The Natural History Museum

Founded in 1881, New York City’s only general interest museum explores the arts, natural sciences, and local history through permanent and changing exhibitions and welcomes over 65,000 adults and school children to a comprehensive array of programs. Located just two blocks from the Ferry Terminal, visitors can embark on a voyage through time in the Staten Island Ferry exhibit, get close to exotic insects, see rocks glow in the dark along with oddities in the Hall of Natural Sciences and experience the life of Staten Island’s first inhabitants, the Lenape. I know this fantastic museum well; I had a solo art exhibit there. – CvB

Square footage: 4,000 interior, with a pretty, small park-like fenced-in garden.

Amenities/Details:

  • The props and furniture in the pictures may be available for use, the art may require special clearances and restrictions
  • Parking on the grounds, street, and in a nearby lot for trailers and cars

The Hansel and Gretel Victorian

Enter this pretty gingerbread cottage-mansion and be drawn deeper inside by its perfumed scent. Once inside, a perfectly frightening bear-skin rug and a variety of taxidermy fauna greet you. Children best stay away from the brick fireplace hearth! Perfectly period-dressed mannequins, musical chairs, antiques, and statuary draw you in deeper. A tiny child’s corset is laid upon a small, pretty bed while music box dolls animate to dance for arriving guests. I half expected to find Miss Havisham pining away in a corner upstairs but instead I found sun poring through gothic-arched windows and shedding light upon dreamy bedrooms and hallways.

Square footage: 3,500 interior, 1/3 acre (Great room, parlor, dining room, music room, library, kitchen, master bedroom, child’s bedroom, sewing room, bathrooms, attic)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Parking on the property and street for trailers and cars
  • A pretty yard with the home set back a good distance from the street

The Gothic Castle

I’m a castle-a-holic. I have seen, and even slept in, many of the most beautiful castles and palaces in the world, and this one is similar to many of them, except for one fact: it is here, so close to New York City! Each room is so stunning, brilliant, and fabulous that one cannot possibly believe that the next room could be even better…but it is.

Square footage: 6,000 interior, 1 acre of stepped landscaping (Ballroom, music room, Turkish room, boudoir, tower room, chapel, conservatory, observatory, billiard room, loft room, entry hall, kitchen and more.)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • Parking on the property and street for trailers and cars
  • Grotto, fountains, statuary

 

The Aristocratic Apartment

A European princess visiting New York City would feel perfectly at home in this grand apartment. The lofty home is one half of an Upper East Side townhouse.  The flat has soaring ceilings, intricate ceiling moldings, three marble fireplaces, pocket doors, built-in window shutters, unique antique furniture, gorgeous woodwork, museum quality paintings, and curious objects d’art. A wooden spiral staircase off the parlor leads upstairs to a glittering bedroom with an Italian glass chandelier. A terrace with a spiral staircase off the dining area leads downstairs to a private garden. The townhouse also has a traditional staircase leading to the double door parlor entrance. From the massive ballroom chandeliers to the bejeweled taxidermy peacock (it was a former pet who died of natural causes), the eclectic décor is dripping with quirky glamour. At the end of the block is the lovely Gracie Mansion (the mayor’s residence), the Hudson River and the beautiful Carl Schurz Park. Note: There is also an unused dentist office in the basement of the townhouse that might be available for rent as well.

Square footage: 1,800 (Floor-thru parlour, open kitchen, dining room, one bedrooms, two bathrooms, terrace, private yard, hallway)

Amenities/Details:

  • Furniture, artwork and props as seen in the pictures
  • 3 fireplaces
  • 2 bathrooms