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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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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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FiDi and Dumbo

The second day of my trip to New York stands out for two reasons. The first is that, because my sister had to work, I was on my own and that meant navigating the subway by myself for the first time ever. Without a GPS, I managed to get myself to the Financial District and then across to Brooklyn without…

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The West Village

For the winter holidays, I went to visit my sister in New York. Danielle’s been living in The City for just over four years now, but despite it being our birthplace, I’d only seen it twice: once in 1998, and again in 2009. It was time for a reunion, I thought, and so after completing a week of Christmas lessons and oosoji (end-of-year cleaning), I packed…

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