Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aug. 30, 2013

Sleepy Hollow and West Point

Car trip day.  South to Sleepy Hollow – home and literary inspiration of many of Washington Irving’s stories.

First stop the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.  This is a true New England Cemetery.  Not a large lawn with orderly headstones.  Acres and acres of hills and hollows.  Maintained grass but also lots of old trees and rocky outcrops.  There are headstones but they are arranged in family plots not necessarily lined up and they are very old. There are also many crypts and mausoleums of all shapes, styles, and sizes.  On top of hills, built into hillsides, lined along road/paths like houses or alone in secluded areas.  There is pretty much no open space.  Graves of some form everywhere.  New graves are sort of tucked in between existing graves or on fringes.  This would be a very cool place at night.  They do have nighttime tours once a week and in October they do the whole haunted graveyard thing.  All the movie graveyards I have seen do not come close to the real thing.

Yes, Washington Irving is buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in a family plot.  The eye opening thing is that there are a number of other notable people buried there.


Probably the largest open space in whole cemetery.  Note family plot outline in foreground and density of graves in distance.



Now the interesting inhabitants


Walter Chrysler



Graham family plot.  Elizabeth N. Graham is better known as ‘Elizabeth Arden’.


Harry and Leona Helmsley


Andrew Carnegie.  Note simple monument and simplicity of family plot.  Also note head stones on right.  Graves of members of Carnegies household staff, all of whom served the family for more than forty years.


Brother of John D.


Samuel Gompers, founder of A. F. of L.

P1010268  Sleepy Hollow

P1010269  Headless Horseman Bridge – not original.  Original was two hundred yards downstream.  Original site marked by historic info sign.


Sleepy Hollow again.


Bridge and Hollow


North from the village of Sleepy Hollow, across the Hudson River, and on to West Point.  Quiet little town that is home to the United States Military Academy.  We had planned to take a tour of the academy but found that tours were canceled because a football game scheduled for Saturday was moved up to Friday.  We were able to drive the campus on our own and see a lot even if we had no idea what we were seeing.  Very pretty campus on a hillside overlooking the Hudson River.


Inside Cadet Chapel.


Main academic campus.

Aug. 29, 2013


Today we added a new experience – the NYC subway. 

Train to Grand Central and then to subway station to learn and do.  Thanks to several helpful New Yorkers we learned which pass to purchase and which train to take and where to get off.  Objective – Wall Street. 

The subway stairs open across the street from Trinity Church.

P1010222P1010226Window over altar.  There are more than 24 windows this size along the sides and rear of the church.  Each tells a different story or theme.


Small courtyard next to church holds this bronzed root structure of a tree found in alley next to church after 9/11.  Whole tree was in alley but no damage to any of surrounding buildings.

Walked around New York Stock Exchange (outside).  Security and wide fenced space around building is intense. 


Federal Building is cattycorner from exchange.  Place where Washington took first oath of office.


Federal Building.  Impossible to get picture without tourist standing under Washington statue – usually Chinese.


How Wall Street got its’ name.  Dark area to right is wood.  Probably not original. Smile

From Wall Street several blocks to 9/11 memorial.  Involved procedure for visiting the memorial. Ticketing (free) to control flow of people and several security stations.  Memorial is well done but sort of lost in all the construction happening on all sides.

P1010236  South PoolP1010244North Pool

P1010241This is a real rose and very fresh.  Many of the names had similar remembrances.


Survivor Tree.  This was an eight foot stump in the WTC plaza after 9/11.  Taken to a nursery and nurtured back to health.  While there Hurricane Sandy completely uprooted the tree.  Tree was again saved and nurtured.  Now is planted in plaza of memorial.

From the memorial we walked south to Battery Park – the southern tip of Manhattan.  This is where the ferries to Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Staten Island leave.  We took pictures but did not take any boats.  Each would take a half a day and we had more to see.


From Battery Park a walk of several blocks to Bowling Green – small park and plaza and site of a subway stop.  Caught a train north past Grand Central and on to 59th street.  Walked west to the southeast corner of Central Park.  We spent a couple of hours walking the paths of the lower third of the park.  Great park!  Would love to explore the park much more.  Truly an oasis in the middle of chaos.  Lots of families and mothers with small kids enjoying the grass, playgrounds, zoo, rides, water,etc.


Small memorial near Strawberry Fields – small area of Central Park very near where John Lennon lived (and died).

Walked back to 59th street subway station and took train back to Grand Central to then catch train to Somers.

Another ten miles today.

Aug. 28, 2013


Easy train ride of a little over an hour took us to Grand Central Terminal (Station).  The heart of NYC.  After taking in the grandeur of the main level (looks just like the pictures) and getting some instructions/directions we headed on to the streets of the city.


Mecca for all who love stage theater.

It was Wednesday, day of the afternoon matinee for many of the theatrical shows.  There is a spot on Times Square that sells left over tickets for that day to all shows at reduced rates. We hustled the few blocks between Grand Central and Times Square and got in a Disneyland type line hoping that we could get good tickets to a good show when we got to the booth.  Lots of people wanting to see many different shows.  We had a list of shows to try for.  Turned out the top show on our list was available.  Ticket person said she had two seats on the aisle in orchestra.  We pictured being at end of row but that was best available at the time so we took them.

After getting tickets we walked around Times Square taking pictures and taking in the sights and sounds of NYC. 


We walked much of central Manhattan and walked south about ten blocks to B and H photo and electronics.  Have purchased from them online but fun and convenient to visit real store to get spare battery for Sue’s camera.  Big store and very busy but they had the part we needed.


Hard to photograph a five story Ferris wheel but there is much of it – inside the Toys R Us store.  Geoffrey was there too.

Worked our way back north about twenty blocks to find the theater and went to a nearby deli for something to eat prior to the show.  Went to the theater about half hour prior to show time.  Turned out the theater is laid out like Placer HS Auditorium.  Center section and side sections.  We had the first two seats on the aisle in the right side section a little more than half way back.  Because of the aisle we had pretty much unobstructed view of the whole stage.  Great seats!  The show – Jersey Boys. Story of The Four Seasons singing group.  Best description of the show is what I texted Michael after the show – WOW!  If anyone is interested we can describe all that we saw but for now – WOW!


After the show we walked a different route back to Grand Central taking in more sights often heard of but only imagined ‘till now.


Inside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Rear 2/3 was covered in scaffolding, inside and out, for restoration.

We spent time in Grand Central Depot looking at the levels and various train and subway terminals, stores, food courts, etc.  After much study of schedules we purchased tickets and got information as to the proper track for our return trip to Somers.  A bit intimidating at first but we found the proper train and were back in Somers by about 8 pm.

Our Fitbits said we walked about ten miles today.