Category Archives: events

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.

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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 2017:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

Wantagh Warriors Baseball & Miss Wantagh Pageant, July 4th

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry  ann-parry.com
July 5, 2016

SKIPPER the Jack Russell terrier was one of many celebrators dressed in patriotic red, white and blue when awards were handed out, and the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony was held, following the Wantagh Independence Day Parade yesterday morning.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Skipper the Jack Russell terrier is wearing patriotic red white and blue stars bandana at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, NY, USA. July 4, 2016. Skipper the Jack Russell terrier is wearing patriotic bandana at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony on Long Island. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

I wore sunglasses, but the harsh midday sun made me wish I’d also brought my From Long Island cap.

Wantagh WARRIORS Baseball Team 2016

The crowd cheered loud and long when members of the winning Wantagh WARRIORS baseball team lined up to receive certificates issued by the Nassau County Supervisor.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. High school Wantagh Warriors baseball team members receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. The Wantagh Warriors baseball team won another county championship, its third Long Island Championship and its second New York State Class A championship. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Wantagh Warriors baseball team members receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

During 2016, the Warriors baseball team won yet another county championship, its 3rd Long Island Championship, and its 2nd New York State Class A championship.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Teams members of the high school Wantagh Warriors baseball team receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. The Wantagh Warriors baseball team won another county championship, its third Long Island Championship and its second New York State Class A championship. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Teams members of the high school Wantagh Warriors baseball team receive Certificates issued by Nassau County Supervisor at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

MISS WANTAGH 2016

During this special 60th anniversary, quite a few former Miss Wantaghs  – both from recent years and decades ago – participated, wearing their banners and crowns.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. EMMA CAREY, newly crowned Miss Wantagh 2016 (front row 3rd from right) and other present and past contestants pose for group photo at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. Since 1956, the Miss Wantagh Pageant, which is not a beauty pageant, crowns an area high school student based mainly on academic excellence and community service. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. EMMA CAREY, newly crowned Miss Wantagh 2016 (front row 3rd from right) and other present and past contestants pose for group photo. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

LYNN CLAYTON-LUONGO, Miss Wantagh 1956 – the first Miss Wantagh – travelled from Everett, Massachusetts, for this special anniversary event.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. LYNN CLAYTON LUONGO, Miss Wantagh 1956, 76 years old, the first Miss Wantagh ever, participated in the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. Clayton was the 1st Runner Up and Miss Congeniality in the 1958 New York State Miss Ameria Pageant. Since 1956, the Miss Wantagh Pageant, which is not a beauty pageant, crowns an area high school student based mainly on academic excellence and community service. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, NY, USA. July 4, 2016. LYNN CLAYTON-LUONGO, Miss Wantagh 1956, the first Miss Wantagh ever, participated in the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant crowning ceremony. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

In 1958, when Clayton was 18, she was Miss Congeniality and First Runner Up in the New York State pageant of Miss America. But Miss Wantagh isn’t a beauty pageant. It crowns a Wantagh resident in high school based mainly on academic excellence and community service.

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Standing L-R, EMMA CAREY; BRIANNA COLTELLINO; KERI BALNIS, Miss Wantagh 2015; STEVE RHOADS, Nassau County Legislator District 19; MAUREEN O'CONNELL, Nassau County Clerk; and ELLA STEVENS, Miss Wantagh Pageant coordinator; at the 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Pageant, an Independence Day tradition on Long Island. O'Connell is opening envelop to find who Miss Wantagh 2016 is - Emma or Brianna. Since 1956, the Miss Wantagh Pageant, which is not a beauty pageant, crowns an area high school student based mainly on academic excellence and community service. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Wantagh, New York, USA. July 4, 2016. Standing L-R, EMMA CAREY; BRIANNA COLTELLINO; KERI BALNIS, Miss Wantagh 2015; STEVE RHOADS, Nassau County Legislator; ERIN KING-SWEENEY, Town Councilwoman; and ELLA STEVENS, Pageant Coordinator; at 60th Annual Miss Wantagh Crowning. King-Sweeney is opening results envelope, so she can announce Miss Wantagh 2016 – Emma or Brianna. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Results of this year’s pageant:

  • EMMA CAREY – Miss Wantagh 2016
  • BRIANNA COLTELLINO  –  1st Runner Up
  • GRACE ANNE McKENNA  –  2nd Runner Up
  • COURTNEY CARDONA  –  3rd Runner Up
  • ISABELLA SANTERAMO & KAYLA SCHMIDT – Ambassadors

Officials included Hon. CHRISTOPHER QUINN, Supervising Judge of Nassau County Court; ERIN KING-SWEENEY, Town of Hempstead Councilwoman; STEVE RHOADS, Nassau County Legislator, District 19; and ELLA STEVENS, the Miss Wantagh Pageant Coordinator.

Wantagh WARRIORS Baseball Team:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

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