CONNECTICUT TO CHICAGO

CONNECTICUT TO CHICAGO

Marriott Courtyard Bistro

Marriott Courtyard Bistro

It took us about twelve hours by car to reach Mishawaka, Indiana. The Marriott Courtyard there was our overnight stop. We were impressed with the cleanliness, comfort and hospitality of the Marriott, the hosts and Gjorgy Baumann, Manager, charming, I might add. We were told they will be renovating soon and will have new everything. I thought the place was pretty terrific already. They even had a Bistro for light dining and breakfast. But our favorite to dine is Papa Vinno’s, an Italian foodery, as good as any in New York City, right across the street. After a delightful breakfast at the Bistro, Chicago was less than two hours from Mishawaka.

Lake view from our Chicago hotel room

Lake view from our Chicago hotel room

Tom had a business conference to attend for the week. I used the time to work on my writing. We visited family once. When Tom was done with his business we took the time to go to Millennium Park. That was the highlight of our trip. Here are some of the photos.

June 23rd big moon from our hotel room over the lake

June 23rd big moon from our hotel room over the lake

The Buckingham Fountain is a taxi ride away.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

Then we went over to Millennium Park.

Millennium Park hosts

Millennium Park hosts

This was a water park within Millennium Park

This was a water park within Millennium Park

Sculptures of all sorts, architectural concert area by Frank Gehry. The Bean . . .

The Bean

The Bean (More to come about this amazing scuplture)

I will talk about this and my other photos next week. Too many for today.

Gail and one of the sculptures

Gail and one of the sculptures

Have you been to Chicago? What’s your favorite there? Has anyone written a romance there?

OLDIE BUT GOODIE

OLDIE BUT GOODIE

Pediment and clock on top of the station of the Grand Central

A bronze shrine of Cornelius Vanderbilt on top of the station of the Grand Central

Who was really responsible for train travel? He was a ruthless, difficult man, who was responsible for the beginning of a major method of travel in America. He set a way to roll through cities and towns with his railroads. I have a connection with him because he was involved with the museum where I am a trustee, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut, but he, as the mortgager of the Mansion, sold the house to the Mathews family after the house went into foreclosure. (more…)

BLUE LAGOON

BLUE LAGOON

Blue Lagoon in Fall Oil by Ingis Claus

Blue Lagoon in Fall.
Oil by Gail Ingis Claus

Once a reservoir, the blue Lagoon offers many moods,  many views, much beauty. This lake is the kind you swim across, peddle through, fish for fun. There’s an association that was formed in 1952 when a local developer purchased Samp Mortar Lake from the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company. I walk around the lake everyday while I spot the ducks, the geese and the birds flit over the deep, dark, blue vast space. It’s the kind of lake that has a glass like appearance, sometimes black glass, sometimes blue, reflecting the trees, reflecting the docks, reflecting the boats of color at the edges. (more…)

MORE CHEESECAKE . . . WELL SORT OF!

MORE CHEESECAKE . . . WELL SORT OF!

cheesecake factory philadelphiaIn her latest Changing Skyline column, Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, whose taste is impeccable, calls the building coming to the 15th and Walnut “visually sublime,” “intellectually rich” and “sophisticated.” Best of all, she says the all-glass, three-story cube will be “one of the city’s finest new buildings.” Not exactly what comes to mind when you think “Cheesecake Factory.”The building has been designed by Apple Store architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which has deliberately given this building some weight to make it work within the context of the other buildings on the corner. “Most glass buildings are riffs on lightness,” Saffron writes, “but here the architects intentionally emphasize the thickness of the transparent skin by making deep cuts into the surface.” The firm’s most well-known Philadelphia projects are the Liberty Bell Center and the adaptive reuse LEED-certified renovation of the 30th Street Post Office. It was the recipient of the Good Design Is Good Business Lifetime Achievement Award this year.The building has not been designed specifically for the Cheesecake Factory; the chain signed on after it was planned by Midwood Investment & Development. The Factory will occupy the second floor, with ground-floor retail to occupy the first (as well as other floors). Japanese apparel company UNIQLO will be one of the tenants. Whatever that turns out to be, the building itself will clearly be an architectural jewel.• Changing Skyline: New Cheesecake Factory at 15th and Walnut: A creamy-rich glass boxDo you like the new architecture? A glass box with character. What do you think? Is it worth a trip to Philadelphia?

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