Thursday, June 22, 2017

Throwback Thursday "Vanderbilt Mansion"


We are peeking at today a mansion that is no more, located where now the Bergdorf Goodman store stands. I think it would have been pretty cool to tour this one, and think about the stories it would tell.  
Here is some history about Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt: 

Shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was a self-made multi-millionaire who became one of the wealthiest Americans of the 19th century. As a boy, he worked with his father, who operated a boat that ferried cargo between Staten Island, New York, where they lived, and Manhattan. After working as a steamship captain, Vanderbilt went into business for himself in the late 1820s, and eventually became one of the country’s largest steamship operators. In the process, the Commodore, as he was publicly nicknamed, gained a reputation for being fiercely competitive and ruthless. In the 1860s, he shifted his focus to the railroad industry, where he built another empire and helped make railroad transportation more efficient. When Vanderbilt died, he was worth more than $100 million.


The mansion was built in 1883, the mansion was, and remains, the largest private residence ever built in New York City.

After Cornelius died, his wife Alice never remarried and continued to live in the mansion and in Newport but the house was never opened again to friends, and the only functions that are known to have happened there were the funerals of her two sons. Subsequently, it was just Alice and the 37 servants needed to run the mansion. (can you imagine having 37 servants for 1 person?)

The trust fund Cornelius had left her produced a yearly income of $250,000, which was just enough to maintain both houses. Alice held on as long as she could, but by the outbreak of World War I Alice was forced to sell it. She had no hope for the house's preservation because she knew that developers (led by real estate developer Frederick Brown) had paid a hefty $7,000,000 for the land, and not for the house that stood on it. A week before the wrecking ball was scheduled to demolish the 43-year-old home, Mrs. Vanderbilt arranged to have it opened to the public for fifty cents admission which would be donated to charity. Before selling it, she donated as many elements from the interiors as she could, including the baronial August St. Gaudens designed fireplace which had graced the entrance hall and the Moorish ceiling piece from the smoking room. She also donated the 10-foot-tall metal front entryway gates. After being forced to sell the house for $7,000,000, she later bought the George J. Gould House for $800,000. 1 West 57th Street was demolished to make way for the Bergdorf Goodman department store which opened in 1928.


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Milliners Guild at The Hydrangea Hurrah June 24, 2017


Milliners and guests


It's that time again!

Hydrangea Hurrah
Saturday June 24, 2017
From 10-3 p.m


The Madison Square Park Conservancy has invited the Milliners Guild to participate in their annual event "Hydrangea Hurrah" in the park again this year.

The Milliners Guild is going to have a booth and will demonstrate hat making, give away paper hats and hydrangea boutonni√®res.

President, Ellen Christine will be giving a lecture on "Mad Hatters talk about Mad Hatters"

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

Between Fifth & Madison Avenues between 23rd & 26th Streets
Take the N, R, or 6 train to 23rd Street



A fun day out with The Milliners Guild in Madison Square Park! Try to attend if you are in the area!




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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 2017 Events at Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden


The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden is a lovely place in New York City. If you feel you have been to all the museums, try this place. So historic, and very quaint, you will really enjoy it. These are their events for the rest of the month of June. I need to do their tea one of these days! 

Summer Garden Concerts and Tours

Garden Concert-highrezListen to live music while relaxing in the garden, join an after-hours private museum  tour and enjoy a historic cocktail and other beverages. 

June 20, 6pmToma Iliev, a graduate of the Julliard School, presents Baroque and classical violin.
June 27, 6 pmChristopher Morrongiello, Mannes College of Music, the Royal College of Music and the University of Oxford,  captivates with lute music of the Renaissance and early Baroque. 
$15 Adults, $5 Children Under 12, Babies under 1 free. Join as a museum member and admission is free.
For reservations and information, click here.


Opera in the Garden: The Fairy Queen

fairiequeen-image-copy-1024x576
June 15, 7 pm
June 16, 7 pm.
Gramercy Opera comes to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum.  Join us in 
our beautiful garden for their first  main stage production: The Fairy Queen.  This re-imagined version of the opera Purcell based on A Midsummer's Night's Dream has been rearranged by classically trained stage director Brittany Goodwin.  
More information and tickets, here.


Ice Cream Garden Social

ice cream garden social1June 17, 1-3 pm.
Join us in the garden for a Path Through History special: a 19th-century Ice Cream Social.  It's an afternoon of ice-cream making, period games and toys and historical tunes for the whole family.
$15 Adults,  $10 Members and Children Under 12. 

For reservations and information, call 212 838 6878.


