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June 20, 2004
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From journal SFO
by Cheryl Morgan
March 13, 2001
The Gardens exist on either side of Howard Street on top of the (underground) Moscone Convention Centre. To the north of Howard is a beautiful park with a splendid water sculpture memorial to Martin Luther King and a small, open-air theatre. Despite being hemmed in by the vast bulks of the Metreon, the Museum of Modern Art and a bunch of hotels the park has a wonderful air of tranquillity. On a warm summer's day office workers from blocks around come there to eat their lunch.
South of Howard is the kids area. There is a playground, a small science museum (called Zeum) and, best of all, a fabulous old carrousel. The latter has had a chequered history. It was hand carved in 1906 by Charles Looff of Rhode Island. The carrousel was originally intended for San Francisco but, due to the earthquake, got diverted to Luna Park in Seattle. In 1911 Luna Park burned down, but the carrousel was saved and brought to Playland-at-the-Beach in San Francisco. That park closed in 1972, and the carrousel moved to Long Beach where it worked near the Queen Mary until it was rescued and brought home again in 1998.
For older kids the area also includes a bowling alley and ice rink. Not really my cup of tea, but ideal if you like that sort of thing. In fact I find it hard to think of any sort of taste that the area doesn't cater for.
From journal South of Market: the new San Francisco