Saint Rocco’s New York Italian at Trinity Groves

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Margaret Hill Hunt Bridge sits between Downtown Dallas and Trinity Groves

TRAVEL HERE: MY NEW GO-TO ITALIAN PLACE

On a Sunday afternoon, after a museum visit, Bill and I spent about forty-five minutes driving around downtown Dallas.  We thought maybe in one of those places we used to hang out we’d find something new and exciting, but mostly we found construction sites for more multi-use developments.  It was far too hot to enjoy anything al fresco, but we were out of options for new and exciting, so we made our way to Trinity Groves.

Giving It Another Try

Bill and I have tried to have fun at Trinity Groves several times and have always been under-impressed, even though we see huge potential for the area it’s just not hopping 24/7 like we think it should be.  Perhaps on Friday or Saturday evening it fulfills it potential, but that’s when we’re usually in Heath enjoying a glass of wine on our patio.  There’s something about a great view out your back door that discourages fighting for parking spaces and tables on weekend evenings.  Still, we like being plugged into our city, so we venture out on Sundays and various weekdays.

On this particular Sunday afternoon it appeared we’d bombed out again.  Granted 5:30 is a little early for dinner and very late for lunch, but the whole Trinity Groves complex was empty of anything except a few employees standing inside restaurants polishing glasses and wrapping silverware.  Drinking and dining just weren’t happening.

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Delicious dining at Saint Rocco’s New York Italian

Saint Rocco’s

However, we were hungry and tired of being hungry.  Since a place called Saint Rocco’s had just opened for the day we strolled inside.  The hostess was very glad to see us and placed us in a seat where we could see the whole restaurant.  It was something to see.

The decor is black and white with touches of red.  Black and white tile floor, black table and chairs with white tablecloths.  A large bar separates the restaurant from the food prep area.  Shelves of large cans of tomatoes and other staples add a hint of color.  We liked it!

And Then There Was Food

The menu has all the usual Italian food choices, but don’t get discouraged.  As soon as they delivered the warm delicious bread to our table, we knew we’d wandered into the right place.  Even the olive oil they gave us to dip the bread in was special.  Then we washed the bread down with a little Moretti’s and life was good.

While we waited for our meal the manager came around to chat us up.  She was a darling thing with a charming accent and we immediately liked her.  Bill asked her what the difference was in Italian and New York Italian.  It was something I’d never thought about before.  Had you?

Our gracious host explained that when Italians came to the States, they couldn’t get the ingredients they used to make their family dishes at home, so they had to find replacements.  Italian family recipes made with American ingredients are collectively New York Italian and they are beloved far beyond the Big Apple.

Bill and I both chose classics.  He had the Eggplant Parmesan and I had the Alfredo.  He was glad he had plenty for two meals, but I wolfed mine down in one fell swoop.  I loved it and here’s what I loved, the sauce, which was delicious, was used with restraint.  Most Alfredo dishes are drowned in too much sauce.  In this dish I could taste everything and had a delightful sauce to compliment it all.  The pasta was perfect, the vegetables were perfect and the sauce was perfect – and they were all presented in perfect proportions.

Confession, the dessert experience was disappointing.  Apparently, there is a shortage of dessert menus, because when we asked for one the waitress slipped it out of an apron pocket.  We landed on a choice, but it was one they no longer offered.  Before we had time to reconsider the other choices, the waitress had slipped the menu back into her pocket.  We took it as a sign we were not meant to have dessert and asked for the check at the first opportunity.

We’ll Be Back

Dessert mishap aside, we’ll be returning.  The atmosphere is nice, the prices are reasonable and the food is out of this world.  The service was good enough and we loved the manager.  Maybe next time we visit we may finally have an al fresco experience in Trinity Groves to rave about.

 

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A Vacation of Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson

lobster_dinnerTRAVEL BUG TALES: OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE VACATION

This vacation is one I touched on while reviewing Primarily Presidential Destinations four years ago.  FOUR YEARS AGO!  I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for that long, but there you have it.  While traveling we saw Lincoln historical sites, Mount Vernon, Monticello and Arlington National Cemetery.  If you want to read about those destinations, then you should follow those links.  In this blog I’ll chat about some of the things which happened in-between these historic landmarks.

Looking at Different Parts of the Menu

Sometimes I feel like an exotic bird among birds of a different feather. It’s like someone dropped my egg into a nest of another species.  We’re all birds, but we’re not alike.  At first no one noticed and they were always good to me even when it was obvious I didn’t quite fit in.  Some of the differences were apparent on this wonderful trip my Mom had carefully planned.

