I am sitting in the lobby of the hospital at UCSF’s new campus at Mission Bay, waiting. This place is the strangest amalgam of the elegant and the crude. In the surgery waiting room, a relatively small space that seats a couple of dozen people, there are three wide-screen TVs along one wall. They sit about 3 feet apart. All three are turned on, to different channels. Thus, I find myself downstairs in the quiet lobby, where I shall spend the next 10 hours.
These buildings are beautiful, their fixtures state-of-the-art. There is artwork all over the place, some of it stunning, some obviously the output of physician-photographers. Here in the lobby is a mural, two stories high and about 10 feet wide, a digital photo representing tree branches with leaves and buds. It is comprised of five panels, assembled to form a vertical pent-tych, if that is a word. At this scale, you can see the sharpening artifact from across the street. Some of the buds must have moved during the exposure: they are outlined in blue, something the photographer apparently did not see a need to fix. Up close, one notices the luminance noise has been removed, replaced with a fine Photoshop grain. Elsewhere, upstairs in the waiting rooms and hallways, are less ambitious, framed photographs and paintings, some really excellent. I’ll probably walk around later to look.
I went to the cafeteria, but it wasn't very good. There are also two coffee stands that serve a decent-tasting beverage that nevertheless fails to wake me. It’s not decaf...I don’t know what the problem is. Fortunately, there is a cafe two blocks down with good coffee and a couple of decent sandwiches. I sat there this morning and fed a pigeon. Maybe I’ll hang there this afternoon. The doctors all wrote down my cell phone number, are supposed to call me with updates. I would go home to sleep, but I have been asked to contribute karma from closer range. Om.