Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's Fountain Destination - San Francisco

Here we go! Turn off your home water fountain, pack your small, portable battery operated water fountain into your suitcase and hit the road for....

San Francisco! A wonderfully accessible city that may be walked from end to end, if you're in good aerobic/ physical shape Or, you may be conveniently moved about via public transportation (be sure to secure a Metro map). Several water fountains and Falls are scattered throughout the area and are listed in no particular order.


Check out the Relief Map Fountain, designed by Ruth Asawa and located between Grand Hyatt and Union Square. A map of the city in stylized relief form forms the base of this water feature. Can you find your location at the fountain on the map?

Lotta Crabtree was imensly popular as San Francisco's diva, and never forgot the city that paid for her trademark cigars. She was wealthy enough at the tender age of 28 to commission an ornate, cast-metal pillar (triple her small size) with a spigot fountain as a present to the people of San Francisco in 1875. It is located at the intersection of Geary and Kearny .

A popular and useful meeting point during and following the 1906 earthquake and fire, it was the only source of water downtown. Annually, a commemoration is held there at the time the quake struck: 5:12 a.m. on April 18.

There is the "Vaillancourt Fountain" downtown at Justin Herman Plaza and Four Embarcadero Center, between the Ferry Building and the foot of Market Street. The fountain was created by Quebec-born sculptor Armand Vaillancourt. When the artist inscribed it with graffiti "Qu├ębec libre!" on the eve of its unveiling in 1971 it has since acquired that nickname.

POPOS - Privately-Owned-Public-Open-Spaces -- small tucked away spots are quite popular with both locals and visitors. In one of them, you'll find the Kinetic Fountain in the lobby of 343 Sansome Street (Photo © BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons). This intricate fountain by Belgian sculptor Pol Bury features floating metal balls.

While you're there, take the elevator up to the 15 th floor where you'll find a public roof garden with a view that features tables and chairs, benches, olive trees and ledge seating along granite planters. You'll aslo conveniently find a reataurant there.

In the financial district downtown, next to the iconic pyramid known as the Transamerica Building, don't miss the Transamerica Redwood Park. There are two delightfully-themed fountains, one called the Frogs and the other the Puddle Jumpers that depicts children, holding hands poised in mid-air, ready to jump into the water - both tucked away among a stand of Redwood trees.

The fountain located in the One Bush Plaza is both dramatic and contemplative. (Photo © BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons)

There are also a couple water features that a video best serves:

Look fo the waterfall near the 525 Market Street building (next to Chipotle) in the Financial District.


There is also waterfall-type fountain in Levi's Plaza.

Finally, there is a very dramatic water feature in Yerba Buena Gardens - The Martin Luther King Memorial fountain and waterfall. It is the second largest Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in the US next to the King Center in Atlanta, GA and is special in may ways, but one way in particular as relates to fountains -



- you can walk behind the water!


I hope you will enjoy these and the other fountains in the city. After a day of sight-seeing and delicious meals at any of the awesome ethnic, Italian, Russian or Asian or the many fresh-right-off-the-boat seafood restaurants, I'm sure that you;ll be glad that you brought along your stress-relieving battery-operated fountain as you unwind in your roon at night.

When you return home to your fountain, remember it is your own display of kinetic art and appreciate it for the remarkable synthesis of technology and spontaneous creativity it truly is.

My next Fountain Destination - Portland, OR

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