Places + Travels

Today in Newburgh.

When I was a kid, I always thought it was stupid that people would actually take trips up to my hometown during October just to look at the leaves changing color. I mean, seriously?

Yeah, well, okay, now that I’m a grown-up (technically, at least), I get it. Completely. In fact, I totally get the whole, “Oh, the river is so beautiful! Look at the mountains!” thing that comes over people when they’re in the Hudson Valley.

Today we were driving on the Palisades Parkway near Bear Mountain, and I almost burst into tears because everything, everywhere I looked, was just so beautiful. The trees all around us were fire red and screaming orange, we were passing directly through a flurry of swirling yellow, and I felt—just for a tiny second—like I was seeing all of this for the first time.

I’ve lived within a mile of the Hudson River for my entire life. You take for granted as an adult what surrounded you when you were growing up, but lately I’ve been trying to pretend I’m from Mars (or southern California…whichever) and look at all of this amazing nature-y stuff we’ve got going on around here through fresh eyes.

This photo (yes, you can click to make it bigger!) was taken at on the bluff overlooking the Hudson River at the end of my block in Newburgh, the same area you can see from up on my roof. This isn’t much of a leafy extravaganza shot, I know, but that river. And those mountains!

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  • Reply kelly w November 1, 2010 at 1:41 am

    and the clouds!!

    • dew i November 1, 2010 at 7:13 am

      I noticed the same thing, what fabulous clouds.
      To paraphrase Joni Mitchell: You don’t know what you got until it’s gone, or until they pave paradise!

  • Reply Monica November 1, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Wow, pretty fantastic view at the end of your block.

  • Reply LL November 1, 2010 at 4:15 am

    This is the one thing I have yet to do, but want to before I turn to ash-drive up the east coast in the fall. You’re so lucky to get to see it every year! It’s so inspiring, and poetic to me to know that the leaves are those colours all year, and we only get to see it when the supply of chlorophyll is cut off. Only in the Fall do the leaves show their true colours. Beautiful….

  • Reply Tim November 1, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Yeah My wife and I had our honeymoon in Rhinebeck 12 years ago in the fall.It drew us to this area from Virginia, because it was so beautiful. The harsh reality that real estate prices are a lot more reasonable on the west side of the river than on the east set in quickly…but they do have bridges for us.

  • Reply eva November 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I’m from one of the “top ten prettiest spots in New England” as rated by a zillion travel magazines…so of course I’ve developed a seething hate of leaf-peepers/dumb tourists of all kinds. it’s great for our economy but they don’t drive well.

    but! I try not to let my bitterness get in the way of enjoying the good foliage! it’s all over here now for this year, alas.

    • Suzen November 1, 2010 at 8:18 am

      Hmmm…wouldn’t be Vermont, would it? My former stomping grounds. 🙂

  • Reply Suzen November 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Hi Anna, I lived in Provincetown, MASS for 10 years and spent my time grocery shopping, doing laundry and caring for my family. After leaving, I visited and felt so fortunate to be on the beachand visiting art galleries and restaurants. I even went on my first whale watch and climbed the Pilgrim monument. I was stunned at how terrific a place it is. Remembering to look at where I am with fresh eyes is a gift to me every day! (PS When I am down, a little trip to Rhinebeck is just the thing to cheer me up again, no matter what the season!)

  • Reply whitney November 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I used to live a little further up North, off of the Taconic near Chatham, and I can TOTALLY relate to your urge to cry. I had a very similar experience once while driving. I had a moment of real anxiety, like how do I capture this? How do I handle how beautiful this is?

    Anyway, thank you for sharing. You stirred some great memories!

    • Anna @ D16 November 1, 2010 at 10:05 am

      I don’t even bother trying to take photos for the same reason—it’s too beautiful to look at, and I know I’m not good enough at taking pictures to capture that beauty in a way that will be meaningful for me later.

  • Reply Cher@NR November 1, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Love the picture! I took my own photos this weekend on my way up to Newburgh, and felt like my photos didn’t do the colors any justice!

