Sunday, September 22, 1985

1985 Chicago (9/19-22/1985)

Thursday, September 19, 1985
Half a vacation day. Left work to drive to East Greenwich to pick up Kent from BIF. He drove to the airport and dropped me at the door with all the bags (he was bringing golf clubs), while he went to park. Our PeopleExpress flight to Newark was scheduled for 14:00, but the plane didn’t arrive until then. A quick 15-minute turnover, and we were off to Newark. I had paid for both our tickets at $119 each, plus $3 for Kent’s golf clubs. We stayed on the plane while passengers boarded for Chicago. We landed at O’Hare at 17:45, or 16:45 local time. Fifteen minutes later we were at the gate. A wide Neoplan bus took us to the terminal. We waited for Kent’s golf clubs, then walked across the street to the hotel to wait for Stuart T who was picking us up at 17:30. It took nearly an hour to drive to their home in Barrington to see Cheryl, nearly 6-year old Cecelia, nearly three-year old Sonja, and nine-month old Michael. And the dog, Bolzano. Their house had great woodwork, antique furniture, and Japanese touches. We were put in the kids’ bedroom with the racket-y brass bed. I gave the girls the compressed towels that expand in water while they took a bath and helped with the shampoos. Stuart made dinner of tonkatsu, shredded lettuce and rice with Bull Dog sauce. We played Trivial Pursuit.

Friday, September 20, 1985
Stu and Kent left at 7:30 to go golfing. After Cecelia went off to school, the rest of us left at 9;00 to run some errands, then go to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Studio and House in Oak Park. We took a walk in the neighborhood because we were early for the 11:00 opening.
Sonja at the Frank Lloyd Wright studio
There were several houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. One had large dark stones and a Roman arch, and another was an Italianate stone gingerbread that almost looked like a cathedral.
Nathan G Moore House designed by FLW
Arthur B Heurley House designed by FLW
Hills-DeCaro House designed by FLW
We returned to the Gingko Tree Bookshop in Wright’s garage to begin the tour.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio brochure
Frank Lloyd Wright kept up with all the latest, like electricity and automobiles.
It was the first that I had heard the term Prairie style architecture, and the Oriental influence was obvious. Wright helped design the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, that was earthquake-proof, but has been since dismantled.
The gingko tree
The entrance to the studio was off Chicago Avenue, with the doors hidden to take away the ability to measure the size of the building with the eye. There were stork relief sculpture pillars; the stork symbolizing the architect’s profession.
Stork capital by Richard Bock
The ceiling was low in the reception room, and it was to have stained glass windows. We peeked in the octagonal library and went into the now refinished drafting room, two stories high with a surrounding balcony held up by chains, and chains held the walls together to hold up the roof! There was a fireplace, and also a safe to store documents safely from the ever prevalent fires.
We entered the home at a back hall where a tree grew in through the wall. The living area was full of sawdust as they are doing a major restoration. There was a fireplace “inglenook,” a cozy recessed seating area, but with a mirror recessed above the fireplace to give the illusion of space beyond. Upstairs in a bedroom was a portrait of Wright’s wife wearing clothes he had designed, to go along with his avant garde house! The playroom was tremendous with a barrel vault ceiling with stained glass. There was a balcony built over the piano (hidden to create an illusion of greater space) and a mural over the fireplace of a scene from the Arabian Nights with a very geometric American Indian-looking genie.
Downstairs in the dining room and the bay window-enlarged kitchen, even the furniture and light screens were designed by Wright. The tour ended after questions. Wright was married at age 22 and had six children, but it seems he ran off to Europe with a woman with whom he was having an affair, at age 42. After the tour we stopped in at the gift shop, then went to the playground across the street.
We drove for lunch at P Winberie’s where they were having a sort of fashion show. There was a business card to display if we wanted the models to stop and show us the latest fashions.

