And since I no longer live a few blocks away in Harlem, Kristin and I now have to make real plans to see each other, and when we do we tend toward the ambitious.
Most recently, we decided to take a road trip to Fallingwater, the Kaufman family's vacation home, masterfully built by Frank Lloyd Wright into a waterfall in rural Pennsylvania. We decided it would be no problem to do this in a single day, so we logged over 450 miles between waking up and going back to sleep.
It turns out that the mountains of Pennsylvania are a world away from Philadelphia. It was snowing and blustery and we joked that we were definitely North of The Wall.
My favorite part? We spent the following morning lamenting over all the things we still didn't even get to talking about during the 10 hours we spent alone in the car.
That's Tier One friendship.
I would like to recommend a field trip to Fallingwater to everyone with a soul and an appreciation for human creation. It is truly brilliant, from the grand scope of its very idea down to the tiniest details inside the house.
It's these details I'm still hung up on.
image courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Some ideas that continue lingering in my brain:
- Wealthy adults in 1935 were down with twin beds, low-ish ceilings, and a regular-house number of rooms.
- A perfect living room has multiple zones so people can be flexible with their interactions. You can be social over here, or social over there, or antisocial over there, without leaving the room.
- Hinges are magical. An enormous soup kettle swings in and out of the fireplace. Bathroom towels are hung on a series of racks that extend out of the wall. A bedside book lays open on what looks like a music stand, attached by a hinge to the wall, and can hover over you as you read in bed, and be pushed away when it's lights out. Why doesn't every bedroom have that?
- Stools are underrated pieces of furniture. There are lots of styles and possibilities, and they can be easily moved around and repurposed for different occasions.
- Great style never goes out of style. The architect's furnishings, fabrics, colors, and lines are timeless. He was ahead of his time then, and somehow remains so now.
We ended our road trip with a rural diner stop, followed by an extended adventure closing down a suburban Target. Really, I can think of no happier way to spend a Saturday night.