The big trips aren't always possible, but the little ones can be loads of fun.
The Vanderbilt Mansion with mum and Danae. (I've loved this bathroom since my first visit in 1997.)
Springwood and the FDR Library. Mom’s parks passport is still good! And mom liked telling the Ranger how she shook Eleanor’s hand when she was a guide at the UN.
The Morris–Jumel Mansion. The only surviving Colonial house in Manhattan. Washington, Burr, and Hamilton *all slept there. Ran into an annual Jazz festival completely by accident. Beach today.
Bartow-Pell Mansion. A really #%*$& long commute but only because the MTA decided to run all trains local- so I missed the little connecting bus that only runs once an hour- grr. Still, worth it. Like most historic houses, visibly cash-strapped. Unlike most - full access to al rooms in all floors, including the servants quarters in the attic. And I’m going to immediately amend that- the lovely guide mentioned there was clear evidence of sleeping space in the cellar, which they hope to restore for visitation should they get the capital. And an amusing clash of histories, it served a social function in the late 1940s and the over-the-top Greek Revival style of the original is met in equal measure with modern amenities that I think were probably revisited in the early 1950s because they reminded me distinctly of grandma Terwilliger and they could have come off the set of the original I Dream of Jeannie. I went on the tour, a lovely conversational affair with a half-dozen or so visitors and our excellent hostess. There was a pretty formal lawn, goldfish, benches covered in lichen in the shade, an herb garden with handsome slate markers neatly printed in chalk, wild strawberries, wild turkey (see the baby?), and cool breezes carrying music from Orchard Beach. I drew, bought mom a wee glass honey bear of local honey, and waited by a golf club for the bus back to the six. A very good day.
Well I as going to help Dave and Kathy paint The Old House but they took the day off so I took myself on a field trip out to the Hudson River Museum, where I had never been. It is a treat. Grand Central Terminal, which I love, a scenic 20 minute train trip, a short walk through a little park overlooking the river that smelled of clover, and lo! A beautiful museum in three parts. An art museum showing Hudson River School paintings and regional and relevant artists from the gilded age to today. A beautiful historic house that felt more alive than any I’ve been to before by virtue of the natural light, the appropriate natural views that are oddly accentuated by the third element, planetarium. And the curation is tight - particularly in the historic house where users are invited to enjoy period stereoscopic photos of the moon. Having just sat through Our Sky Tonight (every other planet will be on view from our hemisphere tonight, fyi), I thought that was brilliant, as was the selection of astrally themed period literature in the bookshelves. Not least, a beautiful little lawn where I sat and sketched, and on my way out.... a Peter Reginato (in good company with Robert Rauschenberg and Barkley Hendricks)!