Wednesday, January 30, 2013

T.N.M. - Tuesday Night Mansions

Holly and I continued our tour of American mansions last night.  We bought ourselves a small treat on a whim and then toured the stately residences along the Hudson river.  First, we toured Jay Gould's Gothic  castle-looking country residence.  Then, we saw Fredrick William Vanderbilt's mansion in Hyde Park.  Last, we looked at John Rockefeller mansion and its changes through the original Rockefeller, his son, and his grandson.  We felt the grandson did the worst to the property by peppering it with gaudy modern art pieces, but hey, what do we know about the finer things in life except that they sometimes look dumb.

File:Lyndhurst Tarrytown NY - front facade.jpg
Lyndhurst, Jay Gould's Gothic mansion in Tarrytown, NY

Of course  we understand that looking at these stately places through our big flat screen is not the same as visiting them.  But we could visit them someday.  They are historic sites now and it would be a good weekend trip sometime.  It's interesting; When we watched our first episode on my birthday, we saw southern plantation mansions that seems so over the top.  After seeing some of these places that were built in the Gilded Age, those southern manors seem downright charming and homey.  Holly and I would both prefer the southern plantation style to the Hudson river hideaways any day.

File:Rockefeller Kykuit.jpg
Kyuit, the mansion of the Rockefeller family

Of course, while both of us would love to own such places out of their sheer grandeur and monetary value, we would be terrified to live there.

File:Hyde Park Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site.jpg
William Vanderbilt's mansion in Hyde Park

There are too many open rooms, hidden nooks, and wide spaces.  Just imagine, you could have sixty ax murderers hiding in a place like that and you wouldn't even know it.  And if you did know it and foolishly decided to go looking for them, all sixty could shuffle around the rooms while you looked for them and you wouldn't be any better off.  Of course, the same structural layout could work to your advantage by giving you plenty of places to hide should they decide to attack, but lets not split hairs.  The point is we would need to have lots of servants to keep track of the place and I know nothing about getting servants to do what I ask.  I can barely get my kids to do what I ask.  At the end of the day, Holly and I do have a healthy dose of real estate envy.  But not enough to shoot for the top.  No, give us a bigger house with fewer drafts, more closets, lots of shelves and storage, a wide finished basement, a pool and hot tub, a big, warm, wide, kitchen, two fire places (one for the living space, one aesthetic one of the master bedroom) a deep, green yard, a chess nook, a breakfast nook, a craft nook, and a few other minor bells and whistles and we will be happy.  No, we are not high maintenance at all.  At least, not high maintenance when compared to the three homesteads above.

No comments: