The setting sun shines its golden spotlight on the brick Chevy logo at the defunct Frank Chevrolet in Tarrytown, New York. This used to be a GM company town — no longer. #vintagesigns #signgeeks #rous_roadsigns #americana #gm #chevy #chevrolet #insta_america #sunset #goldenhour #tarrytown #sleepyhollow
London calling! A British phone booth, complete with tweedy if creepy mannequin, is beached on Broadway in Tarrytown, N.Y. It’s actually been there for years. Now it’s about as useful as a traditional payphone, and is an equal source of curiosity. #payphoneography #tweed #mannequin #tarrytown #phonebooth #phones #britain #london #british
Visit the REAL Sleepy Hollow, and the places the Headless Horseman haunts in Washington Irving’s tale
By Rolando Pujol
Halloween is near, and there’s no better place to spend a spooky afternoon than the Westchester County villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.
This is the hilly countryside where author Washington Irving lived, and where he set his 1820 tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It was here that Irving unleashed the Headless Horseman — a decapitated Hessian soldier who rises from the Old Dutch Church graveyard in quest of his head — on the hapless schoolmaster Ichabod Crane.
Spend an afternoon tracing Irving’s haunts, and those of his legendary characters. Find it all on an easy and short walk along Broadway.
Stop 1: Christ Church
At Broadway and West Elizabeth Street in Tarrytown, admire the Christ Episcopal Church, where Irving worshipped. The facade’s ivy descends from a cutting taken at Irving’s beloved Sunnyside (914-631-8200), a picturesque villa on the Hudson, which you can also visit.
Stop 2: Main Street
Walk north a block to Main Street, where the affable Irving often mingled. You can take in the 19th century ambiance while antiquing. Nourishment nooks include Lefteris Gyro and Coffee Labs, all inside the Tudor-style Washington Building, the former site of an inn visited by George Washington. Next door, The Music Hall is an 1885 Queen Anne brick masterpiece.
For a drink, tarry at the Set Back Inn (914-631-9740) — after all, Irving jokingly suggests in “The Legend” that the town got its name because of the local farmers who tarried on market days.
Stop 3: Landmark Condominiums
Get back on Broadway and walk north a block to the intersection with Hamilton Place, where you’ll find the Landmark Condominiums, graced with a large, lush lawn out front. This land was once part of the Van Tassel farm, and a long-gone Van Tassel building where the condos now stand may well have been Irving’s inspiration for “The Legend” character Katrina Van Tassel’s home. Her party there drew lanky Ichabod and big-bully Brom Bones, who vied for the “plump as a partridge” catch. It is from here that we can visualize awkward Ichabod setting off down Broadway on his unreliable steed, Gunpowder.
Stop 4: Andre monument
Farther north on Broadway, about a half block past the 1929 Warner Library at the intersection with Wildey Street, is the Andre monument in Patriots Park. It’s a tribute to three patriots who captured Major John Andre, a British spy. The encounter actually happened about 200 yards east, but the spot is not marked because this part of the road was rerouted. In “The Legend,” the Andre intersection is significant, as it’s where the horseman encounters Ichabod and gives chase. The brook Irving mentions still runs through the pretty park.
Stop 5: Broadway and Beekman
Past the brook, you’ll enter Sleepy Hollow. Continue on Broadway to the intersection with Beekman Avenue, the main shopping drag of Sleepy Hollow and home to the Village Hall and tarry-worthy watering holes such as J.P. Doyle’s (914-631-3015).
Stop 6: Old Dutch Church and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Finish your jaunt down the hill along Broadway toward the Old Dutch Church.
The late 17th century gambrel-roof church is on your right past the Headless Horseman Bridge, a successor to the original span that was farther east inside the cemetery (a pipe bridging the Pocantico River roughly marks the spot.) It’s at the original bridge site where the horseman finally polishes off poor Ichabod. (Irving suggests Brom, who won Katrina, disguised himself as the horseman to scare off the superstitious Crane, but townies in the tale believed the specter whisked Ichabod away.)
The Dutch burial ground has evocative gravestones, and the deceased include some real-life inspirations for Irving’s tales, such as Katrina and Brom. The adjacent Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is home to many famous dead, including Brooke Astor and Leona Helmsley. (Guidebooks are at a visitor’s center across the street at Philipsburg Manor, the restored mill where Ichabod flirted with the Hollow’s lovely ladies.)
As for Irving, he rests on a hill in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, looking below on the land he immortalized.
What’s in a name? Sleepy Hollow was called North Tarrytown between 1874 and 1997. Voters approved the name change in part to celebrate the village’s Headless Horseman heritage.
Note: This article originally appeared in amNewYork and has been slightly modified since.
This fantastic vintage sticker survives outside an auto-repair shop in Tarrytown, N.Y. There’s a lot going on here for the “retrologically” inclined.
First, it harkens to the days when New York’s phone company was called NYNEX, which dates this to 1984-97. (NOTE: It was marketed as New York Telephone, a NYNEX company, from 1984 to 94, then just as NYNEX for three more years, but the Yellow Pages business was known as NYNEX during all those years.)
Second, it promotes the Yellow Pages! Who uses those anymore, even as booster seats?
Thirdly, it features the iconic “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking” logo.
And, my, that is one intense shade of yellow. (No filter needed.)
Text and photo: Rolando Pujol
#phones #phone #yellowpages #nynex #verizon #telephones #history #branding #tarrytown (Taken with Instagram)
What’s in a name? Well, on Metro-North, certain trains come with lovely names that evoke Hudson Valley lore.
My favorite is probably The Knickerbocker, which I had the good fortune to ride the other day. (Not that there is anything special about it other than the name.)
The Retrologist explored this subject recently, inspired by a ride on the Ichabod Crane. Both Diedrich Knickerbocker and the fictional Ichabod Crane are creations of America’s first true man of letters, Washington Irving, whose beloved home, Sunnyside, and burial grounds, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, can be visited by a quick jaunt on the Metro-North trains to Irvington or Tarrytown.
But it’s hard to say whether you’ll get lucky enough to ride one of these vintage cars on your trip to Irving country.
Find out a bit more about these old trains in my earlier post.
Text and photo: Rolando Pujol
One thing I love about old Metro-North trains is the romantic names bestowed to a good number of the aging beasts. One of my favorites? The “Ichabod Crane.”
There’s something very cool about the idea of riding the “Ichabod Crane” to, say, Tarrytown, the hometown of Washington Irving, who wrote “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and brought the Crane character to life.
In the 1999 movie, Johnny Depp played the gangly character, but I much prefer Jeff Goldblum’s performance in the 1980 TV movie, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which you can watch on YouTube (Part one is below.)
The names used by the railroad were astutely picked, reflecting a broad range of Hudson Valley region nomenclature. They included “The Knickerbocker,” “Bannerman Island,” “Storm King” and even featured political figures like Nelson Rockefeller and writers like Irving (naturally) and John Cheever, who commuted to Ossining, as “Mad Men” fans know too well.
Train photo: Rolando Pujol, taken in February 2011