Die Region New York State
FROMApple-picking and in general, when they feel like nature, the residents of the Big Apple are drawn to New York. The northeastern US state is pretty much the opposite of the city of New York it shares its name with – sprawling, hilly, and more politically conservative than you’d think. New York City is not even the capital, but Albany, a town on the Hudson with a population of less than 100,000.
In the north New York State borders Canada, in the south a promontory in the summer months juts out into the Atlantic Ocean: Long Island with the Hamptons at the extreme point. Here extensive beaches, yachts and the art crowd in polo shirts, there, in the so-called Upstate, mountain ranges, waterfalls, lakes and the Hudson Valley – idyllic seclusion and people in lumberjack shirts.
Upstate New York wrote music history over 50 years ago: In 1969, a three-day festival dedicated to Peace, Love & Rock’n’Roll took place on the pastures of the dairy farmer Max Yasgur in Bethel, which went down in history as “Woodstock”. The festival’s move from Woodstock to the north was on such short notice that the name has not been changed. The residents of Bethel are probably happy about this omission today – they are largely spared from hippie tourism.
Before European settlers came to the east coast of America, the area west of the Hudson was inhabited by Haudenosaunee, Native Americans who belonged to the Iroquois community. To the east of the river lived indigenous people who spoke Algonquin.
The British and French occupied the area, and New York became the scene of numerous clashes in the 18th century. In the Battle of Saragota in 1777, the Americans won the War of Independence.
Incidentally, New York owes its name to the Duke of York. After the British took the colony of Nieuw Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, they named the city and province New York in his honor.
Olympic mountains for skiing
It’s not only good to wag in Colorado, but also in New York, which has more ski mountains than any other US state. The best known is the Whiteface Mountain ski area on Lake Placid. The Winter Olympics took place there twice, in 1932 and 1980.
Champagne powder like in the Rocky Mountains doesn’t exist here, but at least it is the highest and therefore most snow-reliable ski area in New York. Ice skating or bobsledding on the Olympic track are also on the program for a change.
Those who like it quieter and cheaper are in good hands on Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills. Less than two and a half hours from Manhattan, even a day trip is possible.
The American garden chair par excellence
Red spruce, balsam fir, beech and hemlock as far as the eye can see, in between lakes, rivers, swamps and 3,200 kilometers of hiking trails – Adirondack Park in northern New York covers a fifth of the area of the entire state and is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and the Grand Canyon National Park together. In 1892 the state placed the area under protection as a park.
Even better known than the mountain park is the garden chair of the same name, which Thomas Lee invented around 1903 by dividing a wooden plank into eleven boards and fanning them out to create a comfortable seat. The wide, short-legged Adirondack Chair stands absolutely safe on sandy as well as rocky ground and is now considered to be of the American garden chair par excellence.
It is better to bathe in the water of the healing springs
Upstate New York mineral springs were a booming business in the 19th century. Healing and relaxation seekers from the Big Apple came to Dansville, Clifton Springs or Saratoga Springs to be invigorated by the mineral-rich water and to live out the freshly gained energy on the dance floor, horse racing track or in the casino.
The Roosevelt Baths & Spa in Saratoga Springs is one of the few bathhouses still in existence. Opposite, the newly renovated “Roosevelt II Bathhouse” reopened a few months ago. The most popular after-spa program in Saratoga is horse and people-watching on the oldest horse racing track in the USA, the Saratoga Race Course, built in 1863.
Corona causes a boom in real estate in the Hamptons
$ 5.49 billion was spent on real estate in the Hamptons in 2020. More than ever.
Above all, wealthy Manhattan residents who withdrew to their home office during the pandemic and were looking for more space and a private beach were awarded the contract on the chic east end of the Long Island peninsula. For example, Calvin Klein’s Southampton mansion went to an entrepreneur for $ 84 million.
The origin of the salty chips
It is August 24, 1853 in the “Moons” restaurant in Saragota: the billionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt has returned his meal once again. The fried potatoes are too thick for him. Chef George Crum is tired of cutting the potatoes into wafer-thin slices, frying them and adding a lot of salt. The Saragota Chips are born.
“Nobody should ever do that again!”
Those were the first words of the daring Annie Edson Taylor when she crawled out of a barrel on October 24, 1901, in which she had recently thrown herself down Niagara Falls. The specially made oak barrel “Queen of the Mist” was padded with pillows and had previously been tested with a cat as a passenger.
Dressed in a flower hat and a long dress, Taylor climbed the barrel on her 63rd birthday on the American side south of Goat Island; with her it drifted to the Canadian side and fell there down the Horseshoe Falls. The teacher went down in history as the first surviving Niagara barrel traveler. Despite Taylor’s warning, others fell after her – many died in the process.
Quirky, record-breaking, typical: you can find more parts of our regional geography series here.