Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sleepy Hollow

The new “gang” (Dana, Tony, Michael, Evan, Gabby, Dave) and I headed up to Sleepy Hollow on Sunday (the Sunday before Halloween…wuh ah ha – spooky laugh). Yes, Sleepy Hollow the town. Yes, it really does exist, and its landscape and residents were the basis for the tale. The town is located in one of the suburbs about 30 minutes north of Manhattan.

We ended up driving the scenic route on the way up because I was soooo hungover when I got directions in the morning (see brewtopia post). It was one of those hangovers where you spend 10 minutes looking for your toothbrush before realizing that you are clutching it in your hand. Anyway, we at least got to see some gorgeous fall foliage.

We walked the Old Dutch cemetery that dates back to the mid 1600’s. I guess a lot of the rich people of times past would have their estate houses up in that area. We viewed the graves of William Rockefeller, Walter Chrysler, Andrew Carnegie, Elizabeth Arden, Leona Helmsley, just to name a few. I could not believe the magnitude of the mausoleums. They were seriously larger than my Manhattan apartment! The most interesting trivia was that Elizabeth Arden only had the year of her death inscribed on her gravestone. Evidently, she never wanted anyone to know how old she was….a lady never admits her age or something like that.

The cemetery is also the resting place of several Legend of Sleepy Hollow characters including the Van Tassles, Brome, the Witch, and its writer Washington Irving. The white haired, bearded caretaker was all excited to have visitors. He said a psychic visited the graveyard and used a water finding stick (looks like a wishbone) to pinpoint where the witch was buried. He said “yeah she was walking around and then suddenly the stick pointed down, and she was like ‘there is a body buried here’”. Ummmm, we didn’t want to burst his bubble, but it is a cemetery…bodies are typically buried there! Whatever.

We had a surprisingly great time in the cemetery taking pictures of interesting graves/mausoleums. You know like Graves’s grave, etc. Evan was all into posing. When he struck on up at the base of the headless horseman bridge (yes a headless horseman bridge), he asked if he looked woodsy. Someone said “well you could be the cover of Gay Outdoorsman weekly”. Ah ha ha. Tony kept wandering off on his own in the cemetery. We would be talking to him, look away, and then find that he had disappeared like an ADD three year old. Someone remarked that this had the makings for a horror movie. Four guys, three girls, one disappears, the group splits up to find him, etc. Actually Evan did have a scary moment. He was posing on this gravestone that was also a seat. In the meantime, Tony was returning from one of his wanderings. He crept up behind Evan, who was waiting for us to take a picture, and grabbed his chest/throat from behind. The grin disappeared from Evan so fast….oh I guess you had to be there.

After a quick pit stop at the headless horseman diner (yes they totally milk that story), we headed over to the Lyndhurst mansion. The area is filled with huge estate houses/mansions from the uber rich. Sadly the Rockerfeller place was sold out. Lyndhurst is a huge gothic style mansion with a golf course sized chunk of land. We had about 10 minutes before the tour started, so we all laid on the hill to relax. I watched the kids roll down the hill and thought, hey I haven’t done that in a while. Okay there is a reason why adults don’t roll down hills anymore. It freaking hurt! Yeah, I guess I am not perfectly round, so I kept banging my shoulder into the ground. Oh and you pick up an insane amount of speed. Dave took a video of it all and the best part is watching me try to get up afterwards (so dizzy).

Okay the mansion was alright, but the tour lady was hilarious….well to us at least. She was a total tour nazi and locked the doors on some people who were at the end of the line. We followed her militant orders lest we get a door slammed in our face or a slap to the wrist with a ruler.

Because of the upcoming spooky holiday, they had a ‘scarecrow’ jamboree or something going on. There were literally hundreds of scarecrows staked in the lawn. As we drove thru the droves (surrounded by creepy scarecrows), I got a eerie chill for fear they would all come alive and attack the car like deranged children of the corn!


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