Vintage New York: A Little Christmastime Tour

I’m thrilled to welcome a guest blogger to Circa 19xx this week! My friend Susan Robinson just returned from a Christmastime tour of New York City and is recreating part of her trip for us.  Susan is no stranger to Circa 19xx; if you follow the blog you might recall that I featured her beautiful home …

Merry Christmas from the Thomas Hart Bentons

I met Kansas City Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton once back in 1995, and I didn’t like him very much.   Of course, he had been dead for 20 years at that time and had already been reduced to mere bones.  That’s not why I didn’t like him, though.  I spent a couple of evenings with …

Advent Arrives at Holy Trinity Parish in Weston, Missouri…for the 175th Time

Weston, Missouri is a small town that’s well known locally for the many stylish specialty shops and restaurants clustered around its historic main street.  Well positioned near Kansas City, Platte City, and St. Joseph, Weston has masterfully leveraged the quaint aesthetics of its old downtown area to attract retailers, restaurateurs, and customers.  On any given weekend—particularly during …

Christmas at the Haunted Mansion

Editorial note:  This post is a follow-up to a post entitled Ghost Story at Kansas City’s Beautiful Haunted Mansion.  When I open the door and step across the threshold at Vaile Mansion in Independence, Missouri, I always feel as if I’m inserting myself into a drama that’s still unfolding.  The setting is authentically Victorian, yet feels current.  …

Let’s Go to Kat & Co! A Visit (and some shopping) with Jan Ruoff, Owner of Kat & Co Antiques and Gifts

When you’re driving down Belt Highway in St. Joseph, Missouri, the last thing you expect to see along that busy thoroughfare is an antique shop.  Belt is a congested traffic corridor lined with fast food restaurants (I’ve been told St. Joseph has more fast food restaurants per capita than any town in the world), big …

Ghost Story at Kansas City’s Beautiful Haunted Mansion

It was long before sunrise when the gentleman tour guide at Vaile Mansion in Independence, Missouri stepped to the front door, key in hand.  It would be a long day.  A special champagne reception was to take place at the mansion that afternoon and there was much to prepare.  It was that reception, in fact, …

Here Comes the Sun…Flower, That Is

Those who know me well have heard all about my dream of running a sunflower farm as an agri-tourism business for years.  This is a dream that will never be realized.  For one thing, I have no idea how to farm.  I can barely keep the flowers in the pots along my patio alive.  Second, …