Along with the attractions listed above, we visited places like the Smithsonian Institute and drove all over D.C. , but I didn’t want to just visit museums and drive around.  I felt like there was more to this travel thing than that.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, because this was the most sight-seeing we’d ever done, but everything felt canned.  To an extent I still feel the same way.  I have a great time on vacation and I explore things other people never find, but the real excitement seems just out of my reach.

Take the night we went out for an elegant dinner in D.C.  I have no idea exactly what the restaurant was, but we were very dressed up and the menus were ginormous.  Within moments after opening the menu my Dad announced we’d all have the ground round.  Our usual dining experience was either the local cafeteria, Shoney’s Big Boy or a BBQ joint, so I was thrilled to be in this place with linen tablecloths and candles.  However, I wondered how my dad could know what I wanted before I even finished reading the menu.

I suspect my dad looked at the right side of the menu before he checked out the descriptions on the left.  We sat by quietly while my dad ordered our dinners and obediently ate what was served, but I’d seen the word “lobster” before they took away my menu.  I didn’t know what lobster was and I wasn’t quite ready to let go of it, even after I’d been served my ground round.

I Finally Got My Lobster 

I can only guess what it must have been like to be my parents over the next two or three days.  I probably asked 3,297,000 questions about lobsters.  Somewhere around question number three million I was able to ascertain the undesirability of lobster at a meal was not related to the crustacean itself, but actually to something called “market price.”

When I figured that out I must have posed a question like this, “So, if I found lobster on a menu and it had a price listed instead of just market price, could I order it?”  “Theoretically,” my father replied.  I probably didn’t understand exactly what “theoretically” meant, but I realized it wasn’t a no.

To my parent’s dismay, it wasn’t long until lobster salad showed up on a lunch menu.  I was old enough to understand less than and greater than.  The price of the lobster salad wasn’t the cheapest thing on the menu, but it was in line with the other items, something else my parents must have discussed with me during the lobster conversation.  I confidently informed my family I would be having the lobster salad for lunch.

Oddly, it was my mother who started making a case against the lobster.  She warned me it would not be a whole lobster, but pieces of lobster in a salad and it might give me the wrong idea about lobster.  I imagine I had a look on my face my husband is familiar with. They’d laid down the circumstances in which I could have lobster and I was going to have it.

Dad certainly recognized the look on my face, so he announced I would be having the lobster salad – and that was that.  The lobster salad was good.  It would be years before I’d dip a lobster claw into drawn butter, but for the time being, my parents could talk about something other than crustaceans.

Come back next week and we’ll go to Historic Williamsburg.

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The Rest of the Imperial Apartments

In between the wonders of the Imperial Apartments

In between the wonders of the Imperial Apartments

TRAVEL THERE: COMING DOWN OFF MY DECORATIVE ARTS HIGH

So we’re in Vienna on Viking’s Danube Waltz Cruise.  I’ve just been through the Silver Collection of the Hofburg’s Imperial Apartments and my excitement level is at about 27 out of 10.  The Hofburg allows you to take all the photographs you want in the Silver Collection, but you have to put your cameras away for the Sissi Museum and Imperial Apartments, so you’re imagination (or the internet) will have to provide the visuals.  

The Sissi Phenomena

Austrians love their Empress Elizabeth and I can’t exactly figure out why.  Her story starts out pretty well.  Beloved daughter of obscure Bavarian royalty enjoys an idyllic childhood.  In her early teens, she tagged along on a trip with her big sister, who was being checked out by the Crown Prince of the Hapsburg Dynasty as a potential mate.  Once old Fredrick laid eyes on Elizabeth, big sis was toast.  Within days, Freddy and his “Sissi” were engaged, to the extreme joy of everyone in Europe, with the exception (perhaps) of big sis.

A few days later, the story changes.  Sissi is a drama queen.  She starts wringing her hands and emoting all over her diary.  Poor pitiful princess finds being adored a real challenge.  The rest of her life is one big panic attack.  I’m sorry.  I’m not suggesting panic attacks aren’t serious, but Little Miss Sissi makes a career out of them.  Pretty much her whole life can be summed up by the famous Garbo line, “I want to be alone.”

