Category Archives: Old Westbury

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

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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