Travel Journal: Stopping by at a Victorian Cafe

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 & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

 

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.

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

 

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!

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

The Old World Cafe & Ice Cream

Foods at Old World Cafe  & Ice Cream

Foods at Old World Cafe  & Ice Cream

Foods at Old World Cafe  & Ice Cream

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If You Have to Get Lost…

Far away, it seems, in a land where the sun always shines, where the sky opens up and the air smells sweet, there’s a field full of sunflowers. Rows upon rows of breathtaking flowers, nodding and swaying. Nestled behind the stone fences that stand for hundreds of years, secluded between the tree shadows. If you keep silence, all you hear is the sounds of bees buzzing, moving from one flower to the next. They won’t even feel bothered, there’s plenty of flowers that you can admire. When you walk between the long stalks and the heavy flowers, you might feel lost. You might feel small. There in the land of summer, the sunflowers are the giants. Before you leave, you might want to make a wish, for another visit to a far away land, where the sun always shines, the sky opens up and the air smells sweet. Because if you have to get lost, why don’t you get lost amongst the sunflowers?

Lost in the Sunflower Field

Lone Sunflower

Rows of Sunflowers

Sunflower-Opens up

Sunflower Field

Sunflowers

Get Lost in SOHO

Some parts of New York City boast the mix of old and new, traditional and modern atmospheres. One of that one-of-a-kind mixed places is in SOHO. While taking my daughters and her friends for girls’ day out there, I indulged my self for the details that SOHO offers with rows of old buildings, the artistry that almost exists in every corner and the unique places that we visited. I love the cobblestone streets, the pillars and the reliefs that decorated the buildings, and even the fire escape stairs that are lining up on the side of the streets. I felt like being pampered with the many objects that we could see around SOHO, to be photographed, of course. My friend and I stopped at some of the artists’ stands that were there to see and admire their works. Among those artists was a photographer who sold her works at one of SOHO corner. She was kind enough to answer some questions from us, who were curious about how she printed her photographs and where did she take some of the images. So many eye-candy for the girls too, that they couldn’t contain themselves sometimes. They went in and out of some stores, that each one gave different perspectives. It seems that SOHO is calling us again, to come and immerse in its plethora of things that we can see, touch, feel and even eat. Perhaps, soon.

 

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

SOHO-NYC

Historic Main Street, Litchfield

It’s been a while. So many things to write, so little time. This winter has been too much for us. Too much snow. Too much ice. Too cold. Some days we had to stayed indoor, because of the snowstorms that seemed coming every week. But yesterday was brilliant! The temperature was warm enough that the spring might just peeking out for a bit. There’s no strong and cold wind, and sunshine was abundant. We decided to enjoy our Saturday by visiting a town called Litchfield in the northwestern part of Connecticut. Town of Litchfield was established in 1721 that thrived and prospered during the Revolution era, while other towns in Connecticut were attacked by the British. I love history, and a town that has history like Litchfield is my kind of town. Our first destination was Litchfield Historical Society, but unfortunately, the place was closed until April. On the entrance to the Litchfield Historical Society building was a unique and very interesting door knocker. It’s in the shape of an Egyptian man’s head. After admiring the door knocker and the massive entrance door, I took the kids for a walk around the main street and the town green for sightseeing.

Our first destination was the First Congregational Church that was established in 1829 with the Greek Revival Style. It was the third meetinghouse in Litchfield and said to be the most famous church in New England, being photographed by many. I could see why. The building looked so grand and majestic. Next, we walked pass by a house that used to be owned by Timothy Skinner. He was a treasurer, constable and also a selectman in Litchfield, beside being a Brigadier General in the militia army. Then, we walked back towards the town green and saw the Civil War cannon and monument that was dedicated on July 8th, 1847. Across the town green are rows of stores and among them is the State Court House. Litchfield also known as the birth town of the first law school in America. One of its student was the 7th Vice President of United States, John C. Calhoun. With so many historical buildings that lined up on the main streets of Litchfield, no wonder if this town is a place to be if you love history, or just want to get away from the winter blues while the weather is bearable. The town of Litchfield is spectacular indeed.

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The Noyes Memorial Library (1893), where Litchfield Historical Society is located.

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The First Congregational Church and the 3rd meetinghouse of Litchfield (1829) in the Greek Revival Style.

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The Civil War monument and cannon at the town green.

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The State Court House building (1888).

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The Timothy Skinner House (1787).

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The Tapping Reeve house and law school, America’s first law school (1775-1833).

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The Samuel Seymour House (1784) where Vice President John C. Calhoun once stayed during his time as a law student.

