Ah, the Cranbrook Educational Community. The hoity-toityest private school in all of southeast Michigan. Its classrooms and studios have gestated luminaries as numerous as the stars: Michael Kinsley. Bob Woodruff. Mitt Romney! Nestled in the green bosom of Bloomfield Hills, it’s known for its lovely, peaceful campus, its public art — that’s Carl Milles’ Orpheus Fountain, above, along with Europa and the Bull — its museums, academies and general devotion to learning and enlightenment.
Eliel Saarinen was the main architect of the place, as well as the art school’s director. He and his wife lived in a house on campus. Since Alex was here, taking advantage of the Stay With a Blogger Weekend special, and since Alex is a huge fan of 20th century modern, it seemed a good time to finally get out there and see the Saarinen house.
Well, it’s everything you’d expect a Saarinen house to be — beautiful, austere, clean, symmetrical, attention paid to the last detail, and terribly uncomfortable-looking. Those Finns and their hospitality — everything about them says, “Come and admire, but don’t stay too long.” There was a “cozy corner,” a built-in banquette that ran around two sides of a room. A rug was draped over the seat, and extended out onto the floor. The guide said guests would sit on the bench and pull the rug up over their legs to stay warm. How cozy. What hospitality.
But hey, it’s Saarinen. Some people design for the comfort of the body. Others design for the benefit of the eye. You need a mix.
After that we took the long way home. I wanted Alex to see the Theatre Bizarre, in the back yard of a house along State Fair Road:
It’s…well, I’m not sure what it is. Nearest I can tell, it’s a performance space that opens one night a year — Halloween or thereabouts — for a night of macabre revelry. More pictures at the links.
The next day we spent on the water. Blue sky, blue water, blue T-shirt, blue freighter:
Our next Stay With the Blogger weekend will be after I change the sheets. Make your applications soon.
Bloggage: Ashley Morris has met his match.
Some people don’t like Crocs. Some people must not have children. Or a job that requires standing up for long periods of the day, evidently.
The Columbus Dispatch is running a three-part series on the shooting of a local teenager by the sort of resident politely described as “eccentric.” I’ve read enough multi-part series on wrenching medical conditions to see me through the rest of my life, but part one — about the shooting and how it happened — is well-done and well-worth your time. Some people shouldn’t have guns.
That’s it for me. Time slips away, and I have a lot to do in what remains.