With just a wee bit of pre-planning, one can expect a day not easily forgotten in Philly!! A few days before our Amtrak departure, my travel buddy heard about Eastern State Penitentiary, or Cherry Hill as it was called. So serendipity played a small part in our itinerary for the day; as we decided to explore a site of which we would never expect to hear existed right in the city!
Charles Dickens is to have said that there were two places he wanted to visit in Philadelphia – the Water Works and the Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP). I, for one, truly appreciated my freedom to roam after hours traversing the halls of ESP– the first true penitentiary in the world; a model for over three-hundred prisons worldwide.
Philly, a city so conducive to walking, enabled us to quickly reach the Rodin Museum on Franklin Parkway, only to find it was closed for an upcoming installation. On to the Eakins Oval – one of the most imposing and yet inviting monuments. The tympanum was calling out to us as we approached the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As I had only visited once several years ago, I looked forward to roaming the galleries for hours before witnessing the sunset at the Water Works along the Schuylkill River.
Al Capone’s cell
We lucked out with such gorgeous weather this January day!
Eakins Oval on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, named for Thomas Eakins, Philadelphian, world-famous painter, and fine arts educator. It consists of the Washington Monument and two smaller fountains. Beneath the Oval are two tunnels, originally for rail traffic, and constructed in the 1920’s.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art and its extension the Perelman Building, which is a landmark Art Deco
Building on Fairmont and Pennsylvania Avenues.
The Water Works along the Schuylkill River are an epic spot to admire a sunset!
When are you planning your Philly in a Day from Penn Station? We even had time for some great pub dining before hopping on the train back to New York City.
@passionfornyc on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Wave Hill is delicious every season of the year, but it is in winter that one can witness the shape and design of its trees. You get the sense that they are framing this lovely twenty eight acre gem in New York City. Witnessing the barren appearance of these trees enables us to appreciate the promise of Spring that much more. I look forward to sharing the other three seasons with you in future blogs, but for now enjoy Wave Hill’s Winter palette.
Wave Hill has a very rich history with the interweaving of numerous families who have lived in Glyndor House and Wave Hill House. Today, the Georgian Revival style Glyndoor House, the third house to stand on this sight, is now referred to as Glyndor Gallery – showcasing exhibitions of the work of contemporary artists who share a deep connection between nature and culture. George Walbridge Perkins purchased it in 1895, from NY financier, Oliver Harriman, renaming it Glyndor (a combination of letters from the names of his family). He and architect Robert M. Byers were responsible for creating an underground tunnel (lined with Guastavino tiles) leading to a two-story recreation building (whose sodded roof provided a viewing terrace), and greenhouses. The recreation building housed a bowling alley, squash court, and billiard room. Today, it is known as the Ecology Building, but the rooftop terrace still exists. Perkins acquired three estates (one parcel was where Wave Hill House now stands) and designed the garden and terraces to better integrate these estates. A trained Viennese gardener, Albert Millard, collaborated on the layout of the grounds with Perkins blending in with the Hudson River highlands beauty. The Perkins and Freeman families gave the Wave Hill estate to the City of New York in 1960.
Wave Hill House was first a country home owned by jurist William Lewis Morris in 1843, and later purchased by publishing scion, William Henry Appleton in 1866. One of Appleton’s scientist friends, Thomas Henry Huxley, was in awe declaring the Palisades one of the world’s greatest wonders. Many families rented or leased the property over the years. One notable resident was Teddy Roosevelt and his family. It is thought his deep connection with nature beginning at the age of twelve here, lead to his love and future preservation of millions of acres of American parkland. Mark Twain was another resident who leased the home. The Perkins family purchased Wave Hill house in 1903, and they, too, chose to lease the property over the years to famed zoologist, Bashford Dean(who built Armor Hall- of which 197 pieces of his were donated to the Met Museum), conductor Arturo Toscanini, and chief members of the British Delegation to the United Nations.
Five years after the Perkins-Freeman family deeded Wave Hill to the City of New York, thanks to involvement from the community, Wave Hill was formed as the public garden we love and appreciate today. It consists of many diverse gardens, the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory, T. H. Everett Alpine House, the Herbert and Hyonja Adams Woodland Walk, and of course the beloved Kiwi vined Pergola Overlook (an Italianate stone structure) which offers incomparable vistas graced with riotously colored containers and hanging baskets after the winter season. Café at Wave Hill offers a delicious farm to table menu, and a myriad of cultural programs are held in Wave Hill House. The Perkins Visitor Center/The Shop offers unique gifts and art from local artists. Sunset Wednesdays and many other outdoor events are a joy to attend. Truly a splendid garden you will want to revisit again and again.
Café at Wave Hill’s Chef Steven hand delivered my scrumptious piping hot Mac and Cheese with fresh bread crumbs (since it was Friday during Lent) and a Marble Coffee Crumb Cake! A terrific sense of humor he had, and he got back with me to see how I liked his creations! Knows how to promote return customers!!
