Category Archives: weather

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: GALLERY

Winter Storm of 2016 Hits Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
January 26, 2016

Travel was strictly for the birds last weekend, when Winter Storm Jonas brought so much gusting snow that Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency and later banned travel.

Merrick, New York, USA. January 23, 2016. Travel is strictly for the birds, when Blizzard Jonas brings dangerous snow and gusting winds to Long Island, and Governor Cuomo bans travel, shutting down L.I.'s roads and railroads, due to hazardous conditions. A red male cardinal and several wrens eat seeds from a variety of hanging bird feeders in a suburban backyard, as the winter Storm of 2016 already dropped over a foot of snow on the south shore town of Merrick, with much more snow expected throughout Saturday and early Sunday. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. January 23, 2016. As Winter Storm Jonas brings dangerous snow and winds to Long Island, a  red male cardinal and several wrens eat seeds from bird feeders. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

As the storm was at its strongest mid-Saturday, I captured photos of wrens, robin red crests, cardinals, and pigeons at our bird feeders. Since I was aiming my Nikon through our open dining room window, I first put our two cats safely behind a shut door of another room.

Merrick, New York, USA. 24rd January 2016. Two Town of Hempstead snowplows, a small one plowing out a cul de sac, dead end side street, and a large plow on the bigger road leading to it, are clearing roads while Blizzard Jonas continues to bring dangerous snow and gusting winds to Long Island. Governor Cuomo banned travel, shutting down L.I.'s roads and railroads, due to hazardous conditions, and the winter Storm of 2016 has already dropped about two feet of snow on the south shore town. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. 24rd January 2016. Two Town of Hempstead snowplows are clearing roads early Sunday morning, while Blizzard Jonas continues to bring dangerous snow and gusting winds to Long Island.  (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Town of Hempstead Highway Department crews were working around the clock that weekend, and their long hard work showed. In fact, I saw a cul de sac near Park Avenue School cleared of snow before breakfast time Sunday.

Merrick, New York, USA. January 24, 2016. After Nor'easter drops more than two feet of snow on south shore of Nassau County, Long Island, many Town of Hempstead Highway Department employees work long hours operating snow ploys to plows to remove about 25 inches of snow blanketing downtown streets and public parking lots. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. January 24, 2016. Town of Hempstead Highway Dept. employees work long hours plowing 25 inches of snow blanketing downtown streets and parking lots. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Sunday afternoon, I took my all-wheel drive for a quick visit to downtown Merrick, where Town of Hempstead crews were plowing over two-feet of snow from the parking lots for the Merrick Long Island Rail Road Station and Merrick United States Post Office.

And I was absolutely thrilled I charged extra batteries and picked up extra bottles of water on Friday for nothing, since we didn’t lose electricity.

Winter Storm 2016:  GALLERY

CONTACT ME