Hazy days can make anyplace seem eerie and strange, but Sands Point Preserve (which is odd to begin with) became a uniquely weird experience this Memorial Day.
There are three mansions on the parks grounds, the newest of which was built by the Vanderbilts in 1923 is called Falaise and is only accessible via a tour which was not running when we visited. The other two mansions are there to behold on any old day, although do heed the warnings of falling rocks–you can see where huge chunks of stone have away from the window ledges of these dilapidated homes. If you brave the possibility of getting your head bashed in, the interior views (peeped through dusty glass) are stunning and–you guessed it–eerie.
It's a shame to see such architectural wonders go to seed, but fascinating too. There's also a nice pond trail to walk that's also overgrown and beautiful which leads to a rocky, craggy beach. It's hard to explain why, but all the lost, sweaty people; the odds and ends washed up on the coast (among other things we found a large bell submerged in sand); and the hazy view of New Rochelle in the distance all made it seem post-apocalyptic.
A jaunt through the picnic areas on the great lawns only intensified the surreal feel of the visit as all the picnickers were completely silent. When we later learned that the Helen Keller Institute was on the same road we felt silly. Finish the day back in the town of Port Washington and enjoy some oysters and a lobster roll at the very popular Louie's Oyster Bar and Grille.