Friday, September 4, 2015

U.S./Canadian cities to revisit

As a bit of a companion piece to the last post where I am looking at cities that I would like to get to as part of a major overseas vacation, there are quite a few cities that I wouldn't mind getting back to.  As must be obvious by now, I tend to plan visits to cities around visits to the local museums.  In fact, I managed to squeeze in a one day trip to Halifax at the end of the month (tagging it onto a conference trip to Prince Edward Island) and I should have just enough time to get to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

So in a sense, the list is really about which museums I want to see again, particularly which are so great that I would make a special trip to see them or if I would only visit in relation to work or a conference.  (I won't bother listing Chicago, New York or D.C., since those are places I try to visit every year or two.  Same deal with Montreal, though I think it will be more like trying to get back every 5 years or so.)  It also goes without saying that I basically never schedule vacations to the back country or to a lake cabin.  Will I ever?  Perhaps, though really none of us is outdoorsy (and my wife and son have pretty terrible allergies triggered by the great outdoors).  I got enough of camping when I was a kid, though I suppose I should try to let my kids experience this at least a little.  Nonetheless, my life could easily be summed up by the title of that Ted Berrigan poetry collection: So Going Around Cities.

Unseen cities:

Kansas City (I actually was in Kansas City very briefly but had no time to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum; it looks like there may be a work opportunity to go, and I would certainly try to make it over to the museum.  That is probably the single best Midwestern museum I have not seen.).

Pittsburgh (I have never visited.  I hear that the museums there are quite good.  Porter does occasionally have cheap flights there, so I will consider it at some point.)

Cincinnati (not sure how good the art museum is, but probably worth a visit, given that the Columbus and Cleveland museums are quite good.  Certainly the catalog makes it look impressive...)

Indianapolis (ditto)

Winnipeg (I've actually driven around Winnipeg but never been to the downtown core.  It does look like the Winnipeg Art Gallery is worth a visit.)

Cities to return to:

Cleveland (A very nice museum (as well as orchestra).  It looks like there is an interesting exhibit that starts in mid October, and we might make the drive out.  I'll have to check to see that their new Beckmann acquisition is on view!  Sadly, the orchestra is touring Europe when we would be most likely to visit.  In general, it looks like the orchestra has fallen on hard times and has cut back, though it is performing a lot of Messiaen this season, which I am sorry to have to miss...)

Detroit (We have relatives in the area, and it has been ages since I've been to the Detroit Institute of Arts.  I realize that the paintings are no longer being held hostage to the bankruptcy hearings, but it's still probably better to go to the DIA sooner than later.  The DIA doesn't have any major upcoming exhibits, but there is a small exhibit at the same time as the Cleveland exhibit.  It is at least theoretically possible that we could go through Buffalo to Cleveland, then Detroit and complete the loop.  That's a lot of driving though.)

Minneapolis-St. Paul (the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center.  I will seriously look into getting there next summer on the annual summer pilgrimage to Chicago.)

Newark (A surprisingly good museum.  If we do make a trip to New York this spring, I'll try to reserve a day to make a visit out to Newark.)

Boston (basically goes without saying that the museums there are incredible.  Ideally, we would go to New York on spring break, then Boston and then back.  I think that wouldn't be too expensive on Porter.)

Philadelphia (basically goes without saying that the museums there are incredible.  It looks Porter does not go there (as of yet*), but I'm sure I'll get back within the next few years.  I will probably need a second day to explore the Barnes Foundation now that it has become far more accessible to the average tourist.)

L.A. (I don't care much for L.A. as a whole, but I do like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as the Getty)

San Francisco (I probably wouldn't travel to SF until the SF MOMA reopens, which should be mid 2016.  But the Asian Art Museum is quite nice, as well as a few other great museums, including one tucked away in Golden Gate Park)

Baltimore (in addition to the Baltimore Museum of Art, they have the Walters Art Museum.  Both are worth visiting, though I probably would not schedule a trip just to visit them.)

Seattle (a good art museum, but one that I don't need to visit again right away after my time out on the West Coast)

St. Louis (a truly great art museum, but one that I don't need to visit again right away)

Milwaukee (in contrast, I am going to try to go back to Milwaukee next year with the kids, since their main collection was all in storage)

Atlanta (the High Museum is quite nice, but I probably would not go to Atlanta just for that nor for the Coca Cola Museum, though that has its good points.  For some reason, I always have visited Atlanta during the summer.)

Calgary (I'm not a huge fan of Calgary, but I will try to visit once with the kids.  I think on that future trip we would try to make a visit to Drumheller and possibly Banff.  The Glenbow is a decent museum but certainly not worth a special trip out to Calgary just to see it.  It is possible that I'll start going more often for work, so we'll just see.)

I guess that makes 5 or 6 places/museums I hope to visit in the next 2 years, but that may be pushing it.  I still don't even have the school calendar yet, so I am not really in planning mode.  It's not such a bad thing to settle in for a while either.

* It looks like in the past week or so, Porter has added flights to Philadelphia, so this is definitely something I would explore (perhaps a Philadelphia - DC trip next summer?).  Though as it happens you have to transfer through Boston and the overall trip time is too high well over 5-6 hours on average, so hopefully they will add some direct flights next year.  After that, I'll just wait for them to add service to St. Louis and the Twin Cities (though not through Boston), and I will be totally set...

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