Archive for the ‘New England’ Category

For those of us who grew up west of the Mississippi, we are missing out on something essential: History. Yes we have missions, and stories of gold rush. But have you seen a Southern Califonia mall not made of terracotta or stucco? The Eastern Seaboard seems to hold onto the traditional look and history more aptly. And some of the buildings are much older than we realize. It has beautiful brick buildings, old churches, and our American history laid out in the streets. Places like Williamsburg, VA, go into great detail to bring to life colonial times. If you happen to be a New York denzien, and feel like getting a fresh dose of New England heritage try New London, Connecticut. It is maybe two hours up the coast by train, and a great picture of classic New England. It’s a seaside town, with really old, beautiful churches and cathedrals everywhere. You could go on a tour of just churches and fill the whole weekend. There are great little eats off the main road; nice sit-down coffee without the Starbucks’ emblem. It is the perfect place to just have a light and easy vacation. It’s a seaport town that is welcoming and cozy. You could even catch a traveling show as it comes through town.

Here are some spots to consider:

Muddy Water’s Cafe, 42 Bank Street. Great veggie options, along with the usual picks.

Bean & Leaf, 13 Washington Street. A coffee shop where you can enjoy your cup.

I recommend staying at the Radisson Hotel, 35 Governor Winthrop Boulevard

Philadelphia or Pittsburg? Neither. Yes, neither. While each will surely be a great trip, we are going to talk about a great little place in the middle of nowhere: State College, PA. Smack-dab in the middle of the state, somewhere between the Eagles and the Steelers, lies a town built up around Penn State. It is a place to relive all the college mayhem you may have enjoyed, endured, escaped, or elluded from in your youth. With a million bars to chose from, I recommend the Phyrst. It is a cleverly-mispelled underground-dive that serves $5 pitchers of “Lager” (what we outsiders lovingly know as ‘yeungling’). It is certain to be a ridiculous night of debachery. Just remember to walk back to your hotel–As with the high spirits and low prices you will certainly find yourself in a stammering state in no time. When you do take the time to recover in the morning, consider heading out for cereal. State College also has a great little breakfast spot dedicated entirely to the magical world of cereal, not to mention plenty of breakfast diners, all geared towards you: the weary traveler. And if you happen to time it well, you could even catch whatever touring show is coming through town, and have a scoop of their ever popular ice cream (and rightly so). Just ask where to get ice cream on campus and I am sure they will point you in the right direction. If there’s no line, you’ve probably mistakenly headed to the Ben’n’Jerry’s.

Manhattan sleeper towns have to be the best thing. Especially when the city is really wearing you out. There’s nothing like a forty-five minute train ride, to a quaint little town, to bring peace of mind and calm to your busy New York life. I recommend Westfield. It’s cute, with restaurants, shopping, and a little movie theatre. It also doesn’t hurt that I have family to stay with. If you don’t have family outside the city, you should adopt some. Or better yet, plan a trip. Think of something close. If it is close enough to get a $15 round trip train ride, then you can spend all your extra cash on a nice hotel. Maybe down by the seaside, or up in the woods. When you visit Westchester county, it isn’t too far to a fairly wooded area. Watchung in New Jersey, also has a state park that is rather pleasant to take a stroll through. If you are an outdoorsy person like I am, than it is essential to find these out of the way places to run to. For seaside adventure, try New London, Connecticut. It is maybe two hours up the coast, and a great picture of classic New England. It’s a seaside town, with really old, beautiful churches and cathedrals everywhere. You could go on a tour of just churches and fill the whole weekend. There are great little eats off the main road; nice sit-down coffee without the Starbucks’ emblem. And you could even catch a traveling show as it comes through town.

I can understand why people choose to live out here and commute into the city. It brings a daily rest to freshen you up for the morning. But, alas. Even the least expensive rentals would cost more than staying in Queens. Always the compromise. But at least I have my escape. My open sky… mostly. and my fresh air… partially. O.K… well it isn’t Montana, but it’s maybe a little slice of the Big Sky Pie.