Finally made it to the Figge Museum, thanks to the Des Moines Art Center’s Docent program. I enjoyed the French Moderns show, a traveling exhibit from the Brooklyn Museum, but also enjoyed the fabulous outsider art of William Hawkins, an exhibit of John Bloom (liked his rural scenes much more than the work of his known wife Isobel.) The Figge building, the first new major U.S. commission for English architect David Chipperfield (whose latest commission is an addition to the Met in NYC) is stunning. It’s clad in white see-through glass with huge windows looking out to the Mississippi and high white ceilings inside.
We stayed at the renovated historic Hotel Blackhawk which was organized by the tour, otherwise I would stick with a much less expensive Airbnb, although the hotel had some charming features including an old-fashioned atrium lobby and a funky bowling alley /bar in the basement. I’m also curious about the artsy Current Hotel, which has a fantastic rooftop bar called Up, with an outdoor patio with stupendous views of the river and lock and dam. We bumped into the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell who was preparing for a debate today. We wished him well!
Dinner was very good at The Faithful Pilot, about a half hour drive north in LeClaire. Three others joined us and we were all happy with our meals and each other. We all had small plates. Dirck and I had excellent pork belly with potatoes plus mussels in a light tomato sauce. Glad we booked ahead. Small place and busy. It has a cool view of the old riverboat beached behind a glass wall in the local history museum and a cozy atmosphere, with an occasional train rumbling past, near the riverbank.
We had a mediocre lunch at Lagomarcino’s Confectionery in East Davenport. Better to stick with their specialties – -candy and ice cream. We did have a good chocolate milk shake. Also went to a nonprofit art gallery in rock island. Other Davenport restaurants to try: Me and Billy Cafe, Front Street Brewery and Duck City bistro.