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Posts Tagged ‘history’

We missed the boat (or ferry? pun intended) on getting out to Governor’s Island this past summer. However as it turns out it’s really nice to get there in the fall.  The cooler temps means that the kids have more tolerance of being outdoors on the slides and walking around in the sparsely shaded areas … and the small/new trees were starting to turn!  Best of all .. kids could walk around the abandoned houses (now turned into temp gallery spaces) and trick or treat for candy, which was a pleasant surprise. And the sprawling displays of pumpkins can’t be beat.

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We got back to this beautiful place, along with cousin Angelo (who is getting so big!)
Not only is it a great place for a toddler to run off his energy – but a great place to find flowers cascading over walls and get some last warm-weather strolling in.  Although as the sun went down, so did the temperatures.

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the 3 cousins… Angelo in his hat

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I love these cascading flowers in all colors!

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here we all are, enjoying a crisp fall day

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It’s been an ideal time of year to see historic houses, and we stumbled on this one just as we were driving to one of Ezra’s band gigs.  Who knew this little historic gem would be nestled amidst the factories of an industrial neighborhood between Queens and Brooklyn (Ridgewood) ?

Vander Ende–Onderdonk House is a historic house at 1820 Flushing Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens It is the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City.  The original house on the site was built in 1661 by Hendrick Barents Smidt, from land that was granted to him by Peter Stuyvesant.  Another part of the structure, expanding from the original house, was built in 1709 by Paulus Vander Ende.

Clearly it’s got us thinking about adding a ‘dutch door’ to our house!

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Last weekend our synagogue took part in a ‘place of worship crawl’ of sorts… where we walked around the neighborhood and explored a number of different churches and temples all in a 10 block radius.  Rumor has it that Flushing Queens boasts up to 200 different places of worship – synagogues, Catholic and Methodist churches and Buddhist temples, Shinto temples.  At the end of our trip we got to go to the Flushing Quaker Meeting House – built in 1694!  Of course it’s chalk full of ghost stories and best of all, it seems to be the first site of religious freedom in America.  Its first members created a remonstrance to be accepted in Peter Stuyvesant‘s rigid idea of what New York/America should worship.  See the actual remonstrance here!

(to add: this is called the ‘Interfaith Unity Walk‘ and it happens twice a year in Queens.  I should also add that I did something like this with my mom when I was about 11 years old and it was really moving then, as it is now – how much we all have in common despite differing religions)

 

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It was maybe exactly 10 years ago that me and my husband first went to this amazing place, with my belly full of Ezra and the summer stretched ahead of us.  We finally got to return – and this time with a grown Ezra and little Zoe. My kids love flowers and gardens and wide open spaces so this weekend romp was a hit.   Zoe loves the little pink playhouse with its own lavender gardens. By the time we made it to the Coe Hall Historic House I felt as if I were roaming around some place in Europe and it’s no wonder.. it was totally created to look like an English Castle by its first owners.

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Well I haven’t been here for many years, but I’ve always loved the mansions on the bluff at Newport RI.  We walked the ‘cliff walk’ with the kids just a couple weekends ago .. and took in the stellar ocean view and fresh sea air.  More mansions will be opening up again with the warmer season coming.  I can’t wait to some day tour and share my knowledge of the Rosecliff with the kids (where the first Gatsby movie with Mia Farrow was filmed) – my favorite mansion tour!

Zoe does some cartwheels –
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strange yellow moss on rocks along the cliff walk

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Ok a graveyard doesn’t necessarily sound like a gorgeous spring-time outing, but this cemetery was amazing!  Not only are the grounds bursting with new growth and flowers, but there are famous characters buried here such as Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Horace Greeley.  We had to bring Zoe’s friend Hazel along who – at the tender age of 5 – is already VERY ‘into’ scary movies and cemeteries.  I hope to return here for a proper tour on a day that the green trolley buses are moving around giving tours.

 

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