…my dear follower in Paris, Theadora Brack (check out her ‘blog fantastique’, ‘People, Places and Bling’ here), mentioned again her love of the Congress Hotel here in Chicago…and how, on her last visit, she had lost her camera card and, consequently, had no photographs…to which I replied: “Quel dommage, Mlle B.!“
This evening, I can say: “Alors, Mlle B., bonnes nouvelles!”
Postcards to Paris, part deu
“It was a beautiful Autumn day walking to the Congress, Babs, when I looked up at the sky and saw not only our flag, but wonderful light reflections off of Roosevelt University across Congress Parkway.”
“Though the weather was a bit crisp. people still hunched over and walked into the wind barreling down Michigan Avenue. Thank goodness those canopies are fastened tightly to the hotel!”
“Now, I haven’t been inside the Congress since Feb. 14, 1987, so I thought things may have really changed at the entrance to the lobby…but, no! I felt as though no time had passed at all!”
“I do think they’ve changed the wall sconces, but other than that, all the lovely, different types of marble and the gorgeous , intricate mosaics looked actually better than they did back then!”
“When I zoomed in, I found that each tile in the mosaics was hand-cut, and laid in the Tiffany style at different angles to sparkle when they catch the light…I hadn’t remembered that, so I took this one to put a little twinkle in your life (or save it for when you really need it!)!”
“See that sparkle effect? I looked and looked for some info as to just who designed these mosaics to no avail, Babs, because I knew you’d want to know! I’ll search some more, but for now, I will simply savor the beauty here!”
“Oh…and this I didn’t remember at all…and it’s just so superb! The Congress was built for the 1893 World Exposition, which makes this floor logo mosaic one hundred and nineteen years old…and people have been walking over it all those years, but it looks fresh and new! That just blew me away, Babs!”
“I walked out of the lobby, intending to get to the east elevators, but got stopped in my tracks as a twenty-five year old memory popped into my gray matter: this little restaurant is where my friend Steve Shelley, who was the assistant then to the Lighting Designer, Twyla Tharp (lotsa name dropping here, huh?), introduced me to the another friend of his, the one—the only—Mikhail Baryshnikov!
I took a few more shots, but got so wrapped up in that fond memory, and time was running short…you know how it goes, Babs?…I promise to go back and get more shots of the halls, and the Gold Room, and whatever else tickles my fancy!
Your friend in Chicago,