Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for new york

A Tiny Piece of NYC History

By Linda Tancs

Outside a cigar shop in Greenwich Village at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Christopher Street is a small marker symbolizing a big dispute in the history of New York City. That’s where you’ll find a triangular mosaic set in the pavement in the 1920s, a memento of one family’s defiance of an order allowing for the seizing of property in the area in the early 1900s to widen the street for the Seventh Avenue subway line. Known as the Hess Triangle, it represents the Hess family’s refusal to sell to the city the one remaining piece of property erroneously omitted from the seizure order, a plot of land barely larger than a footprint. The family ultimately sold the parcel to the cigar shop, where the marker continues to be tramped on by passersby to this day.

Advertisements

War and Peace in Staten Island

By Linda Tancs

With U.S. Independence Day fast approaching, it’s a good time to consider how differently things could’ve turned out if a peace accord had been struck in 1776. In September of that year, members of the Continental Congress met with a British envoy at the home of a wealthy colonel in Staten Island, New York, to discuss the prospect for peace. Needless to say, the talks failed; the British would have no treaty with independence and the colonists would have no treaty without it. Now known as Conference House, the Dutch-style, stone colonial in which the peace conference was held is a National Historic Landmark, the only remaining pre-Revolution manor house  in New York City. It’s open on weekends from April through December.

Best Sunset in the Hudson Valley

By Linda Tancs

For many, the best sunset view in the Hudson Valley is the one from the fire tower at Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, New York, a 200-acre, old-growth forest preserve. Standing high above the treetops at 80 feet, the tower provides visitors with an amazing sunset view over the Catskills and Hudson River. The tower is easily visible driving east across the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. Follow the East Tower Trail in the forest for the most direct path to the structure. As with any climb, consider any physical limitations you may have before attempting it.

The Heart of the Thousand Islands

By Linda Tancs

Alexandria Bay, New York, is a tourist village located on the St. Lawrence River in the heart of the Thousand Islands, an archipelago straddling the border between the U.S. and Canada. Its centerpiece on town-owned Heart Island is Boldt Castle, a full-size, Rhineland-style castle built by hotelier George Boldt for his wife. Accessible via boat tours (from May to October), a shuttle from the island also runs to the Boldt family’s yacht house on nearby Wellesley Island, featuring some of the original fleet, including an 1892 steam yacht.

Minerals of New York

By Linda Tancs

Gems and minerals are just one of the many ongoing exhibitions at the New York State Museum in Albany, New York. Its collection includes specimens from several notable sites throughout the state, including 93 mineral species from the Balmat-Edwards mining district in St. Lawrence County (the only locale where tremolite is found), super garnets (the official state gemstone) from the Barton Mine in the Adirondack Mountains and Herkimer diamonds from Herkimer County, New York. In fact, the state museum has the world’s largest and most complete collection of New York minerals. Established in 1836, the facility also boasts the distinction of being the oldest and largest state museum in the country. Admission is free.

New York’s First Capital

By Linda Tancs

Burned by the British on October 16, 1777, after the Battles of Saratoga, Kingston is New York’s first capital city. About 59 miles south of Albany, the current capital, it’s situated at the point where the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River meet, in the shadows of the scenic Catskill Mountains. The locale is perfect for a ride on the Catskill Mountain Railroad, a heritage railroad featuring day trips through scenic mountain and village terrain. The historic city boasts American architecture spanning four centuries from the early Dutch and English, including Federalist, Georgian, Greek Revival, Victorian, Romanesque, Italianate, Neo-Classical, Art Deco and Contemporary. You’ll also find almost two dozen original, pre-revolutionary stone houses, a lighthouse and a host of museums highlighting local history and heritage.

The Joys of Commuting

By Linda Tancs

Mass transportation has its ups and downs. Just ask any commuter, especially in the New York metropolitan area. Maybe a trip down memory lane would lessen the pain, like the bit of nostalgia preserved at the New York Transit Museum. Housed underground in an authentic 1936 subway station in downtown Brooklyn, the museum’s working platform level spans a full city block and is home to a rotating selection of 20 vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907. You can learn about fare collection, the evolution of the subway and the history of buses and trolleys. It might foster an appreciation for the current system, however flawed it might be.

%d bloggers like this: