We visited Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island this weekend. I've written about it before:
The Greatest View In The World. It was a fine fall day; the sky had that pure blue look to it, with clouds in the most delicate shades of warm gray drifting languidly past. The summer's humidity has cleared out, and lends an air of crispness to long views normally partially obscured in a faint haze. The neighbor's Italianate cottage showed off the sunshine well.
At the gate:
Somewhere along the line someone lost interest in the place, and paved the circular drive up by the house with barbarous bituminous asphalt, and impressed brick shapes into it. It's amazing to see something so shabby next to such a stone confection. But then again, your average dry-cleaning magnate has more money and a bigger house these days than your odd Vanderbilt. The trees are very old, and very fine, though.
It's got your standard turn-of -the-20th-century/Beverly Hillbillies/White House/Neoclassical thang going on:
Any Roman would recognize this view:
It's the back yard that's got the real view:
And the Japanese Teahouse to take advantage of it:
There's a walk along the ocean there. They've put a barbed wire topped chain link fence along it to keep the riff-raff out of the palaces. I might be riff-raff, but I know better than to put barbed wire chain link anything anywhere that's supposed to a serene view. Better to skip it than ruin it. The interior version of barb wire was the replacement of the human docent with a headphone tour. Anyone that would wear headphones as a form of relaxation is... not me and my wife, anyway. We just wandered around and looked at things. It was far better, really. We know what everything is, mostly, anyway.
And of course: The Simpsons: