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October 5, 2008

The Wright stuff

wright%20001.jpgYesterday we headed for Oak Park, Il., the suburb of Chicago that has the largest number of architect Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residences in the world, Wright's own first house and studio, and the birthplace and museum of writer Ernest Hemingway.

This last is such a joke. Gailor asked what we would see for our $8, and was told his manuscripts.  Not the original manuscripts, surely. They're elsewhere. No. Copies of his works. Yes, well, I have copies of his works too. On my bookshelves.

Am I being too cynical here? 

So forget the Hemingway museum if you go. But do purchase your tickets for the Wright house and studio tour in advance if you can. Even in October you could be disappointed, and we had to wait at Penny's Noodle Shop a few blocks away (where we had pho for lunch) for a couple of hours before we could take the tour. ...

Now Gailor and I are sitting here in a Cosi working together after lunch (me on this and her on accounting) and waiting for the rain to stop so we can leave. She just turned to me and said something like, "This is so fun! The return on common stockholders' equity ratio is such a great concept!"

An alien. In her body. 

Last night we wanted to eat in the tapas place commenter and Northwestern alum MD Canon recommended on my last visit. There was a 40-minute wait and no seats at the bar, so we left. The maitre d' came running after us and said the owner also had an Italian restaurant called Gio a couple of blocks down the street. If we wanted to have a drink at the bar there, he would call us when our table was ready.

I just thought that was a great concept. 

We actually ended up eating at Gio. It turned out to be a pretty good Italian restaurant, which maybe was the guy's plan in the first place. Still, I honestly believe he called when our table was ready and was told we were already eating. 

(Detail of the Wright house by me) 


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:43 PM | | Comments (8)


Reading the menu at Gio makes me salivate. Are you going share info on what you picked?

Sure. Nothing very exciting. Prosciutto with the best honeydew melon I've had this season, risotto and a green salad. EL

Visited Taliesin West this past April when vacationing in Phoenix...Very interesting. The "attachment" of those who work and study there was strangely idolistic.

You are taking the wrong attitude towards Gailor's studies. You are thinking of her classes as the study of FIGURES. Think of them as the study of MONEY and maybe you'll find them more interesting.

Personally, I find money profoundly uninteresting, but I realize I'm in the minority here.

The Hemmingway Museum in Key West is a must see. Fresh saltwater pool that empties and refills with the tide, a statue of a cat that Picasso gave him glued to a dresser (he knew it would be worth $ someday and didn't want anyone taking it), hundreds of cats all over the property. Such a cool place.

I was completely uninterested in money when I was in college. My mother was convinced that I should major in business or something "sensible", not art history which was what I ended up majoring in. Ten years later, I'm working at a real estate investment firm which has absolutely nothing to do with art history and I have a different view of money and the economy. It's actually pretty interesting once you get into it and start learning about it.

I loved the Wright house in Oak Park- that was one of my favorite parts of my trip to Chicago. The Unity Temple was also really neat.

Carey's absolutely right - the Hemingway Museum in Key West is fantastic. It's beautiful and, not to sound all literary and pretentious, but I think visiting the house gave me a much better sense of Hemingway as a person, so I could appreciate his books more.

Plus, the cats. There are SO many of them...

My wife's book group is reading Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan, a novelized account of Frank Lloyd Wright's romances. The author lived for some time in Oak Park, apparently the inspiration for the book. We got down three or four of my father's books on Wright to add to the conversation.

The Robie House was always my favorite in that neck of the woods. While visiting a friend at the University of Chicago in 1978, we wandered onto the porch, discovered that the front door was open and walked in. It was then being used by a group of fundraisers doing some work for the UoC. Sadly, all the custom furniture was piled up out of the way to make room for long folding tables and phone banks. Also sadly, it didn't take long for them to figure out that we had no business there and to shoo us out. However, there are very few places on earth that are as interesting as Taliesin West. I love the fact that it is not just a static museum but a living institution. I'd love to spend a couple of months there my next sabbatical.

And if I may be permitted a small correction ... I am not actually an alumn of Northwestern University. I am an alumn of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, a beautiful city block (look for the decidedly non-Wrightian steeple) wholly surrounded by Northwestern, which invited the Western Theological seminary to move there in 1928, in light of the fact that NU had no theological faculty. It merged with the old Seabury seminary in 1933.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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