  • Reply Rachieb November 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I grew up in San Diego county and had no idea why people vacationed there growing up. I still remember a conversation my sister and I had about how weird it was that people came to where we lived for their summer breaks. I had no idea that everyone else didn’t live within 30 minutes of beautiful beaches and in big cities. So oblivious. Your photo is beautiful! I nannied in New York for a year in a home overlooking the Hudson and you are right about the beauty the east coast has especially the palisades. My favorite part was when all of the trees changed colors in the fall and then came back in the spring all beautiful green. We definitely don’t have that in southern California!

  • Reply Kristen November 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Oh Anna!

    I’m so glad you are trying the ‘Mars” thing…I’m from northern NJ and my husband is from NY and we are planning to move back home (from Ohio at the moment) in 2.5 years (not that we are counting!) And I am SO jealous that you even live anywhere in NY (not the least of which, THERE!) CHECK. OUT. THAT. VIEW. 🙂


  • Reply Becky November 1, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Beautiful! I keep seeing people posting pictures of the countryside and it’s REALLY making me want to get away and enjoy some nature. I love the city life, but sometimes, I just need some greenery!

  • Reply Michelle... November 1, 2010 at 11:28 am

    ahh fall. Saturday afternoon the day had turned from a sunny morning to grey skies, but I didn’t care one bit because the orange and yellow and red everywhere just made everything impossibly beautiful no matter the color of the sky.

  • Reply elsie November 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    gorgeous! i attended school in boston and kind of miss this time of year now that i’m back where i grew up in mars (or socal:)). i have the same near tears reaction in moments when faced with beauty such as you describe. it’s happened to me at the grand canyon, in front of certain artworks… incredible, joyful, awe-inspiring moments.

  • Reply Shawn C November 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Wow, beautiful! I love when plants are at their peak of changing into vibrant colors. I kind of am in the same situation.

    I grew up and still live in Grass Valley, CA. Lots of green grass, tall trees, flowers, mountains, and hills. It’s very beautiful to a lot of people, but because I’ve lived out here my whole life everything is just plain everyday to me. However, in Fall, when the leaves are changing colors, I do appreciate the beauty around me.

  • Reply Suzy November 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    That’s a beautiful photo and view!
    I can relate to the “really seeing things for the first time” thing. I was raised in Phoenix, and spent approximately my entire childhood and teenage years plotting my escape and declaring that the desert was ugly and dusty. When I return home now, to visit my family, I can’t stop taking photos of the mountains, sunsets, wide blue skies, and saguaros. I honestly don’t know if I would’ve thought the desert was beautiful had I not moved away from it (to the the Pacific NW, where I’ve experienced changing leaves for the 1st time–also gorgeous!).

    • Anna @ D16 November 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      That’s exactly how I feel when I go to Arizona!

  • Reply dkzody November 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    And the SKY. Love the sky.

  • Reply Lori E. November 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    So beautiful. I can almost feel the crispy, cool air… I bet it is gorgeous in every season.

  • Reply patty November 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Stunner! I was just reading an old issue of Outside magazine where some guy keeps trying to build a boat/raft to float all the way down the Hudson – now I see why!

  • Reply Stacey November 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    So picturesque. I am yet to visit the Hudson Valley and you’ve just given me another reason why i Must go there someday. It’s definitely on my places to visit list.

  • Reply js November 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I never appreciated the autumn in Ohio, or anything beautifully and nature-y, until I hit 35. My mom used to gush about such things and I thought she was just being sentimental and silly. I think you have to get to a point in life where you can slow down and really look around you and appreciate things through your own experiences.

  • Reply Claire November 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

    It seems this is something many people can relate to, from many different parts of the world. I’m Scottish and we spent a lot of time at our holiday house in the highlands as kids. I could not understand why people raved about this part of the world, compared to the epic mountainscapes I had seen in the States or in other parts of Europe… ours seemed so small and, well, rainy! But having lived in London now for many years, my opinion has changed. It’s true that you see a place with new eyes when you move away. There is something so, so beautiful about the Scottish highlands… the light is different, there’s a stillness there, and the moody colours add such drama… much as the autumnal colours in your story above steal the scene!

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