Many years ago we went to Chicago to see cows. Well... they did. I went to Chicago to see Frank.

I've loved Frank Lloyd Wright and his design concepts almost since I first knew about architecture. As a kid, I made multiple pilgrimages to Taliesin West between school and other field trips and I had lots of time to explore that compound and get familiar with what he thought about design. I've even played for a group of tourists the piano that sits on a large, drum-head like floor in his theater. Then as a young adult, I read The Fountainhead and became enamored with architecture and architects and I found all that exposure to Taliesin in my teens had really set in deep. I've pushed shared my obsession with the KoH and it's now one of our "things." Whenever we go somewhere in the country, we look up where all the FLW buildings are and go see them. Many are public buildings like the Unity Temple, Fallingwater, Gammage Auditorium, Kentuck Knob and the Pope-Leighy house (some of my favorites), but others are not. Still we drive to them, park in front on the street and take pictures while the annoyed occupants peer out their windows from behind drawn drapes and contemplate calling the cops.

On a previous trip to New York, we went by the Guggenheim Museum and even went inside the door to take photos. But we were on our way to The Daily Show and didn't have the time nor admission price to work up ganas to go through it so we made a note to come back later for this purpose. Then we got home and realized that it's the fiftieth anniversary of the building's construction and there's a special Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit inside. And since four days ago, when we discovered this was the last weekend of the exhibit, we decided we clearly needed to plan another trip and fast.

We spent less than twenty hours in New York but managed to take in two unrelated museums, walk through Central Park Zoo, complete the trifecta of Alice's Teacup restaurants, gain thirty pounds just by looking inside Dylan's Candy Bar, walk through the M&Ms store in Times Square with our mouths agape and our hands over our ears, get a pedicure, nearly get killed by two bus drivers and somehow manage to use a hotel room for two nights without paying for even one of them.

Oh and we saw this:

It was a near spiritual experience walking around in a building designed by FLW, looking at drawings, photos and models of other buildings designed by FLW on the 50th anniversary of the opening of that building that was designed by FLW... and that spiritual experience was crushed every five minutes or so by security guards who yelled at everyone for taking pictures. (Note to Guggenheim folk: Seriously??? I'm willing to concede your restricting photos of the exhibits - even though I wasn't using a flash - but when people get up to the top and just want to take a photo looking down into the rotunda, why act like they killed your dog? Maybe you should walk three blocks down to the Met and observe how patrons are not only allowed to photograph the building interior but also the exhibits... WITH a flash... and ask yourself, "Why?" In the absence of an answer to that question, you might consider posting the "No photographs" sign near the front door rather than at the very top of the building and on the outside of elevator doors.)

Even given that, and the fact that the last weekend of the exhibit meant literally tons of people, it was more than worth eight hours on a bus to see it and I'm glad we up and skipped town at the last minute.

There was no end to the fascination the windows held for me.

If I could hide in the building at closing time and sleep there all night just so I could wake up and see the sunrise from this viewpoint, I would totally risk the jail time.

During that original trip to Chicago when Monica, The KingofHearts, The KoH's friend Mike and I took the tour of the FLW home in Oak Park, the tour guide was explaining a particular piece of interest in one of the geodesic domed library rooms and Mike looked up and announced to the room or tourists, "Can't do that with Leggos." Everyone laughed and laughed. It's been an inside joke/mantra of ours ever since. So as I was wandering around on the spiral ramp of the Guggenheim, this came to mind and I pulled out my mobile phone and tweeted:

Then I walked back down to the bottom and into the gift shop and found that, apparently, you CAN do that with Leggos:

I'm ashamed to admit I spent a ridiculous amount of money on this and brought it home.