Road Trip: Purchase for Free


Just past the Bronx in Westchester lies a beverage headquarters that is more than just cubicles and fizzy beverages (remember Crystal Pepsi?). The PepsiCo HQ in Purchase has a modernist main complex, designed in the late 1960s, but the real gem is the Donald Kendall Sculpture Gardens surrounding the building. The best part is that it’s completely free. You can roam the grounds when the gates are open on the weekends, and even bring dogs. We spotted a few wedding parties taking photos on the grounds.

On a drive up to Purchase on a grey fall day last month, we got stuck in some traffic (construction on the Whitestone Bridge!). Having a car is a bit of a novelty to me, so being able to hop in the car on a whim, listen to music on a great stereo system (the speakers are better than my old, crackly ones at home), and avoid the subway seems like a luxury enough not to let traffic get to me. I’ve been listening to the Symphony Hall station on the satellite radio a lot–it seems to make driving go by quicker.

Once we got there, it looked like we’d chosen the perfect day to go up. Though it wasn’t sunny, the cloudy skies seemed to intensify the color of the leaves changing. We wandered around the grounds and saw some of the 45 sculptures in the collection. Among my favorites were Rodin’s “Eve” and Giacometti’s “Woman I” and “Woman III” (mounted on the same pedestal, but separate works, we wondered what happened to Woman II).

The grounds do feel like an outdoor museum–structured and curated, since the trees and ponds are well-kept and landscaped. Just smelling fresh air after being stuck in the city for a few weeks made the trip worth it–that, plus the art. If you have a yen for more art peeping while in Purchase, the Neuberger Art Museum at SUNY Purchase is right across the street. I got travel tips from this great NY Times article.

Ford loaned us a 2011 Edge to test drive for three months, gas and insurance included. In exchange, we’ll be occassionally blogging and posting videos and pictures as we use the car to get around (and road trip!). ( )

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