Saturday, October 18, 2014

Exploring a bit more of New York

the river, fall colors and the Catskills beyond

In the Mid-Hudson area of New York, people often refer to a place as being on "this side" or "that side" of the river, referring, of course, to the Hudson.  Where we call home is relatively close to Connecticut.  Close to Hyde Park where Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt called home.  In an area that has widespread ties to the Revolutionary War.  There are plenty of large opulent homes that belonged to famous artists, politicians, people of historic significance or extremely wealthy families such as the Astors and the Vanderbilts.  This area in general is full of artists, tantalizing restaurants, people opening up businesses in tiny towns in an effort to revitalize a way of life many haven't seen in half a century, colleges and universities, boutique shops and farmers who are interested in growing food for locals and restaurants alike who want to eat regionally.  In other words, there is a lot to see and do and get involved in.
On the other side of the Hudson, there are the Catskill Mountains, the farm where Woodstock happened, lots of small towns and villages - many of them with downtowns that resemble sepia-toned photographs from an era gone by, communities focused on art, and ever more farmland.  I took a drive this past Monday from Kingston to Catskill too see what's what over there.  Along the way I stopped for a walk to an old lighthouse near Saugerties which is now cared for by a non-profit group.  The upstairs rooms have been turned into a B&B.  Such a pretty building that made me think of England.  

on the path to the lighthouse

the Saugerties Lighthouse

Further north, I popped into Leeds to check out some real estate I found on-line (yes, I peruse just for the heck of it, quite often).  It is an old-timey looking store with what looks like original shelving plus an apartment above.  You may check out the listing here.  Then I crossed over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and headed south, stopping in tiny Germantown to see the grocery store and hardware store that have opened in recent years.  I didn't spend much time in the grocery store (which is more than a simple market) although the lunch time crowd's plates looked and smelled delicious.  I did, however, spend some time in the hardware store.  I felt as though I had stepped back in time, into something resembling a Little House on the Prairie episode.  Thankfully, neither Nellie or Harriet were inside!  Nope.  A very friendly pair of sibling cats named Hansel & Gretel were cuddled on a counter.  They and the woman who runs the shop, Denise, made for a nice visit.  I absolutely love that there are people out there who take the risk of opening stores that are remote and small yet truly have virtually all you need, all in an effort to breath life back into rural communities.  To live and shop locally.  To get to know your neighbors.  I also love that people go out of their way to patronize stores like this.   

I hope to spend more time diving into all this part of the world has to offer.  Since our path may very well lead us elsewhere once Tim is finished with his studies, taking drives and making stops along the way is likely how I'll spend some of my days off as long as the weather allows.  
a twisted tree that made a nice silhouette

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