Grand Victorian Garden Tea

victoriantea-station-janke
June 184-8 pm.
Gemini and Scorpio invite you to travel back in time to the Victorian Age, to an elegant country resort a short carriage ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city (which at that time extended only as far as 14th Street). It's a proper turn-of-century tea party with finger sandwiches, scones and fancies served in a darling garden attached to an impossible Victorian cottage overlooking modern Manhattan. Historical chef Rebecca Leigh Silverman will hand-make delectable treats from antique recipes, and give a small talk about each dish.  Enjoy period appropriate leisure activities too.
  Dress code: 1800-1910s summer garden party, with all white, cream and pastel tones encouraged. For tickets click here.



Summer's 2017 History  Weeks

kids-camp-girl-perioddress 2Give your young ones a unique summer experience.  Children enjoy a full week of hands-on exploration of all things 19th century: food, clothing, games, outdoor activities and life behind- the-scenes at a 19th century historic house!
Session One:
Ages 9–12, July 10–148:30 am. to 3pm.
Fee: $275.
Session Two:
Ages 6–8, July 17–21,
9 am to 12:00 pm.
Fee: $200.
     
       10% discount for Family Level Members
To sign up, click here or call 212 838 6878.






Storytime

Third Friday of each month at 10:30am, bring the little ones for historically-themed stories, role-play with the Museum''s Touch Collection, and a 19th-century craft or game.
On June 16,  join us for stories about boating and make a paper boat to take home.
 
Designed for children 6 and under. Free with Museum admission or the Cool Culture Pass.



421 East 61st Street
between First & York
212-838-6878

Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday
11:00am -  4:00pm
Closed New Year''s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Admission:
$8 Adults
 $7 Seniors & Students
Free for Children under 12 Free for Museum Members

Transportation:
Bus:  M15, M31 or M57
Subway: N/R/W or 4/5/6
     to Lexington/59th or Q to 63rd/Third

Built in the 18th century, The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden is a historic site with a modern twist.  Within its walls one can see travel, leisure, work and play in diverse antebellum New York.  Today, the Museum entertains New Yorkers and travelers, still, with unusual events such as scavenger hunts, Victorian banquets, murder mysteries, historic pie making, and activities designed and tailored to today’s busy and sociable New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. Join us Tuesdays-Sundays for a personalized tour of our period rooms, and  check out their website. MVHM.org. 

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day 2017


The photo above is myself and my Dad at one of my birthdays. We were both not really fans of getting our picture taken, but I am glad I have this one. My Dad passed away in 2004, it seems like just a few months ago. My parents had me later in life, and I had a really great childhood. My Dad was a big tease, and loved to joke around with people. He loved to dress well, and clothes really loved him. I miss him every day, I miss his voice and his laughter. Father' Day has now become a day for me to remember him even more, and the wonderful memories of the time we had together. He wasn't perfect, no one is, but he was a great Dad and I know I am who I am because of him. 

For those who still have their Dads today, enjoy them with all your heart. Spoil them rotten, and make sure they know they are loved. We would all like to think we have them forever, but forever isn't in the cards. I do feel mine is with me every day, but what I wouldn't give for just one more hug. 

My Dad in the funky sunglasses working at a local gas station with 2 handsome men and a cool car! 


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Friday, June 16, 2017

Upper West Side Walking Tour

The Upper West Side is a fabulous area for walking. The best way is to not have an agenda, and just see what you find! Here are some of my faves! The Museum of Natural History, a gorgeous building and wonderful exhibits. Plus, The Night at the Museum is one of my favorite films.  
Don't laugh, but I have yet to try a Shake Shack burger. The lines are just always too long, and I refuse to wait for a burger. One of these days I will sample something.  
I forgot where I saw these, but I just love them. The architecture here never gets boring and no matter how many times I see something, I see something new.  
I would love to add flower boxes to my home. They just look so darn lovely.  
This is in front of the famous Dakota building.  
Classic Upper West Side architecture. I cannot get enough!  
I am still dreaming of these lemon pancakes with a dollup of ricotta on top from Gina La Fornarina. This was a stop that wasn't planned, and it turned out so darn well.  
Nice Matin is located in the Lucerne Hotel, which is a gorgeous building. A more detailed shot is below, they took so much time with these buildings.  

This time of year, stopping at Jacques Torres for some ice cream would make you very happy.  
I love when you just stroll upon a farmers market. You find them all year round in the city, I wish my hometown would have them 12 months a year.  

Levain Bakery is just the ultimate "go off your diet" bakery. I was in the city on a Sunday, thinking I could just pop in and pick up some items - the line was almost down the whole street! They are opening a 3,000 square feet new location on 351 Amsterdam Avenue between 76 & 77th Streets. This shop will still remain open. I cannot wait to check out the bigger space and get my hands on some of those cookies!! 

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