Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Best Buy gets horrible online reviews, but I'm thinking only cranky people write online reviews. I was treated just fine, got a sexy Canon Power Shot camera, and have felt like that Russian tennis star with the little dog all week.

My first photo shoot - well, after my daughter's engagement party last Saturday - was this morning, all within a one block radius of my apartment. People call the Upper East Side sterile and boring, but how could anyone not swoon over these houses?

1) Here's my locator shot, my corner at 63rd and Madison. I'm actually in the middle of this block, half way to Park Ave.
2) Shot #2 is of 36 East 63rd St., a private house these days, but built in 1929 as the Hangar Club, for rich guys who owned their own airplanes. Now it's the home of a rich guy who keeps our block lined with hulking Escalades and guys in suits with plastic tubes in their ears. We all, as a result, feel extremely safe here.
3) Shot #3 is 11 East 62nd St., now owned by the Japanese Government. Too bad that tacky truck is right in front, but I had to get my shot and then get to work. If I recall correctly, this place was a wedding gift, built in 1898 for Ernesto Fabbri, a swell Italian with the good sense to marry a grand-daughter of William H, Vanderbilt. I was in it before the sale to the Japanese, at which time most of the original kitchen and bathroom finishes were still extant. Probably all gone by now. You should see the staircase in this place, and the big panelled room in front on the second floor. "To die," as they say.
4) Before leaving 62nd St., I figured I'd better sneak around that truck and get a shot of the front of the house. Heydel and Shepard were the architects, Shepard being Mrs. Fabbri's cousin (if I've got that straight).
5) Close-up of the gate at 11 East 62nd.
6) How about this one? 3 East 64th St., now the Indian Consulate, which is why all those people are lined up out front, waiting for the visa office to open. It was built in 1900 for Orme Wilson, the husband of "The" Mrs. Astor's daughter, Carrie. Wilson's parents were famous for contriving to marry their 3 children to the most fashionable society people of their day. Orme's sisters were married to Ogden Goelet and Cornelius Vanderbilt III respectively.
7) This is Edwin Berwind's house on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 64th St. If you've visited the Elms at Newport, you've been to his summer house. And you know he was a coal baron who never married and lived out his life with his sister.

How could I not love the Upper East Side with these kinds of houses within one block of my own?


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  2. Berwind WAS married. His sister acted as hostess for him after his wife died.