November 21, 2015
October 30, 2015: Just got back from Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39. It was v lively and all lit up. The famous carousel was there of course. Had some seafood for dinner. I took the muni metro even tho I have an awful sense of direction – I made it back to the hotel. I came to SF for the first time when my daughter was a tiny little baby and my son was 5 or 6. I remember going to the SF MoMA and falling in love with Mark Rothko. I bought a poster of his work. It still hangs in our house. I wanted to visit the museum again but it’s closed until May 2016. Oh well, next time inshallah.
October 31: One of my favorite things in SF – the Yerba Buena Gardens. I was blown away by them the first time I came to SF – we just happened upon them while looking for the SF MOMA. The Yerba Buena Center was considered an urban blight and scheduled for demolition in the 1970s, however, locals including some retired labor activists stopped the demolition, and plans for building a sports arena had to be shelved. The Gardens’ focal point is the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. It’s a 20 feet high, 50 feet wide majestic waterfall, furnished with glass panels inscribed with Dr King’s powerful words. Reading “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream” as one is surrounded by a thundering waterfall can be an emotional experience. The memorial speaks to Dr King’s remarkable energy, courage and vision. The strength and simplicity of the granite, the unquestionable force of the waterfall, the elegance of MLK’s words, their translation into the languages of San Francisco’s thirteen international sister cities, as well as in Arabic and African dialects, photographic images etched in glass of Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and of course the overwhelming roar of the water, all combine to transport one to another world. It’s one of the most fitting memorials I’ve ever visited. Later that evening, I went to see “Beach Blanket Babylon” at Club Fugazi. It’s SF’s famous pop-culture musical revue, with spectacular costumes, gigantic hats, and a surprising dose of liberal politics. My friend Huma picked me up later that evening. We had an excellent Italian dinner at Original Joe’s in North Beach, walked around Coit Tower and then headed to her house in Menlo Park.
November 1: Wonderful screening of A Thin Wall at CineArts in Palo Alto. The film looked and sounded beautiful. That’s so important to me! It was shown in a huge theatre. A large number of people attended the screening and Q&A, which was followed by a panel discussion organized by The 1947 Partition Archive, out of Berkeley. One of the best parts was being able to connect with so many incredible women – filmmakers, academics, archivists, reporters, activists, women with their own histories of partition. Thank u Anuj Vaidya for organizing everything with such ease and brilliance and thank u Huma Dar for being such an amazing host, friend and inspiration. I’m loving the West coast!
November 2: Small but lovely screening at Berkeley today. Thx Huma and Paola for making it happen and thx Abdullah, my dear friends Umar and Arjumand’s son, who attended in spite of exams and a busy student life, and made me a v happy auntie :)
SF’s famous cable cars
halloween in chinatown
crepe with ghirardelli chocolate filling
MLK memorial, yerba buena gardens
contemporary jewish museum
beach blanket babylon
with a reporter for india abroad
huma dar, guneeta bhalla, mara ahmed
lunch at berkeley
huma, abdullah, mara and paola