Jack London Square - Earth Spirit sculpture
My firstday at the SGAA summer conference started at the hotel restaurant. I really like the way American's can do breakfast - an entire coffee jug to myself! The hotel buffet wasn't exactly cheap, however it was one of the most well presented with the largest variety, I'd seen in a long while, with the freshest and most sumptuous fruit.
The SGAA gathering place was still very desolate and signage kept to a minimum. Three members panels hung lonely in the large foyer along with one fused glass sculpture. Had I not bumped into Katei, I would have had a hard time getting my bearings or timing, for the rest of the day. I certainly would have missed the provided lunch. Registration wasn't to happen until tomorrow, so I had way of knowing who else was with the SGAA. I wasn't the only one with this sense of a wasted opportunity to meet, share and otherwise engage in other activities.
I decided to wander down to Jack London Square. A short walk in the bright morning light, though there was a distinct haze. The smoke from the fires was evident, however today the air quality was still good. The hotel was well positioned, old Oakland with it's exquisite architecture just around the corner, the walk fringed China town and the market district, crossing over numerous train tracks, I arrived at the square. At this time of the day, it was lazy and warming to the sun. Workers started the morning activities that would prepare for the day. This had all the feelings of a tourist area, shops that didn't open until 11:am, bars and restaurants overlooking the water, large patios and seating areas for summer markets, music or performances. And the construction. Building after building, new or being renovated. The bustle of the crews and the sounds of the boats moored made for a riotous symphony.
I arrived back in time to meet a few of my fellow class mates and to enjoy a very nicely packed lunch. The excitement of getting started in everyones faces, we were soon across the hall looking for Helmut Schardt and dalle de verre…