Category Archives: museums

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 – 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 usually 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.

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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 Holiday 2017:    SLIDESHOW    GALLERY

Buzz Aldrin, Welcome to Mars

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
October 26, 2015

Aiming for up front seating at the Buzz Aldrin event at Cradle of Aviation Museum this past Saturday, Bob and I arrived at CAM well over an hour early. Waiting on line wasn’t bad, though, since I got to chat with a really nice family whose son wore an astronaut suit to see his hero in person.

Garden City, New York, USA. October 23, 2015. Former NASA astronaut Edwin BUZZ ALDRIN is in conversation about his experiences in space and his new Children's Middle Grade book Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. After the talk at the jetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium at Long Island's Cradle of Aviation Museum, Aldrin signed copies of his new book. On the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin was the second person to walk on the Moon, and his first trip to space was the 1966 Gemini 12. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, NY, USA. Oct. 23, 2015. Astronaut Edwin BUZZ ALDRIN speaks at Cradle of Aviation Museum. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

In the jetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium, ‘The Real Buzz’ had a conversation with his Mission Director, Christina Korp, and had time to answer several questions from children in the audience.

Then, Aldrin left the theater to sign copies of his new book Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, a National Geographic Kids book geared for Middle Grade children. And where was the book signing?  CAM’s Red Planet Cafe!

Buzz Aldrin photo galleries, Ann-Parry.com:  Buzz Aldrin2015  |  Buzz Aldrin 2013

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Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens 2015

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 11, 2015

One of the things I most enjoy about covering Long Island over the years is getting to know our people, and I was happy to see quite a few familiar faces (and cars) at Sunday’s Antique Car Show. The 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show sponsored by Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America had over a thousand antique, classic, and custom cars throughout the vast green lawns of historic Old Westbury Gardens.

Old Westbury, New York, United States. 7th June 2015. JACKSON STERN, five-months-old, holds the steering wheel of a red 1954 Chevrolet Corvette convertible as he sits in the lap of his father JOSHUA STERN, at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show sponsored by Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America. The Corvette, which was parked, is owned by Adam Heller of NYC. Over 1,000 antique, classic, and custom cars participated at the popular Long Island vintage car show held at historic Old Westbury Gardens. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. June 7, 2015. JACKSON STERN, five-months-old, holds steering wheel of red 1954 Chevrolet Corvette convertible as he sits in the lap of his father JOSHUA STERN, at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens. Adam Heller, of NYC, is owner of the Vette. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Some of new faces I met were: Ex-Chief Niel Hicks & firefighter Alex Sequeira at the prize-winning Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department truck; Sam Greco & Laura Greco who brought 5 vintage cars to the show; likely the youngest ‘driver’ there, Jackson Stern, with his dad Joshua Stern in Adam Heller’s 1954 Corvette; and VeteranJohn Giordano and his fellow Marines giving Free Hugs at the Marine Corps League North Shore Queens Detachment #240 booth.

When I visited the trophy area, at first I didn’t recognize the charming woman – decked in pearls, vintage-style dress and black straw sunhat – who was getting ready to hand out the trophies. When an equally charming man, in dapper suit and straw hat with black band, came over and said his name, I realized they were Althea Travis & Tom McCarthy, the smiling couple I had captured photos of last December in Huntington at the Sparkboom Jingle Boom Holiday Bash!

Old Westbury, New York, United States. 7th June 2015. A 1966 Ford Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, owned by Richard Blech, is featured at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show sponsored by Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America. The truck is fully restored, fully operational, and has the four original bells manufactured by the Bevin Brothers Bell Company. Over 1,000 antique, classic, and custom cars participated at the popular Long Island vintage car show held at historic Old Westbury Gardens. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA.  June 7, 2015. A 1966 Ford Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, owned by Richard Blech, is featured at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

At the end of that warm spring day, I was happy Richard Blech’s The Vintage Ice Cream Guys 1966 Ford Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, with its 4 original bells by the Bevin Brothers, was still stocked with frozen pops for sale.