Now the woman’s life was punctuated by tragedies, but she’d already cast herself as the Queen of Melodrama long before any of them occurred.  By the time her son committed suicide, mama was already far along down the road to nutcase.  This is a woman who spent three hours on her hair each day and she thought her most important duty in life was to keep her eighteen inch waist.  No wonder her son was desperate for female affection and committed suicide when his mistress was going to be taken from him.

In spite of her complete failure in the wife and mother department (she did give birth to several children, but then promptly ignored them) she was adored by her rather stick-in-the-mud hubby and idolized by her subjects.  I just don’t appreciate all her hand-wringing.  I prefer somebody like Empress Maria-Theresa, who gets out there and does something more with her life than fix her hair, watch her waistline and write dreadful poetry.

So, with the opinion I have of the woman, you can imagine I was not thrilled with the “Sissi Museum” section of the Imperial Apartments.  It was interesting to see some of her clothes and other personal items, but I would have been happy with a small sampling, instead of room after room of Austrian swooning.

The Imperial Apartments at the End of the Trail

By the time we actually reached the Imperial Apartments I was worn out.  We’d been through the excitement of finding our own way to the Hofburg from our longship via Vienna’s underground and Graben Strasse.  I’d exulted over every item in the extensive Silver Collection and then been held hostage by the Sissi Fan Club, but we weren’t finished.  Now we entered the actual Apartments all tricked out as they had been during the reign of Emperor Fredrich and his tragic Empress Sissi.

Confession, I was underwhelmed.  Yes, they were beautiful apartments exquisitely furnished, but it just wasn’t my taste.  I much prefer Schonbrunn Palace or the delightful Linderhof.  Maybe if I had liked Sissi more or hadn’t been so overwhelmed by the Silver Collection, I might have enjoyed the Imperial Apartments more, but that’s the way it goes.  All three sections are included in the price of admission, so check them all out, but if your time is limited and you love Decorative Arts, spend your time at the Silver Collection!

So where did we go next on our rainy day in Vienna.  Come back next week and find out.

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A Hot Sunday Afternoon in Dallas

TRAVEL HERE: DRIVING AROUND AMONG OUR MEMORIES

So it was a hot Sunday afternoon in Downtown Dallas and we were hungry.  We’d spent several very enjoyable hours re-familiarizing ourselves with the American galleries at the Dallas Museum of Art, but it was about to close.  I mentioned Trinity Grove, but also pointed out it was far too hot to take advantage of the al fresco dining that seems to be a primary draw to the area.  So Bill decided to drive around downtown for a bit and visit old haunts.

Downtown Ain’t What It Used To Be

Back in the Twentieth Century, Bill and I both used to spend a lot of time downtown.  In the seventies I was in credit card banking with a small independent bank and Republic Bank processed our transactions and cards.  I made frequent visits to the building topped by a rocket and covered in star-studded metal panels.  After branch banking came to Texas, I moved on to the copier industry and found myself downtown even more often – almost daily in fact, as I popped in and out of offices training folks to use copiers, fax machines and phones.

The old Sheraton in the shadow of the Southland Life Building

The old Sheraton in the shadow of the Southland Life Building

Bill had his days downtown, too.  His first venue was the Hilton where he financed his schooling by waiting tables at The Beef Baron and helping out at banquets.  Then he started his computer company and like me, popped in and out of downtown buildings.  He was selling, delivering and installing computer equipment to feed the copiers and fax machines my company sold.

We both have fond memories of those days so as we pulled away from the DMA, Bill took a drive through downtown.  First, we drove by the Hilton.  The venerable old motel is being transformed into a multi-use development with stories and stories of apartments.

We were impressed by the rail system and the many parks which have been inserted into the landscape.  Both of these additions are great improvements to the downtown we remembered, but we weren’t crazy about all the one-way streets.  Thankfully there wasn’t too much traffic or we might have grid-locked the whole place.

We drove over to the Omni Hotel to see their new multi-restaurant venue, but we weren’t tempted to hassle with the parking or valet, so we ignored our growling stomachs and decided on some more sight-seeing.

Neither are The West End and The Brewery

Bill decided to visit the West End.  A few old standards like The Palm and Spaghetti Warehouse were clinging to the sidewalk, but it was a sad tourist trap.  We regretted the loss of those days when all the hot restaurants were clustered in the West End and complimented by a multi-story shopping and entertainment venue.

