Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Cold Days of January

This month has been cold. That one, big snowstorm didn’t help things.

Nonetheless, I decided to walk to the Philipse Manor train station. Philipse Manor is part of Sleepy Hollow, but it’s on the other side of Philipsburg Manor, the historic 17th century center of … well, civilization at that time.

This building used to be the train station, but it now houses a writer's workshop. A peek in the window revealed a huge table

This building used to be the train station, but it now houses a writer’s workshop. A peek in the window revealed a huge table

Anyway, the train station is behind the housing area that is called Philipse Manor. It’s two miles away from my apartment as opposed to the just under one mile Tarrytown train station. And why, you ask, would I want to go to Philipse Manor and not Tarrytown? Two reasons.

One, I need the exercise. For the past three days (two of them being quite cold), I walked up to Philipse Manor to see if I could get there without leaving too much earlier. I found out that I could. An extra fifteen minutes is all I need. It’s also nice to be able to get some exercise in before going into work.

This train may appear to be going forward, but the "engine" is the last car; it's headed in the opposite direction

This train may appear to be going forward, but the “engine” is the last car; it’s headed in the opposite direction

Two, there’s just too many people trying to catch the express trains in Tarrytown. I got tried of trying to get on the train before this person or that one. And no matter where one stood, there was always the day when you would stand because there were no seats–unless you wanted to squeeze into a middle east on a three-seat bank. I watched a businessman tell his daughter–who probably came up to my thigh–to get ahead of people to get them seats. (He did this daily.) This after they would arrive late, but being small she always got around people. Except me. I blocked her on several occasions with my shoulder bag. One has to wonder that, years from now, will the daughter and her friends push their way through people to get onto the trains first?

It’s barbaric, and uncivilized. I’m tired of it. There’s a lot of people getting on at Philipse Manor, but probably four times as many get on in Tarrytown. It’s always fun when the train is a car or two short, which happens occasionally .

No, I’ll walk the extra mile. I can get a window seat, get comfy and write my diary or read a book.

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Filed under Nature, Travel

The End of Whimsies

Whimsies Home 2 (Resized)For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you’ve heard me mention Whimsies Incognito, a local Tarrytown shop that’s been around for over 25 years. Whimsies is closing its doors in February. Owner Jackie has decided to retire.

As was stated in Whimsies’ the last blog post, the retail business has changed over those 25 years. You now have 24/7 shopping thanks to the Internet. People don’t shop like they used to before the Internet was created. Whimsies was online only to advertise what was in the store, not to sell. This is how Jackie wanted it.

Whimsies was more than just a store but a place to visit to see Jackie, her dogs and her staff. This is where I met Karen, Hilary and Sarah. Whimsies helped sell me on the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow area to live. I would stop in to say hello and see how everything was going. A lot of people would do this. Jackie and Co. were part of the Tarrytown community. It was also fun to look at the new merchandise that came in since the last visit.

And Whimsies would sell some very eclectic things that were simply cool. The Original String Doll Gang from Thailand were a big hit when they first appeared; I have several hanging around my apartment. There were always handmade ceramics for sale from different vendors from around the country. Birdhouses, bird feeders, dog and cat paraphernalia, cooking utensils, baking pans, cutting boards–you name it, Whimsies probably had some form of it in the store. What was sold came from small, independent artists and creators whose merchandise was made by hand. That was what made Whimsies special.

In February 2009, Whimsies was forced to move from their long-time location on Main Street to the current one on South Broadway. Whimsies was now away from the regular foot traffic that walked from the Tarrytown train station and up into town. Even though Whimsies was now only around the corner and up the hill from Main Street, it was in the opposite direction from the main businesses on South Broadway. This had an effect on business.

There’s a 30% everything sale going on right now. Already there are bare areas to be seen in the store. Many of the nicest things are already gone, never to be replaced.

If you are interested in stores selling the unusual, make a stop at Whimsies before the doors close for good. And though Whimsies will be gone, I intend to stay in touch with Jackie and Co., whom I consider friends.

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Filed under Tarrytown, Uncategorized

Old Fisher Burial Ground

(2013-08-16 013)I took these pictures several months ago when my car was in the garage.

There are several small burial grounds scattered all over Westchester County. Purchase College has one out behind one of the buildings that contains the people who originally owned the farm where the college was eventually built. And, like all the ones that I’ve seen, the cemeteries are abandoned and neglected, but of course there are always old, neglected tombstones in every cemetery regardless of size. It’s just sad when it’s a small one that no one seems to care about, although the grass is cut regularly.

The Old Fisher Burial Ground is located along North Broadway in North White Plains. It’s next to a Dunkin’ Donuts, and down and across from my mechanic. There’s a Stop and Shop in a plaza by the light. I’ve looked at it for years, but this time I had my camera with me, so I snapped some pics.

Who were the Fishers? A cursory search on the Internet found a finding aid in the Westchester County Archives. There are documents in the archives that deal with the Fishers. I admit I’m curious, but I’m not that curious.

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Filed under History

January 7: Old Christmas and the End of the Holiday Season

I've always loved these wintry, homey scenes, probably because it suggests getting together with people we care about--that and staying warm!

I’ve always loved these wintry, homey scenes, probably because it suggests getting together with people we care about–that and staying warm!

I always called January 7 “Orthodox Christmas,” but I think that this is wrong since all Orthodox countries are on the Gregorian calendar. On the Julian calendar, this would be Christmas Day. As time goes on and the time difference between the calendars increases, Old Christmas will fall later and later in January.

Old Christmas marks the end of the holiday season for me. The season starts on Thanksgiving and ends on January 7. I don’t care what you believe or if you believe in anything: just enjoy the lights, the colors, the sights. We have survived another year, and that in itself is cause to celebrate. I know with all the commercialism and insanity that sometimes it can ruin the season for people. Find your own way to celebrate and to hell with what the world is doing!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, and let’s hope that 2014 brings prosperity and happiness–and responsible government.

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Filed under Holidays