I was in Atlanta a week ago. Not being home meant I fell behind on podcasts and television. I was already behind on newspaper comics from a trip to Albuquerque and a part time job before that, now I’m more than six weeks behind. But today was the public grand opening of the new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. I had to go – you know how I like science museums and aquariums; the free admission was just a bonus. I’ve been going there for years, but never visited it in its Howard Street location, now it is back in the park, all redesigned and special. I still want a job there, but can’t get one.
Anyway, I planned the trip yesterday. The website said they opened at 9:30am. I knew there would be loads of people, so I planned to be there extra early. I left home at 8:30am, getting to the park vicinity by 9:10am (early Saturday morning means little traffic). I was expecting most people to be local residents and to take public transportation. However, cars were everywhere, such that it took me 50 minutes to find a spot 17 blocks away from the park entrance, which is still another walk to the museum entrance. By the time I got to the entrance at 10:15am, there was a mile long line (that is no exaggeration) around the building and through more of Golden Gate Park. I found a guy in front directing Academy members to form groups for expedited admission (I would join, but I really can’t afford the $99 membership fee). He said the line was at least two hours long and that they already closed the line, such that even those in line were not guaranteed entry. So I wasted 2 hours of driving and parking and $5 in bridge toll (not mentioning gasoline).
All I could do was walk around the booths and try to get some free stuff. I got a license plate frame from WildCare, which is actually something I could use. Back in 1996, some lady ran into the front of my car, shredding the license plate, which put the car into the shop, which meant I couldn’t use it to drive and transport cargo to Southern California for my sister’s wedding. But I digress. I wanted something as a leg guard. I bought a cheap border a couple months after the collision, which was loose and flappy, but it did the job in preventing tetanus. This frame should work much better. I also got a recyclable plastic cup made of corn from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which was promoting tap water as a green commodity (vs environmentally unfriendly bottled water). Actually, I just kept the cup instead of throwing it in the recycling bin, everyone could take one and sample tap water. Both items combined were not worth the trip. Neither was the overpriced pulled pork sandwich ($8, really? And $2 for a can of soda?).
I couldn’t even get any good pictures of the day, total dissapointment all around. I ended up heading home around 2pm. I spent all that time getting there, I figured I should spend an equal time there.
From across the concourse, in front of the de Young Museum (also a future visit):