Written by D.F. Karppi Friday, 11 September 2009 00:00
It was their annual neighborhood night when local cultural sites are opened free to the public and it paid off. On Friday night, Louise Radzicki said she had attended the Sundown Concert, Strummin’ and Drummin’ event the night before with her children and picked up the flier for the Chocolate Fondue & Champagne event and decided it was great for a Girls Night Out so she came with a girlfriend.
Many of those attending had warm ties to Planting Fields: visiting it regularly as a child; having wedding photos taken there; looking forward to having a wedding there; being a member of the Planting Fields Foundation; being a lover of Gold Coast history. Any reason was a good reason.
The evening was a continuation of the celebration of Planting Fields Foundation current exhibit The True History Of Chocolate, by Dr. Michael D. Coe, and Mr. Joyce encouraged guests to visit the show. “I tried to bring his book to life in an exhibit. There are ancient vessels, items, and graphics that describe the international culture of chocolate. And Vincent Simeone, [superintendent of Planting Fields Arboretum Historic State Park] has chocolate plants in the main greenhouse for you to see,” he said.
Periwinkles did the catering and set out salvers of warm fondue dips to plunge in pieces of ripe fruit, and chocolate fountains to let the warm sweet confection flow over a cookie, pretzel or your choice of fruit.
Mr. Joyce took the occasion to let people know what was coming up next at Planting Fields. He said they are planning a Gold Coast Wedding exhibit at Coe Hall next June. “Natalie Coe was married at the mansion in 1934 so it will be perfect to talk about the history of the estate and the history of weddings. And, we are preparing the History of Gold Coast weddings. We have a Pathé newsreel of her wedding,” he said.
“It will feature weddings from the 1800s to 1940. So there will be exhibits on food, flowers and why those flowers were chosen; as well as talk of wedding presents. It will be a material culture show,” he said. “There will even be an event like this but it will be centered around The Wedding Cake.”
They are already involved in the exhibit and have borrowed a wedding dress and veil and a “wedding night gown” from the collection of the Oyster Bay Historical Society, said Yvonne Nonnan-Cifarelli, OBHS curator.
On Sunday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. come enjoy Pancakes and Magic at Coe Hall. Tickets to the event cost $10 for members and $15 for non-members. “We are serving children Chocolate Chip Pancakes and that day is also Grandparents Day so it should work out well for the public,” said Jennifer L. Lavella, PFF director of special events and rentals.
Mr. Joyce mentioned the Naturally Speaking Lectures held in conjunction with and at the Hoffman Center. The next one is on Wednesday, Sept. 30, on “Painting in the Landscape at Planting Fields” offered by Nancy Friese.
Mr. Joyce invited people to step inside the dining room to view Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry [from their on-going show] available for sale and reminded them that there were more items at their shop. The show of KJL jewelry at the Manor house runs through Sept. 30, and is free.
The exhibit on Chocolate, in the great room of Coe Hall mansion, also runs through Sept. 30 and is still $3.50 admission, and both are open 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Mr. Joyce was ready to fill their date books: “This December come to an Elizabethan Banquet. I am borrowing a dress Kate Blanchett wore.
“In December there will be more parties starting with the Dec. 5 benefit Deck the Halls, an Elizabethan celebration. Enjoy this evening and come to see the wedding exhibit,” he said.