As opposed to ranting, tonight I feel like suggesting. There are lots of things I try to do in the summer, little day trips and the like, and I’m going to pass them along to you. Obviously, if you aren’t in upstate NY, most of them won’t apply, but there are probably similar places where you live, or should you visit upstate NY, this can give you ideas.
1. Beacon. Across the river from Newburgh, this little artisan town is the heart’s delight, whatever you enjoy. There are toy shops, antique shops, shops full of shiny things and smell-good things, ice cream shops and candy shops. And The Hop, the ultimate brewery and artisan food place.
2. Ren Faires, Ren Faires, Ren Faires. Obviously, I’m a fan of the biggie in Tuxedo, which is almost a straight shot, Thruway to 17 to 17A. But the smaller one by Lake Ontario is pretty nice, too, and unlike Tuxedo, it has lots of trees and shade (if you go in a heavy costume to the one in Tuxedo, you run the risk of broiling). Apparently there is one in Albany, at Indian Ladder Farms, for a single weekend. I looked into the price to be a vendor, which was incredibly prohibitive (at least for me; if I sold higher price point items it would maybe be more worthwhile), but I would like to at least pop by.
3. Driveins. Having revisited one for the first time in years, it boggles me that so many of them have closed. Dudes, this is just plain old fun. Like camping with a couple movies thrown in. Ok, so its not in 5D and Thorvision and all the bells and whistles, but on a nice night, with a cooler o’ beers and some good friends, its a really soothing evening.
4. Cemeteries. Before you roll your eyes at me, remember what the really old rural cemeteries were about. They were for families to come on Sunday, and picnic, and visit lost loved ones. They are borderline parks. A lot of them are gorgeous. The manmade pond in Albany Rural is exquisite (and we sighted a blue heron there one day). The Oakwood pond is nice, too, although I wasn’t very keen to see people fishing out of it. And on the artistic side, some of the old monuments make fabulous photography opps. I’ve got albums full of black and white angels that are beautiful,and one shot of a mausoleum with the doors ajar just enough to get a glimpse of the stunning stained glass within.
5. Olana Castle. Built by the artist Frederick Church, Olana is a fabulous home situated on top of a slope above the Hudson River on Route 9G in Hudson. I can’t begin to describe the view, or the interior of the house. You can only go through the house on a guided tour; however, I believe anyone can get onto the grounds, and often there are artists scatted all around, sketching and painting as Frederick once did.
6. Ethnic festivals. All festivals are fun, but some of the ones put on by local nationalistic churches are fabulous. The Greek festival at St. Sophia’s is this weekend, and I’ve never been, although I may find my way over if I feel better. I have done Festa in Schenectady, though, at St. Anthony’s. The cavatelli and zeppolis? Heavenly! Great way to open your hoizons to different styles of food and music, and catch some sunshine and people watch!
More to follow.