Car Shows at Old Westbury Gardens: slideshow 2015  • gallery 2015 • slideshow 2014 • gallery 2014

Car photos at my site: bit.ly/ParryCar

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Eternal Con 2014 Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 16, 2011

Last weekend’s Eternal Con 2014 was even more colorful and lively than I expected – with sci-fi, horror, comics artists, comic books & other collectibles, gaming, celebrities, and costumes – outside and inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Garden City, New York, U.S. - June 14, 2014 - L-R, DIMITRIOS HARITOS, CHRIS HARITOS, and STEVE CARABELLO, all of the Selden Centereach area, from the Long Island Ghostbusters, a charitable volunteer group, are at Eternal Con, the annual Pop Culture Expo, with costumes, Comic Books, Collectibles, Gaming, Sci-Fi, Cosplay, Horror, and held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. – June 14, 2014 – Long Island Ghostbusters – DIMITRIOS HARITOS, CHRIS HARITOS, & STEVE CARABELLO – at Eternal Con, at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island. (© Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

A few of the many people I got a chance to see were Armored Combat League members USA Knights, Amtgard & Dagorhir, the charitable volunteer group Long Island Ghostbusters, Zippy Dee The Wonder Dummy, Lindsay Lowe comics fashionista, members of NYC Harry Potter meetup group “The Group That Shall Not Be Named,” and actress Catherine Mary Stewart.

And it certainly was family fun, for Saturday morning, hours before I visited, my older daughter’s family enjoyed watching the Cosplay Parade, visiting booths selling rare Transformers, and more.

Photo Gallery: Eternal Con 2014

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When is a Car Not a Car?

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 28, 2014

Yesterday, when meeting up with friends who’d arrived earlier at the Queens Farm 35th Annual Antique Auto Show, I asked what I should be sure to catch.  “There’s a small red car with 3 wheels that’s really something, and a BMW that opens from the front….”

Floral Park, New York, U.S. - A red BRA CX3, a custom Beribo Replica Automobiles kit vehicle at the 35th Annual Antique Auto Show at Queens Farm. (© 2014 Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Floral Park, NY, U.S.  – BRA CX3, a custom kit Beribo Replica Automobiles, Queens Farm Antique Auto Show. (© 2014 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

So I headed to Steve Kaplan’s red BRA CX3, which he made using a Beribo Replica Automobiles custom kit and 1983 Honda motorcycle, and because it’s 3-wheeled, the DMV registered it as a 2009 Custom Motorcycle.

Then I captured a colorful range of other cars brought by New York Antique Auto Club members, as I made my way to the opposite end of the field to see the 1958 BMW Isetta, designed by the Italian ISO refrigerator company. And like in a refrigerator, the Isetta’s door swings open from the front!

2014  gallery & 2013  gallery – Antique Auto Show, Queens County Farm Museum

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International Slow Art Day 2014

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 15, 2014

Saturday, a sunny warm spring day here on Long Island,  was International Slow Art Day, so I visited the Garden Party exhibit and the outdoor sculptures at the Nassau County Museum of Art.

Roslyn, New York, U.S. - April 12, 2014 - During International Slow Art Day, a visitor views artist Hunt Slonem's colorful sculptures of monkeys, wildlife and tropical plants, at the Garden Party exhibit at the Nassau County Museum of Art on Long Island. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Roslyn, New York, U.S. – April 12, 2014 – During International Slow Art Day, a visitor views artist Hunt Slonem’s colorful sculptures of monkeys at Nassau County Museum of Art.  (© Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

A few of the pieces I lingered at were the Tiffany Studios lamp Chanson de printemps after Bouguereau, the pink and green rhinestone tulip minaudière, and a bouquet of designer dresses with flower motifs.

And I lay down on the grass to enjoy the daffodils.

NCMA’s Garden Party exhibit, which runs through July 6, 2014, is delightful after our winter of snows.

Photo Gallery: International Slow Art Day

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Martin Luther King Jr Day at Long Island Children’s Museum

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
January 21, 2014

At yesterday’s program “Dreaming with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,’ the Long Island Children’s Museum had a room full of families with young children eager to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Garden City, New York, U.S. January 20, 2014. JAEL CHARLTON, 6, of Freeport, reads King's 1963

Garden City, New York, U.S. January 20, 2014. Jael Charlton reads King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream Speech” at the program ‘Dreaming with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘ at Long Island Children’s Museum. (© 2013 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

Stacey Lee, LICM’s Outreach Director, presented information about Dr. King’s life, and the children read his famous 1963 speech “I Have a Dream.”

Garden City, New York, U.S. January 20, 2014. STACEY LEE, Outreach Director of Long Island Children's Museum, presents the program 'Dreaming with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.', where children explore Dr. King's life and then create collages of peace, for the American official federal holiday Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. January 20, 2014. STACEY LEE, Outreach Director of Long Island Children’s Museum, presents program ‘Dreaming with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’  (© 2014 Ann Parry/Ann-aPrry.com)

Then, with directions from Lee and some help from the moms and dads, each child created a unique, colorful collage of peace.

Photo gallery – Martin Luther King Jr Day 2014

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