It’s with a heavy heart that I share that the Gilded Age architectural gem, the Palmer House Hotel is in foreclosure.
The hotel was built by Potter Palmer, a real estate tycoon, for his young bride as a wedding gift. The hotel has faced disaster in the form of fires and financial problems before. I hope it’s not closed for good.
I can see how the lockdown and looting has affected all the downtown hotels.
This week Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to post on living rooms, tables, chairs and such so I’m posting some of my favorite historic homes: Charles Dawes House in Evanston, and the Richard Drieshaus Museum in Chicago.
Charles Dawes House
Charles Dawes House, Living Room
I wish I had such a living room. Below are chairs from the Art of the Chair exhibit at the Drieshaus Museum.
Friday I went to a party at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum called Bourbon, Bowties & Bonnets, which celebrated the Kentucky Derby. My friend and I went with colorful, spring outfits, but we didn’t don bonnets because we just didn’t have any. Next year, we will. Still a lot of guests got into the spirit of the festivities and dressed up from head to toe. Many women had spectacular hats, but my favorite was a straw hat with a wide brim decorated with flowers, a small plastic horse and an old ticket from the Kentucky Derby.
When we arrived we were given mint juleps, the cocktail most associated with the Kentucky Derby. A bona fide mint julep comes in a pewter glass and has crushed ice (not cubes), sugar (not syrup), bourbon and mint leaves (recipe here). Bourbon is the first alcohol invented in the U.S. and must be made up of at least 51% corn and be made in fresh oak barrels. After their first use, the barrels are sold to Scotland, Mexico and elsewhere. Those countries use the barrels to make other alcohol. Though distilled in Kentucky for the most part, Bourbon got its name from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where bourbon became popular.
With our mint juleps we listened to music and nibbled hot appetizers. We learned about the derby’s history.
Then we went upstairs and could taste three different cocktails: The Brown Derby, Old Fashioned and Boulevardier. My favorite was The Brown Derby with the strong Old Fashioned and Boulevardier coming in a distant second and third.
A bit pricey, but handmade
We could wander around the museum checking out this stunning Gilded Age home and the current exhibit on the history of chairs in America. In addition, they had a real life milliner selling gorgeous hats and fascinators, which would be perfect for anyone going to the derby or a royal wedding. Some of our fellow guests were planning on going to the Drake Hotel’s viewing of Prince Harry and Meaghan Markel’s wedding and got their hats here.
In response to the Daily Post’s prompt, I’ll share some thoughts on elegance. The video above has several good tips on elegance, but I’ll add a few thoughts.
We’re losing or lost the idea of everyday elegance. I sorely miss it. Watching White Christmas on Saturday, I was swept away by the elegant clothing both men and women, stars and extras had on. We can’t roll back time, but we can iron our shirts and look polished even when wearing casual clothing.
You don’t have to spend a lot to be elegant and it’s not just for formal occasions. Check out my friend Bridget’s Instagram. She lives in the mountains and everyday posts what she’s wearing. She’s got a knack for casual elegance.
I’ve learned a lot about elegance living in Asia. Their outfits are usually “less is more” in that they don’t overdo it with accessories. (N.B. some short, short skirts are in vogue and a few inches more of fabric would leave something to the imagination.)
The antithesis of elegance for me is chipped nail polish. I’ve been guilty, but once your polish is getting chipped, remove it. If you’ve got a non-elegance pet peeve, comment below
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.
Here’s how it works:
1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.
2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.