The humble park bench

It’s spring break this week for my oldest, so at his suggestion we headed out on monday to the California Academy of Sciences. We’ve been before and he just loves the aquarium and the albino crocodile. How can you not? He and his younger brother enjoyed it all from the chameleon that dutifully caught a fly for us right on cue, to the leafy sea dragon that cruises around looking for all the world like its name sake.  The highlight for them was the earthquake exhibit complete with a shaking room. I am not sure they got the message — they seem to think that if an earthquake goes on for long enough you’ll have time to secure your paintings before they fall off the walls. Oh well.

It’s amazing what you can create with $500 million – and with a $30 entrance fee per person on top of that.  But the highlight for me was a little simpler. Around the back they are creating a redwood habitat with new plantings of coast redwood, ferns and shrubs. The center piece is one of the nicest park benches I have seen. Carved from a single log, it has three notches cut for love seats with the displaced wood carefully placed as a foot stool. It shows that smart design doesn’t have to cost the Earth — and in this instance, admission to these park benches is even free!

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Park Bench at the Cal Academy of Sciences

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