Monday, January 7, 2008

North by Northwest and Wichita

Since I needed a movie to watch while I waited for my nails to dry (why does that always seem to take so long and why are quick-dry nail polishes so sub-par?), I chose North by Northwest from my collection, which I hadn't seen in a really long time. I had actually forgotten most of the plot. In fact, all I could remember was: Oak Bar at Plaza, drunk driving, mother, U.N. murder, train, and Mount Rushmore. That probably would be all there is to the movie if it weren't directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I absolutely adore him. I also absolutely adore train travel (not like I've ever traveled any farther than between Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, VA, but I do like the idea of it). Everything seems so glamorous: observation cars, white tablecloths, watching the scenery pass by while feasting on brook trout (that's what Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint eat on the 20th Century Limited). I like almost any movie where there is a lengthy train sequence. Murder on the Orient Express and From Russia with Love both come to mind. You know, I just realized Sean Connery is in both of those films. There's probably a film major essay in there somewhere.

I remember reading about The Royal Scotsman in Victoria magazine years ago and have been wanting to take its tour of the Highlands ever since. It costs £3190 per person, so I had better start saving up! Check out the cabin. Forget 4 nights, I could live on this train forever!
(Photo from Royal Scotsman website:

In November, Paul accepted a job with Hawker Beechcraft and he'll start in June, so we spent Saturday and Sunday driving around Wichita looking for a place for us to live. We'll have to go back over Spring Break and keep checking the listings online, because we didn't really find anything. I did, however, become attached to the Hillcrest Apartments in the College Hill area. They were built probably in the 1920s and are a high-rise Tudor-style apartment building. Absolutely charming. I definitely want to see inside.

Paul and I narrowed our "areas in which we prefer to live" list down to College Hill and Riverside, both historic neighborhoods located in the northern central part of town and both close to the downtown area. Growing up in a house built in 1909, I feel more comfortable in historic areas. I also feel they have more character (and more trees!).

I have already made Paul promise to take me to movies at the Orpheum downtown. According to, the theatre opened in 1922 and was the "first atmospheric theatre in the United States." It has a Spanish gardens theme that has been maintained since its opening. There is a virtual tour and slideshow here. I can't wait for the All About Eve/Jezebel double feature! It reminds me of reading the scenes in the American Girl books when Molly goes to the movie theatre with her friends. I loved those books; they were required reading in my group of friends in 1st grade since we acted all of them out at recess.

To finish up, two great places to eat in Wichita: Caffe Moderne and Il Vicino. Caffe Moderne is in Old Town and has art deco furnishings (including a beautiful bar) and serves, honest-to-God, the best paninis and quiche Paul and I have had in a restaurant. I had the Garbo sandwich, which had chicken, artichoke, arugula, and lemon mayonnaise. Awesome! We also had gelato for dessert. It was homemade and so very very tasty. The prices were reasonable, too. My sandwich (side salad included) was $7.50 and the gelato was $3.50.

Il Vicino is on Douglas Street near Oliver (Paul and I had a whole lot of fun saying "let's take Oliver north" oh we're such dweebs). Great wood oven pizza! I had a small (the small size isn't on the menu, but just ask for it, perfect personal size) Rustica which has artichoke, kalamata olives, and capers. Il Vicino, like Caffe Moderne, is classy and not very expensive.


  1. A 1920's apartment sounds so cool. 20's/30's interiors where fantastic. The cafes and the food sound great aswell.

    p.s. was going to make the pumpkin pasta but the pumpkin in a tin we get here is for pumpkin pies (so I'm making one of those for Sunday dinner today instead)


  2. I don't think that the cinnamon and nutmeg would go so well with tomato pesto. Ewww.... Pumpkin pie would definitely be the better option! Yum!


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