Sunday, December 18, 2016

Pre-Christmas Expedition

It's a week until Christmas, and I had a little free time this afternoon before I had to be at work. Having an aversion to shopping malls at even the least congested times, I decided to visit places far from the shopping crowd. I decided, oddly enough, to visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery on an unseasonably warm, but overcast day. Of course, the premier occupant of the cemetery is beloved local figure Washington Irving- author, diplomat, bon vivant. Irving's grave is perpetually festooned with an American flag, appropriate for the United States' first successful professional author and a public servant of long standing:

The fence surrounding the Irving plot was decorated with a wreath:

This is appropriate, seeing that Irving wrote extensively of English and American Christmas celebrations.

Watching over the Irving plot was a regal red tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis):

After bidding goodbye to Mr Irving and his avian overseer, I headed to Kingsland Point Park because I'd heard that the lighthouse was illuminated for the holidays. Sure enough, the beacon lamp was lit, and some small lights, barely visible in the gathering dusk, were strung along the tower:

Note the construction of the bridge to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background.

After spending some time braving the wind off the river, I decided that I would thaw out by heading into downtown Sleepy Hollow in order to buy empanadas from the Los Andes Bakery for an early dinner. Los Andes is the perfect place to enjoy Chilean baked goods and Chilean hospitality. After joking with the counter-help for a while, I settled upon two empanadas and a torta mil hojas and bought a box of alfajores for my co-workers.

Every once in a while, I write about Sleepy Hollow, an interesting little working-class village with an extensive Latino population (about 50%). It's the sort of community that send a xenophobe into a tizzy, but I've always found the residents to be hospitable. It's funny how not being an asshole tends to be rewarded... though to be fair, being an asshole is all-too-often rewarded even more handsomely. Oh, well, it's not like an asshole would get a chuckle and a warm season's greeting from the empanada baker.

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