Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

San Francisco Sparkle: The Spinning Monkey Zoetrope

The Bay Area brims with light-up wonders, including this Exploratorium-close artwork.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    mike-orso.com
    "Homourobos," a 22-foot-tall zoetrope, is outside San Francisco's Exploratorium. Want to see the monkey-swinging artwork? It's there through December.

    GOLDEN STATE AGLOW: Interesting objects lit after dark? We get that 'round these parts. The Hollywood Sign, at one time, was easy to spot the whole night through, and the top of the U.S. Bank Tower traditionally goes green and red each December. But it turns out a certain neighbor city to our north is really doing it up in the light-by-night department, courtesy of a bevy of brilliant, bulb-laden, atwinkle artworks. If you're thinking we're referring to San Francisco, you'd be correct, and if you're thinking we're going to start out here with the Bay Lights, well, ding ding ding. But there are a number of other iridescent, shimmery, and blinky things to see around the city, beyond its sparkling span

    BUT... we must start there because the Bay Lights has been a bit of a boon, and rightly so. After all, how many tourists venture to a city not just to see a bridge, but how it lights up at night? Yeah, people are doing that in pretty drove-y type numbers. Nice.

    BEYOND THE BRIDGE... though? There's lots to see. Peter Hudson's "Homouroboros" got an extended stay at the Exploratorium. Yep, you can see the swinging monkey zoetrope -- why thank you for asking, we did indeed mean to type the words "swinging monkey zoetrope" -- outside the Pier 15 institution during the daytime, but, by night? The strobes turn on. So make that a "strobe-lit swinging monkey zoetrope." It's there, wowing visitors, truly, through the end of the year.

    ALSO... Future's Past, a tree-topped green-glow sculpture full of evocative mystery, will be in the city through spring. If you think you might have seen it at Burning Man a few years back, you'd be 100% correct. For more illuminated wonderment and places to find glowing nighttime art, check out the handy list provided by the nice San Francisco visitor association people.