Refugees in New York Raise Awareness Through Fashion

Comments and photos provided by the Refugee Center in upstate New York…

The Heart of a Community

Refugee Welcome Center in Albany New York
Refugee Welcome Center

Albany, New York is both the center of the capital region and home to a number of diverse communities. Organizations like the West Hill Refugee Welcome Center (RWC) work tirelessly to create opportunities for its members, as well as an accepting atmosphere for those who are looking for a collaborative space to make lasting connections. 

Building Lasting Connections

The RWC works toward building a sustainable community that is supportive of its more established members as it is welcoming of newcomers. The center is known for its efforts in helping refugees polish their skills and tools they need to thrive as newcomers in the United States. They achieve this by organizing youth activities such as movie nights; mentorship programs; as well as safe and affordable housing. They also offer English and civics classes, and space to grow their gardens.

Local Partnerships

This summer, the RWC partnered with two local professors, Dr. Vera Eccarius-Kelly and Dr. Alison Schaeffing, with the purpose of creating a community museum with refugees living in the underserved West Hill neighborhood. A group of 12 Americorp fellows, students, many of whom are refugees themselves, were also involved in the program, which was facilitated by the Siena Project Incubator (SPIn), hosted by Siena College.

Unforeseen Obstacles

The supervisors and their fellows had originally hoped to engage with the RWC by developing a museum exhibit that showcased the voices of refugees. However, the spread of the coronavirus created several obstacles for the group.

They instead started a virtual fashion series, titled “For Us By Us.” The series features West Hill community members who showcase thee refugee community through fashion. 

Learn how men and women dress across different cultures.

For Us, By Us: A Fashion Series

The “For Us By Us” project highlights more than just beautiful clothing. Descriptions of the outfits written by the models tells you more about the history of the garment and its use.

The project strives to provide a space for refugees to share their experiences, stories, and needs with the wider Albany community. The SPIn fellows hope that the future will allow them to use the images and their descriptions from the series as a feature in a new museum exhibit that will eventually be created through this initiative.

Meet the Models

Jeanne Sinzinkayo is not only a curator of the “For Us, By Us” Series, she is also a model for the fashion show. Along with another member of the AmeriCorps team, she is researching the Banyamulenge struggle for recognition, with the long term goal of publication of digital information for a virtual museum exhibit. With both projects, she hopes to serve as a record keeper for the unheard voices and experiences of the diverse communities, along with developing a comprehensive case study to publish.

Jeanne Sinzinkayo in an iribaya and ipantaro
Jeanne Sinzinkayo in an iribaya and ipantaro

Jeanne Sinzinkayo: This blue outfit is a two-piece set in African clothing. The top is called iribaya (shirt) and the bottom part is called ipantaro. This is the most common for everyone of all ages. Usually, younger women would wear this as is or pair the iribaya (shirt) with a skirt (ijipo). Older married women would wear the iribaya (shirt) with another piece of igitange as their skirt. It is handmade and it is very versatile. It can be used interchangeably. For example, the top could be worn with jeans, and the pants could be worn with t-shirts. To save money and time, there are extra stitches so if one gains weight, one can take out some of the stitches to make the clothes lose to fit. The cloth itself is high-quality so it can sustain longer. 

Jeanne Sinzinkayo in an Banyamulenge Ibubu
Jeanne Sinzinkayo in an Ibubu

This yellow dress is called ibubu. This is commonly worn by older women in the Banyamulenge community of Congo. It is loose and it gives you room to be able to move around. It is typically worn with a headpiece because older women from the Banyamulenge community cover their heads as a sign of respect. When it is worn by younger women, they usually wear it without the headpiece. 

Jeanne Sinzinkayo in an Igitange
Jeanne Sinzinkayo in an Igitange

This green outfit is made out of a fabric called igitange. It is a set with pants and a long blazer, the blazer is called ikoti (jacket) and the pants are called ipantaro (pants). This is usually worn by younger women and it can be made for men as well. After selecting the fabric you can take it to the tailor with a design and they will make the outfit for you. 

Ethnic tunics have become part of mainstream fashion globally.

Balqees Sayed is also a SPIns Fellow, a model, and a local resident of the West Hill community.  She is a recent graduate of Russell Sage College. She has been volunteering at the RWC for the past two years. Balqees is working as a part-time Program Coordinator at the RWC after graduation.

