#ThursdayDoors: Cloud Gates and Pierogies

I wish I could say that I start each new vacation looking forward to expanding my horizons, meeting new people, riding a zip line through the jungle, or even joining an archeological dig.

The Cloud Gate in Millenium Park – if you could find the “gate” where do you think it would lead?

But alas, I’m a person ruled by my taste buds and not my head. Before even heading for the airport, I’m thinking of all the food adventures awaiting me. You might deduce that I’m some sort of a foodie interested in haute cuisine.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.

From the original doors

I’d rather have Potato Pierogies and Gedadschde at a place like Berghoffs  (above) than nibble on an elegantly presented morsel of steak tartare served on ginger-roasted sea urchins. Berghoff’s Grill, one of the oldest in Chicago, is the sort of place where they don’t make you feel like old Aunt Nellie who lives on fried spam and canned peas if you ask about the ingredients. The matronly waitresses call you “honey” and it’s assumed you want a beer to go with that humongous Bavarian pretzel hanging in the middle of the table for sharing and dipping.

My favorite eatery in Washington DC is also a “grill:”  The Old Ebbitts Grill.Aside from its long list of famous regulars, this establishment (which claims to be Washington’s Oldest “Saloon”)  is famous for its decor. the game heads hanging on the walls were supposedly bagged by Teddy Roosevelt.

The Cabinet Room is famous for its collection of  paintings of tropical birds by Robin Hill.  However, it’s used primarily for private parties and thus we were unable to get a peak inside.

How about you – are you a pierogie or tartare sort of traveler?

Check out other doors at Norm’s place.

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#ThursdayDoors: A Stark Contrast

Last month we took a trip back to Washington, DC and Charleston, SC – two places technically in the southeast but, aside from grits and soft-shelled (blue) crabs, they’ve little in common. One is a sprawling metropolis and the other a snapshot of the genteel south circa 1780. Needless to say, I have enough doors to be able to participate in Norm Frampton’s #ThursdayDoor event for a long time.

I’m going to start with these doors from the FDR Memorial to remind my American friends of the stakes at risk in our upcoming Elections.

Door representing the hopelessness of many people during the Great Depression

Door representing the hopelessness of many people during the Great Depression

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Door to the Soup Kitchen, the only way to survive for many people.

The Republicans and Libertarians have made consistent threats against  programs like the ones President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put into place; programs that saved this country from the Great Depression and provided a safety net for millions of Americans, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable of us.

The FDR memorial sits across the Potomac from downtown DC and is just down the road from Arlington Cemetery (which is always on my must visit list.)  The memorial is a maze-like series of granite walls representing each of FDR’s four terms in office. Into the walls are carved quotes from his most famous speeches.fdr15

The one above says:  “We must scrupulously guard the civil rights of all citizens, whatever their background.  We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.”

FDR and Fala, the only presidential dog to have his own monument.

FDR and Fala, the only presidential dog to have his own monument.

It’s shocking to contrast what a man in a wheelchair and in dubious health created in both words and deeds in twelve years while for eight years our Republican-held congress has accomplished nothing but repeatedly attack Obama care, fund baseless investigations against the Clintons, and encourage through word and deed citizens to turn against each other with hatred, intolerance and incivility. img_2246

I think every American needs to keep in mind why social safety nets were put into place and why any politician seeking to destroy them should be defeated on November 8th. By next Thursday we’ll know.  Are we going to go backwards or forwards – what’s your guess?

Apologies for the darkness of the pictures – we were there in the evening.