Monday, August 5, 2013

It was good to be a Rockefeller

4 generations (John Sr., center) at Kykuit
A few weekends ago, Dr. H and I went on an adventure up the Hudson with friends. The destination was Sleepy Hollow, NY (beware the headless horseman!) to visit Kykuit. Now I must confess, I had never heard of Kykuit until a few days prior to my visit, but thanks to my worldy, history loving friends, I soon discovered that John D. Rockefeller Sr. (aka, the Rockefeller you associate most awesome Rockefeller-y things with) had built Kykuit (along with his son John Jr.) for the family in the early 1900s. The day began with a trip through my favorite train station on the planet (because yes, I have one of those...)

After a short train ride north of the city (even with the last minute train cancellation and extra taxi cab ride we had to take) we arrived HERE:

Kykuit is a truly beautiful house, built by lovers of art and architecture, but with a distinct emphasis on retaining the feel of a home (as opposed to something palatial and un-cozy). Thanks to the "additional muscle" of the friends we were visiting with, I was able to drag Dr. H on a tour of the home and grounds which at the end even he confessed to enjoying (it wasn't too long and our guide was OUTSTANDING so that worked in my favor). But really, between the stunningly designed house and the sweeping Hudson views to a basement filled with Picasso tapestries (did you know that a lady Rockefeller founded MOMA and installed her son as head of the board of directors?!) this place was something to see.

Picasso TAPESTRIES!!! Custom made for the fam and now on
display in their gallery/basement (just like your basement right?)
I am fortunate enough to have toured a lot of fancy pants homes in my lifetime, and I'm going to say this was one of my favorites. Not only did I love the understated opulence (is that a thing?) and learning more about the rich history of an American family which I admire (philanthropy, gets me every time) but the quick escape to a world outside the city was perfect for a sunny summer afternoon.

So next time you're looking for a lovely way to learn something interesting, see something beautiful and relax and enjoy yourself while doing it, consider a trip to Kykuit.

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