Monday, February 03, 2014

The Exploratorium

During the Christmas holiday I visited the Exploratorium at its new embarcadero location. The new building preserves the museum's industrial feel & maker aesthetic but does not have the makeshift feel of the old location. It is vast, & there was more than enough to keep my young museum companions engrossed for a full day. I was impressed by the deceptively simple design of some pretty sophisticated exhibits, such as the high-speed camera that captures the visitor's face in a falling drop of water. My 13-year-old companion was especially eager to watch the cow eye dissection, & he took many photographs with the goal of grossing out his father later. The museum was crowded, & we had to be patient if there was a particular exhibit we really wanted to play with.

Many exhibits are artsy than rather than scientific, like Scott Weaver's immense kinetic model of San Francisco, constructed from toothpicks. Fujiko Nakaya's Fog Bridge clearly delighted those who crossed it & were enveloped in its heavy mist. The Exploratorium's food service got a major upgrade. The upscale cafeteria has a sushi bar & a waterfront view. Museum admission is not cheap, so request the special rate for Bay Area residents.

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