Tay Explores

Washington D.C. Architecture – National Cathedral

I hope everyone who celebrates, had a lovely Christmas! May you’re lives always be filled with love, happiness, laughter and delicious food! ūüôā Today, I am going to be sharing photos of a new place I saw during my visit to Washington D.C., the Washington National Cathedral.¬†As an admirer of architecture, my friend suggested we check it out.¬† This Gothic style cathedral was finished in 1990 and is the 2nd largest in the US and the 6th largest in the whole world! It really was massive and we could see it from really far away which makes sense because the top of its tower is the highest point in D.C. It’s located on top of Mount Saint Albans in Northwest Washington. Once we got to the area, we saw Olmsted Woods and noticed a pathway to through it¬†called the “Pilgrim Way” and decided to take that up to the Cathedral.…

The Art of the Qur’an Exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

As you know, I’m currently in the east coast which means I’ve made quite a few trips to Washington D.C. Until recently, I didn’t realize that D.C. is such an easy city to get in and out of, even in a car. I think I went to the city probably 3 or 4 times in one week. I had the opportunity to eat at many different restaurants, look at beautiful architecture that I had never seen before and go to some art galleries! One of the main reasons I went was to check out The Art of the Qur’an Exhibition; Treasures from the Museums of Turkish and Islamic Arts. It’s being displayed in¬†the Freer and Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian until February 20, 2017. And it’s FREE. That’s one thing that¬†I love about the Smithsonian, there are so many museums to see at no cost! There’s literally no excuse for…

Exploring US Cities – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Do you know what’s great about having lived in multiple places? The fact that I’ve made a lot of friends who are now themselves living in different places, giving me a chance to visit them. Which means I also get to check out new places I’ve never been. About a month ago, I had the opportunity to visit such a friend who lived next door to me for a while when I was growing up¬†in Maryland. She recently moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now, I’ve been to Michigan before (and visited¬†Ann Arbor, Detroit and Dearborn) but this was the first time in Grand Rapids for me so it was exciting! Grand Rapids¬†is about a 3 hour drive from Chicago so it ended up being a mini road trip which was fine because I had two other awesome friends with me. So we began this journey at 9am and got there…

Small Cities in the US – Vermilion, Ohio

As you may know, I live in Chicago but often go to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Silver Spring, Maryland since¬†my¬†siblings live there. A lot of the times I end up driving to and from there no matter how much I say that next time I’m just going to fly! I usually don’t mind driving, but this drive is really boring, there’s barely anything exciting that comes along the way! However, I have managed to find a town that I like stopping in when I have time. It’s also conveniently about halfway between Chicago and Harrisburg, called Vermilion, Ohio. It’s a cute town located by Lake Erie which means there is a beach (one of my favorite things ever). The reason why I initially chose to stop here was because of an ice cream shop called Granny Joe’s Ice Creamatorium. It had good reviews and so I knew I had to check…

Open House Chicago 2016 Series – Part 4

This is my last post about Open House Chicago which I attended a few weekends ago. If you’ve been following along, you know that this one is going to be about the home and studio of the¬†famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I was the most excited about visiting this space because I studied a little bit about him¬†in my interior design classes. He was¬†a¬†modern architect who wanted to steer away from European style architecture and¬†build¬†a distinct style for America. This¬†style was known as the Prairie style.¬†His home and studio in Oak Park is¬†considered to be his first architectural masterpiece. This style emphasized homes with low, pitched roofs and long rows of casement windows which were made with local materials. The wood was always unstained and unpainted to¬†focus attention on¬†natural beauty. Unfortunately, on this tour, we were not allowed to take photographs of the inside but I did manage to take…

Cantigny Park in Fall

Hello folks, today I have another beautiful fall post for your¬†eyes¬†to admire! My nieces are here so we are constantly trying to find places to take them and since it hasn’t gotten as cold yet, parks are the perfect place! I recently found a park in Wheaton, Illinois which is about 15ish minutes from me in Glen Ellyn. It’s called Cantigny Park and costs only $5 per car! However, it’s $10 per car on summer weekends. It’s all worth it¬†in my opinion because¬†there are tons of gorgeous gardens to walk through as well as museums with activities for kids! Unfortunately, the museums are closed on Mondays which is the day of the week we chose to go. Even though we were sad about that,¬†it still turned out amazing because my nieces thoroughly enjoyed being outside in nature. The three year old ran around everywhere in happiness. (And as you will…

Open House Chicago 2016 Series – Part 3

The next stop on the Open House Chicago¬†was the Nineteenth Century Club House and Oak Park Art League. Nineteenth Century Club House in Oak Park, IL This clubhouse was established by a group of women who believed that education, charitable activities, and civic involvement were an important elements to a prosperous community. (Girl power!) This neoclassical structure was built in 1928 and designed by James L. Fyfe who had ties to the club through his wife and mother-in-law. The clubhouse is still¬†used to support educational and cultural endeavors. At the time of my visit there was a dance class going on, which was fun to watch! Oak Park Art League in Oak Park, IL The Oak Park Art League was founded after World War I and this structure was¬†designed in 1902 by Eben Ezra Roberts. (I like how colorful and fun this building’s exterior¬†is)¬†It was a place for artist collaboration…

Open House Chicago 2016 Series – Part 2

Saint Edmund Catholic¬†Parish in Oak Park, Chicago Another site on the Open House Chicago 2016 was the Saint Edmund Catholic Parish. It is the first Catholic Parish in Oak Park, IL and was founded by Archbishop James Quigley in 1907. It is a 14th Century English Gothic style church which was designed by Henry Schlacks and dedicated¬†in 1910. For a more detailed history, you can click here. It is one of those places which one has to see in person because the photographs do not do justice. The details of the ceiling is impeccable. It all looks like tiles, but if you got closer to it, you would see that it’s actually little squares of paint that are made to imitate tiles, so brilliant! I could not get enough of it but we had to move on if we wanted to see¬†more sites on the tour!

Open House Chicago 2016 Series – Part 1

Last weekend there was something called the Open House Chicago which¬†I participated in and it was AMAZING! Basically what it is, is that the city of Chicago opens some beautiful architectural land marks to the public for FREE! Everything about this event was screaming my name. Although I’m not a practicing interior designer, I’ve always had a love for beautiful architecture and well designed spaces. Chicago has so much architectural history that I could not pass up this opportunity. While studying interior design in school, one of the big names that came up often was Frank Lloyd Wright who is from Chicago! His home and studio was on this list of places to see too! He essentially is the one who started the Prairie Style Architecture which is the style of the houses in Oak Park, the area that I chose to visit. In this post I will show you…

Six Hours in Washington D.C.

Remember when I was telling you about a friend of mine who was visiting from the UK this summer and I took her around? Well, another place that we went to was Washington D.C. And remember when I told you we were on a time crunch? We saw D.C. in approximately six hours! Also it was the day that there was a heat wave warning…so it was quite a day! We took the metro from the Glenmont Metro Station to the Metro Center Station which was the closest to the White House, our first stop! 1. White House We could only see this from far away. There was another fence in front of that black fence which you can’t see in this photograph that we had to stand behind. I remember being able to go right up to that black fence a few years ago. I guess there’s extra security…

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