Dating My Wardrobe: “Lilac Time,” Montgomery Place in the Spring

Being dumped by someone who said that they would love you forever sucks. The occurrence makes you rethink the slippery word “forever,” and also the people who aren’t old-fashioned romantics, who relish the idea of growing decrepit and old together. Hey, monogamy isn’t for everyone, but don’t waste my time if you’re not captivated by the notion of being euthanized together on a bed of roses when you’re 88! As an integral part of this “don’t waste my time mentality,” I decided to date myself. Dress like a babe, go to all of my favorite places and just romance the heck out of myself.

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After a few successful dates, I decided to enjoy the breathy bough of spring in the lilac-perfumed gardens of Montgomery Place, Red Hook, NY with my sweetheart- gauzy maxi dress. By late April or early May, the lilacs at Montgomery Place are in full bloom, infusing the balmy air with the sticky-sweet aroma of bursting lilac clusters. As I walked through the lilac bushes, my darling maxi dress was swept away by the breeze, caressing me tenderly. It was an olfactory heaven, accompanied by the tune of one hundred honey bees flapping their gossamer wings.

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At this point, you can tell that I was really swooning for my hippie gown amongst the lilac branches. Imagine that scene from Disney’s Bambi, where the cute forest creatures are being walloped over the head with love in the spring– a phenomenon termed “twitterpated.” Yes, indeed, I was twitterpated, all right! In my state of amorous delirium, I walked over to a small garden, nearest to the Montgomery Place mansion–  the mansion was built as a Federal-style home in 1804 by Janet Livingston Montgomery, and transformed into a Classical Revival mansion between the 1849s and 1869s by Alexander Jackson Davis.


The small sunken garden paths were lined with early blooming bulbs, giant snowdrops, and unfurling ferns, leading me down to the belly of the garden where a tiny pond exists. A layer of green duckweed skims the surface of the pool, obscuring the black water beneath and acts as a cloak for the dozens of frogs living there.  As I neared the pond, I was amused by the sight and sound of many fleshy frogs hurling their fat little bodies into the water. Well, with all of these handsome amphibians about, perhaps I’ll find Prince Charming here!

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You’ll be happy to know that I did happen upon a completely alluring frog, who was not only an attractive shade of green but very friendly. What a hunk!


Because I was wearing blue velvet-covered shoes with a five-inch heel, I figured I should forget about navigating the wooded trails on the Montgomery Place property– one leading to the Hudson River, the other leading to a waterfall. While I do consider my heels athletic wear, they were no match for the twisted-root-riddled trails. That being said, I hopped, skipped, and jumped with my pointed toes to a neighboring garden with darling brick paths and a central sun dial.

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With lilac in the air and amphibians in my heart, I strolled into the sunset on a perfect hot date with myself. God, if only those frogs could see me now! So, dear readers, if you ever happen to visit Montgomery Place– which is now a part of the Bard College Arboretum– be sure to visit all of the meandering pathways which afford incredible views and garden delights. And don’t forget to say hello to my beloved froggy friends!


By cliocult

If you're reading this, you're probably semi-curious about history, culture and fashion, and wondering who the heck has been writing these wonderful pieces about yester-year and sartorial subject matter! ;) Well, I have a BA in Social History, through Empire State College, and an MA in Costume History, through NYU Steinhardt. My love of fashion and textile history dovetails neatly somewhere in between the region of my over-stuffed walk-in closet (where my cherished vintage wardrobe lives), and my role as a fashion researcher and curatorial assistant intern. Basically, I wear the history that I so adore on my back!


    1. Thank you! The lilacs in Hudson Valley are intoxicating. Lilac is among my favorite aromas on earth. I hope that you have an opportunity to catch a whiff of them soon!

  1. What a surprise! I thought I was the only one who goes out on dates with myself. It is such a beautiful feeling, right?

    1. Absolutely! 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you enjoy dating yourself, too. Do you have a favorite date that you can think of? Where did you go, and what did you do?

      1. One of my favorites was when I went to the park, bought an ice cream cone and marvel at the complex beauty of the roses, god! It was so awesome. I might do it again.

      2. Ooh, an ice cream date with one’s self sounds like fun! I think I might try that this summer. I haven’t purchased an ice cream cone in years. I always loved a chocolate and vanilla soft-serve twist, coated in rainbow sprinkles. 🙂 The lack of ice cream in my life is pathetic. Gasp! Thanks for the inspiration, and enjoy your next date.

      3. That sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing and don’t forget to stay awesome.

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