Sunday, January 2, 2011

Zooooom into Boston's Past; The Larz Anderson Auto Museum, Brookline, MA

We have celebrated New Year's since 2001 every year but one with one of my good friends from Brookline.  We faced off as volleyball rivals while he was at Brookline High (they always killed Newton North, so maybe rivals is a bit of an overstatement.)  We then co-captained the team in college and met up again in grad school and it has been twenty years now.  I was always a little jealous of those Brookline kids; the hair, the clothes, that urban swagger.  We even looked to move there first on our return from NYC.  That was before I even knew about Larz Anderson.

They had brought their boy Luca to the outdoor ice rink this week on a recent homecoming (which I am now dieing to bring Sydney to).  What I didn't realize was that this expansive estate includes acres of rolling hills, gardens, bbq spots and of course it's own museum.  Anderson's wife, Isabel Weld Perkins (as in Bill Weld, her grandpappy who left her $17 million, and our former Gov's namesake) clearly bankrolled this chateau-inspired land-grab.  They were one of the first families at the turn of last century to collect new cars like we collect matchboxes in my house.

Kami and I appreciated the beautifully designed carriage house, which holds the oldest collection of cars in the country.  Sydney and Elijah were in love with the chance to play with giant racecars in the kids' room.  The restoration garage was pretty cool too.  But we clearly missed the high season; "we host Lawn Events almost every Saturday and Sunday throughout the spring, summer, and fall!"  Evidently, the high hippy turn-out for Volkswagon day is not to be missed.