by the fact a that tourist is taking his picture. And I was really trying to be low-key about it.


I’ll leave you with further proof of my inherent classiness. As I walked out of the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the SFMOMA, my senses still reeling from the colors and the depth of meaning and intensity of her paintings, I stopped by the gift shop to find something to commemorate this incredible opportunity to witness such beauty. I bought the definitive biography of Frida by Hayden Herrera, but I wanted to get a little something for Madi, to introduce her to this amazing artist. Let’s see… coffee table book of paintings? Nah, it’s $75. Beautiful Mexican shawl from the Tehuana region, similar to the ones Frida always wore? Nah, that was $150. Hmmm. Wait! Hello, PERFECT!


(She loved ‘em– sent me this from her phone, she’s on the road with her dad.)

I’m like a cultural Johnny Appleseed, when you think about it.


**EDITED TO ADD**: Here’s a link to a NY TImes article covering BlogHer 08.

Yikes. Can you say “condescending”??????



18 Responses

  1. themema

    Ok, I admit to being a music lover, with little to no interest in art. I think it started when an art teacher grabbed me by the arm up off the floor in the 3rd grade where I was being forced to paint a picture with runny tempro paints, and demanded to know if I thought those two big orange things at the bottom of my stick figure lady looked like feet to me.

    So, I googled what’s her name, and have only one comment.


    Loved your pictures of SF, and so glad you had a wonderful time. I guess you didn’t find any good Salvation Army Thrift Stores? roflol.

  2. themema

    Oops, sorry about that. I thought I lost the first post in cyberspace.

  3. tori

    That’s ok, Betty– I deleted your double-post!

  4. auburn60

    ” Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

  5. belinda

    I love the pictures – it all looks like so much fun. I guess the one that caught my eye was bloomingdale’s, being a shopper, I would love to be there checking out all their stuff right now. Guess I’ll just have to go back to macy’s and kohl’s, hit both of those today. Love shopping & SALES.

    Any more pictures? Glad you had a great time, you deserved it!

  6. belinda

    love the socks! Too cute!

  7. LindaB

    Tori, how extensive was the Freda exhibit? Were they all self portraits? Did they allow picture taking? Got any? Did they have any that she painted of her bus accident? Those are pretty gruesome—-but interesting. When did you become interested in her and her art? And why?

    Gee, I should be a reporter, shouldn’t I? Or, a nosey neighbor?

    Loved the S.F. pictures!!! Cool!

    (Madi—-can you stretch those socks and separate Frida’s eyebrows? I hope those socks are shark resistant!)

  8. tori

    Linda, It was about as extensive as I’ll ever see in one place again, I bet.

    Lots of self portraits, since that was one of her main subjects, but her still lifes and other portaits were well represented too; there was a good sampling from all periods of her painting. There are a lot of paintings that pertain to her accident and to her miscarriage/medical abortions as the result of it. And yes, they are the most graphic and disturbing ones, but very poignant and emotional as well. I like art that makes me ‘feel’!

    No flash photography allowed, so it wasn’t really worth trying, and I already have a big coffee table book with most of the paintings in it.

    I became interested in her art about 15 years ago– I saw the double self-portrait of her holding her own hand, and it was just so striking and sad that I wanted to find out more about the artist. There is an incredible documentary that was out years before the movie version, and it intrigued me even more. When you can actually see her work close up, the detail and artistry is truly astounding– her subjects may be crude but her skills are not. I guess what speaks to me is that every woman I have ever met has some broken places inside of her, and Frida expressed that universal experience better than anyone I have ever seen. Her work is very, very woman-centric– a man could never paint that particular kind of pain. Her incredible strength in the face of so many devastating blows inspires and speaks to me. I would never see her as a role model, she made some very self-destructive choices especially with her heart, but she had a strong, triumphant spirit and I respond to that every time. I do love survivors.

