The Legendary Sleepy Hollow

“If ever I should wish for a retreat whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life,” Washington Irving once wrote, “I know of none more promising than this little valley.” The little valley he was referring to was, of course, Sleepy Hollow. Its eponymous village, home to about…

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Storm King Art Center

The first time I went to an outdoor sculpture park was in Japan. The exhibits were so creative and interactive, that I ended up visiting twice, despite it being a 2-hour drive away. So when Dani and Kyle suggested that we go see the one in upstate New York, I was really excited to check it out. My first thought…

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Touring Niagara, Part 2: French Castle

“It’s snowing!” I yelled excitedly over my shoulder, peeking through the curtains. “Oh yeah?” my sister responded with mild disinterest. You’d swear she never grew up in Johannesburg. The fluffy white stuff still excites me; I’m lucky if I even get to see it once a year. We packed up the last of our things and headed for the bus,…

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Touring Niagara, Part 1: Secret Caverns

During the summer of 1928, two cows named Lucky and Floyd wandered from a farm outside of Cobleskill, New York and fell to the bottom of a 26-meter (85-ft) hole. The unfortunate event piqued the interest of a local engineer, Roger Mallery, who was working on a nearby commercial cave. He recruited a group of teens to descend into the darkness…

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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

One hour. That’s how long it takes to walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Or Brooklyn to Manhattan, depending on which side of the Brooklyn Bridge you stand. We were on the Manhattan side, at City Hall, ready to make the 1,825 meter trek along with hundreds of tourists who were also taking advantage of the sun. It was the first clear day in a week,…

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Bushwick Street Art: A Visual Tour

Graffiti is dead. Or so we were told by a woman idling outside a Brooklyn art gallery. Yelled at, is more accurate. She was definitely yelling. “You’re wasting your time! It’s not real! They’re all sell outs!” Our Free Tour By Foot of Bushwick had suddenly turned into a heated trial; the merciless prosecutor across the street passionately trying to…

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The High Line in Winter

“It’s a pity we’re doing this now. It must look so nice when its all green.” “It’s ok. You know how much I love dead things.” Danielle and I had just entered the northern end of the High Line, a 2.3 km (1.45 mi) concrete trail built on an abandoned freight railway track that served Manhattan’s industrial center from the 1930s…

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Staten Island’s Alice Austen House

Staten Island is a dump – literally and figuratively. It used to house the world’s largest landfill before it closed in 2001, and although it is the third-largest borough of New York City, it is the least populated. But usually the most forgotten places have the rarest gems, and for Staten Island, it’s the Alice Austen House. The house-turned-museum, known as Clear…

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Midtown and the Rockettes

After the museum, I took a train downtown to meet Danielle at work. She had booked us tickets to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and wanted to take me to see the window displays on 5th Avenue afterwards. Even after ogling the New York Times building, I was still early, so tucked into Dean & Deluca for tea and people watching….

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American Museum of Natural History

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” the security guard yelled after me. It was my third day in New York and I was trying to make my way from bag check to the ticket counter at the American Museum of Natural History. But he had already checked my bag, which I tried to explain. “Then why are you all the…

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