Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hyde Park

A few weekends ago my friend Natalie invited a bunch of us down to her house for a girls weekend. And by weekend I mean 24 hours lasting from Friday night to Saturday night. Short as it was it was still nice and a lot of fun.

I was absentminded when we were at Natalie's and neglected to take pictures of the many, many animal heads and bodies that are splattered around the house. Natalie's husband, Mike is a serious hunter and displays his conquests on the walls. I walked into her house this time and saw the usual stuff: a deer's head - normal. A huge fish of some sort - normal. And then she shows me their bathroom that they're renovating and the first thing I see is this HUGE turkey that is sitting in their bathtub. Apparently that is its' temporary home but I'm not sure how I feel about a gobbler staring at me in the bathroom.

On Saturday we decided to tour some of the verrrrrry nice and historical homes of Hyde Park. But on our way there we stopped at Orange County Choppers because it was on our way. I was hoping to buy a little motorcycle for Jamison but I couldn't find anything that was perfect for him. There really wasn't any other reason for us to go there.

The Santa bike. They had all their custom bikes around the shop. Since it was a Saturday there was no one working in the shop but we were able to look in. I do relate to the whole working-with-family thing and I especially relate to the whole parent-child-yelling-at-each-other-in-the-office thing. Not that my father and I would ever be so unprofessional to yell in the office. Puhlease.

Then we made our way to FDR's childhood home Springwood. He was born here, grew up here, and he and Eleanor lived here for a while with their kids. Luckily, I was with girlfriends who knew and understood my slight obsession with history and in particular, historical homes. They were very generous and patient with me.

The house was really dark, crowded, and had small hallways. But other than that it was beautifully kept up and the tour guide was phenomenal. He told us that Ken Burns is planning on doing a documentary of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt and he was at the house just the week before. He also said that Ken Burns interviewed him but we'll see about that when the documentary comes out.

Then we decided to go to the Culinary Institute of America for lunch. Since we hadn't planned on eating there we assumed one of their restaurants would be open at 2:00 for a late lunch. None of the restaurants were open! Everyone on campus is there to cook and there was no one to cook us lunch! What else do they have to do but make food? Isn't that why they are all there?!

I was about to go in the dorms and just start knocking on doors and ask someone to cook me something when we decided to take pictures on the campus. This is Michelle and I. She is one of the ones who has been the most tortured with my interest in history. Example number one: Ellis Island trip 1992-ish. I went into every room and had the head set tour guide. They almost left me there...which I don't think I would have minded so much as it would be an opportunity to pretend I was an orphaned immigrant waiting for my mid-western relatives to pick me up and take me back to their farm. But I digress....

And here is the Frederick Vanderbilt Mansion. This is the smallest of the Vanderbilt mansions. I think his house looks like a bank. Even the inside look bank-ish. The interior of this home is completely different from FDR's neighboring home. It's obvious that the Vanderbilt's had tons more money than the Roosevelt's. This home is elegant, massive, and ornate.

And this is the back of the home. This is as much as I could get in my camera frame. If I took two more steps back I would roll down a steep hill, cross over the Amtrak tracks and plunge into the Hudson.

This is the view. It's beautiful and the picture can't do it justice. That being said, when we were all looking at it we remarked how much more beautiful it would be when the leaves began to change.

Many thanks to Natalie for inviting us down for the weekend!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Glad you had fun on your trip! What great friends to be patient and let you relish in the history for awhile!