I stumbled upon Plan Bee Farm Brewery with a google search. We were looking for a good day-hike in the Hudson Valley region, and seeing as a cold, fresh beer is probably the best way to end a long day on the trail, the location for our trek would have to be near a brewery (naturally). I don't remember what hike we ended up doing, if we even did one at all, but I found Plan Bee in Poughkeepsie with that search, and reached out via the general email on their website, asking if I could come and do a video about them. A cold call, basically. Co-owner/co-founder Emily Watson responded quickly, quicker than many of my friends respond to my emails, to be honest, and we got a date on the calendar to go shoot.
In addition to being a beautiful tract of undisturbed forest with numerous trails varying in length and difficulty, Sterling Forest Park was at one time owned and operated by Sterling Iron Works which mined and shipped iron ore on the land. The last of the mines closed in the 1920s, but there are quite a few old structures and ruins left behind on the property which are great for exploring and photographing, so even in December when the trees are bare and wildlife is scarce, there's plenty to see.
Trails within the park are really well marked and maintained so it was very easy to follow the map and chart our route. We chose the firetower as our midpoint goal, and it took us about 2 hours to get there from the visitor's center (granted, I was stopping a lot, to take a million photos.)
Another weekend of pleasant weather means another outing for the People Scouts of America, one in which I try desperately to earn my gun-totin' merit badge and gun safety diploma. Will I, or won't I? Read on to find out in about five seconds.
It was a trick question, because neither of those things exist.
The Suffolk County Shooting Range (possibly aka Suffolk County Skeet, Trap, and Sporting Clays) is about 2 hours from our native Brooklyn by car, in a town called Yaphank on Long Island. After a brief stop at Wendy's for some expectedly disappointing fast food and exceptionally terrible beverages (raspberry Coke? A near-gallon of "iced coffee" that looked and tasted more like sweetened iced milk?) we got started at the shooting range.
It's been a good bit longer than the hour-and-a-half my friend Matt said it would take to get to the Labyrinth rock scramble, so much longer that my mind is beginning to wander and I feel almost entertained by the fantastic notion that he's tricked me and we are actually embarking into the film Labyrinth, where at any moment he will morph into a glam-hair-having, makeup-wearing, spandex-sporting Bowie-esque character, and I of course will be the weeping male infant in a striped onesie with whom he absconds into the Goblin Kingdom's castle, built beyond an unsolvable maze.
cIt was a Sunday afternoon and I was on my way to Midtown to sell an iPad Mini to a Craig's List rando, very much looking forward to getting it over with so I could go home and sit on my couch and very purposely waste the day, when I got a text from my friend Brian: "Wanna grab lunch on City Island?" I pondered for a moment, and thought... fuck. Yes, I do. Dammit.
City Island had been on my to-do list for over a year, and given my resolution to squeeze every last drop out of the dwindling summer, I would have to rally some energy and the couch would have to wait.
Brian met me in Queens with his car and we got on the road. One thing that makes City Island a hidden gem of New York City is that you really need a car to get there, something most city-dwellers lack.