Magazine article Sunset

Dazzled

Magazine article Sunset

Dazzled

Article excerpt

San Francisco has held an Oz-like quality for me since childhood. When I was growing up in rural Sonoma County, 50 miles away, the glimmering city was just far enough away to be both magically "other" and accessible.

My first memory of reaching Oz was on a school field trip to the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences. In a typically literal 7-year-old's view, I expected to see a giant fish tank the size of our town library, and was disappointed when the bus pulled up in front of an old, ordinary-looking building. But once inside, the wonders of the natural world unfolded so dramatically that I declared the place my favorite part of San Francisco for years after. So I was a bit sad to hear in 2004 that the building was going to be torn down and rebuilt.

Still, I watched with fascination as thousands of animals were temporarily moved out for the remodel: penguins loaded in lined dog carriers; snakes in dark, cozy canvas bags; "wetter" animals in tanks. Then news slowly emerged of the Academy's transformation. This past summer, our travel editors were invited to sneak a peek at the only place in the world with an aquarium, a planetarium, and a natural history museum all under one otherworldly roof. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.