Columbus – March 2018 – Dior in Ohio

Ohio State University has a large collection in their ‘Costumes and Textiles’ Museum. For a few months this year they have had a feature called ‘Dior in Ohio’

The collection features dresses and accessories from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Displayed in two rooms, the primary room featured many from the 1950s including a Gray Wool and Silk Two Piece Dress from 1950. This dress, as with many others, was on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland

2018 03 10 2 Ohio State University Costume & Textile Museum



Also on display were shoes and hats.

2018 03 10 7 Ohio State University Costume & Textile Museum



A collection of the 1950s dresses.

2018 03 10 14 Ohio State University Costume & Textile Museum



A collection of ‘Post Dior Evening Wear’.  Some in the collection had been worn by Hollywood stars including Lauren Bacall.

2018 03 10 17 Ohio State University Costume & Textile Museum



An example from the 1970s

2018 03 10 18 Ohio State University Costume & Textile Museum


The 1950s suits. While small, this display shows the classic elegance that fashion had in the 1950s, while showing the bold changes than came in the 1960s and 1970s.

2018 03 10 19 Ohio State University Costume & Textile Museum




Cleveland – March 2018 – Playhouse Square Theaters

The Playhouse Square Theater District on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland is known as the 2nd largest by number of seats in the United States, behind Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The 4 major theaters once could seat nearly 10,000 people, although that number has diminished a bit with remodeling.

On the first Saturday of each month a small army of volunteers offer free behind the scenes tours. Lead by our amazing tour guide Lil, we were fortunate in that we chose a day that they were between shows in the theaters, so we were able to go on the stages and in the dressing rooms for all the theaters.

First up is the largest, the State Theater.  Opened, along with all the other theaters, in a 19 month period between 1921-1922, the State originally seated 3,400.

Built in an Italian Renaissance style for vaudeville shows and movies, it has what was the worlds longest lobby at 320′ as it was built at the back of the lot so the theater next door, the Ohio Theater, could also have frontage on Euclid Avenue.

2018 03 03 15 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



As the tour took us backstage you got a feel for how massive the stage and the rigging are to support the theater. This theater’s rigging have been modernized, we would later get a sense for how much compared to the non-updated ones.

2018 03 03 21 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



Next door is the Palace Theater (recently renamed Connor Palace to honor a major donor). This theater was built in the French Renaissance style, and features beautiful entry doors.

2018 03 03 37 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



The main lobby is known as the Great Hall. Amazingly in the early 1970s all the theaters we close to being torn down to make parking lots, but fortunately the local arts community was persistent and saved all of them. It  has taken the community many years and millions of dollars but all have been restored, and in some cases reconfigured for smaller theaters.

2018 03 03 44 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



Front the balcony of the Palace we were treated to a performance from one of the resident organists.

2018 03 03 49 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



Later we were able to visit up close for a demonstration of the amazing capabilities of the organ, as well as some behind the scenes history of the recovery and restoration of the organ.

2018 03 03 62 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



The entryway to the Ohio Theater features an amazing ceiling. (all of the ceilings are stunning, this is the best).

2018 03 03 71 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



From the stage the lighting, seating and ceiling make an impressive photo.

2018 03 03 73 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



Backstage gets a view of the un-restored rigging (the massive collection of ropes on the right), as well as all of the lighting riggings.

2018 03 03 74 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



Another amazing ceiling and light, the entrance to the Allen Theater.

2018 03 03 89 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



The columns of the Allen Theater entrance have intricate carvings.

2018 03 03 95 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG



The Allen has been downsized and modernized, although the original balconies and boxes are hidden behind the fabrics on the sides in case they want to return it to it’s original state. The second half of this theater has been transformed into a ‘Theater in the Round’ format.

Playhouse Square is one of the best features of Cleveland, and the Saturday morning tours are amazing (and free).

2018 03 03 86 Cleveland Playhouse Square.JPG

Chicago – December 2017 – Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial purpose is to “provides a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.”

As part of that this years exhibit includes an exhibit called “Make New History”. This exhibit features a number of architectural interpretations of a redesign of the iconic Tribune Tower.

Interestingly the venue for this very modern exhibit is the classic Chicago Cultural Center, including the stunning stained glass dome in the Grand Army of the Republic rotunda.

2017 12 26 51 Chicago.JPG



Before arriving at the main exhibit room we visited some displays of miniatures.

