“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
The Financial District is notable for its iconic buildings and stupefying sculpture. Plopped in front of the former headquarters of the Bank of America at 555 California is a 200-ton black granite block officially titled Transcendance, but better known locally as "The Banker's Heart." A few blocks over, the iconic, skyline-defining Transamerica Pyramid looms over a tiny urban redwood grove populated by bronze frogs. The Ferry Building was restored after the 1989 earthquake and reinvented as San Francisco's gourmet central, with boutique food shops, award-winning restaurants and, a pioneering local, organic farmer's market. Near the Ferry Building is the 1971 brutalist Vallaincourt Fountain that locals often debate: does it look more like plumbing or entrails? When U2's Bono graffitied "Rock and roll stops the traffic" on it, even the artist Armand Vaillancourt approved it as an improvement.