 Balqees Sayed in an Afghani Kamees
 Balqees Sayed in an Afghani Kamees

Balqees Sayed: I love wearing my Afghani Kamees (ethnic Pashtun dress). For me, this is an opportunity to show another part of who I am. I am not just a girl from a developing country. I am not oppressed. I am not controlled by men. This is a vintage dress worn by Kuchi women (Pashtun nomads). My ancestors were nomads. Traveling to colder areas in summer and warmer areas in winter. These dresses are perfect for colder weather in summer. It is very loose and has a huge pocket where you can store many things. And this is all handmade!

When I bought it, my mom sewed some torn parts of the dress. This is more than just a dress. This is a part of who I am. This is the beauty of my culture. This is what the media fails to see. We are humans. We have cultures. We have insights. We are smart. This is an Afghani kamees, to all the white people out there appropriating our culture. This is not a “boho” dress. This is a handmade Kochani kamees (nomadic dress). 

Handmade Dress by Balqees Sayed
Handmade Dress by Balqees Sayed

The second dress was designed by me and my mother. Then it was sewn by my aunt. In Afghanistan, people who know how to make clothes, sew their own clothes. It is a very traditional way of wearing clothes. This dress was made from scratch, except the chest part which I bought from a vintage shop. This dress is usually worn in parties and different formal and informal occasions. 

Model Ishaque Ismail in a traditional Afghan

Ishaque Ismail: Men’s fashion is a way to express yourself. People can tell a lot about you just by looking at your outfit. This is a traditional Afghan male dress. It is called shalwar kameez. I wear it on Eid and to weddings.

Muzzamil Khiljee continually strives to spread love and acceptance throughout all of his lyrics. He has persistently fought for his work and message throughout his changing environments. Sip has continued to drop high-quality music with top-notch production to attract a mainstream crowd, all the while fostering the same message that culture is not necessarily just black and white. Music is unity; music is the culture that brings everyone together.

Muzzamil Khiljee in a handmade logo outfit

Muzzamil Khiljee: As a Hip-Hop fan, this handmade “culture” logo that you see on the back of my jacket is an international brand by one of the most talented Afghan hip hop/rap recording artists called Sip.

Continue Spreading Awareness

Looking for ways to become a part of the cause? Consider donating to the West Hill Refugee Welcome Center today, or, if you are a local of the Capital Region in Albany, consider volunteering at the Center and make a difference in a fellow community member’s life.

This Country Has the Best Olive Oil & You Didn’t Even Know It!

When you think of good quality olive oils which countries come to mind – Italy or Spain? But did you know Croatia is emerging as the best olive-growing region in the world? Total Croatia News reported that Flos Olei, the first and most respected guide to the best olive oils in the world premiered their 2018 edition where over 500 world producers from 50 countries participated, of which 75 producers were from Istria, the peninsula located at the head of the Adriatic.

Yes, I picked up a bottle of olive oil during my last visit to Croatia!

I was also fortunate to meet one of these award-winning olive oil producers at A Taste of Croatia with Chiavalon Extra Virgin Oil hosted by Drusk Trading Company at Oro Restaurant in Long Island City, NY. The founders of the olive oil company, Tedi and Sandi Chiavalon shared their interesting story with the attendees over fine Croatian food and wine.

Sandi was only 13 years old when he got into his grandfather’s olive groves. After his grandpa passed away, he decided not only to tend to the 50 olive trees left behind, he learned everything there was to learn about olives. He worked odd job and used his savings to buy 100 trees, graduated from the Agricultural Secondary School in Poreč, and enrolled at the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. As business expanded, his brother joined in and they have over 7,500 olive trees producing more than 20,000 liters of olive oil.

What sets this first generation family-run producer apart is their dedication to quality. They harvest and process the olives the same day and produce certified 100% organic extra virgin olive oil from Istria. In 2016, the World’s Best Olive Oils included Chiavalon among the TOP 25 organic olive oil producers in the world!

“Our great advantage in the production of high quality olive oil. The secret lies in lower temperatures, thanks to which olive trees have a shorter vegetation period and the oil accumulation in its fruit begins later than in southern regions. When summer heat waves strike southern areas, the fruit already contains oil, so the high temperatures cause a considerable decrease in its quality. On the other hand, here in Istria, the accumulation of oil begins after the period of high temperatures has passed and can no longer have a negative effect on oil quality. This results in high quality extra virgin olive oil of an intense flavor and aroma, and elegant notes of various herbs,” say the Chiavalons.

