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Review: California Academy of Science

October 23, 2008

You should thank me. No really, you should. Why, you ask? Because I did a test run of the much-hyped about Academy of Science so that you didn’t have to. I now bring you some of the lessons I learned, the hard way:

1. First and foremost: put off visiting the museum for say, ohhhh, another TWO YEARS. This is a perfect time to use one of my new favorite words- CLUSTERFUCK. This segues nicely into my next points…

2. Buy your tickets online. Skip the massive lines and waltz right in. Unfortunately we were not aware that we could buy tickets online, and apparently neither did most of the other suckers waiting in line with us judging on their similar lamentations.

3. Go early. We arrived around 1:30 and by that time the planetarium was full for the day and there was a line for the rainforest as long as the trees were tall.

4. Go on any day but a Sunday. Luckily a savvy friend let us know before we left that no cars are allowed to drive through Golden Gate Park on Sundays. This created much suckage.

Despite my complaints, I am a firm believer in seeing the best of things… especially when paying more than $20 for anything. Yeah, anything. So I will not hesitate to say that YES this place is definitely worth going to, and I will certainly be returning at some point or another. Being a design nerd, the thing most worth gawking at was the building itself. Although smaller than I was originally expecting, it nonetheless amazed me. The aquarium spans the entire underground floor, and the green roof is accompanied by several museum staff on hand to provide you with mildly interesting trivia… for example, did you know that the seven domes on the roof are meant to represent the seven hills of San Francisco? Huh. Me neither.

Also, I am a fan of food. Probably more than design. So while I was endlessly stoked to see the cafe filled with cheery red Eames chairs (with the Eiffel base, no less) I was more enthralled with the opportunity to eat Squid Spaghetti with Ink Sauce. I think that really made my day, not gonna lie. They also have a bougie restaurant called the Moss Room, and food vendors in the main courtyard and outback selling a bevy of beers and such treats as hot dogs and gumbo- to appeal to every type I suppose. Personally, all that time in the aquarium got me in the mood for seafood.

A similar review can be found at the undoubtedly more professional blog of one Mr. Christopher Correa, new friend and fellow museum-goer. Hailing from DC, Chris deserves a welcome and a big thank you for being good natured enough to tolerate some touristy, overpriced sightseeing.

One more thing. To end this on a good note, let me leave you with this wonderful little link to the Museum’s PeguinCam:
http://www.calacademy.org/webcams/penguins/

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