Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania’ Category

Fiber Biennial

Last weekend i went to Philly planning to finally visit Frida Kahlo and Juan Soriano exhibitions at Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as couple of shows at Fiber Philadelphia.

First stop was Fiber Biennial at Snyderman-Works gallery. Very interesting including some whimsical basketry by Charissa Brock. Actually i was meaning to visit this gallery for a while so used this as a chance and checked around beyond the fiber exhibition.

Snyderman Works Gallery

Several more picture as usual can be found @flickr, including couple of shots i made at Museum of Arts. The Kahlo’s exhibition was too crowded to enjoy so i wandered around the museum.


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Pittsburgh: Day 2

(originally written on 9/12/07)

We started the day with a breakfast at Primanti Bros to experience a famous Pittsburgh sandwich.


after which we proceeded to explore the Strip.


Though sort of similar to Italian Market in Philly, we enjoyed the Strip much more – it’s cleaner, more diverse and fun – i was thrilled to discover Penzey’s store here, and bought some sour trahana in a greek store…


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Gorgeous early fall weather this weekend – and we hit curvy roads of Bucks county to Doylestown again. The ride is familiar (though never boring) but the destination is new – Nakashima’s reading room at Michener art museum.


It’s a little gem of museum with a meticulously picked collection of works by local artists:


And what a lovely sculpture garden! Nevermind the location – the former site of the Bucks County jail (note the wall):


And then we had a real pleasure to visit just opened exhibition of Philip Pearlstein, The Dispassionate Body . Well pleasure might be a wrong word to describe the emotions brought out by these large paintings of nudes in bizarre indoor set-ups with a toy or some other object or two. Disturbing but riveting!..

Yet the strange compositions felt somehow familiar… when half way through the exhibition it struck me – indeed i read a long and fascinating essay about Pearlstein a long while ago, most probably in New Yorker – but since completely forgot the name. Now i just wish i could reread the essay again (and no, unfortunately neither googling nor direct searching the New Yorker website helped).

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Just came back from a weekend getaway in Pittsburgh: a basic idea was to catch up some events of Pittsburgh Celebrates Glass, mainly Chihuly, and stop by Fallingwater on our way. Well this trip ended up being a case study on a careful planning: in such a short time we visited every place we were eager to explore, never were in any rush, never had a boring moment, and ate and drank well! 

First rule: identify some place midway worth visiting to break the monotony of a long drive. On the way from NJ we stopped by Harley Davidson plant in York, PA for a insider tour including the assembly line – impressive and touching, all at the same time – a real labor of love and dedication.


We got to Pittsburgh with enough time left for hotel check in and for getting lost before we found our next destination – Phipps Conservatory hosting Chihuly Nights.



Sure thing Chihuly had hell of a time setting up the installations – i imagine the sophisticated design of indoor gardens at the conservatory would offer a creative challenge that Chihuly met perfectly by the elegant and playful matching of his glass pieces against plants of various shapes and color, lush or delicate, everything looking so natural and effortless like they really belonged here.




To be continued…

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Two more ultimate rides during the long weekend: both ended up in Doylestown. First one to finish the exploration of Fonthill, at the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works; same fascinating surreal building with an additional bonus of observing the production of art tiles in real.


Food for a soul and then food for a body – we had a delightful lunch at Jules Thin Crust Pizza.

The second ride was to Peddler’s Village with a usual biker plan in mind – ride to a selected destination, sight see a bit and then have some food or something. Well this place was ridiculous – adjacent to an outlet of some kind with a mix of kitschy artsy shops and a couple of overcrowded food places though it seemed quite popular with senior citizens and parents with assorted toddlers alike. Belonging to neither category we escaped to Doylestown for a Jules pizza encore…


But whatever your destination you can’t beat hilly roads in Bucks county – a sheer pleasure, i just wish we had guts to ride helmetless LOL.

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Gingerbread House

Oh the post is not about baking: it’s about a real house – whimsical, made of concrete, every of its 40 plus rooms richly decorated with artistic tiles… Welcome to Fonthill and Henry Mercer great building.


Though it’s a great weekend destination within its own right, for those fortunate of us who choose motorcycle as their recreational means of transportation, hilly picturesque country roads of Bucks County, PA would bring an unforgettable thrill.


(you might notice the shadow of the main house: the lighting is much better at this part of the Fonthill estate in late afternoon).

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