Now to the taste test. How do you tell when a olive oil is good? Just like wine, olive oil has color, flavor and aroma. Good olive oil is generally more green in color than yellow. Take a sip, close your mouth and breathe through your nose. When you push the olive oil to the corner of your mouth, you should taste grass, artichokes or something spicy, bitter and earthy, never sweet. There may be fruity characteristics, nutty, buttery and elegant notes of various herbs.

Good olive oil when paired with the right ingredients, can enhance a dish significantly, as I found out through a 5-course dinner prepared by chef Djani Barbis, a notable NY chef of Croatian descent.


Dishes featured from the Croatian coastal regions of Istria and Dalmatia, included seabass tartare with lemon foam, octopus salad, seafood pasta with squid ink, filet mignon with champignon mushrooms, and delicate fruit crepes stuffed with fig-ricotta and wine-walnuts. Each dishes complimented very well with Chiavalons’ world-renowned extra virgin olive oil, and took me back to memories of being in Croatia.

If you can afford to take a trip to wander around the historic city of Zagreb, interact with the friendly locals of Samobar, or drive around the coast near Dubrovnik, then you won’t be disappointed by the scenery or the food! Personally, I will be dreaming of having olive oil, wine and truffles in Istria. In the meantime, click here to order Chiavalon olive oil online.

New York City’s Best Subway Art Guide

As a native New Yorker or a tourist looking to explore the city, you’ll no doubt take the subway. While crazy New York City subway stories make you crave a cab, New York’s underground can be a great experience, too. This is especially true is you’re into colorful creativity, as art in the subway abounds!

NYC takes its title as one of the world’s art capitals seriously, so expect to come across some of the finest art in the city just taking the subway. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for the various gems you’re sure to come across —  especially when it comes to the five installations listed below!

1. Life Underground

art in the subway
Where: 14 St @ Eighth Avenue Station

This 16-year-old installation captures “life in New York,” and is one of the city’s best pieces of art in the subway. Artist Tom Otterness used over a dozen bronze sculptures to depict everything from the homeless being watched over by police to New York’s famous sewer gators chomping on the head of a wealthy citizen. It’s easy to rush through the city when it comes to a commute, but these playful figures are worth slowing down for! Stop by the 14th ST/Eight Avenue Station to see Life Underground.

2. Happy World

art in the subway
Where: Flushing/Main Street

Flushing is often noted as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city — a fact that Ik-Joong Kang made a point of celebrating with this art piece. Happy World uses over two thousand hand-painted ceramic tiles to depict various aspects of the large world Kang saw in Flushing and beyond. This includes many different people, events and views of NYC. With so much happening all at once, it can be comforting to see it condensed into a single installation (even if condensed refers to over two-thousand tiles!).

3. REACH

Where: 34th St/Herald Sqaure

Suspended above the N/R platforms of this station, there is a green bar with sensors that run along its side. While this horizontal rack has a tendency to go unnoticed by commuters, it’s actually a brilliant piece of interactive art in the subway that encourages New Yorkers to communicate with one another, even at their busiest. Waving your hands in front of the sensors causes a light to flicker on, and a sound to come from the rack on the opposite platform. With this unique musical instrument, those on the downtown and uptown platforms can interact without a single word!

4. My Coney Island Baby

Where: Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue

There are a number of creative reasons to make your way down to Brooklyn’s Coney Island. NYC street art is one, while the other is the artwork of Robert Wilson. Showcasing Nathan’s Hot Dog stand and other famous attractions, this installation features a wall of glass bricks showcasing silkscreened images. The format of this unusual, yet unique, exhibit makes the pictures especially alluring on sunny days when light streams in, illuminating the images. While adding whimsical fun to your commute, it’s one reason to plan your Coney Island trip for a sunny day!

5. Elevated

Where: Lexington Avenue/63rd St

With the Second Avenue Station nearly a decade in the making, artist Jean Shin had to pull out all the stops when planning her contribution. Sure enough, her mural “Elevated” is a standout even among the world-class art of this brand new subway line. In addition, this piece spans over three levels of the station. It depicts the construction done to dismantle the Second and Third Avenue line, along with stills of commuters. Furthermore, all levels are composed of ceramic tile, glass mosaic and laminated glass. This piece works to connect the past of New York to the present. And this is something you can be a part of for yourself, now that this new subway line is open!

