Well, I guess we were just in a New York State of Mind in 2017.
Trips to the Empire State included:
An extended “writer’s retreat” weekend in Cooperstown in April. It was my wife’s first time in one of my favorite places on earth. It was also our first time doing Air B&B. Despite coming home with a nail in my tire…it was a truly relaxing, lovely trip (and, yes, we both got some much-needed writing done).
A weekend getaway to NYC in June to hit up some old haunts (with a jaunt out to Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Museum).
A family vacation in August renting a house on Lake Seneca (first time in the Finger Lakes region) from which we watched the solar eclipse. The vacation also included day-tripping to Watkins Glen and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls (a long overdue first time there!) The Niagara experience inspired a short-story I’m currently polishing up.
Well, I just got back from another successful excursion to Upstate New York for some much-needed rest & relaxation, and I even got some writing done while up there, too. The weather was perfect – sunny with patchy clouds and blue skies, a cool breeze and mid-60 degree temperatures – and the water was high and gently rushing down the mountains from the recent thaw. The roads and hills were once again open for the taking.
As not only the birthplace of baseball but also the birthplace of the American novel, Cooperstown, New York (named for the family that spawned America’s first great novelist, James Fenimore Cooper) is an endless source of inspiration. After last year’s visit in early Spring, I decided I wanted to make a yearly pilgrimage to the place of Glimmerglass and Doubleday, leaves and lakes, ballplayers and writers, Coopers and Mohicans. Mid-Autumn is an intoxicating sight to behold in Cooperstown and around Lake Otsego. It’s the time of year when the “off season” is just beginning, part-time locals are enjoying a less crowded hamlet before retiring to warmer climates, year-round natives are still enjoying the nicer weather, the last shot of selective tourists leisurely ascends into town for fall foliage or in honor of the baseball playoff season, the few remaining sailboats glide over Glimmerglass, and the wildlife still roams freely but sleepily as they settle in for their upcoming long winter’s nap. Hibernation, ice and loneliness await as the leaves slowly dance down from the treetops and cover the sidewalks as a colorful precursor to the white snow that will blanket the area all too soon.
In honor of the opening week of baseball season, I took a road trip with my brother and a friend up to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was the first time I had been back since I was a child. Though cold (and rainy on the last day), it was the perfect time of year to go to avoid the crowds that typically swamp the small village nestled below the mountains beside Lake Otsego during the summer months. The quaint town was practically all ours for the taking (spare for some bus tours and kids at the Hall of Fame), and it was great to be able to mingle with the genuinely friendly and sometimes eccentric locals (especially on the first night at the only two bars in town open past midnight).
Below are some of the images and landscapes I was able to capture during my brief stay. Continue reading →