Oh my. What a boring utterly uninspiring tour today of Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s home. Not entirely the fault of the guide, she did speak loudly and clearly, easily heard, but the entire spiel was about Eleanor, her career, her life. And did I mention civil rights? It was THE core of the tour talking points. I thought I was there to tour the home, the buildings, expecting to arrive knowing about Eleanor. Wrong.
The whole day was a bit off. We arrived early for our tour and thought we’d mosey over to the visitors center but the woman on the shuttle bus said if you hurry, you can catch the tour that just started.
Good basic idea, but I had to pee but we were told to hurry so I struck the double pike position and prayed I didn’t have to sneeze or laugh hard!
The tour started with a movie, of which we missed more than half, and of course, opening a door and walking into a dark room, the others groaned, thinking, can’t you at least be on time?
When the movie was over and we exited, two lines formed. Two people to my left said to me, you first, and I replied to the woman, no, you and your son go ahead.
Only one slight problem. The son was a short woman with short hair. They were a couple, not mother and son. Plus, I still had to pee. See why bowling would have been better?
Biggest gyp, of the entire house, we saw all of three rooms. Three. No mention of the kitchen or where the staff slept. No view of the bedrooms. Nothing upstairs. Gyp.
No flash photography inside and with few windows and dim lamps on, the photos are as lackluster as the day.
The group on the tour didn’t seem interested to ask any questions. I asked two, could have asked twenty more, but hated to be THAT person who holds up the works. We were in and out of the cottage in under thirty minutes.
The grounds weren’t all that pretty either. No view of the Hudson but I can see how it matched Eleanor’s personality and it was a home that made her happy. Whether I liked it or not was unimportant.
Drove back a different way, through Poughkeepsie and really had forgotten how rundown and impoverished what I saw of it was. Burned out shells of homes. Boarded up homes. Some pretty tree lined streets but not a population that wants top buy one up and fix it. Such a shame.
Feet up for a bit. Tomorrow is the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan. I’m sure I’ll most definitely be inspired there.