~ By guest blogger, Shania Russell, a senior at Bronx Academy of Letters with a passion for writing. She has used programs such as Young Playwrights Inc., The Moth and Girls Write Now to channel these passions. Russell is the managing editor of her school’s literary magazine, One Pen. When not busied, she can be found with her nose in a book or humming the tune of whatever musical soundtrack she is obsessed with that week. THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON NYC TOURS & PHOTO SAFARIS. 

10 Reasons to Visit Dutchess County, New York

A trip to downstate New York can offer a quick escape; with beautiful natural surroundings, charming towns, farm to table dining, wineries, and more.
 
If you plan your trip in advance, you can also catch some of the local festivals and concerts that happen in New York’s Dutchess County.

Here are the top 10 Events in Dutchess County:

1. March – St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Held on first Saturday in March, each year the Committee selects an outstanding community person to lead the parade who is the Grand Marshal.
 
2. April – Wappinger Creek Water Derby. Who says you need to get to the Caribbean to scuba dive? Take lessons, compete in canoe races, and more, right here in New York.
 
3. May – Rhinebeck 2016 Antique Car Show & Swap Meet. Check out antique and classic cars on display at this 3-days long car show.
 
4. MayWW II Living History, USO Show, Bivouac, and Memorial Day Events include the 75th Anniversary of FDR Presidential Library & Museum and Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, and 100th NPS anniversary.
 
5. June – Country Living Fair, Rhinebeck. This weekend-long fair includes art displays, live concerts,  food tastings, and dozens of themed gardens to keep the entire family entertained.
Dutchess County Fair
Dutchess County Fair
6. June – Discover Hudson Valley Bike Ride. Explore forests, waterfalls, hills, and gorgeous surroundings of the Hudson Valley on a guided bike tour.
 
7. July – DCRCOC Balloon Festival, Poughkeepsie. Over 100 hot air balloons are launched from the banks of the Hudson River, against the backdrop of a picture-perfect sunset.
 
Dutchess County Balloon Festival
Dutchess County Balloon Festival
 
8. August – Jazz in the Valley, Poughkeepsie. An annual festival, showcasing music performed by world-class musicians, fittingly complemented by breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley as a backdrop.
 
new york jazz festival
 
9. September – Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival & HV Craft Beer Festival. Taste local products including beer, cider, spirits, wine, and food at this weekend-long gastronomic festival.
 
10. October – New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. Features livestock displays, competitions, art display, cooking demonstrations, and lots of kid’s activities.
 
Dutchess County festivals
Dutchess County Festivals

To learn more about spending a weekend in downstate New York, read this post by GoEatGive.

~ Information sourced from Dutchess County Tourism. 

How To Spend a Weekend in Westchester, New York

If you have made it up to Hudson Valley on your weekend getaway from New York City, also check out a precious gem in the area – Westchester County. There is an easily accessible train ride or quick road trip that will get you away from the city in just a few hours. If you need some inspiration to get out and explore your own backyard, here are some stops that will help in designing your perfect weekend getaway in the New York state.

Taste The Freshest Maple Syrup

Taste some of the best maple in the world at Crown Maple at Madava Farms. Their certified-organic maple products are so pure, you can taste the woods! Take a tour of the technologically advanced facility and learn how maple is harvested. Sample different kinds of syrups and homemade pastries freshly made on the premise. The 800-acres property of Madava Farms is open to the public for picnicking and hiking too. It’s a great place to enjoy the peaceful and scenic outdoors, located only 80 miles from the city.

visit a maple farm in new york
Maple syrups, rubs and coffee at Madava Farms

Drink Hudson Valley Wines

There are over 35 wineries in the Hudson Valley. If you have limited time and can only pick one to visit, go to award-winning Millbrook Vineyards and Winery’s 30 acres of vines plantations growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and an Italian grape varietal called Tocai Friulano. The winery officially opened for tours and tastings in 1988 and today, it produces between 10-12,000 cases of wine annually.

wine tasting in new york
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

Grab a Gourmet Lunch

For lunch, stop at Babette’s Kitchen, offering gourmet salads, pastas, sandwiches, and entrees, cooked using local and seasonal ingredients. They pride themselves in having long lasting relationships with local farmers who supply them with the best produce that the Hudson Valley has to offer. You can also get boxed lunches to-go and hop on a scenic train ride or road trip.

