Hamon Observation Tower at the DeYoung Museum

In the middle of Golden Gate Park, in the middle of San Francisco, there is a museum. And in that museum, there is a tower. From this tower, you can see all the way to the ocean, both bridges, and the entire city unfurling its asphalt tendrils below.

This place is the Hamon Observation Tower at the DeYoung Museum.

At the bottom of the tower, before you get on the elevator to ascend to the View, a small room contains my personal favorite exhibition of the museum’s permanent collection: the sculpture of local artist Ruth Asawa. The lighting of each piece silhouettes the impossibly perfect fine lines of her work in dramatic detail against pockmarked stone walls.

At the top of the elevator, the cool stone transforms to a smooth, glossy wooden surface, with floor-to-ceiling glass allowing uninterrupted viewing of the park and city below.

On sunny days, the horizon seems an infinity away. On rainy days, like this one, it feels like i am in my own personal terrarium of San Francisco. The sculptured gardens beneath me drip with fallen rain, but the chill of the moving fog never penetrates the glass. On days like this, especially, i often have the tower to myself, and the only thing missing is a hot cup of tea.