Thursday, January 1, 2015
Travels of 2014: From Maine to Munich
I enjoy traveling. Well...to be more accurate...I enjoy all the experiences I can gather when I visit a new city or country...but getting there isn't necessarily something enjoyable. Nevertheless, it is a necessity and worth enduring for the end result. I am about to do this yet again as I return to Munich on another work-related trip. Not all travel is a vacation, as the trip to Munich was work (although, as I will comment on below, I did have the opportunity for some site-seeing). And then there are the personal family-related trips, such as the 7 I made to Florida in 2014 that were all largely associated with my father's care. As bklynbiblio readers know, he passed away in July, and although I miss him terribly, I am fortunate that I was able to be with him for his passing. We had his services in August, and it was truly a celebration of his life. On my March visit, I was very glad that AA joined me to meet the family and my father, and a year ago on my January visit I also made a short jaunt to Jacksonville to see my dear friend SVH and meet my canine nephew Winnie, a rambunctious young greyhound. October saw me back again for the SECAC conference in Sarasota, and I took a day to see the family again, and I made another quick trip back for Christmas as well. As emotionally challenging as these visits were to endure while my father was getting worse and worse, it always has been a comfort to know I have family and friends there to help create balance and give me the opportunity to also enjoy some parts of those trips.
In May I made a 60-hour trip to Seattle for the AAMG conference, about which I blogged here. My memory of Seattle from 1997 was better than I experienced this time, but that was because my colleague DCM and I weren't in the downtown area but in the university district, which was removed from the things we would have wanted to see, like Pike Place Market. Over Memorial Day weekend, AA and I joined the FF-POs for a few days in Montreal and Quebec City, which I absolutely loved. I blogged about that trip here. I still have fond memories of Quebec City and look forward to visiting again in the near future.
one of the American cities long on my list of places to visit. I loved it! And I cannot stress to readers how difficult that is for this NYer to admit to! The one thing I did hate was the pizza. Fortunately everything else outweighed that. The city is clean. The architecture is magnificent. Lake Michigan is simply amazing. (We spent 4th of July on JK's boat on the Lake and watched the fireworks from there--just awesome!) Millennium Park is tons of fun; the image you see here shows Anish Kapour's interactive sculpture with the skyline behind it. And then there was the Art Institute of Chicago, where I finally was able to see the work you see at the top of this post: Georges Seurat's Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884-86. I think my photograph of viewers staring at the painting demonstrates well how observers inevitably become part of the melange of social classes intermingling in the park in true pointilist fashion, as Seurat likely intended. On our last day in Chicago AA and I climbed the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and I confronted my fear of heights by climbing out onto the glass ledge. I can't say I am no longer afraid of heights...truthfully it terrified me even more...but it was important that I did it. (AA of course strolled out there like it was nothing. He is fearless. So annoying!) We also took a day trip to Milwaukee, which I wasn't so crazy about, although the Calatrava-designed wing on the art museum is spectacular, particularly overlooking Lake Michigan.
my trip to Frankfurt last year. Rumor has it there is about a foot of snow on the ground in Munich at present, and potentially more coming this weekend....it better not ruin more chances to see the city over the weekend before work starts!
What's on the travel agenda for 2015? I have a work trip to Fort Worth coming up. I may do a pop-over to London to see a few exhibitions I'm very interested in. But the big trip I'm very much looking forward to is Italia in April. I have not been since 2009, so I am going first to visit family, and then AA is flying over with the DPG-JBs and we are going to visit Rome, Florence, and Milan. I'm even scheduled to give a talk at the Keats-Shelley House in Rome while I'm there. More details coming soon....