What I Do When NPR Drives Me Crazy.

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 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 after the dental awfulness was done for the day I took myself  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 —

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 (even thought I couldn’t find anything to buy).  It stocks books by local authors, one who is a sketch artist and one who is 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 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  have tea in this miniature house.

I want to have sweet dreams under this lace bedspread.

I would LOVE to  invite all my itty bitty dear readers into this itty city home to have an itty city cup of tea.

Happy Weekend, everyone. Occupy Everywhere.

9 Comments, RSS

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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