27 October 2013

Oktoberfest 2013 - Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Returned for our second annual trip up to Bear Mountain State Park for Oktoberfest 2013.  Starting from September 13 until October 26, we were sure to grab our tickets early as every year tends to sell out.  Fall foliage was much more appealing this year, however the 3 hour Circle Line ferry ride from 42nd street was much colder since we boarded on the final ride for the season.  Prior to last year, most of our day was spent on the boat and due to long lines for beer and food, time was limited once we entered Oktoberfest on the mountain.  Alas, a great escape from Manhattan allowed us to take in the autumn air and colorful scenery along the Hudson.

Previous post: Oktoberfest 2012

25 October 2013

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze - Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is accessible via Metro North to the Croton-Harmon stop on the Hudson Line.  About an hour north from Manhattan, it is unfortunately a bit of a walk from the station.  Unless you're comfortable with hitching a ride from a perfect stranger like we were, than I suggest finding a friend with a car.  Located at Van Cortlandt Manor the Blaze is in its 9th year of the pumpkin carving installation.  It takes a year long process to develop the designs and themes included in the display of over 5,000 jack-o-lanterns.  Carving begins at the end of September and displayed throughout the entire month of October.  The 45 minute pathway this year includes the 'Tunnel O'Pumpkin Love', gourd filled Jack-in-the-Boxes, a pumpkin cemetery, hand crafted design works of dinosaurs, animals and spiders - just to name a few.  To me, the best part was the original soundtrack that coincided with the walk-through experience.  The music matched perfectly, allowing you to fully experience a visual trance synchronized with orange lights.  The Blaze tends to sell out every year so be sure to grab your tickets early.  For more info check out http://www.hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze.

29 September 2013

Street Performers - New York City

 Took a little Sunday bike ride from Harlem to DUMBO and ran into these street performers at the foot of the Brookyln Bridge.  Caught their grand finale just in time.  Also check out a vine of their performance below:

13 August 2013

Sugarloaf Mountain Hike - Catskills, NY

Grab a few friends (and a zip car if you need it) for a great weekend getaway in the Catskills Mountains, roughly a two hour drive/about 100 miles north of New York City.  We crashed at a friends house and the next morning ended up at Sugarloaf Mountain for a day hike.  The trail or better yet, climb, up to the top of Sugarloaf was a lot more strenuous than anticipated, finding ourselves taking up to 7 hours to complete.  Later we did find out that Sugarloaf is sometimes called "Suicide Mountain", something our friendly hike-guide didn't know going in (thanksss Joshuuaa).  Hiking never gets easier for me as I caught myself saying "Sorry, but this is my last hike, ever."  I'll be the first to admit once the drama is put aside it really is a great feeling to lose yourself deep in the woods, something I only started to appreciate a few years ago.  Yes, it may often lead to a mental battle to push yourself along but it's always rewarding to reach the summit and head back down.  Lucky for me I not only got to experience something new with kick-ass friends but took home some great photographs.  

Check out previous hikes here:
Breakneck Ridge, New York

Telica Volcano, Nicaragua
Griffiths Park, California
Camels Hump, Vermont