A Tasting Tour of 1000 Islands

  On the border of northern New York State and Canada, a cluster of 1,864 islands create a region of endless shorelines, epic sunsets, and a unique maritime history. Fifty miles of river islands give this region its name: the Thousand Islands. Stretching downstream from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River, the scenery and seclusion from the mainland have made 1000 Islands a popular getaway for generations. Hot summers in the city have always been “escapable” for visitors from New York City, Syracuse, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. In its heyday–approximately 1874 through 1912–grandiose resorts were built for wealthy visitors, and filled with people. (By the way, much of those structures have been restored and still stand.) These days, as the region sees a rebirth in tourism, the Taste 1000 Islands offers yet another reason to visit: a craft beverage trail with seven wineries, three distilleries, and a brewery. Their locations range from mainland, to shoreline to private island; all are unique experiences. Save for a few rocky ones, most of the islands are heavily wooded, spattered with cabins and cottages, exuding a campy mysteriousness. Many of them are small and privately owned–although others, such as Grindstone Island, are larger with paved …

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Getaway: Tiny Cabins in the Woods

Relax, rest, and find balance. That is the goal of the Getaway, a new company who aims to reconnect city dwellers with nature in their tiny cabins. The idea for Getaway was born somewhere along the road for founder Jon Staff. After graduating from college, and before attending Harvard Business School, Jon lived and worked from a 26′ Airstream trailer for several years. He became fascinated with the tiny house movement, an idea that stuck with him though business school—eventually, it evolved into a business. In 2015, Staff paired up with his college buddy Pete Davis to create Getaway. After building the cabin prototype in Boston, the duo moved it to southern New Hampshire, in hopes that stressed out Boston-ians would take advantage of the tiny vacation home. Soon after, they expanded, building more cabins on the property, then launching. The idea of Getaway clearly resonated: the cabins were booked months in advance soon after launching. After much success and a second round of investor support, the pair turned their sights to Upstate New York. Escape Brooklyn experienced the Upstate New York Getaway location twice; once in winter, and once in summer. (By the way, in winter the cabins are heated; in summer, open windows and fans keep guests cool.) …

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The Bull & Garland in Hobart, NY

  In 2014, Oliver and Melissa Pycroft traded the busy streets of London for a small cabin in the Catskill Mountains. After two decades of traveling—working and living in NY, Paris, London, Budapest and Seville—the couple were ready to escape the city for the countryside and begin a new, more rural life together. They set their sights on the Catskill Mountains of New York; Melissa’s great-grandfather had built several cabins there, and after a visit with their family to the region earlier that year, they fell in love with it. When Melissa and Oliver decided to move, there wasn’t a “plan,” per se–though they’d always talked about opening a pub or inn together. Oliver had over a decade experience managing pubs and restaurants in London and Nottingham; Melissa was an artist and worked as a project manager in the non-profits sector. Their combined experience and shared passions were perfect for such an endeavor, however, first they’d need to find a location. The day they moved to the Catskills, the couple found out they were pregnant. And so the search for a suitable property was expedited. They landed on a property known as the MacArthur house in the village of Hobart, near the western edge of …

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Phoenicia Flea Schedule 2017

Summer is here again, and that means flea markets! If you’ve been following us for some time, you already know Phoenicia Flea is one of our faves. Check out the schedule below and plan a trip Upstate around this curated market, featuring makers and merchants from the Catskills, Hudson Valley, and beyond. May 27th & 28th – Garden Party Festival – Sharon Springs, NY June 17th & 18th – Mount Temper Arts – Phoenicia, NY July 15th & 16th – Vicar on the Rondout – Kingston, NY August 5th & 6th – Turn Park – West Stockbridge, MA August 12th & 13th – Asbury Park Boardwalk – Asbury Park, NJ September 2nd & 3rd – Scribner’s Lodge – Hunter, NY September 23rd – Terrain – Philadelphia, PA September 30th – Terrain – Westport, CT October 7th & 8th – Stone Ridge Orchard – Stone Ridge, NY December 2nd & 3rd – The Williamsburg Hotel – Brooklyn, NY The Phoenicia Flea is always Saturday & Sunday 11am – 6pm. Rain or Shine. Highlights from 2015-2016 Season

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Adventuring the Utah Desert by Motorcycle

One of the last things one looks forward to when planning to ride a motorcycle is snow. Yet, as my flight landed in Salt Lake City flurries were falling from the steely April sky, obscuring the mountains that ring Utah’s capital.   I was in the state to spend a few days exploring courtesy of the Utah Office of Tourism and Kawasaki, which was launching their new Versys-X 300 motorcycle. And while temperatures the week before had been in the high 80s, the next few days were different. Here, at 4000 feet above sea level, the snow had turned to a solid squall. It was going to be cold.   Our route would bring us—a group of about a dozen riders and guides—south from dusty Green River across shifting desert topography, over impressive peaks and through a number of Utah’s state and national parks.   But first, the cold. Morning found me stuffing an improbable number of layers beneath my leather jacket and hoping the desert sun would take the bite out of our traveling speed. 34 degrees is pretty frio on a motorcycle.   Our rides were the newest of Kawasaki’s adventure-styled Versys line. With a 296cc twin-cylinder engine, …

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Joshua Tree, California

  Two and a half hours from Los Angeles, the desert oasis of Joshua Tree has long been an outpost on the artist/musician/explorer trail. Named after its distinct native yucca, Joshua Trees unique landscape is the result of the merging of two deserts—the Mojave and the Colorado—each with their own unique ecosystems. Joshua Tree’s archaic landscapes have been favored by generations of musicians. These days, it’s almost synonymous with attending Coachella, which takes place on the southern edge of the park in Indio. But long before that, Gram Parsons famously OD’d here in the 60’s; other notorious musicians such as Keith Richards, Donovan, Jim Morrison and Irish rockers U2 were also fond of the occasional desert trip. Besides its musical connection, part of the allure of Joshua Tree is the journey itself—which is is mostly through empty desert, and much of it along Old Route 66. But potential visitors should be advised that Joshua Tree is very much a city—with big box stores and strip malls galore. (It’s definitely represented a little differently, so be prepared for that.) All that aside, once you’re off the main drag, magical dusty dirt roads abound—and so does the scenery. Where To Stay: Wilder Cabin, A 1950’s Homestead in the Desert Joshua Tree has a seemingly …

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An All Inclusive Fly-Fishing Weekend in the Catskills

150 miles from New York City, the Catskill Mountains are famous for _______. Lesser known? The fishing. Imagine a sport that combines hiking, fishing, .. Because of its complexities, ___. And in the United States, the fly-fishing tradition started 150 miles from New York City in the Catskill Mountains in 1880s____. Since then, fishermen from around the world have traveled to the Catskills to fish its pristine waters that are famous for _______. Rivers like the Esopus are fabled for their brown trout, particularly in spring and fall when the weather is cool. Also unique to the Catskills are the cold water releases from the water reservoirs (the same ones that feed NYC’s water supply), which keeps the rivers cool. These days, the sport is seeing a surge of young anglers trying their luck. With brands like Filson and Best Made Co. making fishing ___, or the REI shop in Soho, it’s apparent that the general public is looking to the great outdoors for an experience, rather than spending money on _____. Ready to give it a shot? So whether you’re a first-timer whose looking to learn the sport over an immersive weekend, or an old-timer looking for a great guide and an all-inclusive weekend, …

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