Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cold Spring, NY

A few weeks ago—before we explored the cemetery or hiked through the Cornish Estate ruins—we explored a bit of the town of Cold Spring, New York. Cold Spring is a stop on the Hudson line of the Metro North Railroad, about 1.5 hrs north of the city, on the banks of the Hudson River.

It's an adorable small town, filled with antiques shops, an actual Main Street, a few restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The houses and brick buildings were almost all absurdly cute, with mansard roofs, porches, porthole windows and red doors. Cold Spring reminded me of other Hudson Valley towns I've been to or through—Tarrytown, Irvington, Ossining—but slightly less expensive.

I would have loved to explore the antique shops, but we had a full agenda and couldn't carry anything with us, which means I would have 100% found tons of things I couldn't live without.

The hiking trails are located really close to the center of town, and our hike through the highlands was incredible. Aside from the ruins, we saw so many rock sculptures that they began to look like little cities (or little people) and the views from the top are breathtaking. I might have complained (mostly in my head) about being tired on the trek up, or almost died of thirst (dramatic exaggeration) but the views of the Hudson Valley and beyond were totally worth it.

At one point we could even see the city—looking like a tiny, toy Emerald City—which is the best part about the Hudson Valley. You feel light years away from New York, but you're only a short train ride from home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New York City Marble Cemetery

I recently posted photos from my visit to the New York Marble Cemetery, and mentioned that there is an un-affiliated New York City Marble Cemetery a few blocks away. The NYCMC is slightly more accessible than the hidden NYMC, and although the gate is normally locked, you can see it all from the sidewalk.

It's open once a month from May-October and it's a beautiful space to spend the afternoon. When I was there it was pretty crowded and in addition to people, the cemetery was filled with pigeons—in the trees, on the wires and on the headstones.

The NYCMC has headstones like a traditional cemetery in addition to underground vaults designated with flat marble markers. It also has a fantastic iron fence and gate, with a wonderful tombstone-shaped sign and arching letters. It's not as secluded as the New York Marble Cemetery, but it's a great place to spend the afternoon and have a picnic amongst hundreds of circa-1800s graves.

Friday, May 22, 2015

365 Project: Days 134-140

134/365: 15 of us went upstate to a house in Red Hook to celebrate Trent's Dirty Thirtieth birthday.

135/365: We went into town to replenish supplies and passed by this incredible 1920s diner.

136/365: We took a group photo by the barn before we left (wearing the great tanks that Alisha designed for us).

137/365: Mozart has been unimpressed with me never being home.

138/365: I wasn't feeling well so I went home from work early and watched Gilmore Girls for 10-hrs straight.

139/365: I took another sick day and hung out with these two weirdos all day.

140/365: Francesca brought me back a skeleton cat and the coolest squished penny from Old Town in San Diego.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New York Marble Cemetery

It's been more than a year since I went to the New York Marble Cemetery but I remembered recently that I'd never shared my photos. The "the oldest public non-sectarian cemetery in New York City" is open at least one day a month during warmer months and I happened to catch it on an open day last April.

The NYMC is hidden away down a little alleyway (marked by an incredible arched gate) and opens up into a courtyard surrounded by apartment buildings. There are no headstones—instead there are 156 below-ground burial vaults with the names of the interred carved in plaques embedded in the surrounding stone wall. Underground vaults were popular at the time due to health concerns over burying people who suffered from infectious diseases like tuberculosis.

There is also a New York City Marble Cemetery a few blocks away—which can get confusing—but despite basically sharing a name, the two are otherwise unrelated. The New York Marble Cemetery is available to rent out for parties and weddings (get married and buried!). There are a few benches, small statues, patches of flowers, potted plants and not much more—it's a really beautiful, open and peaceful place. It's almost easy to forget that you're in the middle of the Lower East Side.