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Posts tagged ‘USA’

A Day in Old San Juan

As the weather cools and Fall takes over, folks in the north start to daydream about the Caribbean for a sun-filled weekend away.  While I’ve never been much of a beach person, I recently took a quick trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico and enjoyed it.  The old town was lovely to wander through, I enjoyed the historic fortresses, and the public beaches were relaxing.  While Puerto Rico’s status as an American territory makes travel there easier, the unique local culture and cuisine made it feel like I was exploring another country.

beach, San Juan, PR

Pretty and relaxing beach in San Juan

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Gilded Age Decorative Arts: Chicago’s Driehaus Museum

front entry Driehaus Museum

Magnificant marble front entrance to the Driehaus Museum

Nothing captures the artistic spirit of an era like a historic home.  Through a coherent assemblage of architectural elements, furniture, and decor, you can get an absolute understanding of a period’s design principles.  I recently visited the Driehaus Museum in Chicago which presents within its luxurious rooms the evolving American decorative arts of the Gilded Age.  This mansion is also a startlingly beautiful oasis in the modern business center of Chicago and definitely worth a visit!

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Sculpting with Glass: The Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

A few years ago I had the opportunity in Boston to see a traveling exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass installations while they awaited construction of their permanent home in Seattle.  I’m really fascinated by how Chihuly’s conceptualizes and builds his pieces and so I was excited to see these works this December at the Seattle Center in the completed Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Layers in a sea of Chihuly glass

Layers of brilliant glass in the “Mille Fiori” exhbit

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Discovery – Or Why I Love Street Art

Hopefully you’ve been following Banksy’s month long residency and outdoor exhibit in New York City this month.  Without even touching the somewhat provocative messages of this pieces, there is something really fun about this style of guerrilla street art.  I wish I could be hunting his new pieces each morning! I love the thrill of discovery and that moment of personal appreciation and enjoyment in front of clandestine art.  There is no gallery, no reviews of the show and no artist to hear your praise (or criticism).  Street artists create art out of their own creative need and to hopefully make us think as we pass their work.  I certainly appreciate street art and think it improves our urban areas.

Pasted paper street art in Cambridge, MA

Pasted paper street art in Cambridge, MA

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Rookwood Pottery Factory (& Bar?)

I’ve already mentioned that Cincinnati is known for being the home of Rookwood Pottery.  While Rookwood pottery today is produced in a modern facility, the original factory is still available for visits.  The only catch is that the plant responsible for classic American Arts & Crafts design is now a restaurant and bar which gives you the rare opportunity to eat in a kiln!

A kiln in the dining room of the Rookwood Bar & Restaurant.

A kiln in the dining room of the Rookwood Bar & Restaurant.

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