Admire the Local Art

Contemporary art lovers would want to include a stop at Dia: Beacon art gallery. Occupying a former Nabisco box printing factory that is located on the banks of the Hudson River, Dia:Beacon presents Dia’s collection of unusual art installations and spaces, such as white on white, homepage to the square, fluorescent lights and more. Since its opening in May 2003, Dia:Beacon has helped transform the city of Beacon into a vibrant art destination for visitors from the region, New York City, and beyond.

Step Back in History

Thereafter, take a tour of Lyndhurst Mansion, one of America’s finest Gothic Revival mansions. Overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, the architectural brilliance of the residence, is complemented by the park-like landscape of the estate and a comprehensive collection of original decorative arts. It was designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis and its noteworthy occupants include former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.

visit historic Mansion in new york
Lyndhurst Mansion

Dinner on The River

Dinner at Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen is a must! The restaurant and market showcases producers located throughout the Hudson Valley. Menu includes a variety of fresh seafood, poultry and meat, paired with local wines. The rustic decor of the restaurant with its restored wood ceiling, brings the outdoors inside, and gives a subtle reminder of the restaurants’ sustainable initiates.

Visit Happy Farm Animals

Those interested in learning about where their food comes from, can visit the Stone Barn Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown. Here you can meet some happy chicken, pigs and sheep, who are treated humanely. The center also offers educational day camps for kids to learn about farming, livestock and sustainable eating.

animal farm visit in new york
Stone Barn Center for Food and Agriculture

Take a Tran Ride to Yonkers

Yonkers is an interesting suburb, where many New York City commuters also reside. Here you can visit the Hudson River Museum to see six art galleries, the Andrus Planetarium, and Glenview Mansion, which is a historic house museum of 1876. Taste local brews at Yonkers Brewery and enjoy a delicious meal at award-winning chef Peter Kelly’s restaurant, Xaviar X20 on the Hudson. A ride back to Grand Central is only 30 minutes aboard Metro-North Railroad.

This trip was coordinated by I Love New York, the state’s official tourism board.

Read Part 1 of my upstate New York experience in Duchess County.

Weekend in Hudson Valley Region, New York

Hudson Valley Region, not often is this what comes to mind when I think of New York. When I think of New York, images of the city’s bustling streets, neon lights, Broadway musicals, top chef restaurants, and shopping at 5th Avenue fill up my head.

However, The State of New York is actually incredibly vast and has a lot more to offer than Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. For the first time, I took a train starting at Grand Central Station to explore the surrounding areas of downstate, New York.

Hudson Valley Region, NY

Hudson River Bridge, Poughkeepsie, Hudson Valley Region, NY
Hudson River Bridge

The Hudson Valley area is roughly 150 miles long and covers various counties. It is easily connected to New York City by train and makes for fun weekend getaways. 

Poughkeepsie, NY

A 2-hour ride on Metro-North Railroad took me along the Hudson River to the city of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess county. A short walk from the train station to the elevator led to the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, spanning 212′ above the Hudson River and 1.28 miles across. This is a great place to get a good view of the river and the surrounding foliage, especially during spring and fall. During the season, there are concerts, open-air movies, marathons, and festivals taking place in the historic state park.

Vanderbilt Mansion in the Hudson Valley Region, NY
Vanderbilt Mansion

Poughkeepsie has several restaurants, hotels, and shops that sustain tourism in the area. Shadows restaurant offers a great view of the Hudson and is often used for large events, such as wedding receptions. Also, nearby is the Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park.

Here, you can visit the Roosevelt family home, burial site, see the president’s personal library, and an interactive museum. Just a few minutes drives away is the Vanderbilt Mansion, one of the smaller homes owned by the family. After spending an afternoon in the area, you begin to picture what affluence and stature the neighborhood had up until only a few decades ago.

Vanderbilt Mansion Interior, Hudson Valley Region, NY
Vanderbilt Mansion Interior

Food lovers can take a break at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for dinner. The oldest and most well known culinary school in the country offers four student-run restaurants. Here when you dine, you will become part of their classroom experience. The CIA’s new 800-seat, state-of-the-art Ecolab Auditorium in the Marriott Pavilion makes it possible for visitors to experience one of Half Moon Theatre’s New York-style theatrical productions after enjoying a meal at The Bocuse RestaurantAmerican Bounty, or Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici.

