Done with New England! Now, down the coast to the Mid-Atlantic states.

The blurry picture above is about as close as I like to get to NYC –or any large city. It wasn’t always so, but these days I have a “thing” about crowds and concrete. As in they make me break out in hives and have rapid, shallow breathing. Nevertheless, I’ll make a brief mention of the Island at the Center of the World. She is the iconic Big Apple, known worldwide and home to millions, such as fellow cat-lady Tamar Arslanian, who published a book on some of NYC’s awfully adorable residents. I first visited in 1988, when you could still ascend the internal scaffolding of Lady Liberty to admire the harbor from her crowned forehead. I can insert a genealogical note: Frederick Law Olmsted, architect of Central Park, is some type of 10th cousin or so. We don’t share a lot of DNA, but we do share a love for green spaces.

The last two times I visited the concrete jungle and its environs involved horrific travel woes, which may have jaded me. The airline abandoned me to the cruel whimsy of holiday traffic, I spent $220/night for a “budget” hotel where someone had boosted the coffee pot and the list of local attractions, in 2009, was headed by the World Trade Center. Then in 2010 or so, I helped my brother move from DC to Brooklyn. He fell asleep as night fell on the I-95, and I only realized I had missed the turn in Elizabethtown as I was admiring the beauty of the Manhattan skyline … that was passing on my right … as I drove north. (It was a pretty Ayn Randian moment of awe at the works of man –when she liked NYC, not the part when she turned out the lights and killed it.)

I had to drive through the Lincoln tunnel, when half of New Jersey was coming in to see the theater, and then navigate Manhattan on a Saturday night, where everyone on the street was either drunk, a zombie –or both. I saw more drunk people than I did when the aircraft carrier had a port call at Fort Lauderdale Fleet Week, which really is saying a lot.

More amenable to me was the Finger Lakes region, long ago carved out by the retreating glaciers’ nails. Ithaca is quite lovely, too. Further west in Cortland, there is a small gem of a ski resort called Greek Peak –from the top of the downy slopes you can see the little village twinkling. A very pretty place.

I visited Niagara Falls in winter, as well. Buffalo is a vast somnolent industrial giant, sleeping in the earth until Father Time blows his horn. The falls are frightening, and they fill the air with sound and mist. Leaning over the wall on the Canadian side, I put my hand in the smooth bend of water and felt both its power –and a horrible urge to lean further and be part of it. Am I fey and death-seeking, or does anyone else get not a voice, but a cellular urge to jump from high places?

New York came about the Big Apple nickname honestly: the state is this nation’s second largest producer, with an annual production of 29.5 million bushels. That’s a lot of Mott’s applesauce. That family got their start with big apples, turned to big Buicks, and now is involved with big sugar in Florida. For myself, I especially enjoy the Cortland apple.

I should probably have more to say about the Empire State, but why repeat what has already been said? Little Miss Traveller provides a detailed week of walking tours, and this blog digs even deeper into NYC. Enjoy!


SelfieCorey is not quite an international woman of mystery, but is hard at work becoming a regional person of interest. Previously both a Classics Major and an Army Major, she is currently travelling where the road will take her and leaving digital footprints at Upcoming reports may include improving trails in Muir Woods, diving from a liveaboard in the Bahamas, flying military Space-A across the Pacific Ocean, and taking a month long cruise to Antarctica on a refitted Russian research ship. You may also check out some older writing at or email at