Tag Archives: Tarrytown New York

Irving’s Monument, and Rip Van Winkle

(2015-04-11 003)Way back at the beginning of the 20th century, a memorial/monument to Washington Irving was planned for Broadway, at the top of Sunnyside Lane. A local committee started raising funds in 1909-1910. Famous sculptor Daniel Chester French was hired to make a bust of Irving and some images of Rip Van Winkle and King Boabdil (from The Alhambra). The Headless Horseman is Irving’s most famous character, with Rip Van Winkle running second in popularity.

French worked on the monument for the next 15 years. Over those years, the costs of the monument, in French’s hands, kept going up and up. The local committee put on many fundraisers to try and keep up with the escalating price tag. In 1925, French designed this small statue of Rip Van Winkle for fundraising purposes; each sold for $500.

Unfortunately, the statue got no further than the model stage. French created a model to work from and started making preparations to build the statue. However, the money was not raised for the statue and the idea was scrapped. Still, the sculptor had to be paid. In order to recoup some of the money, the statue committee had copies made of the model and sold it locally.

The Charles T. Newberry Estate donated this statue to the Historical Society, where it peers out from a corner in the research room.

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Happy Holidays!

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The Empire State Building, lighted for the holidays

Well, the terrible term is over.

I was able to finish one class, finish an incomplete, and get another incomplete in another class, which will be finished by the end of January.

What a nightmare.

I’ve always believed that the end of the year, regardless of what you believe or disbelieve, should be one happy season. Go out and enjoy the season. Have some fun. We survived another year, which is something to celebrate. Spend it with people you care for, not people you can’t stand. (You know who they are.)

Though late, better late than never. Here are the few images I took before Christmas came. I wish I was able to do some of the things I wanted to do, but I just couldn’t get around to it. Well, there’s always next year.

Happy holidays!

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Cute Food

(2015-05-09 001)First of all, I am not someone who sits and takes pictures of his/her food. This is insane, unless the blog subject is food.

That being said, I had dinner at Sushi Thai-Asian Fusion in Tarrytown and decided on dessert. Yes, it was a bad move from a diet perspective. (I sometimes make these bad decisions.) When I saw the bear made from a scoop of chocolate ice-cream, I went for it.  (It was cute.) I liked it, but it didn’t really help my mood–or waistline.

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Winter Birds

(2015-02-26 001)Last week, I was surprised by the group of ducks in this photograph. They were across the street from the elderly apartment building. As soon as I stopped to take the picture, they came toward me, thinking that I had food for them, which I didn’t.

I saw a group of birds once before this and the evening after I took this photo. Both were in the small park down from the Tarrytown train station, but it was not this group of birds. That group were swans (geese?) and they were BIG.

Most of the park’s walkways are not plowed, so they were on the big area that was. (Still, that concrete must have been COLD!) I had to make two of them move to get by. The next night, they were again in the park on the concrete.

This winter has been hard on everything. I have a small bird feeder on my back porch that I try and keep filled for the birds, but the ducks and swans are too large to eat from it. Because it’s on a post and open on all sides, the birds usually use my living room window sill as a place to eat. (I discovered this when I heard their wings bumping the window.)

Below are photographs of the Hudson River over the past two weeks. You can see how iced-over it is; the colder it is, the more ice forms. This week we are supposed to have a day with a high around 45 and it’s supposed to rain. I don’t know if that will help or hurt, as everything freezes again every night.

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The Trees of New York

Here’s some trees I found in New York, decorated for the holidays.

 

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Tarrytown’s Very Own Haunted House

Places always have odd buildings that make strange noises or people see odd things that make some believe that the places are haunted. There is a story, based in fact, about a house in Tarrytown.

Years ago, a young woman came to the Historical Society looking for information about the house that she was living in. It had been converted into apartments years ago, and she lived on the third floor.

Part of the job of the Historical Society is to keep information on the buildings and houses in the villages, and look up the information for anyone who requests it. Therefore, the request was not unusual. However, the reason for it was strange.

Of course the Historical Society employee inquired as to why the (2014-08-07 011)information was needed, so the young woman told the employee that there were strange noises at night that she was sure weren’t natural. This put off the employee, but nonetheless due diligence was performed.

