There’s something about a carousel that you can always love. The carousel at New Haven Lighthouse Point Park is like that, you’re going to love it as soon as you see it. The carousel was built in 1916 by the Murphy Brothers in their workshop in Savin Rock, West Haven. It is one of the unique and charming American folk art still exists. It used to be an outdoor carousel, but then when after years of effected by the sea water and weather, the carousel became deteriorating. In the 1980’s, the mayor of New Haven set up a community action organization to take care of the carousel. After it was cleaned, repaired and restored, the carousel was placed in the pavilion near the lighthouse. It is now among the National Register of Historic Places. There is a small fee of 50 cents to ride the carousel. The music they play when the carousel moves is lovely and sweet to your ears.
The music is played on an organ made by Stinson Organ Company. A mini organ with a miniature of George Washington holding a baton can be seen as part of the carousel decorations. There are also paintings of beach scenery, mermaid, sail boat, lighthouse and some nature scenery in New Haven adorned the top part of the carousel. There are 72 figures on the carousel that are placed on 20 arrays on a 60-foot platform (about 18 meters high). Each horse is different. It has different color, character and details that make each of the horse unique. It also named and the name is posted on top of each horse. When you look up, you can see the name of the horse you ride. Maybe you ride Thunder, White Lightning, Ocean Light, Wild Heart, Jumpin Jack or Bella Vista. Public can rent the pavilion and also the carousel for private party, such as a wedding or prom. I would love to attend a party here at night, when the carousel lights glimmer while the whimsical music from the carousel plays and the sound of the ocean is heard outside the building. What a marvelous night it seems!
Located in the town of Corning, a town in the Upstate New York, which famous with producing glass kitchenware, is a pretty cafe called THE OLD WORLD CAFE & ICE CREAM. We visited Corning when we came to Ithaca to see Cornell University. This town is a charming town with lots of interesting things to see. During our stop at the town’s downtown area know as the Gaffer District, we walked around enjoying the scenery which is mostly decorated with historical architectures, wonderful galleries and pretty shops. Then because we’re hungry, we tried to pick places to eat and we came upon the Old World Cafe and Ice Cream. The cafe is located at the bottom floor of the Baron Steuben Place Building that was opened in 1926. The building was named after Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben who was Prussian-born who later became George Washington’s aide during the American Revolutionary War.
The Old World Cafe exuded the charm of a Victorian-style cafe. As soon as we got inside, we were taken to the beauty of yesteryear through the display of chairs, tables, wooden benches, rows of glass jars filled with candy and chocolates and the counters which were serving ice cream and several choices of foods. Behind each of the counter there were beautiful giant mirrors with amazing carved wooden frames. The carved ornaments were just breathtaking. Not to mention the lights from the sun that shined into the cafe added a natural light that was captivating. The old-style glass jars that were arranged on the counters were another of a special touch that made this cafe a destination when you visit Corning.
From the ceiling to the walls, the furniture, the tiles, the wallpaper and the displays on the shelves at the Old World Cafe brought us to Victorian era. I personally love the wooden benches at the cafe with a built-in-table that had beautiful mosaic decoration. The benches and the table were set up in a stall that was adorable. The combination of the ornamented ceiling, the floral themed wallpaper, the wonderful light fixtures, the marble counter top and the stools for people who want to have some ice creams and the knick-knacks added the charm to the cafe. It seems that if I have to tell you about this cafe, I might be overdoing it because I simply fell in love with it. Oh, how about the food? Well, the foods that we ordered were delicious. I had a bowl of cheesy chicken noodle soup and Greek salad, while my family had some turkey sandwhiches and my kids also had a big cream puff with ice cream. It’s to die for!
What would you find if you happen to see a flea market on the side of the road? You would stop right away with such curiosity. Your anticipation builds up, perhaps you would find what you’ve been searching for a long time. So many things to see and admire. So many things to touch and examine. You pick up a thing or two, because you can’t believe you’d found it. It does exist! Old china, bottles, lightbulbs, wooden boxes, a sword (yes, a sword), vinyl records, lovely jugs, door knobs, antique chairs, raggedy toys, your favorite comics, and hey, diecast cars! All in one place and you’d feel like you’re in paradise. Then comes the part when you have to haggle with the seller. With such confidence and wit, you try to outsmart the man. At last, you’ve finally got what you wanted, that your heart had fell in love with, and your big smile was the proof. So that’s the story when one day you accidentally passing by and saw a flea market. You wish one day you’ll meet another one with more things to view (and maybe collect).
