The best thing about summers in the city is that on the weekends people go away. Itis one of those urban dynamics that works out well for everyone. Either you stay in the city and get to feel that you have the place to yourself: early Sunday morning walks alone along quiet streets to get bagels and the Times at ExCel or a happenstance stop by Just Pasta for a table on the patio at brunch. And if youire one of the people who take off on the weekends for a beach or a lake or the woods, you get to escape the pressures and the people you could really use a break from.
I never had a preference. I could sit on my back porch with wine and a good book just as easily as I could sit on the beachOewith wine and a good book. I didnit think one had an advantage over the other and Iim lucky enough to have wrangled invitations for summer stays from a few friends with really nice weekend places.
But nothing like Graycliff, the Darwin Summer Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that sits on a 70-foot cliff overlooking Lake Erie. Isabelle Martinis vision was failing her when she directed Wright on the design of the house and so itis many windows fill it with sunlight and the long plan of the house captures cool lake breezes.
I read that the house is historically significant because it represents a transitional point from Wright’s Prairie Style to his later concrete designs like Fallingwater and because it was the last of three built for one of Wrightis most loyal patrons, the Martin family.
Itis a house that makes me rethink my premise. This summer, just for one weekend, I think I think Iill throw that good book in the car, head up to Roycroft Inn for brunch and take an old-fashioned trolley ride through the countryside to Graycliff for a tour.
A Sunday in the Country begins at 11:30 am and ends at approximately 3:30 pm at the Roycroft Inn on the following Sundays in 2005: June 19, July 3, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, Sept 4, Sept 11, Sept 18 and Sept 25th. This special value package is $45 per
person; pre-paid advance reservations are mandatory. Note: reserve your spot early; last yearis entire schedule was sold out. For reservations and additional information, contact Graycliff at 716.947.9217.