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Stonecrest (703 Croton Lake Road, Bedford Corners, NY)

This house is about 1.6 miles from the house where I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) live, but in a different world. The owner is a high power New York attorney, who, like myelf, is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale, only 10 years younger and, again, in a different world. He lives with his pet cat, which cat weighs less than half of each of my 2 cats and is indoor-outdoor, so presumably gets all-natural avian and small rodent treats.

The house is from 1879. The current owner bought it in 1997, probably at a good price, when it was in fairly run down condition from owners who apparently had more money than cultural cultivation in general or care for the house in particular. He has extensively remodelled it, including geothermal heat, fully integrated air-conditioning on 3 floors, 5 bedrooms and 5+1/2 baths, etc. and interior decoration which might as well be from The Morgan Library (I've never been there). He applied his law degree from Harvard to write his highly detailed application for National Historic Register, which the house now has. His collection of 18th and 19th Century British art is apparently destined for Yale, and if I was him, I'd bequeath the whole place to Yale as a center for small international conferences and/or accommodations for a few scholars like (were he still alive) Hermann Broch.

In a social world which today cannot seem to take interest in anything higher than a few rogue cops end the ethnic cleansing of the English language, this house suggests to me the possibility that civilization can exist on the earth, inparticular, in the United States of Ronnie and Nancy and Newt the Grinch and The Don, and that, to advert to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, persons whose stomachs are full and have some classical education not just Ronald Reaganistic basic job skill training, may find something worth living for in this country. Stonecrest is, for me, a real shining city on a hill, not just an Anselm Kiefer mound of Newark New Jersey municipal garbage bound together with industrial sludge from the Meadowlands and the Gawanas canal, topped with some untreated overflow sewage, and a public university with non-unionized labor that teaches basic job skills and has learned to do without some "intellectual luxuries" and does not misuse public tax money to underwrite "intellectual curiosity". (Smile for the birdie, Ronnie!). This house surely sets a bar for people like Elon Musk who seem to have a lot of money but no taste, who would have us all live in neo-feudal Star Wars colon-ies on Ur-anus.

I have a choice each time I drive between my home and town (Mount Kisco): I can go one way which has some split-levels and ranches (no, not the cattle kind; just a bit above Donald J. Trump's "the beautiful suburbs" kind) and some small MacMansions, or I can go the other way, which is mostly dirt roads, and goes past Stonecrest, where from the road I can see the clear lights of the chandelier in one of the two drawing rooms and imagine I am not where i am. Except when it's raining and I don't want to get mud on my wife's car, I choose the dirt road, which probably is unpaved on purpose to make it less appealing for the uncouth to want to drive there. How I'd like to go home for the first time in my now 74+1/2+ years on this sorry planet, in this depressing nation state to which otherwise I generally wish I could "Just say no".

Not everything in America is dreck.  
 
 

+2022.04.06 v002
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Map from my home to Stonecrest.
BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)Invenit et fecit


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2022-04-15 12:49:38