My geocaching expedition yesterday took me through parts of Queens and Nassau County. After finding a cache less than a stone's throw from my old place in Bayside, I cruised out to Sands Point near Port Washington. I'd never been there before.
Here's the history...Railroad heir Howard Gould built the estate in this picture around the turn of the century. There's not one, but TWO castles on this property. The one in the picture was built in 1902 and across the Great Lawn (on which my car is parked) is another castle built in 1912. The whole kit n' kaboodle was sold to Daniel Guggenheim shortly thereafter. It is rumored that Sands Point is the "West Egg" described in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Nassau County acquired the land in the early '70s and turned it into a nature preserve and museum.
Personally, I think if you're filthy rich enough to buy up a bunch of waterfront property and build multiple limestone castles on it, you should go all the way. Where's the moat filled with alligators, piranhas and sharks with lasers strapped to their heads? Where are the trebuchets hurling Volkswagen-sized boulders at ships in the harbor? The jousting tournament in the front yard? If I had a castle, such things would be commonplace.
Wealth is totally wasted on the rich. Snotty rich people build snotty, ostentatious castles. Give me a few hundred million and I'll build the world's first castle with both functional trebuchets and a video arcade.