Category Archives: Music

Old Westbury Gardens Winter Holiday – Now & Then

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 23, 2017

Last Sunday, while entering the snowy grounds of Old Westbury Gardens with my friend Bob, I thought back to 2007, when I visited the Gold Coast estate during a biting, heavy snowfall.

Past

That day 10 Decembers ago, I stayed outside capturing photos until I absolutely had to go to Westbury House, beg mercy from staff in the Entrance Hall, take off my gloves and boots, and stand toasty close to the fireplace.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. Dec. 5, 2007. At Westbury House, the Entrance Hall window with black wrought iron grill gives hazy glimpse of snowstorm. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 5, 2007. At Westbury House, the Entrance Hall window with black wrought iron grill gives hazy glimpse of snowstorm. (© 2007 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Slowly defrosting in the impressively elegant wood and marble hall, I imagined myself back outside the mansion, but during the Great Blizzard of 1947, when the John and Margarita Phipps family lived there….

Fantasy ’47

I was a trespasser with a noble mission – wielding my Kodak in the snowstorm to capture ghostlike images of trees – and, alas, flirting with hypothermia.

Without warning, a tall stranger swept me off my numb feet and whisked me to the mansion. As we took off our coats, I noticed he, too, had a camera strapped around his neck.

We sat in front a fireplace surrounded by books, and he put his hand to his chest. “Victor, Victor Hasselblad – a… a husgäst of Phipps,” he said softly and with a melodic accent. “And you, lilla frusen lövsångare?”   

“Oh my,” “I said, “You’re THE Victor Hasselblad!” The genius nodded. “You’ve just GOT to develop a Hasselblad camera for civilians!” I said, then started to tell him why….

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. A lighted Christmas tree decorates the formal dining room of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens during its Winter Holiday event. (Ann Parry/˙ 2017 Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. A lighted Christmas tree decorates the elegant dining room of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens during its Winter Holiday event. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Present

Now I’m at times better about coming in from the cold before losing feeling in my extremities.

But I always do my best to protect my camera. So last weekend when Bob and I arrived at Old Westbury Gardens and stepped out of the car on to slippery icy snow-covered grounds, we headed straight to Westbury House.

Once inside, we heard what sounded like live music coming from the Ballroom just ahead. We were right, for in a far corner of the vast room, pianist ANGELINA FUSCO was playing traditional Christmas music on a Steinway grand piano, backlit by large windows. Capturing the atmospheric scene was a fun challenge.

  • CLICK on any photo to see larger image
Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Pianist ANGELINA FUSCO plays Christmas music on Steinway grand piano to entertain visitors at Old Westbury Gardens museum, a former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, during snowy winter holiday weekend on Long Island's Gold Coast. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. Dec. 17, 2017. Pianist ANGELINA FUSCO plays Christmas music on Steinway grand piano at Old Westbury Gardens museum during Winter Holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Main Hall was not to be missed, especially for families with children, since that’s where Santa sat surrounded by a Christmas tree, fireplace that was a great setting for holiday photos, and stairway strewn with stuffed animals looking as if they’d spilled out of Santa’s bag as he made his way up to the Children’s Quarters on the Third floor.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Santa sits ready for visitors next to a Christmas tree on second floor of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens museum during snowy winter holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Santa sits ready for visitors next to a Christmas tree on second floor of Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens museum during winter holiday weekend. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bob lingered longest in the bedroom with a large-scale model train traveling around the room, disappearing for a while each lap as it followed tracks under the bed.

Children (of all ages) also enjoyed the charming scene in Mrs. Phipps’s bathroom, where deer and penguins watched a fawn take a bubble bath in the green and white bathtub.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. In the Westbury House children's sunny bathroom of Old Westbury Gardens museum, deer and penguins watch over fawn taking a bubble bath. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. Deer family and penguins watch over a fawn taking a bubble bath in Mrs. Phipps’s bathroom at Westbury House at Old Westbury Gardens, a Long Island Gold Coast estate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

As closing time neared, we visited the Porch facing West, with its three walls of windows, and enjoyed hot cider and the panoramic, ungilded dusk view.

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. At Westbury House, two Christmas trees flank the Porch facing West, with panoramic view of snowy grounds during Winter Holiday event at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2017, Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. December 17, 2017. At Westbury House, two Christmas trees flank the Porch facing West, with panoramic view of snowy grounds during Winter Holiday event at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And when it was time to go, we made our way through the snow once again.

Old Westbury Gardens Winter 2017:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

Merrick, NY, USA. Feb. 17, 2008. Red Priest Pirates of the Baroque. PIERS ADAMS recorder player. Howard Beach harpsichordist, ANGELA EAST cellist, DAVID GREENBERG violinist.

Red Priest: Pirates of the Baroque

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
February 23, 2008

I so enjoyed the RED PRIEST concert “Pirates of the Baroque” presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association, that I’ll open with a hearty “Arrrgg!”

Merrick, New York, USA. Feb. 17, 2008 . Red Priest, baroque music group with recorder player Piers Adams, cellist Angela East, harpsichord player Howard Beach, and violinist David Greenberg, performance presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association MBCCA.

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Merrick, NY, USA. Feb. 17, 2008. Piers Adams of Red Priest practices playing recorder shortly before the baroque groups' concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association MBCCA, at Calhoun H.S. (© 2008 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com

Merrick, NY, USA. Feb. 17, 2008. PIERS ADAMS of Red Priest practices playing recorder before the baroque groups’ concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc., at Calhoun H.S. (© 2008 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Mwrrick, NY, USA. Feb. 17, 2008. Red Priest (in pirate gear) and Board Members of MBCCA pose after concert: L-R, ARTHUR GOTTLIEB, RUTH SILVERMAN, BARRY SILVERMAN, BARBARA TURCHIN, recorder player PIERS ADAMS, cellist ANGELA EAST, violinist DAVID GREENBERG, harpsichord player HOWARD BEACH, at Calhoun High School.(© 2008 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com. (© 2008 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Feb. 17, 2008. Red Priest (in pirate gear) and MBCCA Board Members pose after concert: L-R, ARTHUR GOTTLIEB, RUTH SILVERMAN, BARRY SILVERMAN, BARBARA TURCHIN, recorder player PIERS ADAMS, cellist ANGELA EAST, violinist DAVID GREENBERG, harpsichord player HOWARD BEACH, at Calhoun High School. (© 2008 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • FYI from Long Island:  1965 photo of MBCCA Board Members includes my mom, Mary Ann Parry – but no pirates:
Merrick or Bellmore, New York, USA. 1965. Members of MBCCA Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association, including 2 of the founders: Mary Ann Parry second from right, Leon Summit third from right. Bertha Winters also a founder.

1965 Board Members of MBCCA Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association. Two of the 4 founders: Mary Ann Parry 2nd from right, Leon Summit 3rd from right. Betty Mordoff Hendrix and Bertha Winter also founders. (1965 Creator: Ed Muller, CLICK for USAGE INFO)

Red Priest concert:  SLIDESHOW |  GALLERY

Red Priest Official Site:  RedPriest.com

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  • NOTE:  Above post is updated version of one from my former blog.