A few weeks later, the young woman returned, looking terrible. She hadn’t slept the night before and reported that the noises had gotten far worse, with shrieks and screams. She had found water all over the floor at the top of the staircase; where it came from she did not know.

The employee, that morning, had come across a newspaper article from the beginning of the 20th century. In it, the owner of that house had been found at the bottom of the staircase, his neck broken. Apparently he had slipped on water at the top of the staircase and had fallen. It was one hundred years to the day.

Needless to say, the young woman freaked out and told the employee that she was moving before “he” could kill her. She was never seen again by the employee, and nothing was ever heard from other renters. Today, the house is still an apartment building.

Say what you will, but I heard this from a reliable source, who believes in the rational world. However, the story unnerves when recounted.

Believe it or not.

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Filed under History, Tarrytown

Meeting the Dead at Dinner

(2014-10-27 010)It was a nice evening at Lyndhurst. The dead were quite lively, in some cases more than the living!

I unfortunately got there a bit late (I forgot that it started at six), but apparently I didn’t miss much. The party was down from the house, across from the stables and in a huge tent with chandeliers. There were several local Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow restaurants and bars that were at different stations to serve the crowd. There was different fare available, from pulled pork to duck to polenta. Wine and beer was available at three stations. At the (2014-10-27 012)entrance were the silent auction items, everything from a tarot reading to dance classes to a portrait of the Headless Horseman. Though this was supposed to be a walk around and mingle, some small tables had been put out with chairs, which were quickly filled with a handful of people while the rest of us stood around.

(2014-10-27 006)I talked to a few of the dead. Washington Irving was quite friendly. He was a bit younger than I imagined he would be, but when you’re dead I guess you can come back at any age you want. I told him that it was his story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, that got me to move to the Hollow in the first place. He was touched. We discussed his location at the beginning of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and how crowded his plot was with all his relatives. (He wasn’t too happy with all of them crowded around him. He thought that he should have bought a much smaller plot.) I explained how “okay” is really the only word understood in just about every part of the world.

(2014-10-27 007)Then there was Lydia Locke, the opera singer who was married seven times. (Killed one husband in self defense and was acquitted; two others died under mysterious circumstances.) Ms. Locke was dressed in fiery red, ready to set the place on fire. I chatted with her on two occasions. The first, she joined Mr. Irving and I as we conversed. When asked if he had met her, Mr. Irving told me that he had already had enough of Miss Locke, and quickly retreated. She was fascinated with digital cameras, since she was such a narcissist and loved having her picture taken while living. The foot camera against the wall where one could take a picture then upload it onto Twitter, Facebook or some other Internet service, fascinated several of the dead.

(2014-10-27 008)Minna Irving was very pleasant. Having been a poet in life, she was very nice to talk to and acquiesced to Karen and I each taking her picture. Being from Pittsburgh, I avoided the Carnegies. The 1895 Homestead Strike is history, but the attempt to break the union by Carnegie’s henchman, Henry Clay Frick, by calling in Pinkerton stooges as strike breakers that cost people their lives, is still remembered in the Steel City. It really is a shame that Samuel Gompers could not have come back. We could use his leadership in reinvigorating the unions in this country.

(2014-10-27 014)The evening ended with a hilarious talk by author and humorist Joe Queenan. His talk had everyone laughing as he discussed people that he wouldn’t mind seeing dead and the history of the area. The party was over by nine. It remains to be seen how much money was raised for the Historical Society and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Before I left, I was asked to take a photograph of the cemetery tour guides, which I did.

(2014-10-27 009)There is one addendum to the night. A mysterious woman in a white mask and gown with a long train was seen mingling and talking to the guests. Who was she? No one seemed to know. I thought of Marie Antoinette, but Lydia Locke was nonplussed. She told me that she had had her fun with her seven husbands, while poor Marie lost her head. I did point out that the doomed queen did have her one true love, a foreign diplomat, who did try and save her. Lydia was not amused; she insisted that she had more fun than Marie which, when remembering the way the queen’s life ended, you really can’t argue.

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