Philip Johnson’s Glass House Sculpture Gallery Re-Opens (+ Photos)

In August of 2015 I went to Philip Johnson’s Glass House with Sal, as a part of a wild week-and-a-half trip around art and architecture sites in Upstate New York. We were unable to visit the sculpture gallery in full, because it was being renovated. I’ve just heard that it’s open again, however – perhaps another trip is warranted?

Have you been to the Glass House? Will you be planning a trip now that the sculpture gallery is open?

Here are some of the photos I took on our visit. Leave a comment to let me know: could you live in a house with glass walls, if it was secluded as this one is?

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The Glass House
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Absolute desk goals
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Andy Warhol slept here

This Weekend: Wine and Cheese on Seneca Lake

This weekend a friend and I are going to a wine and cheese event over on Seneca Lake.

This weekend the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is hosting their March Preferred Pairings event. These events are always a fun opportunity to sample local wine and local foods. The tasting starts at one winery, and then guests have the option to move on to others in the area. This month is one of my favorite combinations: wine and cheese. I’ll be heading to Lakewood Vineyards with my fellow foodie Caitlin in tow; I’m looking forward to sampling a cheese pairing from a startup that we work with, Tumino Cheese Company. Too bad the weather won’t be as nice as the pictures this time of year…

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The Lakewood Vineyards crew.

Tumino Cheese is a member company at the incubator where Caitlin and I both work, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. I love their products and I enjoy their dedication to making Italian-style cheeses here in the Finger Lakes. I also love that they’re a woman-owned business, of course! Tumino cheeses have won several regional and state awards, and they are featured at vineyards and restaurants around the Finger Lakes.

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Mariann Fessenden, Elisa Tumino-VanAmburgh, and Sue Prokop of Tumino Cheese. Photo by Sara Jean Conden, from the Auburn Citizen.

Did you know that the Finger Lakes region has over 100 wineries? The region is small, with unique microclimates around the many narrow lakes, and I think the dry whites are worth trying. If you want to learn more, check out the Finger Lakes episode of one of my favorite podcasts: Wine for Normal People. Elizabeth Schneider is a fantastic presenter and she does a great job of explaining what makes our region unique.

Stay tuned next Monday for a post about our trip to Seneca Lake. Who knows which winery we’ll decide to go to after our first stop at Lakewood? If you’ve been to the area and have a favorite we should try, leave me a comment below.

Paris for New Year’s: Day 4

The day on which we had “Parisian date night,” and when I found my most and least favorite museums of the trip.

By now, some of you may be wondering how I can write about such details from a trip we took a year and a half ago. The answer is simple: we keep a little notebook. Each morning while we ate breakfast, we recorded what we had done the day before and planned what to do on that day.  And as I said in my last post, this was about the point in the trip where I got un petit mal du gorge – a little sore throat – which lasted for the rest of the trip. Being the sweetheart that he is, Sal took it upon himself to record our activities on this day. I have a difficult time reading his handwriting, but I’ve tried to preserve his voice a bit as I describe this day.

Despite the sore throat, this day is a very fond memory. On this day, we went to what has become one of my favorite museums, we ate the best steak frites I had on the whole trip, we saw bunny rabbits, and we had some very traditional – but unusual – fun at the end of the day. Read along to see what happened.

As I said, I was a little sick this morning with a scratchy throat. We slept late and ate a nice apricot custard tart from the fridge – part of our local market haul on the first day. Then we set out to the 7th arrondissement, a neighborhood on the Left bank where embassies and aristocratic households are – including the Hôtel Biron, home of the Paris section of the Musee Rodin. The Hôtel Biron is unique in that it is fully free-standing and set back from the streets, surrounded on all sides by formal gardens instead of nestled up against an entry courtyard. Rodin lived in the hotel in the early 1900’s and was quite taken with the idea that the building should become a museum to his life’s work. To ensure this end, he left his studio, work, and papers to the city of Paris upon his death.

Continue reading “Paris for New Year’s: Day 4”

Paris for New Year’s: Day 3

Ah, our third day in Paris… henceforth to be known as the day we walked nearly 14 miles. Our combined love of museums and my own issues with anxiety and crowds bounced us around some well-known destinations: the Louvre, Angelina, the Galeries Lafayette, and the Palais Royal. We also ended the day with a very special discovery, which that has become a fond memory for both of us.

For New Year’s 2015, I went to Paris for eight days with my well-dressed partner in crime, Salvatore. I started to write it up last year but put my blog on hold for a while – so here is the rest of the series. You can start reading here.