Rhinebeck, NY

Rhinebeck is a charming city to stay overnight. Check into America’s oldest continuously operated hotel, Beekman Arms, for luxurious accommodations in a historic setting. Next day, stroll around the downtown area, shopping for antiques, clothes, and local products, as well as boutiques and dining at historic taverns. Not to miss is Oliver Kita Confectionaries for hot chocolate, cupcakes, and handmade chocolate truffles. Terrapin Restaurant features farm-fresh organic cuisine under the guidance of award-winning Chef Josh Kroner. There are over 30 wineries in this area and many of them are offered on the menu, paired with locally raised duck, venison, and chicken.

Oliver Kita in Rhinebeck NY, Hudson Valley Region
Oliver Kita in Rhinebeck

Early December is a good time to visit Rhinebeck for the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas, where a local resident dresses up in a Santa-bishop like attire, accompanied by his long-time sidekick, the Grumpus, as well as the entire town parading through the town.

Overall, the Hudson Valley Region is a historical and culturally intriguing place to explore, just a short way outside of the city!

~This trip was coordinated by I Love New York, the state’s official tourism board.

Read Part 2 of my upstate New York experience in Westchester.

Farm to table in upstate New York

The city of New York is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world. But if you want to experience real food that is served directly from the farms, head north within the state to Lake Placid, NY. Located near USA/ Canada border, Lake Placid is nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains and home to several cattle, dairy and maple farms.

Many of the restaurants in Lake Placid incorporate locally produced ingredients in their menu. Visit the Lake Placid Farmers’ Market to get an idea of what’s in season and who’s producing it. Even the chefs and restauranteurs pick up fresh produce daily from the farmers market.

Chef David Hunt at the Generations Restaurant which is adjacent to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort is a strong believer of serving fresh and local. He pick up gallons of maple syrup from Uihlein and blueberries from local farms to create his signature pancakes for breakfast. Chef Hunt is also known for cooking the best cuts of steaks directly on a Himalayan pink rock salt stone, that is delivered sizzling to your table.

generations lake placid

Cheese plates serving award winning chèvre, feta and soft cheese from Asgaard Farms can be found on menus all over the city. Certified organic fresh vegetables are sourced from Juniper Hill Farm and  Fledgling Crow. Farmers in Lake Placid take great pride in producing good quality food without the use of artificial treatments or pesticides.

asgaard farm lake placid

Another good place to enjoy a delicious light lunch is at KANU located at The Whiteface Lodge.  Typical spa meals are bento-box style and include salads, fruits and grains. Its the perfect ending to any massage or facial at The Whiteface Lodge.

kanu spa lake placid

The fried Brussels sprouts at Liquids and Solids are to die for! The quintessential neighborhood hangout place serves a wide selection of local Ale’s, one of a kind cocktails and international inspired small plates.

liquids & solidePerhaps, the best places to eat in Lake Placid is the Artisan’s restaurant, located inside Lake Placid Lodge. The restaurant’s patio overlooks the lake and makes for a fine romantic sunset dinner. On a chilly night, you can bundle up with complimentary blankets and sit next to the burning fireplace and enjoy great views through the high windows. Here you can sample Chef Nathan Rich’s seasonally inspired dishes where local flavors blend perfectly leaving you wanting for another bite. 

lake placid lodge

 

Secrets of Lake Placid

The Lake Placid I am going to tell you about has nothing to do with the giant, 30-foot-long man-eating crocodile that terrorizes people as depicted in the movies Lake Placid, Lake Placid 2, Lake Placid 3 or Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. This Lake Placid is a beautiful vacation village located in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York.

Continue reading “Secrets of Lake Placid”

Yummiest goat milk caramels

I’m having a caramel withdrawal. I brought back a box of fresh caramels from Asgaard Farm and Dairy in upstate New York, and am upset that I didn’t buy more! These caramels are hand made with goats’ milk (cajeta) and sea salt. They are soft, chewy and they melt as soon as you put them in your mouth. The only thing I don’t like about the Asgaard Farm caramels is that once you eat one, you cannot stop. Continue reading “Yummiest goat milk caramels”