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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Upstate NY escape....

I'm only now getting a chance to write a blog since I got back from Coxsackie, NY. I first had to edit the 130 pictures that I took since I can no longer see my LCD screen and have no idea what the composition of any of my pictures looks like until I get them home. It's almost like shooting film again.

Anyway, so, Sunday morning, I rode the subway in to Bryant Park and took a leisurely walk over to Grand Central, opting not to take the 7 train crosstown to Madison Avenue. I wanted to enter the train station from the street level anyway for my first time taking a train out of the busiest train station in the world. There's something neat about walking through this area here:

I know. Old pic (from 2008 in the spring actually). I didn't want to stop in there and take a photo even though I had time when I arrived. It was busy even on a Sunday morning.

The train ride itself was worth a story. I'd heard it was a beautiful ride, right along the riverside the whole time once you're past Harlem and the Bronx for the most part. And since I was the last stop on the line, I could relax without having to worry about missing my station. At times I read but often I was watching out the window at the cliffs and the action on the river. Lots of peaceful scenery, much different than the city. For once, more trees and grass than buildings and concrete. The river was so close to the train sometimes, if you leaned back from the window, it looked as if the train glided over the water.

Arriving in Poughkeepsie, my aunt was there almost immediately so I jumped in and we headed out for the hour or so car ride for Coxsackie, stopping once for burgers and ice cream at a roadside grill and once to pick up farm fresh produce from a farm stand that was self serve. When we got to Gary and Sue's house, a 200 year old historic house which they are renting half of currently, we immediately hatched a plan to go down to the lake where they keep their boat so they could show me around. That was pretty awesome and the following pictures are mainly of the houses and the lake (with a few shots from 42nd Street in Manhattan, the train ride and at the station in Poughkeepsie...oh and one pic from Celebrate Brooklyn Saturday night).

Leaving NYC, Train ride and Coxsackie, NY

The following day we intended to drive to Bethel, NY to catch the Woodstock museum and the performing arts center there. However, it was a little farther than we had bargained for and we had to be back at 430. So we opted to turn the car 90 degrees back to the north and head past Lake Minnewaska for a nice scenic drive and a walk through beautiful, yet fly-infested Lake Minnewaska state park.

Long Drive, Lake Minnewaska, Overlooks

The overlooks were the best here. The countryside up there is amazing. I haven't been up to this part of NY in a few years. I guess I had forgotten all of this was just a short ride away on the train. Anyway, that night we went to a nice dockside restaurant sitting on the edge of the Hudson river where we ordered steamed clams and just watched the boats go by. No pictures from here.

Tuesday was a little more planned and we wound up going first to Catskill, NY to take a look at the cats they have on display. There's a contest every year between local artists to decorate these fiberglass cats as creatively as possible.

Catskill, Rip Van Winkle Bridge

They are placed around the downtown area and people can vote on several different categories. So we did a quick tour and had lunch and then headed up to Olana, Frederic Church's mansion overlooking the Hudson river. We had just enough time to walk around the grounds, tour the mansion and then head to Poughkeepsie so I could catch the train back.

Olana and Rip Van Winkle Bridge

Captions for the pictures are coming soon.

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