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The historical store blocks in Litchfield.

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What a Piece of Work is Man!

When I visited Washington Square Park in New York City sometimes ago, I saw a man propping a box in the middle of the park stone yard. He moved quietly and swiftly without a care from his surrounding. The man climbed up the box that’s been painted grey, acknowledged himself by standing tall, while moving in silent without even showing a smirk on his face. He seemed to know of what he was doing and really serious about it. As soon as he was on top of the box, the man gazed in nowhere particular, absorbing his environment, trying to attract the passersby without uttering any words. On the man’s hands was a circular material that he held on strong, as if it’s a symbol of  sort. Some man who calls himself an artist, works with his hands, sculpting, drawing, painting, playing music ; some uses his words or his feet, dancing to his heart contends. Some does something unique in the name of art, and some merely does it as a livelihood, like the story of the human statue at Washington Square Park in one afternoon.
The Statue Man

“What a piece of work is man! How noble is reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god – the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!”
 
Shakespeare – HAMLET, act 2, section 2
 
 

The Grandeur of Gillette Castle

My family and I visited Gillette Castle last November for the first time. This rock castle that looks like an old Scottish castle, is nestled in the southern part of hill rows called the Seven Sisters, in the town of East Haddam. Gillette Castle is one of the state park in our state, Connecticut, and was designed and owned by an actor, William Hooker Gillette. He was once famous for his role as Sherlock Holmes on stage and during the silent movie era. Gillette was very eccentric and also genius, who designed and invented some of the stage props and also helped the use of stage effects, like the sound of horses’ hoofs in many different situations. He was the real Sherlock Holmes, the one who started the icon of the brilliant detective wearing a deerstalker cap and smoked with a curved pipe. The Gillette Castle was built filled with William Gillette’s own designs and inventions. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the inside of the castle due to certain reason. But I heard that each door in the castle is different and Gillette himself designed them. The castle stands overlooking the beautiful scenery of Connecticut River, with some wooden areas that add another image to the castle’s grandeur. It’s simply spectacular to be on top of the valley and taken aback by the surrounding as the sun slowly set.

 

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Memory Lane at Old Sturbridge Village

Some places are meant to be visited more than once. Because although they may seem the same in shapes, their surroundings may change from time to time. The first time we came to one place, we created some memories. Then when the second time came, to visit it once more, those memories might add or replace by the new ones. When I visited this historical place called OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE in 2002, in Massachusetts, with my family and a couple of friends, I never thought that I would visit it again three times. Back than, we had a lot of fun and since our children were still toddlers, the significant history and other interesting parts of this live museum, seemed didn’t matter much. We only saw the museum as a place to be, nothing more to it. It’s simply recreational. Years gone by, and my younger daughter who was 14 months-old back in 2002, was a 5th grader two years ago. She and her class planned a school trip to visit the same Old Sturbridge Village, and I was asked to chaperone them. I loved to go there again, to catch up what I missed the first time I came. This time, I joined the 5 students under my watch, to learn the same things they would learn about the stories and facts about the place and matters, and to create new memories.

When we visited Old Sturbridge Village, it was just 6 months after Hurricane Sandy wreak havoc in New England. The devastation was still present when we reached this outdoor museum. The damaged and uprooted trees were strewn about, toppled on top one another. It’s eery. That scene was a little bit different when I had another chance to chaperone, this time my youngest’ , just two weeks ago. New plants have emerged and the open space where there used to be some trees standing, were more lush with some brushes and baby trees. We were greeted by so many wildflowers that grow covering the meadows. The water was a little bit high from the big rain before and it reached parts of the dirt road. It was my third times visiting the place, and it felt like going back to a place I knew well. The three boys under my guide wandered here and there wondering about things that attracting them. They tried pumping an old water pump located in the middle of the village. It was hard and they had to be patient waiting for the water to come out. Oh, the joy they exclaimed when after a while the water sprouted out! As we took our journey further, I added another memory to the ones I’ve had before, especially since that day was my son’s birthday. He sure was a happy 10-year old all day.
Daisies & the Dragonfly

Rusted Old Machinery Part

Wildflowers Meadow

Wildflowers meadow

The Covered Bridge & Its Reflection

Old House & The Meadow

The Farmers and Their Cows

Two Sheeps Grazing

A Top Hat, A Suit and A Pair of Slippers

White Picket Fence & A Peony

Turkey

Pink Spiderworth

The Parsonage House Circa 1748

Rustic Doors

The Weathervane

Trying to Pump Some Water

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