Robert LeeI fondly remembered another Sunday afternoon when we happened upon Robert Lee Kolb, one of my favorite local entertainers, playing on the outdoor stage.  As I stood on the edge of the crowd Robert Lee began singing the song he always used to play when I’d walk into Beethoven’s, his club in the Bachman Lake area.  The strains of the familiar tune startled me.  I looked away from my husband who I’d been chatting with to find Robert Lee staring right at me with a huge grin on his face.  It’s one of my favorite Dallas memories.

Disappointed to find the West End is about to become yet another multi-use development, we drove over to the Victory Park area and tried to figure out how to find our way into The Brewery, another hang-out we both loved before we knew each other.  For many years, The Brewery was famous for The Starck Club, a place where I have spent many an hour, but I was a regular to The Brewery before The Starck Club made it famous.  Newport’s was once one of my favorite seafood restaurants and it inhabited one end of the complex for decades.

Before The Starck Club appeared in The Brewery, I discovered Robert Lee Kolb down in an establishment called The Cellar, because it was a cellar.  From there I followed him to The Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill and further down Greenville Avenue to Dick’s Last Resort, before it moved to the West End.  Friends tell me he was playing at The Dixie House down in Lakewood back when I was in high school, but that was years before I hit Dallas’ clubbing scene.  My friendship with him began at Beethoven’s, where I’d show up with one or more members of my gang several times a week.

So that was the Sunday afternoon nostalgia tour.  Now Bill and I were hungrier than ever.  It was about 5:30, so the heat was unbearable, but we decided to go to Trinity Grove anyway.  come back next week and I’ll tell you about it!

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Hotel Reservations the Old-Fashioned Way

holiday inn imagesTRAVEL BUG TALES: WHAT? NO EXPEDIA!!

Expedia and Trip Advisor are my friends.  Trivago and Kayak are my allies.  It’s no wonder people used to rely so heavily on travel agents.  Many more either stayed home or bunked with relatives.  Heading out on the road was scary.  Even with pictures and reviews available on the internet, I’ve ended up in some strange accommodations.  What my mom pulled off with Mobil Guides, her letter-writing campaigns and a few phone calls was amazing.

From Investigations to Reservations

Over several months of research, Mom’s itinerary would come together.  She and Dad would map out our route and decide where along the way we’d need to spend the night.  Then Mom would hit the Mobile Guide.

Back in those days there were not a million hotel chains with a gazillion locations.  You basically had three types of places to stay.  The top tier was the first class resorts and hotels.  Those were a bit beyond our budget.  The bottom tier was the mom-and-pop locally owned hotels and they could be a real adventure.  Everything else was pretty much Holiday Inn or Best Western.

Mom was all about Holiday Inn, but in those days there was no 1-800-HOLIDAY.  I can’t say for sure whether Mom actually made reservations for all our stops or not.  I know she didn’t when we made the trek back and forth between Georgia and Texas, because some of dad’s spontaneous choices were the reason she got Mobil Guides in the first place.  I do however know for our 1969 vacation she did make some reservations, namely in D.C. and Williamsburg, but it seems they also depended a little bit on luck.

See, you couldn’t check your GPS for traffic or TXDOT for detours.  Mom had to build room for ooops into her itinerary.  The speed limit on interstates back in those days was in the 80’s, so as long as you could travel on one of those you were golden, but there weren’t as many interstates in those days.  You also had to use state roads or farm-to-market routes and no one knew what that would lead to.

Construction was a nightmare.  Signage was iffy.  Detours were awful.  Dad once missed the sign to get back on our route and we traveled at least an hour out of the way.  Our travel days always began at the crack of dawn and Dad would call a halt before he had to drive in rush hour traffic.  With all these variables, we’d just keep an eye out for the next Holiday Inn.

The Reservation Process

I mentioned a few weeks ago Master Card and Visa were still in the future back in those days.  American Express and Diners Club were still in their infancy and middle class folks like my parents didn’t have them.  So when Mom did make reservations it was somewhat of a challenge.

To make a guaranteed hotel reservation you had to send a check or money order.  One of the benefits of the Mobil Guide was reservation procedures were often listed in the guide.  You could always call, but it was a long distance call and your reservation wasn’t guaranteed until they had the money in hand.  So, in much the same way that Mom solicited travel information, she utilized snail mail to get her hotel reservations.

Dear Sirs: Please find enclosed a check in the amount of $X to reserve a standard room with two double beds on June 3, 1969.  There will be two adults and two children in our party.  Also enclosed is a stamped self-addressed envelope for your letter of confirmation. Sincerely, Ruth Cave  

I remember the excitement we felt as the letters of confirmation arrived to be a few notches above what we expressed when travel brochures arrived.  The brochures just meant we were thinking about visiting.  Letters confirming hotel reservations meant we were actually going.