In this part of Tarrytown, you won’t find the Headless Horseman mentioned in Washington Irving’s story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In this part of Washington Irving’s story is his Sunnyside home and what an exquisite home it is. I took the kids on one weekend to this small cottage that garnered the artsy-touch of Washington Irving. The house is nestled behind some wooden area behind the gift shop. We were welcomed at the gift shop with the rest of the visitors to buy the ticket admission. Then at a certain time, a tour guide wearing a hoop skirt in small purple flowers motif and a knitted hair cap with two long purple bows, greeted us and took us to Sunnyside. Along the path that we walked through, we passed a huge tree that is more than 300 years old. It guards the surrounding like an ancient grandfather. The short distance that we took was filled with the guide’s stories and informations, not to mention, the twittering of the birds.
The house that Washington Irving called home used to be a farmhouse owned by a Dutch-American man, that he bought in 1835. When we came upon the house, I was stunned. Sunnyside is not as sunny as I thought it would, perhaps it’s because of the wisteria vines that draped the house that Washington Irving himself chose to plant. When we came, the wisteria has already bloomed, so what we saw was more like overgrowth rather than something beautiful. The entangled, crisscrossing vines, toppled on top of another, give the house an added flair of an antique building. The influences of Dutch-Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival and Scottish Gothic, was proof of how deeply Washington Irving understood about the architecture of Sunnyside. The guide took us inside the house and we went into room by room, including Washington Irving’s study where he acknowledged as the Father of American Literature. Sunnyside is a quaint house with a beautiful view of the Hudson River, that one time noted Charles Dickens as its guest. Each corner of the house possesses its unique story just like the master of the house, the great Washington Irving.
I love vintage and antique stuffs. However, I’m not the one who especially travel far to search for certain items. But when I went somewhere and on my journey I happened to see an antique or special store for vintage and antiques, I would visit, though not necessarily to every store I saw. I’ve been to several vintage and antique stores in our state, Connecticut, also some in New England. But one store located in the heart of the city of New Haven, took my breath away every time I visited here. The store called English Building Market owned by Carol Orr, whom I know during a lovely meeting through friend. She has flair of an exquisite atmosphere through out her store. A lot of choices of vintage and antique goods, from B/W photographs to pots and pans, from fabrics and lace to furniture. The collections in this store are always adding and the decorations are always changing. I’m not advertising here, just want to share things that interest me, because some vintage and antique stores sometime look more like piles of clutter for sale. Whenever I came to English Building Market at the lower level of one of the old buildings in New Haven that was built-in 1800’s, my mind was filled with ideas. I would come home burst with notions to create something. If I felt like stuck in my hectic days, I would just go there and stay for a while, examining and admiring the many things that to me always have special values.
When I visited the town of Norfolk the other day, something caught my eyes. A shiny hood ornament that turned out to be a flying quail on the ground where Norfolk Music Festival was held. That awesome hood ornament was a part of a magnificent vehicle, an antique Ford truck. When I was adoring it, a couple came by and informed me (that they got from the truck’s owner), that it was a 1929 Ford Model A truck. It looked splendid and so grand in between the modern cars, or shall I say, the truck’s great, great grandchildren. I have a soft spot for antique and vintage cars since I was little. It was a very memorable experience to see up close a real treasure in automobile history.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
One day we went to an antique store that we came upon during traveling. Inside it were stalls, glass cabinets and lots of vintage and antiques. In a glass cabinet were, as I remember, five old cameras. One of them got me hooked right away. I always fond of old cameras, so I bought it and really take care of it. The camera is a 1930 Kodak vest pocket camera Model B. It was manufactured by Eastman Kodak Company from 1922 – 1934. When I touched and held it, I felt as I was taken back to the yesteryear, when the original owner took some pictures with it. It must have been really interesting back then to take your camera along for the road. Imagine what he or she might have seen through the lens as the reminder of happy memories.