Yesterday Kim and I went to the Coyote Point Museum, a big environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation center on the peninsula around Burlingame. The museum's exhibit hall is an elaborately-constructed path that climbs up two stories, taking you through different climate ranges in Northern California and talking about the way the ecosystems operate, the way humans tend to break them, and the way humans could fix them. Part of me suspects the narrative they tell could only be told in this area or another "liberal" part of the country; I know politicians back in Tampa would have raised a high and mighty stink about an exhibit outright saying that development, from water use to mining to forestry, can and should be done more responsibly than it has been. But that's a topic for another time (upon which I've already wasted ten minutes by starting, and stopping, musings that could have gone here).
That's part of the museum. The other part are wildlife exhibits, created because Coyote Point is actually a wildlife rehabilitation center as well. Some animals they take in are judged by their veterinarians to be non-releasable, and those end up making their home there. An aviary is under reconstruction right now, but they do have river otters, skunks, raccoons, two gray foxes, a bobcat, and--yes--a coyote. Not too surprisingly, I spent more time watching the coyote than the other animals (some of whom were hiding, either from the unusually hot day or from the sounds of the loud picnic with the mariachi band).
Afterward, Kim and I wandered through part of San Mateo to see what was there--as seems usual for towns here, there's a little downtown area with a surprising number of restaurants and a few eclectic shops, in this case incuding a book shop specializing in mysteries and a Japanese home furnishing and gift store whose sign read "Home Decor / Gifts / Anime & Toys."
I did visit the San Francisco Center for the Book with Kim on Saturday as well, in a more industrial section of San Francisco--not a particularly unfriendly-seeming one, and one that has, wonder of wonders, ample free parking. The Center itself turns out to be more of a workshop for people practicing the arts of hand binding and letterpress. It's worth learning more about, but the visit was more intriguing than informative. My collection of books on publishing also arrived over the weekend, though--so I have more homework ahead of me.