Are you loving your online reservations yet?  Let’s start traveling next week.

 

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The Hofburg’s Imperial Apartments – A Real Must-See

Here's a place you need to see to believe!

Here’s a place you need to see to believe!

TRAVEL THERE: MORE GOLD THAN YOU CAN COMPREHEND

Let me make one thing very clear, if you are in Vienna, don’t miss the Hofburg.  If I had gone there on my very first visit to the city I don’t know if I would have ever gotten to anyplace else in Vienna, ever.  Chances are, if I ever do get back to Vienna, I’ll be making a beeline the Hofburg and the first thing I will do is go visit the Imperial Apartments – again and again and again.

Getting There

The Stephanplatz is a good starting point for all things Vienna.  When you land there you are moments away from the Hofburg.  Enjoy those moments.  Gawk at the goods in the designer stores, people-watch and stop in Dremel for some chocolate.  Spend some time at Michaelplatz, the grand entrance of the Hofburg.  As if to prove this has been always been the center of activity in Vienna, you’ll find an archaeological dig with Roman ruins right outside the entrance to the palace.

Don’t hurry through the Michaelplatz.  Along with the Roman ruins you’ll see spectacular sculptures.  If architecture is your thing, turn around and gaze at the very plain bank building across from the palace.  A persnickety architect, built the building as his home to act as affront to what he considered the very gaudy palace.  Poor Bill!  I was desperate to capture all of this in photographs and he obliged me, but it wasn’t exactly the right day for great pictures.

Entering The Imperial Apartments

After enjoying Michealplatz, enter the palace and turn right.  You’ll be in the vestibule of the Imperial Apartments where you get your ticket to enter.  We had the misfortune of being there when their credit card machine wasn’t working.  Instead of being in a tizzy, trying to find out what was wrong and how to fix it like American cashiers would be, the attendant informed us we’d have to use cash in a very blase manner suggesting she really didn’t care whether we saw the museum or not.  I felt very American at that point.  I wanted her to sympathize with the fact that she’d be depleting almost the entire cache of our euros.  Euros Bill had been loathe to buy and besides that her city was raining on us.  This was all very distressing.  You’ll be glad to know I managed to restrain myself and cough up the necessary euros, but that didn’t mean I was happy about it.

Decorative Arts Heaven

My dismay was short-lived, because I was soon standing in Decorative Arts heaven.  I cannot begin to tell you how amazing and wonderful the Imperial Apartments are.  As I lay dying, with my life passing before me, a good portion of the pictures I’ll see will be from the Imperial Apartments’ Silver Collection.  Hyperbole?  Don’t judge me until you see this!

Calling this orgy of beauty the Imperial Apartments is a bit of a misnomer.  The Silver Collection is actually the first part of three very different attractions which have been rolled into one.  The actual Imperial Apartments are at the end of the line and while quite nice, they are nothing compared to the Silver Collection.

To help you better understand why I am so blown away with the “Silver Collection” you first have to understand silver is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is silver and gold and porcelain and linens and even the boxes they transported all these wonders in.  We’re talking flatware, dishes, epergnes, vases, platters, bowls, tureens, napkins, tablecloths – all in multiples like you would not believe.

I’m someone who will dutifully spend hours stomping through the rest of a huge museum for the privilege of spending time in the one small room most institutions devote to the Decorative Arts.  There are museums which have more Decorative Arts than others, for which I am grateful, but I’ve never been anywhere like this.

I think I’ll just shut up and show you the pictures Bill took for me.  Then maybe next week I’ll tell you about the rest of the Imperial Apartments.

 

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Final Words About the Museum of Biblical Arts

Detail of Title Page from a book in the MBA gift shop.

Detail of Title Page from a book in the MBA gift shop.

TRAVEL HERE: MORE GOOD STUFF AND MORE QUESTIONS AT MBA

OK, we’re back at the Museum of Biblical Arts in Dallas.  I’ve been warming up on the sculpture garden and one wing of the museum for several weeks.  I need to move on and need to tell you about the rest of it.

National Center for Jewish Art

I confess!  The murals on the walls of this gallery were some of my favorites items exhibited in this museum.  I’m a big fan of the Old Testament and Jewish Tradition.  The remarkable works on these walls were a contemporary look at these timeless things.  Even though I was trying to hurry through to keep up with my friends, I was forced to stop and ponder these images.  What were they representing?  Were the images Biblical or merely traditional?  Did I like them?  How did the titles relate to the work?

