Teddy’s Summer White House

Located in the tranquil community of Oyster Bay,  Sagamore Hill was the only house Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909, ever owned. He bought the lands in 1880 at age 22, engaged New York architectural firm of Lamb & Rich to design a house for property in 1884 when… Continue reading Teddy’s Summer White House


The Fort that Never Was

Nestled on the northern tip of Willets Point, Fort Totten sits directly across the East River from Fort Schuyler (now SUNY Maritime). It was conceived as part of a series of strategic forts blocking maritime access to the island of Manhattan, aimed at preventing a recurrence of the events of the War of 1812 when… Continue reading The Fort that Never Was


Artist’s Refuge – Noguchi Museum

The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, housed on the grounds of a former gas station and photogravure plant, was designed by Noguchi himself and opened to the public in 1985 on a seasonal basis. Born in 1907, Noguchi's artistic career spanned six decades starting in the early 1920s and continuing until his death in 1988. He… Continue reading Artist’s Refuge – Noguchi Museum


Detailed Extravagance: The Breakers

Cornelius Vanderbilt II, grandson of the Commodore, purchased in ground in 1885.  In 1892 the  wood-framed house which had stood on the property was destroyed in a fire. In the subsequent year, Vanderbilt commission architect Richard Morris Hunt to create an Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Hunt… Continue reading Detailed Extravagance: The Breakers


Detailed Extravagance: Marble House

Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 as a summer "cottage" retreat for Alva and William K. Vanderbilt. It was the first of the Gilded Aged mansions that transformed Newport from a relatively lazy summer colony of wooden houses to a high-society resort of opulent stone palaces. Upon completion, the most lavish house in… Continue reading Detailed Extravagance: Marble House


Detailed Extravagance: Rosecliff

This past September for Labor Day weekend, I finally made a trip to Rhode Island to visit the Newport Mansions built during the Gilded Age and opened to the public by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Rosecliff, also known formerly as the Hermann Oelrichs House or the J. Edgar Monroe House, was built 1898-1902 at a… Continue reading Detailed Extravagance: Rosecliff


Oyster Omelet

Taiwan is known for the delicious street foods found in night markets - open-air street bazaars that operate at night. Traditionally located on in the corners and outskirts of large cities, night markets trace their roots back to Tang dynasty China (618-907CE). From the Song dynasty onwards, night markets played a central role in Chinese… Continue reading Oyster Omelet


Appreciating Incense Trails

There are three "ways", or ceremonious art forms, shared among East Asian cultures that have been passed down thousands of years. The first is the Way of Tea, or the tea ceremony (茶道). The second is the Way of Flowers, more commonly known in the West by its Japanese name ikebana (花道). The third is… Continue reading Appreciating Incense Trails


Celebrating Chung Yeung

The Chung Yeung Festival (重阳节) falls on the ninth day of the ninth Chinese lunar month, which this year happened to be on a Saturday - October 28. I celebrated the day with friends in the Catskills; hiking in the woods, drinking chrysanthemum tea and sharing Chungyeung cake. Literally translated, the festival's name in Chinese means "double yang". In… Continue reading Celebrating Chung Yeung