For the first time since I was a child, Memorial Day is memorable, for me. A parade in Salisbury is followed by hundreds of trailing citizens who gather in the cemetery for band music, readings, gun salutes, taps and a remarkably flawless recitation (by heart!) of The Gettysburg Address by cub scout in uniform Caleb May.
Almost completely intact Wall Street Journal of September 20, 1957 was found in the chimney rampart in the attic. Most alarming article:
"A small atomic bomb was fired in a chamber 800 ft under a desert mesa in Nevada as scientists measured its violence to help unlock the earth's secrets. The shock was recorded about 1000 miles away; experts had hoped it would be felt around the world."
In the city, we live in a first floor apartment that is sometimes so dark, I have dubbed it "the Cave." Oh, what a glorious contrast it will be to wake up to this light-flooded bedroom on weekends.
It's a testament to dedication of the contractors (who don't take on more than one job at a time) and the work of their team of craftsmen and artisans that owners are still happy this far along on a job.
The Zordan brothers, third-generation plasterers, are moving into the kitchen next week and the area is aflurry with preparations. The original bell butler is dismantled and covered with plastic to protect it during the process. So house guests will be able to ring me for service.
The first gift to the house was this vintage metal sink which Rob and Ellen, the contractors, "had been saving for someplace special." Note artful piping by plumber Mike O'Connor (Perotti's).
I bought two 18th century books from England and Chris Brennan figured out how to turn them into wallpaper. One was an antique atlas, The 1873 Royal Atlas of Modern Geography, the other was Randolph Caldecott's Graphic Pictures, a compendium of illustrated stories from the same era. Both acquired thanks to the dandy internet which put me into contact with a rare bookseller in London, David Hulse. There were enough color plates to paper both powder rooms on the first floor. The best john reading material EVER!
A friend going out of town dropped off at Holleywood her ticket to Trade Secrets. Trade Secrets? I asked what was that. "You're going to LOVE it," my friend said and a few days later I discovered how right she was. An annual benefit for Women's Support Services (a domestic violence program), Trade Secrets is THE summer kickoff in the area (Bette Midler was there!), a Gardenpalooza gathering green thumbs and antique collectors as well known as Martha Stewart to the meticulously groomed greens of Lion's Rock Farm in Sharon, where Elaine LaRoche apparently doesn't mind that 1000 cars park on her lawn. Ahem, meadow. The next day is Garden Tours and while there were some lovely options to tour, I only had time for one and (because I'm a huge admirer of her work, did you read what she did for The Falls Village Inn?) beelined for Bunny Williams'.
It's arrived!! All one piece of soapstone and so heavy it required the strength of six guys to haul it in.
who we are
We are a couple of Upper West Siders from NYC who never set out to buy an old mansion in Connecticut. But the moment we walked through its massive front door, we were smitten. The info on this site is earnestly cobbled from a variety of sources, including the web. Please let us know if we've gotten something wrong, or if there's a story about Holleywood you'd like to share.