Category: Milan - AM Musings
 
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Brera Museum Handrail - Milan, Italy
 

Continuing my exploration of handrails, here is one at the Brera Museum in Milan.  Filled with important renaissance masterpieces, it is probably the most important museum in Milan.  This handrail bracket is fanciful and ornate in a good way.  
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Lamentation Over the Dead Christ Andrea Mantegna 1480
My personal favorite painting in the Brera is the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna c. 1480.  It show a complete mastery of foreshortening, perspective, and emotion.  A great masterpiece, it is only one of many in the museum.

 
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Stonestown Galleria - San Francisco
Problems with my iphone took me to the Apple Store in the Stonestown Galleria on 19th Avenue near Lake Merced.  Coming out of the escalator I snapped this picture of the main galleria atrium.  Built in 1952, Stonestown was the first shopping mall in San Francisco and one of the first in California.   Typical of the mall design of 1950's, you could drive and park next to the stores and here was  no interior pedestrian street that is common in malls today.  The pedestrian atrium above was formerly a "street" with parking.

Fading in popularity, Stonestown Shopping Mall was completely redesigned in 1987 enclosing the street with a sky-lit pedestrian area and re-christened the Stonestown Galleria.  Its a popular alternative to downtown shopping for people traveling on the west side of town.  Located next to San Francisco State University, Lowell High School and across the street from Mercy High School, it's a popular hang out for teens. 


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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan
 

 You might think the sky-lit atrium shopping mall was a 20th century invention, but it has been done before and done quite well.  Perhaps the most compelling is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan where the main axis fronts on the  main square in Milan -- the Piazza del Duomo with the Teatra alla Scala on the other side of the piazza.  Built in 1861, the industrial revolution in Europe made light airy cast iron steel structures like this possible.  Inspired by this magnificent space, architects designed new  "Gallerias" everywhere.  This is the original.
 
 
Yesterday I was at the Asian Art Museum and the Main Library in San Francisco's Civic Center.  The library is right next to Market Street so I decided to take a bus home.
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I see one of the historic trollies clink-clanging down Market Street, this one bright orange  -- a restored beauty from Milan -- the F line.  I hop on.  I decide to ride to the end of the line.  The polished dark wood puts me in another time and placed.  The F line starts in North Beach and ends at Castro Street.

I think about the lives of those who have stepped up for a ride. Going home or in seach of something?