This a longer post with many photos, because that’s what I personally enjoy in a travel blog. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer you. J’apprends le français, desole pour mes erreurs.

Ah, our third day in Paris… henceforth to be known as the day we walked nearly 14 miles. Our combined love of museums and my own issues with anxiety and crowds bounced us around some well-known destinations: the Louvre, Angelina, the Galeries Lafayette, and the Palais Royal. We also ended the day with a very special discovery, which that has become a fond memory for both of us.

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We woke early so that we could get breakfast and head to the Louvre to beat the lines. We ate at the café downstairs from our flat, La Rose de France. This charming café became our daily spot for petit dejeuner because of the extra-extra-buttery croissants, the quirky velvet décor, and the fascinating proprietor. She seemed a force to be reckoned with. I don’t have many photos of the interior because – while polite and welcoming – she seemed to notice when I had my camera out and didn’t look pleased by it. I may have misread her attitude, but it seemed best to err on the side of respecting boundaries. Visit their website to see how cute it is. If you ever visit and wonder where the storage is, I’ll tell you a little secret: it’s under a trap door in the floor!

Continue reading “Paris for New Year’s: Day 3”

Paris for New Year’s: Day 2

For New Year’s 2015, I went to Paris for eight days with my well-dressed partner in crime, Salvatore. I started to write it up last year but put my blog on hold for a while – so here is the rest of the series. You can start reading here.

This a longer post with many photos, because that’s what I personally enjoy in a travel blog. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer you. J’apprends le français, desole pour mes erreurs.

We rented an Air BnB in Place Dauphine for our trip, and when we woke up our first morning, I had no regrets about paying a little extra for the location. I could lean out our top-floor window and peer down into the triangular park below. People starting their day crossed the bare each between benches and little Christmas trees.

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For breakfast, we ate the bounty of last night’s walk: pain levain, tiny apricots, and a sheep’s milk cheese from La Fromagerie de L’Isle. Then we set out with a particular mission in mind; my half-brother, Mark, had heard we were going to Paris and given us a card with a $20 bill inside and these instructions:

“Take this money and change it into euros. Then go an area you haven’t explored yet and walk down an interesting-looking street until you see an interesting-looking café. Go inside and get two coffees and two croissants. Look up and take a photo of whatever you see from where you’re sitting. Send it to me – that’s my souvenir.”

Continue reading “Paris for New Year’s: Day 2”

Paris for New Year’s: Day 1

For New Year’s 2015, I went  to Paris for eight days with my well-dressed partner in crime, Salvatore. This a longer post with many photos, because that’s what I personally enjoy in a travel bog! If you have any questions, specific or grand, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them in my next post. J’apprends le français, desole pour mes erreurs.

On Christmas Day, we woke up in Salvatore’s parent’s apartment on Printer’s Row in Chicago. It was a gorgeously sunny, but frigid, day, and we spent the morning making biscotti, looking at vacation spots for their next trip, and playing with the most adorable new member of the family, baby Rosalie. I have to admit, it was a little hard to pack up and leave that warm room full of in-laws, grandmothers, and good cheer. Knowing that I was headed to Paris helped me out the door, though!

The plan was to sleep through the nine and a half hour flight, but Sal hates flying and we had a pretty rough time of it – despite a few G&T’s, movies, and my super-classy Hello Kitty eye-mask. When we landed in Charles de Gaulle airport, however, those few patchy hours of sleep were quite enough for us. We headed out into the airport and bought museum passes*, then found our way to the train station. Eating sad airport ham sandwiches on the RER B train, we watched the suburbs of Paris flash by, then give way to the city itself. I really enjoyed seeing the odd little stone farmhouses still standing among the new white block developments, proudly holding the line of history. I appreciate the way Parisian development will simply flex around some of those older buildings, despite their odd angles and quirky façades.

Once we arrived in the city (now December 26th), it was easy to find our Air BnB; we were very lucky to rent a spot in Place Dauphine, on Île de la Cité. This is the western island in the Seine, which also sports Sainte Chappelle and Notre Dame. Despite our host being out and his friend, our contact, mostly speaking Portuguese and French, we got our keys with a warm welcome. Then we lugged our bags up six spiraling flights of stairs to our beautiful, sunlit flat.

“We’ll get some coffee and go right out…” we said. “Staying up and staying active during the day is the only way to avoid jet lag!”

(cue three-hour nap in our clothes)

Continue reading “Paris for New Year’s: Day 1”