Wave Hill is accessible by subway, Metro North Railroad, or bus. Most visitors to the city prefer Metro North since it is the quickest. Using a monthly MTA Metro card, I prefer the subway. Whether you take the subway ( 1 train to Van Cortlandt Park/last stop) or Metro North, Wave Hill graciously provides a free shuttle van that drops you off at the entrance and returns you to your preferred mode of travel. The drivers are friendly and knowledgeable so don’t be shy about chatting up with them as you drive through the gorgeous neighborhood of Riverdale in the Bronx. There is a small parking lot provided for a minimal fee. Wave Hill is open every day except Mondays.
Now a bucolic setting nestled in an urban area, Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx was once land called Rose Hill, owned by Robert Watts, a wealthy New York merchant. It was named in 1787 in honor of his family’s ancestral home in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In 1940, the Most Reverend John J. Hughes, purchased most of Rose Hill Manor in Fordham, New York, establishing St. Joseph’s Seminary. St. John’s College was founded in 1841, paired with the seminary which consisted of a student body of six.
Receiving its charter in 1846, the first Jesuits began to arrive. St. John’s College became Fordham University in 1907. The name Fordham refers to the village of Fordham; the name was derived from its location near a shallow crossing to the Bronx River (“ford by the hamlet”). Jesuit influences are still a part of Fordham’s academic ideals which are: Strive for excellence in everything you do, Care for others, and Fight for justice.
Notable graduates include: Andrew Cuomo, Mary Higgins Clark, General John Keane, Major General Thomas McMahon, Anne M. Mulcahy, Denzel Washington, and Vince Lombardi.
The Rose Hill campus is quite picturesque, boasting some of the oldest Elms in the city. Tucked away from all the bustle of the Bronx, these ninety-three acres are home to students from all over the world. I hope you enjoy the idyllic campus landscape and magnificent architecture on this tour.
The Rams became the official name of the sports’ teams when the Jesuit fathers said the word dam used in the sports cheer in the 1890’s “One-Dam, Two-Dam, Three-Dam, Fordham!” was inappropriate. The first live ram moved onto campus in 1925, and was it was named Ramses. Twenty-seven animals held this royal position, with the last one dying in 1975. Students were actually assigned to be Ram Watchers. Now the live ram has been replaced by a student dressed in a ram costume.
The campus comes alive when games are being played; the announcing can be heard from the New York Botanical Garden and surrounding areas.
Fordham University’s ranking in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 60.
One thing I know with certainty – any event that the Fashion Institute of Technology hosts will be entertaining and informative. Dr. Valerie Steele, the Director and head curator of the Museum at FIT (MFIT) began the evening with a warm welcome for her dear friend, Hal Rubenstein. He is a respected and renown voice in the fashion industry and loved for his elevating views of women. Hal is the founder and served as Fashion Director of InStlye magazine for 15 years; then becoming editor-at-large. His other writing credits included Elle, Vogue, Interview, and The New Yorker.
Hal graced us with a witty, in depth look into the influence the fashion of the iconic 1960’s in film had on the demographic of people frequenting theatres. Covering a plethora of movies, it became quite evident through Hal’s expert eye, that fashion was wielded as a tool; becoming a vital part of the plot in the movie. He kept us on the edge of our seats, injecting humor and personal stories; transitioning effortlessly, using just a sentence or two, into the next iconic movie he selected.
When his stories finally came to an end, we looked at each other as if to say – “Is that all?” Lucky for us, Hal will be returning in May to MFIT to again regale us with perceptions of beauty and what is needed to create that Red Carpet Style.
I was left with these words he spoke that bear repeating – “You only have one version of you” – and I agree with him that it is up to us to make the best of our assets!
I have nothing but extreme respect and admiration for this phenomenal woman – Dr. Valerie Steele – I wish I had 1/10 the knowledge she has on fashion history. The author of many books on fashion, I especially was drawn to The Corset: A Cultural History. As busy a woman as I’m sure Valerie is, she always greets me with a warm smile, instantly making me feel as if I’m the only one in the room. Now, that’s class and style in my book!!
It’s quite evident how passionate Hal is when it comes to fashion! He speaks at a quick pace; executing every work in an eloquent manner.
Bye Bye Birdie (1962)forever changed the trajectory of of 22 year old Swedish born Ann-Margaret’s career. Only her third film, the director, George Sidney, instantly realized her charisma and decided he wanted to increase her scenes. He pushed for a Prologue and Epilogue with just Ann singing on the screen. He was adamantly turned down; not easily deterred, he decided to pay for it himself. Premiering at Radio City Music Hall with huge success, the film company decided to reimburse him the full amount – $60,000!
There were many more movies presented, but maybe I’ll leave those for another time. Indulge me in a few more images of the impeccable, energetic, brilliant-minded Hal Rubenstein – the consummate gentleman.
@museumatfit @passionfornyc on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter