So after leaving Pittsburgh I went to Charleston, WV and spent the night there. I had a lot of driving to do so this was a good stopover on my way home. The beautiful hotel awaiting my arrival was in Johnson City, Tennessee. Here was a fully restored and glorious old building – the Carnegie Hotel and Spa. I got there on a Sunday so I had a wonderful time watching the football games while I worked in my room.
The picture of the Andy Warhol Museum is where I wanted to go. But when I arrived in Pittsburgh there was a riot. Not because of me… but because of the International Summit. I happened to really pick the wrong date to go there. So I spent the night in my hotel and left the next day.
I wanted to go to Cleveland specifically to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I wasn’t disappointed. This is one of THE BEST attractions that all “baby-boomers” should see. Just walking up to the plaza is exciting. Music is playing and the building is quite groovy. Once inside you immediately get inspired to take the journey back to the music that took us through our childhood, teen years and sustains us now. The museum houses so much memorabilia that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Here are some of my favorite items and stories. There was a purple Cadillac that Elvis bought for one of his staff. He bought that on the same day that he purchased over 15 Cadillacs for his family and friends and a lady that happened to be window shopping at the dealership. There was the table and notebooks that were used for most of the song-writing experiences of Bruce Springsteen. My favorite item was the handwritten notes on a typed paper listing the bands and how much they were asking to appear at Woodstock. How much do you think was paid to the most expensive band? I list that at the end of this posting. The five vehicles in the lobby once belonged to the following people: Roy Orbison, ZZ Top, Janis Joplin, Billy Joel and Jon Bon Jovi. See if you can figure out who belongs to the what vehicle. The other photos show some of the public art on the walk from my hotel to the museum.
The highest amount paid for an artist was $15,000.
No, this is not a punctuation error – just a comment on the way Niagara Falls has become a tourist circus in the area around the Canadian side. My hotel was in the center this craze. So at first I was dissapointed. But then I took a walk to the falls. The gardens in the park were almost as spectacular as the falls themselves. However, when you get close to them, and you can get really close, the magnificence of their beauty and power is monumental. I was enjoying the view from all angles.
I noticed that there was a really great exhibition at the Chicago MSI. It was all about the sets, props, costumes, etc. from the Harry Potter movies. But I couldn’t get tickets to this show. So instead, I saw an amazing exhibit on one of the new modular homes. A home with all kinds of “green” living examples was assembled in the back yard of this museum. It was such a cool exhibit. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the home so all you see here is the model. However, if you want to take a look at a spectacular architect check out the website for Michelle Kaufmann. The other exhibits that I really enjoyed were those featuring planes and trains. The planes in the photos give a bit of the history of aircraft. The trains were fascinating because I saw an enormouse model train layout that showed the route from Chicago to Seattle. I also got to see the original “Silver Streak” train that was the first diesel run engined train that cut the time of travel in half from Denver to Chicago. It was designed and produced in the early 30’s so the style hints of Deco. The first class compartment only seated about 10 people. But one of the most famous regulars on the train in its hayday was Clark Gable. He loved it so much he bought stock in the company. There were also “Lego” replicas of some of the world’s most famous buildings. Quite an engineering and artistic feat. Hope you enjoy. I certainly did. This is a great place for kids by the way.