• My Kind of Town!

    Chicago,Illinois…I am realizing what an amazing city I grew up in! This beautiful sunny Fall day I have spent strolling through downtown Chicago…

    The lake, the river, the art installations of Millennium Park, the architecture & skyline…amazing elements that work together to create a world class city! This Midwestern hub really shines…I am strolling up the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue falling in love once again with my hometown. I am amazed at how the city really combines an urban vibe but retains a Midwest sensibility!

    Leaving a place and returning with a new perspective really pays off…I am walking around wide eyed absorbing all that the Windy City has to offer!





  • Window Shopping!

    Paris, France…window shopping galore! This city offers so much sensory stimulation…fashion, art, antiquities, interiors, and on and on!

    I love a leisurely day absorbing all the creativity this design hub can offer! The Marais, Saint Honore, Champs Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, and St Germaine des Pres all stimulate with shops and galleries! These are the must hit areas for fashionistas and power shoppers of all kinds!

    Besides just looking at clothing, I look to be inspired! Art and fashion are innately linked…I stumble on a gallery showcasing the art of Alias Henri Desclez and I am struck by the fashion sensibility of these mirrored florals painted on simple geometrics! These look so of-the-moment in fashion…I can see amazing pieces of wearable and chic art made from this art!

    There is no way not to be inspired in this city of so many wonders…design is everywhere you look!




  • Works of Art!

    Vienna, Austria…I am blown away by the art, but the museums themselves are masterpieces! Smartly, a large group of museums are built together around a modernist central courtyard, called Museum Quartier. It’s as enjoyable hanging out there as it is to admire the exhibitions inside! This planning also makes museum hopping very easy…

    Away from Museum Quartier, the Secession Building is a sight to behold on its own with it’s ornate gold ball top and Klimt murals adorning the facade…literally, it glistens under the sun! All that before you get a sight of the magnificent work on the inside!

    The grand museums of Belvedere and Upper Belvedere are connected by an elaborate garden…the whitewashed interior of Upper Belvedere leading to that chandelier strewn great room is more than an opening act for the great artwork collection inside!

    Beauty to behold on both the inside and out!







  • Me & Klimt!

    Vienna, Austria…Vienna is celebrating it’s acclaimed artist, Gustav Klimt’s 150th birthday this year with special exhibits allover town…His work along with his turn of the century friends Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser define an era and secessionist period. Their influence on Austria and the Art Nouveau period is huge!

    The Leopold Museum’s exhibit focused on Klimt the man…entitled “Klimt: Up close and personal”. Showcasing his love of travel; the exhibit displays hundreds of postcards he wrote while traveling and how creative he felt and became when traveling! I can totally relate! It was a great way to learn about the man behind the art…ultimately, I found that we share the same love to be so inspirational! Leopold also houses the largest Schiele collection and lesser known Moser. Schiele, referred to as more of a bad boy, his art had a more erotic and dark feeling. He was tapped as an art genius at an early age and him and Klimt were friends.

    The museum at Upper Belvedere holds the largest Klimt collection in the world and didn’t disappoint with famous works such as “The Kiss”…but it’s the behind the scenes that excites me…seeing that every work had a series of studies and sketches and a mini pre-painting before the final work! Looking closely I see the huge impact he has had today on fashion. Dries Van Noten and Marni collections jump from his artwork! Look at his portrait of Johanna Straude in a 1910 Martha Alber design: it could be a Marni lookbook!

    Art is amazing…but it’s the artist that defines the art! A reminder to myself to be thankful that I am gifted with creativity and also the ability to travel the world for creative inspiration!







  • For Art’s Sake!

    Prague, Czech Republic…I decided to do the real tourist thing today! I started my day with the “hop on-hop off” bus to get the full overview of Prague’s sites. This is totally unlike me and not my idea of how to see a city, but this was my lazy way to get a big picture reference point. I would be lying if I told you it was anything other than boring! The young guide, who coincidentally grew up blocks from me in Chicago, didn’t seem to appreciate my constant yawning. The sights of this amazing city can only truly be taken in via foot tour from the stunning old town, not circling detached from it all atop an topless bus. I did learn that Czechs consider themselves part of Central Eastern Europe, not Eastern Europe; which refers to Russia or Ukraine. Central Eastern Europe includes the Czech Republic and Hungary.

    Art comes in all forms and not all artists have the luxury of ritzy gallery showings or refined museums to display their work. Prague is a huge canvas for Graffiti! I enjoy all forms of expression, some of it is art and some of it is political…counter balanced to its street art, Prague boasts a bounty of Art Nouveau architecture and interior design in addition to it’s Renaissance period old town. This is just the start of the Art Nouveau I will encounter as Vienna, the home of Gustav Klimt, is next on the itinerary.

    Shortly after my bus tour, the skies suddenly darkened and rain started to pummel down on the town; this is the first rain I have seen in ages! It is a welcome relief to help moderate yesterday’s sweltering heat.

    The rain passes and off to meander thru old town I go! I have to say after a lazy month in the Mediterranean, city tourism sure is hard!

    I head back via taxi and my driver gets aggressive with another driver and displays a very different kind of road rage! He rolls down the window and spits at the other driver! Whoa! The Czech may not consider themselves Eastern European, but that stunt sure seemed pretty Eastern Bloc behavior to me!