Sep 9-10 - G&S 15th Birthday: Gilded Age Garden Party
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Saturday & Sunday, Sep 9-10, with overnight accommodations possible
$30-200, scroll down to see ticket options Pretty Penny: historical Victorian mansion in Nyack, NY (235 N Broadway)
Gemini & Scorpio celebrate 15 years of immersive themed costume events with a weekend-long getaway to a historical Victorian mansion for a turn-of-century garden pool party.
Expect a lavish and historically accurate food buffet in the style of our Victorian events, a full orchestra performing in the garden all day, poolside champagne and period-inspired cocktails, Victorian games & amusements, and outdoor silent films after sunset -- all in a stunning antiques-filled 1858 mansion with a pool and terraced garden. Cocktail sponsors: El Buho mezcal, Boukman rum, Barrow's Intense ginger liqueur.
Entertainment and activities:
- Retro Remix Orchestra - classic songs and current pop hits performed in orchestral, hot jazz and swing arrangements
- Edwardian fashion presentations with historical costumer John W. Richardson of As They Sew in France. Sat: Morning to evening in Edwardian dress / Sun: The rise & fall of the bustle
- Hand-drawn fashion illustrations of guests by Anastasios Taso Megaris
- Victorian garden & parlor games
- Card games played with authentic decks from mid-1800s through early 1900s
- DIY amusements from turn-of-century books
- Poolside popped corn from our vintage-styled machine
- Saturday evening parlor party with full tea service and dessert
1800-1910s summer garden party, with all-white, cream and pastel tones encouraged (seersucker or light gray are great summer options for men). No modern casual wear, please - though modern cocktail summer attire is easy to accessorize with a nod to Victorian times. Please wear comfortable shoes, and don't forget your swimwear and towels (and parasols). Costume inspiration Pinterest board (not ours): - and ours for banquet/ball/tea research.
A taste of previous turn-of-century G&S events:
About our chef:
Culinary historian Rebecca Leigh Silverman has over 20 years experience working in living history museums as an historic culinary expert. She specializes in period hearthside cooking and libations. When not cooking in the past, she's a Brooklyn based bartender, trying odd old recipes out on her modern day customers and talking about the perfect sazerac.
About our venue:
Ever since the legendary actress Helen Hayes and her husband, the playwright Charles MacArthur, bought the 1858 wedding cake of a house in Nyack in 1932 and christened it Pretty Penny, the historic home has become one of the best-known properties the Lower Hudson Valley. The 7,000-square-foot house has front and back porches, hardwood floors, five bedrooms (each with its own bathroom), and several fireplaces. The interlinked public rooms on the ground floor include a formal dining room, music room, and several sitting rooms, but the heart of the house is the double parlor with a set of French doors that open to the river. A pair of fireplaces with elaborate Italian marble mantels bookend the room. Above them are large gold-framed mirrors that are said to have been bought in Nyack by Hayes. Beyond the floor-to-ceiling river-view double windows, a terraced garden containing 600 conifers and 350 rose bushes leads to an oversized pool below.
Right from the start, the 1858 Italianate Victorian was a magnet for celebrities. Hayes and MacArthur entertained the likes of Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, Rosalind Russell, Ed Sullivan, Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier, Katharine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh. Cole Porter played the piano. F. Scott Fitzgerald left a signed copy of one of his books. John Barrymore was said to have once stopped by for a pack of cigarettes and left three days later. Edward Hopper famously painted the house in 1939. In more recent years, the home was owned and renovated by Rosie O'Donnell, and Russell Crowe rented it for six months while filming "American Gangster" in 2006.
There are only five bedrooms in the house, ranging from a sprawling master bedroom with river views to a charming single, each with its own bathroom (some can fit air mattresses, as well). Please contact us directly to arrange: gs [at] geminiandscorpio
There are a few hotel options in and near Nyack, ranging $150-275/night. We recommend searching through Kayak.com for best rates and booking sooner than later: Nyack is a popular town for summertime weekend getaways.
A charming town just 20 miles outside of the city, Nyack has numerous retail, restaurant and bar options to keep you entertained if you want to venture from the mansion. We'll be about a 10 minute walk away from the center of town. We recommend booking your own accommodations nearby and staying for the weekend.
Ticket options (enter code "group" on ticket page to see rate for 5+ guests):
Saturday & weekend:
- Bronze, $30 - event access 3-9pm, and a welcome champagne as you arrive. You're welcome to bring a picnic or get food in town (but no outside drinks, please).
- Silver, $45 - event access 3pm-12am, giving you additional time to explore the town of Nyack, a welcome champagne as you arrive, then dessert & parlor tea party at 9:30pm.
- Gold, $95 - event access 3-9pm, a welcome champagne as you arrive, historical food buffet 5-8pm, two drink tickets.
- Platinum, $110 - event access 3pm-12am, and a welcome champagne as you arrive, historical food buffet 5-8pm, two drink tickets, plus dessert and parlor tea party at 9:30pm.
- Diamond, $200 - event access 3pm-12am Sat, 11am-11pm Sun (official event end 7pm), including everything above plus breakfast at 11:30am Sun. Those with mansion accommodations have overnight access Sat and Sun.
- Bronze, $30 - event access 1-7pm, and a welcome champagne as you arrive. You're welcome to bring a picnic or get food in town (but no outside drinks, please).
- Silver, $40* - event access 1-11pm, giving you additional time to explore the town of Nyack, and a welcome champagne as you arrive.
- Gold, $95 - event access 1-7pm, a welcome champagne as you arrive, historical food buffet 2-6pm, two drink tickets.
- Platinum, $105* - event access 1-11pm, a welcome champagne as you arrive, historical food buffet 2-6pm, two drink tickets.
*The formal event is over at 7pm, but you can join the crew for leftovers, cocktails, and lounging in the beautiful house. Go into town for dinner and a stroll. Those with mansion accommodations have overnight access.
Transport options from NYC:
- Charter bus: Direct to venue from midtown. $15 one way: Sat departing NYC at 2pm & 4pm / departing Nyack 9pm & 12am; Sun departing NYC at 12pm & 2pm / departing Nyack 7pm & 11pm. Please be sure to buy ticket levels corresponding to correct bus times.
- Bus: (about $22 roundtrip, about an hour ride) Port Authority Gate 220 to Nyack: 2:22pm, 3:15pm, 4:22pm, 5:15pm. Nyack to Port Authority: 8:08pm, 9:08pm, 10:08pm
- Train: (about $22 roundtrip, about 45 min ride + approx $20 for taxi) Grand Central to Tarrytown and back: roughly every 20 min, last train back at 11:13pm. We're looking into the possibility of group tickets & a shuttle from the train station -- info TK.
- Car: Nyack is about 20 miles north of NYC, so a 30 minute drive from midtown. There is street parking just near the house, and a few larger parking lots in town, but carpooling is strongly recommended.
Save the date: 10.7 - Grand Victorian Banquet and Ball
at the historical Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 E 61st St
Join us as we travel back in time to the 1830s, to an elegant country resort a short carriage ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city (which at that time extended only as far north as 14th Street).
We will begin the night with an informal reception in the museum, where guests can enjoy delightful punch and a guided tour through the garden and beautifully preserved mansion. After the cocktail reception, we open the doors to the secret ballroom and invite you to a historically accurate dinner 8-9:30pm, featuring multiple courses and wines, and a small lecture on Victorian dining from our chef and expert Rebecca Leigh Silverman. Afterwards, the orchestra will strike up a waltz, and everyone will twirl in candlelight until 1am. More punch will be served.