Since I'm not going to London and Paris with Bob in the fall, I suddenly have two weeks of unplanned vacation and no idea how to spend them. A few ideas I'm tossing around:
Los Angeles to see the Frank Gehry's spectacular new Walt Disney Concert Hall. The L.A. Philharmonic's full season in the new facility doesn't kick off until October -- and one of the first concerts is programmed with some amazing music, including Saint-Saëns' epic Organ Symphony, which I've never heard live. The concert hall is reported to have some of the best acoustics in the world, and the installation of the new organ has been the subject of endlessly giddy media coverage (at least among the media that consider the installation of a world-class pipe organ to be endlessly newsworthy). Unfortunately, the concert is the weekend before the Chicago Marathon, so I'd have to do a lot of rationalizing to justify missing my last training hurrah before what promises to be the most miserable (and theoretically the most exhilarating) weekend of my life.
Seattle to check out Rem Koolhaas' funky new public library. (I know. How lame is it to travel halfway across the continent to visit a library? But I've never been to Seattle, and this building is creating as much buzz in the architectural world as Gehry's L.A. Concert Hall. And I've already started an architectural-vacation trend with my recent road trip to check out Santiago Calatrava's alar new addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.)
D.C. because I'm a sentimental fool for American history, and I haven't been there since my family and I watched the media circus outside the courthouse where Monica Lewinsky was giving her crucial-to-the-security-of-America testimony in 1988 or 1999. We're long overdue to impeach another President -- this time for legitimate reasons -- and maybe I should plan my trip now so I can be sure I won't miss any of the fireworks.
New York City for a dedicated vacation instead of these one- and two-day work trips. There are tons of shows I'd love to see and tons of museums I have yet to experience there. I've never been in the Guggenheim, and I'm dying to get back to The Cloisters and Rice to Riches. And I have yet to encounter an A-list celebrity in my 36 years on earth, so I'm thinking a long NYC stay might be the place to accomplish that noble goal.
Other suggestions are always welcome. So are tour-guiding offers.