Eric Ahrendt Writer

Travelogue Archives

Lots More Money—With Really Good Taste

Posted on October 16, 2013 by 2 Comments

Took the train from Philadelphia to NYC. This is a statue in the Pennsylvania station dedicated to the employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad who died in WWII.

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We got to Penn Station in NYC and stored our luggage, then went to see the Frick Collection near Central Park. It has paintings, sculpture and decorative arts pieces assembled by industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The museum was his home. Nice home.

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I didn’t bring my camera with me because there’s no photography permitted in the museum, so that’s an iPhone shot of the exterior.

It’s an amazing collection for an individual to have put together. He has paintings by Renoir, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Hans Holbein, Constable, Piero Della Francesca, Fragonard, Vermeer. It goes on. The museum wasn’t at all crowded and all the works are beautifully displayed. A terrific museum.

This was my favorite painting, La Promenade by Renoir. I bought this postcard of it. I tried to buy the original but, surprisingly, it’s not for sale.

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New Yorkers again were really helpful every time we asked for directions. They must have all gotten a memo from Michael Bloomberg telling them to be nice to us tourists.

This is the last blog; we fly home tomorrow. I have no idea if anyone read these posts (except for Doug T.— thanks for the comments) but, if anyone else followed along, I hope you had a good time.

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Too Much Money

Posted on October 15, 2013 by 2 Comments

Today we visited the Nemours Mansion and Gardens, the estate of Alfred I. duPont. The duPonts made their money manufacturing and selling gunpowder in the early 20th century. Nemours is the “grandest residence ever constructed in Delaware.” It’s like Hearst Castle. Every room is filled with really expensive stuff. And the mansion is on 222 acres with the largest formal French garden in North America. Photography wasn’t permitted in the mansion but was permitted in the garden.

This is the mansion.

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Selfie in the gardens.

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It was hard to believe that one person could have had this much money while so many others had so little. Judging from the biographical details we got, Alfred was a good person, generous and kind-hearted. Still, he and his family just had too much money.

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All the gold in the house (and there was a lot) and on the statues is 23-karat gold.

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Here’s a portrait of Elaine. That’s her on the walkway, just to the left of the gazebo in the distance.

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Tomorrow it’s back to NYC for one day and then we fly home on Thursday.

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Warning: Flower Photos

Posted on October 14, 2013 by 2 Comments

If you don’t like photos of plants and flowers, you can stop reading now.

I went to Longwood Gardens today. This is another estate built by another member of the du Pont family in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It has over 1,000 acres of gardens, meadows, and woodlands. It’s one of the best botanical gardens in the country. It has a conservatory that’s about five times as big as the one in Golden Gate Park.

I walked around for a few hours—along with all the parents and kids out of school today on Columbus Day—and admired the plants. Here are some photos. Not much commentary; they’re just pretty pictures.

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That’s it for today. Tomorrow we visit yet another du Pont property. They lived here, they had gobs of money, and they left beautiful spaces for the public to enjoy.

 

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Gettysburg to Wilmington

Posted on October 13, 2013 by Comments are off

Rainy again in Gettysburg this morning, but we drove out of it on the way to Wilmington, Delaware. We weren’t fans of Gettysburg the town—too Fisherman Wharfy.

The visitor center at the Gettysburg battlefield (which is really all around the town) was open, because it’s funded by a private foundation, but the battlefield wasn’t, because it’s run by the government.

A graveyard on the battlefield.

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Here’s Elaine at the visitor center offering Abe some advice on his upcoming speech.

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This is a detail from the Cyclorama painting inside the museum. A huge circular painting done by a Frenchman in 1883.

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Just like in today’s political environment, no matter what a President does, he’s going to be criticized. Here are reactions from both sides of the political spectrum to Lincoln’s Gettysburg address when he delivered it in 1863.

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We then drove to Wilmington and visited Winterthur, a museum and landscaped gardens owned by a member of the DuPont family.

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Reflections in a pool at Winterthur.

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We may visit more gardens here tomorrow. Not much traveling for a change.

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Riding with a Mennonite Guide

Posted on October 12, 2013 by 2 Comments

We didn’t feel we’d done much to get to know the Amish, so we went to the Mennonite Information Center and signed up to have a Mennonite guide ride around with us in our car for two hours and give us a guided tour. Fay was our guide. She was in her late 60s and had lived in Lancaster County all her life. I didn’t take her picture because I wasn’t sure if Mennonites, like the Amish, don’t want you to do that. Turns out they don’t mind, but I still didn’t take her photo.

At least it didn’t rain today. The storm over the past two days here dropped more than six inches of rain in one location near us, which broke records that had stood since 1922. So I wasn’t exaggerating.

I took no good photos today. Zero. I’m including some here anyway because this is a photo blog. But if questioned, I’ll deny I took any of these.

This is Elaine in the parlor of our Lancaster B&B.

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On the tour, here’s some laundry hung out to dry at an Amish farm. Note the black clothes. They do the wash by hand, but don’t use a dryer because they don’t use any electricity.

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No rain, but this is what the skies looked like all day.

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There are many old brick buildings like this throughout Lancaster County.

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A covered bridge that doesn’t carry traffic anymore. It’s owned by an individual, not the government, so that person has to pay to restore it.

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And here’s an Amish buggy. You can photograph the Amish from the back, but not from the front, which would show their faces. “No graven images.”

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Tomorrow we visit the battlefield at Gettysburg, or rather the Visitor Center. The field is government property and is off-limits because of the shutdown. The Visitor Center is run by a foundation, so it’s open.

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Most of these posts are my opinions and observations about marcom writing; others are about somewhat-related subjects I felt were post-worthy. I'm just hoping none of my current clients leave me after reading these.

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