  9. LindaB

    Wow! Now I’ve gotta find that documentary! I’d LOVE to see some of her art close up! We’re going to Chicago in September again (hubby is going to the tool show and I’m tagging along), and I always spend one day at the Chicago Art Institute. I don’t remember a Frida Kahlo being there before, but maybe they’ll have at least one this year. I hope so!

  10. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Gracious, Linda, I wish I were going with you and hubby….I would love to run around Chicago looking for art and wonderful places to eat…..because Chicago has a grand supply of both. I am impressed with this woman even though I feel illiterate for not having heard of her before now. What was the reason behind her bad choices in life? I suspect, as an artist, her heart ruled her always, with no regard for introspect. Her life and all of her being seems so terribly sad to me. I’d be interested to know her as a survivor….what kind of survivor? Any place on the internet I could “read” about her?

  11. tori

    Momma Lloyd, here’s a link to kind of a basic short biography/overview of her:


    Her art is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. And there is definitely a whole ‘cult of Frida-worshippers’ out there that have identified so intensely with her work that it’s kind of creepy! I guess anything that visceral is going to provoke strong reactions, both good and bad. Again, I don’t want to model my life after her or anything, I just think her story is so intriguing and her paintings are remarkable. She was a product of her times, yet she bucked the status quo on many levels. She was a political activist who wanted all people to be free, yet she willingly emotionally enslaved herself with a lifelong obsession with a man who loved and admired her in his way, but was also capable of having destructive numerous affairs including one with Frida’s own younger sister. But like I said, it is her refusal to let her hardships destroy her that I admire. And she took her pain and turned it into art.

    A really good documentary is one that PBS did a number of years ago called “The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo”.

  12. auburn60

    ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is on right now. I’m just saying.

  13. tori

    Do they mention me at all..?

  14. auburn60

    ‘Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz.'(The Wizard)

    ‘A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.'(The Wizard)

  15. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Thank you, Tori, I went to that linnk and I read with great interest. She was, at the very least, a tremendously facinating woman. While her life is terribly sad, I found it hard to pity her because she had such strength….from childhood right up until the time she went to her exhibit by ambulance and had her bed waiting for her….and actually past that time when she decided to take her own life. She did it her way…..regardless of her circumstances along the way. She worked people and made a bad thing turn her way in the end. Except for children, which I suspect either the lack of molded her into what she became or she had reconciled herself to never having them…she lived her life exactly as she willed. A tragic story of a woman in my eyes….but I seriously doubt that she ever really thought of herself in that way. Because I believe she secretely used her weakness to get her way many times and herein lies part of her strengths. Oh my, I could go on and on but I’ve gone overtime already. People like this intrigue me.

  16. tori

    You nailed it, Momma Lloyd! It IS a fascinating story, full of contradictions and unanswered questions, tragic and violent, but somehow, transcendant and strangely hopeful.

  17. gracelynn

    Good gracious…I go to a summer conference for a week and come back to plenty of fine reading. LOL I’m so glad you had a better time on your trip than I did on mine. Our summer conference was NOT the best one I’ve ever been to by far this year. But it did give me an excuse to go to three singings so…..LOL And the school paid me to drive to one of them since it was in the same town as the conference. Cannot complain there. ;) (And it also gave me the opportunity in between classes to go shopping at JC Penney’s and Goody’s and bone up on my fall wardrobe for the classroom. However, I didn’t find any cool socks like you did! ;) But I did get some good sales!)

    Hope Madi’s enjoying the time with her Dad on the road. It will give her precious memories for years to come, I’m sure.

  18. timeholder


    You are still, as always ‘da BOMB!!!!

    I just thought you’d like to know that when I read Darrell’s blog about playing for Russ at the funeral, I got to say, “yeah, me and Russ…like this (imagine the index and middle finger stuck together).” Darrell is actually my boss. I’m a full time worship pastor here at Fellowship Bible Church and we have a BLAST. Hope you are all doing well. I as so happy to see your sweet face. Been WAY to long. You look just like you. I look just like…well…OLD!!!!!

    Tim Holder

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