Category Archives: Long Island

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

Garden City, New York, USA. May 31, 2017. At Democratic Nominating Convention, candidates include LAUREN CURRAN for Nassau County Executive, LAURA GILLEN for Hempstead Town Supervisor, SYLVIA CABANA for Hempstead Town Clerk, and SUE MOLLER for Town of Hempstead Council 6th District.

Town of Hempstead & Nassau County Elections 2017: All Come to Look for America

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 22, 2017

The Town of Hempstead and Nassau County 2017 elections permeated the fabric of my life this year. Because countless Long Islanders and events were part of the material, I’ll focus on its pattern, not the threads.

errick, NY, USA. Sept. 9, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, (Dem - Merrick), candidate for Town of Hempstead Council District 6; and ERIN KING SWEENEY, (Rep - Wantagh) Town of Hempstead Councilwoman District 5, pause chatting to pose for photo at Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Sept. 9, 2017. L-R, SUE MOLLER, (Dem – Merrick), candidate for Hempstead Town Council Dist. 6; and ERIN KING SWEENEY, (Rep – Wantagh)  Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dist. 5, pause chatting for photo at Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When I covered the January 15th “Our First Stand Rally” at Westbury supporting the Affordable Care Act, both of my daughters were participants. And when I photographed the January  24th visit to Sen. Schumer’s L.I. office in Melville by the activist group Together We Will Long Island, my older daughter Sue was the TWW-LI admin there. These were the first times my daughters were involved with political events I covered.

Merrick, New York, USA. September 9, 2017. L-R, LAURA GILLEN, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor; SYLVIA CABANA, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Clerk; and SUE MOLLER, of Merrick, Democratic candidate for Hempstead Town Council District 6, attend the Merrick Fall Festival and Street Fair. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Sept. 9, 2017. L-R, LAURA GILLEN, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Supervisor; SYLVIA CABANA, Democratic candidate for Town of Hempstead Clerk; and SUE MOLLER, of Merrick, Democratic candidate for Hempstead Town Council District 6, attend the Merrick Fall Festival and Street Fair. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Protest marches, resistance events were certainly helping raise awareness of protestors’ reactions to the Trump administration’s goals and actions, but advice from Bernie Sanders and some others strongly stuck in my mind: Protesting isn’t enough. “Resistors” need to run for office and to help fellow activists run for office.

Then, after I covered two more events – the January 30th Press Conference when Nassau County Democratic Party leaders endorsed LAURA CURRAN for N.C. Executive and JACK SCHNIRMAN for N.C. Comptroller, and the TWW-LI “Politics 101” Event – there was a difference as major as it was unexpected.

June 21, 2017. Garden City, New York, USA. June 21, 2017, Maria Cucurillo waves to person outside window, at fundraiser for Hempstead Town Council candidate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Garden City, NY, USA. June 21, 2017.  Maria Cucurillo waves to person outside window, at fundraiser for Hempstead Town Council candidate. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

to be continued….

    • VIDEO  “All Come To Look For America 2017”  includes Long Island candidates, politicians, and supporters from Town of Hempstead & Nassau County, and photos/clips are in chronological order:

2017 Town of Hempstead & Nassau County photos, selection:  GALLERY