Tuesday, February 19, 2008

in the 'burgh

I spent this weekend in Pittsburgh with my father, celebrating his retirement. Free at last, free at last....

Our first stop was the exhibition of Dale Chihuly's art glass at the Phipps Conservatory. I expected to be impressed by this exhibition, but I my jaw dropped to my knees before even entering the building. This amazing chandelier was glowing into the night through the glass dome over the visitors' center.

What I didn't expect was that the glass would be so beautifully integrated throughout the conservatory. Every room but one very formal garden room had installations of glass. Each item carefully placed by Chihuly and his team. An employee of the Conservatory told me that it took eleven days and a ten man team to do the installation of the exhibit. I think this huge Fiori was one of my favorites. The scale of some of these pieces is really impressive.

If the exhibit weren't closing this weekend, I'd encourage everyone to hop a plane to Pittsburgh. A special thanks to Gryphon's Feather's posting that brought the Chihuly exhibit to my attention.

The Phipps was a big part of my Pittsburgh childhood. My mom would take me once a year to roam the gardens. It was particularly magical to me in the winter...surrounded by lush greenery, flowers and warmth.

Another important part of my childhood was the Carnegie Museum and its collection of dinosaurs. As I remember it from my memory, it was a cold stark white marble hall packed with dinosaurs. The new dino exhibit is in a much expanded space and they have plenty of room to separate the bones by period. The exhibit has all the interactive bells and whistles to round it all out. Saddly the T-Rex is still being put back together, so I couldn't visit my old friend. The most impressive thing about the new exhibit is the new armatures for the fossils. They have managed to construct them so they are as unobtrusive as possible.

We made a stop that was not part of my nostalgia tour, but will be a sure visit for all future trips, Pamela's P&G Diner. The pancakes were thin, crispy and divine. Thinking about them is making me drool. They have a bunch of locations in Pittsburgh, skip the long lines in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, head straight for the Strip District where there are two larger rooms with tables. Thank you Christine for insisting that I have breakfast there!!!


Garny LooWho said...

Understatement here...but, God! How beautiful!

Robin said...

Wow, the Chihuly exhibit looks so much better at night. Isn't his stuff amazing? There was one piece at the NY botanical museum that looks like the chandelier picture that I loved. It had over 1,000 pieces and took 4 days to set up. Amazing!

Sherry W said...

My friend worked at that exhibit and is the new dino curator at the C. I'll pass along the kudos. I'm sure he's taking good care of rexy. :)