Looking Back: Best VL Posts of 2014

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It’s the end of yet another awesome year — our travels took us to National Parks, site-specific installations, and quirky museums, and through some incredible buildings. We started the year in Denver, where we peeped Colorado Crush, an annual celebration of hip hop culture.

In nearby Colorado Springs, we visited the Garden of the Gods, which basically looks like nature’s own sculpture park:

Garden of the Gods in Colorado

A trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee was my first [and possibly last] time camping in snow:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee

In Baltimore, I spent the day at the Peabody Institute, tagging along with my friend and her musician kids and feeling a bit like I was on the set of Fame:

Peabody Institute by Edmund George Lind

Speaking of exquisitely ornate interiors, I finally checked out Mr. Morgan’s Library in NYC. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind if this were my home library:

Morgan Library by Charles Follen McKim

Over in Brooklyn, I felt like a big kid when I visited the New York Transit Museum, which I’d wanted to do since I was a little kid:

New York Transit Museum

Also in Brooklyn, Cara Walker’s massive site-specific installation inside the Domino Factory was entitled A Subtlety. Subtle it was not:

A Subtlety by Kara Walker

Sometimes I don’t get around to doing something for absolutely no good reason — for two years, I lived near the Indianapolis Central Library but only stepped foot inside this year:

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

During a trip to Chicago this summer, I toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park commissions and his home and studio. If you’re interested in architecture, it’s a great way to spend the day:

Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio in Oak Park

I went out to the Bay Area, my old stomping grounds, and finally visited Alcatraz Island and Federal Penitentiary, as well as the series of temporary site-specific installations by Ai Weiwei, entitled @Large. Both experiences were intense and haunting, but the artwork is only up for a few more months:

@Large by Ai Weiwei

Back in Cincy, I toured the Rookwood Pottery factory and admired its mural by Tina Westerkamp entitled The Migration of Tradition:

The Migration of Tradition by Tina Westerkamp

Cincinnati Music Hall was named one of the most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, so I finally gathered up my photos from various visits into a blog post:

Cincinnati Music Hall by Hannaford & Procter

My favorite local kid invited me to his birthday party at the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati which, as it turns out, is a cornucopia of amazing hand-lettering:

Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati

Sidenote: I had a little chat at this birthday party with one of the diminutive guests:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A teenager.”
“You know, I was a teenager for a while.”
“You were? Oh, wow!”

This still cracks me up.

Alright, that wraps up 2014 for me! While you’re here, please check out my favorite posts from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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