Monday, February 27, 2012
A Weekend of Rodin
Just the perfect sunny weekend to get out. This weekend the Lad and another cutie were staying with the Mistress, so I decided we would be off to see the Rodin Museum in center city. I'm not usually turned on by sculpture, but I can appreciate it. And to see what Rodin could do with it is just amazing. Plus it had been a while since I was there loves, so lets check it out. The Rodin Museum was the gift of movie theater magnate Jules Mastbaum to the city of Philadelphia. Mastbaum began collecting works by Rodin in 1923 with the intent of founding a museum to enrich the lives of his fellow citizens. Just three years later, he had assembled the largest collection of Rodin's works outside Paris, including bronze castings, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters, and books. In 1926, Mastbaum commissioned French architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to design the Museum building and gardens. Unfortunately, the collector did not live to see his dream realized, but to date, the museum still has the largest collection of Rodin pieces.
Designed by Jacques Gréber as part of the Museum's overall plan, the Rodin Gardens have remained a calm respite from the clatter of the city, even as the Parkway has changed over the years. As Rodin himself knew, the appreciation of works of art is heightened by nature—and that is the goal of the Rodin Gardens. My favorite part of the garden is the reflecting pool in the garden courtyard which evokes calm, and echoes the cool beauty of the building. And I just love fountains.
Auguste Rodin brought monumental public sculpture into the modern era. Though he was well acquainted with the academic traditions and idealized subjects of classical and Renaissance sculpture, Rodin's aim in his work was to be absolutely faithful to nature. His uncanny ability to convey movement and to show the inner feelings of the men and women he portrayed, the use of his light-catching modeling, and his extraordinary use of similar figures in different mediums, have established him as one of the greatest sculptors of all time.
After viewing of so much hard muscly art it was off to get some dinning going on. After much debate, and the decision always left to me, it was off to JG Domestic, which is recently open in a new space, conveniently located directly behind the 30th Street train station. This is chef Jose Garces's place, and his seventh in Philadelphia. Being in the lobby of the Cira Centre— a 29-story glass building that goes disco at night, bedazzled with a multitude of multicolored twinkling lights—I expected the design of the place to blend with the feel of the building. But it stood out against it—with a refined-but-rustic look. Think: exposed wood beams, wood tables, and wood shelves lined with baskets, plants, and metal cans. The last picture is a shot of one section that will be open for dinner. Very cool looking.
I started with the maple-glazed pecans with tiny chunks of bacon and surprise.... a cheese platter, whose selection is constantly changing. I enjoyed a Rogue River blue cheese, Nettle Meadow Kunik, Keswick Creamery tomme, paired with brandied candy walnuts, pumpkin butter, and apple truffle compote. For my dinner I went with the Smoked Bar B Q soft shell crab, which I couldn't finish.
The highlight by far for me though, of that meal was dessert. We treated ourselves to the beignets which come with a bourbon vanilla mouselline, which were out of this world.
After dinner it was back to the Casa, where the Mistress made cock-a-tails and gave us all Borghese facials and settled in to watch movies. A very nice weekend and a relaxing one. The Mistress will be out for most of the upcoming week as Mistress and team will be going window shopping and numerous visits to designer showrooms. This is one of my favorite parts of my job. And maybe....just maybe....I'll finally run into my next husband....Marc Jacobs. Tootles and see ya soon!