Fashion show shop
We only saw outfits that weren’t suitable for any occasions on our calendars!
We had Haagen Dazs ice cream for dessert, which we ate sitting in the verdant square named for Wright and his sculptor cohort Richard Bock. We drove all around Oak Park, admiring the homes and apartment buildings. Back at home, Kent and Stu were there, and they took me and Sonja to Cecelia’s soccer practice. Returned for dinner of chicken teriyaki, grilled peppers and mushrooms, and rice. Unbeknownst to me, a night out was planned. Stuart got the babysitter, and the adults went to see the movie, “Prizzi’s Honor.” Afterwards we went to Cheryl’s hometown of Arlington to a tavern, but they declared it was too noisy. So we drove to Chessie’s Lounge in Barrington, based on a restaurant in a railroad car. After a few drinks, we went home to play Trivial Pursuit. Tonight, Stu and I finally beat Kent and Cheryl.

Saturday, September 21, 1985
Cheryl took the dog to obedience class, and when she came back, Stu took Cecelia to have her soccer team picture taken. We noticed the dog had disappeared, and Cheryl went looking for him. It turned out that Stu had taken the dog! We then all went to Cecelia’s soccer game at noon, where it was windy and cold, and drizzling rain. We had umbrellas and blankets to share. Cecelia’s team was mostly girls with a couple boy recruits and they were playing against a ruthless boys’ team. The girls were either very polite, not kicking at the ball if someone else had it, or they were nonchalant as they held tête-à-têtes in the middle of the field.
After lunch, there was another babysitter, and the adults drove downtown to the Art Institute of Chicago. The taller buildings had crowns of clouds. We only had an hour at the art museum, and walked quickly through the Asian decorative arts corridor to the Chagall Gallery featuring a stained glass mural for American Bicentennial. We went through the armor and European decorative arts (ceramics, etc.) to the special exhibit of sketches from da Vinci to Van Gogh, including Dürer; a selection from a variety of European countries. There was a special exhibit of black artists including painters and sculptors. We went through more Asian art that included numerous and extreme cut-out art. We took the elevator up to see the Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. Of note was the painting of the Uncle and Niece by Edgar Degas that was referred to the night before in Trivial Pursuit! What was he holding in his hand? A newspaper! We were shooed out of the museum when starting to view 20th century paintings. We exited the main entrance that is guarded by bronze lions, and joined a crowd watching a marionetteer.
We walked through downtown and came to the Marshall Fields department store with the large green clock. We found our way past a float parade to the Picasso sculpture (1967, untitled). Across the street was a smaller Joan Miró sculpture (1979-1981, The Sun, the Moon and One Star) that was in front of a row of colorful stained glass windows of a church. We went to see the ugly space-age City Hall, mostly space, with its modernistic sculptures. We returned to the “parade” to learn they were filming a John Hughes movie (NB Ferris Bueller's Day Off). We came to the Marc Chagall’s tile mosaic mural, depicting the Four Seasons. Next to the US Post Office is the Alexander Calder sculpture called Flamingo (1973). He is known as a mobiler, and not for steel beam art! We went to the landmark Berghoff Restaurant, and downstairs it did resemble a German restaurant. Kent started with the herring Bismarck that was very vinegar-y, and Stu had marinated herring. I had the Wienerschnitzel made with excellent veal, creamed spinach deliciously different with mace, and dry Spaetzle. Kent had Sauerbraten with spinach and a potato pancake. Stu had prime rib with baked potato, and Cheryl had the same as Kent. After stuffing ourselves, Cheryl had a chocolate mint cake and the guys had coffees. We paid $20 each for the meal, and returned to the car for the drive home. We passed a Frank Lloyd Wright House that was for sale! Home for another round of Trivial Pursuit.

Sunday, September 22, 1985
Kent and Stuart left at 8:00 for another round of golf to be squeezed in before we had to leave. The kids and I checked out the garden with broccoli and raspberries, as well as tomatoes. After lunch, we left at 14:45 to be taken to the airport. Our 16:00 flight was delayed a half hour, which meant we would arrive in Newark when our flight to Providence was supposed to depart. But the Providence flight was delayed, and that made up 15 minutes on its way. Home by 21:00.

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