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This gleaming, mirror-walled, glass-enclosed cylinder seats 2,743 and the acoustics are phenomenal. If the minimalist look of the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall is somewhat disquieting, given the Beaux Arts look of the rest of the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, never mind. Like the symphony itself, the 9,000 pipes of the Ruffati organ that looms behind the stage makes quite a statement.
Desai Matta Gallery occupies the main building at SoMa's California Institute of Integral Studies. The art gallery showcases works of some renowned as well as upcoming artists, photographers and handicraft professionals to a varied and an engaging audience of the Bay Area and beyond. In the past, it has played venue to some arresting hand-made displays by Krenov Foundation. This particular exhibition showcased hand-carved furniture items made by the students of College of the Redwoods. Alongside, it has also hosted works of acclaimed photographers and painters like Tomiko Jones and Kei Ito, among others.
At one time this beautiful area in Hayes Valley was scarred by the lanes of the Central Highway. The highway has since been demolished and in its place is Patricia's Green. Renamed for the local community activist Patricia Walkup (it was previously known as Hayes Green), this urban oasis represents many of the ideas that she fought for. With a play area for kids and unique installations of local art put forth by the Hayes Valley Art Coalition, this park delivers a rest from the bustle of the city. Nearby cafes make this neighborhood commons area a fun retreat for the day.