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My local NPR station (WNYC, New York) was having its Fall Fundraising Drive so you all know what that means. I pledge my various dollar amounts to support listener-funded radio for another year (this year I called in two pledges and got Frank Sinatra’s “Ring a Ding Ding”, one of his best albums of the 1950s as a bonus) and I head out of town.

Actually, I had made a dentist appointment. Because there’s really no difference between listening to an NPR Fundraising Drive and the ear-piercing whine of a dentist’s drill.

My dentist happens to be in the town of Sea Cliff, Long Island — so I took myself (wobbly from the torture) afterwards to my favorite museum on all of Long Island:

The Sea Cliff Museum. It’s housed in the old rectory of the old Sea Cliff Church. On the main floor there’s a fireplace that I long to illustrate –

–move all the “exhibits” out of the way and concentrate on the built in side chairs and the tiny reading lamps and the built in bookshelves on either side. I think this is one of the finest fireplaces on Earth.

I always judge a museum by its gift shop. The Sea Cliff Museum has a swell gift shop (but I couldn’t find anything to buy even though it stocks books by local authors such as a sketch artist and a poet).

The focus of the Sea Cliff Museum are exhibits of relics of local life such as swimsuits fromf 1900 –

– from the times when the local lasses were noted for their high spirits:

Ancient household items include a push button phone from the 1970s.

And the preserved rectory kitchen c. 1929.

In an alcove there is a collection of dolls from the 1940s – 1970s on loan from a local resident.

But the star of the show is a scale model of a well-known Sea Cliff house called the Connor Cottage:

Which they say is this house (below), but I think they have the wrong house. The real house was built in 1890 as a Summer residence by Charles Connor:

The model house was a project of Ed Knieriem, who started it in 1939 and worked on it until his death in 1969. It was Ed Knieriem’s wish that the model be given to the Sea Cliff Museum, where it is exhibited as a village treasure.

The interior of the house is decorated as the actual house looked in 1937.

What is it about miniatures?

Even in this CGI world, there is something irresistible about miniatures — so familiar, but so other-worldly.

I want to be a Beatrix Potter mouse and have tea in this miniature house.

I want to have sweet dreams under this lace bedspread.

I came away from the Sea Cliff Museum with the need to go right home and curl up with something warm and furry. I needed a big cup of tea with honey and a nap. But that might have been the nerves wearing off from the dentist appointment. But it’s probably the effect of all that miniature houseness.

Good thing I have such wonderful readers to the rescue. Just when we all need a dose of CUTE,  a Loyal Reader has just what we need.

This is Sally’s Picture That Makes Her Happy:

You know that when I illustrate that fireplace from the Sea Cliff Museum, I’m going to have to put in this pooch and his pillow pussy cat.

Hmmmmm….I think I just got the inspiration for my 2011 ChrisHannuKwanSolstice card. Speaking of which:

There’s a clothing store on the main street of town here on Long Island that already has a Christmas tree and a wreath and Xmas ornaments hanging up in its shop window. Every year, the Holiday Marketing push comes earlier — but I think this is the first time I’ve seen it in October for DoG’s sake.

Sheesh. Anybody else seen any signs of Christmas?

Happy Weekend, everyone. Occupy Everywhere.

9 comments to What I do when NPR drives me crazy.

  • Sooooo cool! I worked at the Museums at Stony Brook (I think it’s called something else now…) when I was a teenager. I was in the education department. I LOVED that place, and felt so honored to be there, contributing. Your post brought back some super happy memories and a reminder that Long Island isn’t all “Lawn Guyland” but actually a place where many beautiful things have taken place, and continue to take place. Well, except for the dentist. That’s NEVER beautiful.

  • janet bellusci

    i hope you know about the TEE RIDDER MINIATURE MUSEUM on the grounds of the NASSAU COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART. another little special place for miniature lovers. i used to take my nieces there when they were little.

  • Carol

    This was wonderful!! Wouldn’t it be neat to actually HAVE a fireplace like that, with side chairs and reading lamps and books! I would NEVER move! When you do the illustration, I think the cat should be orange. This has nothing to do with my being the servant of the most beautiful red tabby cat with peridot green eyes. No, it has nothing to do with that.
    Happy Weekend to you and Penelope and Top Cat and the Gang!

  • AnneL

    I loved every bit of today’s post! Thank you for so many great photos. Signs of the holiday season? It’s been creeping into the Minneapolis retail scene for a couple of weeks in the form of cards and decorations to buy.

    But today, we have one more glorious day of Baseball to relish.

  • Helen McHargue

    Costco here in Temecula had the particularly ugly and offensive plastic lighted reindeer, santa clauses and the like (the lawn ornamentation) on display in late September. Most of the shoppers I noticed walking by threw it all a disparaging glance and sensibly pushed on to the wine section where I of course was standing.

    The fireplace is splendid and Sally’s picture made me happy too.

  • Wow the architecture of that Connor house is incredible. As for Christmas in October, also incredible. I am so happy that over here things don’t even get talked about until December, at least in my little town.

  • Nadine

    Yay, St. Louis!

    And I want a dog. Thank you, Sally.

  • kate

    I, too, judge a museum by its gift shop; Graceland was one of the highlights of my sightseeing life. ; )

  • Rachel

    Of course we judge a museum by its gift shop. They often have things not found anywhere else. I remember lo these many years ago when I lived in Virginia and my practice was to go to the Smithsonian early on a Sunday, in late October, and go to ALL the gift shops. No actual museum visiting that day, lunch and the gift shops. And long before the holiday crowds would take over the Mall. The real Mall. Our National Mall. Thank you Vivian, as always, for reminding me of good times.

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