An Evening with Mr and Mrs Vanderbilt

I am not rich and I will probably never be rich.  I mean maybe some day I will make some normal amount of money that will afford me some luxuries in life.  I live rather simply.

Somehow though I am endlessly fascinated by the lives of the rich.  Well, not the rich now, but the rich of years gone by, in particular, the rich of the Gilded Age in America.  That was the first time when wealthy was made on a grand scale and the Gilded Age rich, they knew how to live.  A lot of the time, when I am on the green line on my way to work, I read books about their lives.  Their lives really resemble the lives of Downton Abbey, with the footmen in their livery with their valets and butlers.  A far off existence for sure.

The Gilded Age brought the Newport mansions or cottages as the rich people called them.  Cottages.  Cottages that were 70 rooms sometimes and had four floors.  Cottages that were lived in for seven or eight weeks out of the year.  Cottages that in some way conferred the social status the groups had so desperately wanted.

Now, well, now the Gilded Age is long over and the cottages are all museums.  I wonder sometimes if the people that lived in the Newport Cottages ever thought that a large number of tourists would be traipsing through their bathrooms everyday.  Every year the houses are decorated according to the season and people are allowed to go through them.  The houses are suddenly alive in a way that they aren’t when you are on a regular tour.  It is almost like you are going there to see the family.  A family that hasn’t been home for over a hundred years.

And so there are photos, as always.  A short note on these.  They are taken with a super wide angle lens that makes them look all weird and distorted.  Just like I like it:

the Newport

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