2017 12 26 21 Chicago.JPG



The details on most were amazing, although some of the more abstract ones looked like a discarded toy box. This model was an Asian interpretation of the Tribune Tower.

2017 12 26 28 Chicago.JPG



Full view of the Serie Architects ‘Far Eastern Headquarters’ model.

2017 12 26 34 Chicago.JPG



The Tribune Tower is a Neo Gothic building completed in 1925. The various interpretations varied greatly from that design.

2017 12 26 26 Chicago.JPG



6a architects view was meant to resemble a totem pole of stacked artifacts.


2017 12 26 30 Chicago.JPG



Architect and ‘urbanist’ Charles Waldheiim went even further with a number of interpretations of famous Chicago buildings including the John Hancock Center, Willis Tower, Marina City and the Thompson Center.

Called Heliomorphic Chicago it is set up in the classic Chicago grid street system.

2017 12 26 37 Chicago.JPG




Columbus – December 2017 – Krampus

This year I learned something new, the legend of ‘Krampus’.  According to the legend (and Wikipedia), Krampus is a half goat- half demon who during the Christmas season punishes children who have been bad. Over time the legend coupled Krampus with Saint Nicholas to encourage children to be good.

For a full description please see the Wiki link:

Krampus celebrations are a big deal in Germany, Austria and other countries in the region. This was the first I had seen any celebrations in the states, and while small, was entertaining.

The group gathered in the a parking lot in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus.

2017 12 03 3.JPG



Noise makers and elaborate costumes were the order of the day.

2017 12 03 6.JPG



Apparently the Grinch and Mrs Grinch fit the bill as well. The costumes were great.

2017 12 03 7.JPG



Three horned ladies.

2017 12 03 13.JPG




The legend says they use sticks to ‘whip the children into behaving’. Clearly not a 21st century approach.

2017 12 03 16.JPG



The parade went down the sidewalk for about 3 blocks.

2017 12 03 19.JPG



I behaved myself.

2017 12 03 22.JPG



Another Krampus monster.

2017 12 03 25.JPG



Mrs Claus has a new look, along with apparently a Clint Eastwood fan. Hopefully this celebration catches on and grows larger each year – it is a nice change from the repetitiveness of the usual Christmas celebrations and festivals.

2017 12 03 28.JPG

Columbus – December 2017 – Revisiting the Chinese Lantern Festival

December has brought the Chinese Lantern Festival back to town. Celebrating the art and craft of Sichuan, China, the lanterns are a beautiful combination of fabrics and light.

As you enter the grounds you are immediately greeted by a canopy of lanterns.

2017 12 03 67.JPG


The displays are very large – the one below is approximately 50′ across by 15′ high.

2017 12 03 81.JPG



Many dealt with wildlife, most coming from the Chinese Calendar.

2017 12 03 93.JPG



More nature is celebrated with giant flowers.

2017 12 03 99.JPG



The Lovers arches.

2017 12 03 128.JPG



This year the entertainment was moved inside, avoiding the extreme cold that often occurs in December in Ohio. These young ladies had amazing agility and strength.

2017 12 03 148.JPG



The face-changing actor was the only return act from last year  – still amazing.

2017 12 03 159.JPG



The plate spinners. While we don’t often repeat activities the Chinese Lantern Festival will be an annual event.

2017 12 03 172.JPG






Hyderabad – November 2017 – The Charminar and the Market

The Charminar is a monument and mosque in the Old City section of Hyderabad. Given that we passed on a Friday (Muslim Holy Day) the area was packed with the market in the surrounding area. Unfortunately we were unable to tour the interior because of it being Friday.


There were numerous fruit stands.

2017 11 17 122 Hyderabad.JPG


Rug delivery by bicycle.

2017 11 17 133 Hyderabad.JPG


One of the many buildings with numerous small shops, most had displays out in the street. The old city had far more took tooks than it the newer areas near Hi-Tech City.

2017 11 17 139 Hyderabad.JPG



A close up of the Charminar – note the bamboo scaffolding.

2017 11 17 146 Hyderabad.JPG



An overview of the area.

2017 11 17 148 Hyderabad.JPG



The shopping apparently complete it was time to march home.

2017 11 17 159 Hyderabad.JPG



Past the chick pea (??) vendor

2017 11 17 165 Hyderabad.JPG


And out of town.

2017 11 17 169 Hyderabad.JPG