Tag Archives: Old Westbury Gardens

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

Antique Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens 2016

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 14, 2016

I literally & frequently had to hold onto my hat Sunday afternoon, since it was such a breezy spring day at the Antique & Collectible Auto Show – with hundreds of vintage, classic, and collectible vehicles – at Old Westbury Gardens.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. Flying Lady hood ornament with clear plastic insert in wings on 1940 red Chevrolet Super Deluxe sedan is on view at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island, and sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. Participating vehicles in the judged show included hundreds of domestic and foreign, antique, classic, collectible, and modern cars. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. Flying Lady hood ornament on 1940 red Chevrolet Super Deluxe sedan is on view at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After getting a cold soda at the refreshment table, I spotted Pastor Green and Miska – a Service Dog who helps Marine veterans – near the Free Hugs booth of Marine Corps League, North Shore Queens Detachment #240. Both the pastor and his Husky and German Shepherd mix partner were so patient as I captured photos of Miska with her arresting ice-blue eyes and white fur.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MISKA, an NYPD (New York Police Department) Service Dog trained to help American veterans, attends the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island. Miska is part Husky and part German Shepherd, and has light blue eyes and white fur, and was with Pastor Green, of U.S. Marines, from Queens. The car show was sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MISKA, a Service Dog trained to help Veterans, attends the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Especially because this was the rain date for the event, some participants had other commitments to go to, so the trophy ceremony began early, explained officers from the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Greater New York Region chapter, which sponsored this 50th Annual Spring Meet.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. A yellow 1948 Bantam Roadster, owned by Wade Jacobs of Mineola, has reflection of man walking by nearby vintage black car on its hubcap, at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island, and sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. Participating vehicles in the judged show included hundreds of domestic and foreign, antique, classic, collectible, and modern cars. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. A yellow 1948 Bantam Roadster, owned by Wade Jacobs of Mineola, has reflection on hubcap of man at vintage black car, at  Antique and Collectible Auto Show at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After winners got their good news and gleaming trophies, a few cars and then a few more and more began a slow procession through lush green grounds to the west gate of the Gold Coast mansion estate.

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MARK OFFENBERG, of Valley Stream, drives his silver 1973 Intermeccanica Squire SS-100 Italian luxury classic roadster while his passenger holds 3rd Place Trophy the car won in the foreign car category at the Antique and Collectible Auto Show at the 50th Annual Spring Meet at Old Westbury Gardens, in the Gold Coast of Long Island, and sponsored by Greater New York Region, GNYR, Antique Automobile Club of America, AACA. Car is the 46th of only 50 Intermeccanica's coachbuilt in Turin, Italy. Participating vehicles in the judged show included hundreds of domestic and foreign, antique, classic, collectible, and modern cars and trucks. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Westbury, New York, USA. June 12, 2016. MARK OFFENBERG, of Valley Stream, drives his 1973 Intermeccanica Squire SS-100 roadster while passenger holds trophy M.O. won at Antique & Collectible Auto Show, Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Postscript:

Driving home in Bob’s faithful 2000 Honda later that day, we passed a local business with a large American flag flying at half mast, likely in sympathy for the victims of the horrific mass shootings early that morning at the Orlando nightclub.

“Hold on tight because this is going to hurt like hell.” – JohnA Passara

2016 Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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