As the sun rose on this beautiful July morning so did the Ellenbogen team. It was time to set forth on a long journey over the river (by way of the Tappan Zee Bridge) and through the woods (all the way down to Irvington, in Westchester County) to capture images of today’s targets. We arrived early and eager, ready to invade the homes of famous author, Washington Irving, and American Revolutionary patriot family, the Van Cortlandt’s.
To the surprise of the team, it was a straight shot from Kingston to Sunnyside with no traffic interruptions. A perfect commute. We arrived at Sunnyside, that’s what Irving calls his estate, ready to take in the sights of America’s first internationally famous author remembered best for penning, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” We weren’t afraid of what we might find as we meandered our way through beautiful curved pathways on the property. There were no headless horsemen greeting us…just breathtaking views of the Hudson River and his amazing home covered in flowers as though it sprouted from the ground. A true nature paradise right in Westchester County.
Although we didn’t want to leave, we had another stop on today’s journey: Van Cortlandt Manor. This is the home of one of New York’s most prominent patriot families in the years just after the American Revolution. During their time in the house they dealt with pressing political issues, dealing with Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates over the drafting of the United States Constitution. We could only imagine being a guest in the home as our nation’s most important document was drafted…all while being served delicious meals from one of the largest and best-equipped colonial kitchens of it’s time in America! Van Cortlandt Manor is also home to a collection of furnishings from the colonial and federal periods in their original settings. But the coolest feature the Van Cortlandt’s included on their property is the Ferry House, a rural tavern that offered food, drink, and lodging to travelers!
Today’s Mission: Do not pick flowers off Sunnyside’s exterior, remind Zoltan he cannot harass the historians to sell Sunnyside to him (it’s just not for sale!), carve a pumpkin featuring the faces of our crew and get it in the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor this fall (With over 6,000 Jack O’Lanterns on display…what’s one more!) and finally, build our own Ferry House.