A Hallway Full of King James Bibles and a Library

One area that I definitely didn’t give enough time was the hallway full of historic King James Bibles.  At the end of the hallway was a library dedicated to Charles Ryrie, the man who wrote the Bible Commentary I most frequently refer to.  This exhibit and library are proof enough that the MBA deserves your attention.  The books on display are rare, ancient and beautiful.  I yearned for an opportunity to touch a page, even if it had to be with a glove-clad finger.

Contemporary Gallery

This was not one of my favorite galleries.  I’m not a big fan of Chagall.  I admire his creativity, but not the way he expressed it – if that makes any sense.  Half this gallery was devoted to pictures painted “in the style of Chagall”, but few were actually by Chagall.  That’s part of what kept nagging at me as I visited the museum.  Don’t give me replicas, prints, in style of or from the studio of.  In the days before the internet I can understand people being eager to see replicas or prints or anything that would give them an idea of these beautiful works of art they would never see, but nowadays you can gawk at a reasonable facsimile of almost any work of art you so desire, in your pajamas, without leaving your sofa.  If I’m going to get dressed and drive to a museum, I want to see the real thing or a new thing I wouldn’t look up online.

Also confusing in this gallery was a roped off section.  It looked like a storeroom where items were being crated or uncrated, but no one was working in there, so I couldn’t tell whether the art was coming or going.  Later an adjacent hallway was filled with similarly semi-packed objects’d art.  Inquiring minds want to know what was going on.

Odds and Ends

In halls behind the Contemporary Gallery and the Library, were two thought provoking pieces.  One was a photograph of a “Last Supper” but all the people in the picture were dressed as if they were characters in Japanese Noh theater.  Even when I don’t want to think about this painting, it keeps teasing the corners of my mind. The other item was a painting called the Tapestry of the Ages by Vladimir Gorsky.  I could have spent hours identifying the hundreds of people in this painting and considering their contribution to this world.

I stepped into the ballroom of the museum (They do weddings!) and was disappointed to discover it was covered with landscape paintings.  From a visit I made to the museum about the time it opened ( I actually think it was some kind of preview event) I had remembered the ballroom being home to something remarkable – and it may have been the resurrection mural, but it also seems there were pictures of the apostles.  (I was in the throws of care-giving drama. I didn’t get a blog written, so I can remember being impressed, just not by what!)  I want to be clear that the landscapes are wonderful.  Since they are landscapes of Israel, I can even understand their presence in a Biblical arts, it’s just that I miss whatever was there before!  I hate to think they removed the art to help sell the venue.

And while I’m complaining, if they are going to display an exhibition in the ballroom, then it needs to look like an exhibition space, not a catch all.  There were tables and chairs scattered around the room in no apparent order and the chairs were more randomly placed than the tables.  In one chair set a photo of the ballroom all tricked out for a reception.  My bet is someone left it behind after a meeting with a bride-to-be.  I’d already been chafed by the crating/uncrating debris spread out in the hall and gallery.  This added to my dysphoria.

The Main Attraction

The featured exhibit this summer is “God in the Garden, The Impressionistic Works of Henrietta Milan.”  I had somehow missed the signage for this part of the galleries.  I wandered in from the landscapes and found myself in galleries of Monet-like garden paintings.  They were gorgeous.  I wanted one of each, but I kept wondering what made them Biblical Art.

Come to find out, the paintings were by a Texas Impressionist and to quote the attendant at the ticket counter Milan is “very spiritual in her approach to painting.”  Okay…  I’m thrilled this Texas artist is getting exposure in a museum of this caliber, but I still have to wonder why.  In the catalog I purchased from the gift shop, Scott Peck, the Executive Director and Curator of the Museum, waxes eloquent, using the old hymn “In the Garden” as the springboard for his discussion of her art.  The brief article was interesting, even eloquent, but for me, it didn’t connect the dots.

I’ve rattled on far too long today, but there was no way I was going to have a fifth post in this series.  I am always honest with you in my reviews.  When I rave, you can trust that it was very good.  When I rant, you know something was very wrong with my experience.  I wanted very much to rave about the MBA and while there is a lot which is very rave-worthy, that’s not the whole story.  I don’t really want to rant against the museum, but there is also some dissonance resounding from my visit.  I hope you’ll go visit and tell me what you think.

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