With Your Coffee

Basse-Ville (Lower Town), Quebec City, looking up at Le Chateau Frontenac.

Happy weekend, everyone! What an exciting week in the news, and a very special Friday for everyone: #lovewins! It’s a nice change to have good news in the news as opposed to only terrible news. Hug your loved ones.  I hope your weekend is filled with good weather and lots of outside time. While you’re sipping your coffee, here are some interesting links to read.

Cheers! xo!

New York, New York

The oddest feeling came over me on my recent trip to New York City. Odd in the sense of unexpected as opposed to strange. What was it?

Central Park, NYC

Central Park, NYC

I realized just how much of a New Yorker I am. The characteristics of New York City slipped my mind over the years of being away. Like a flashback, I was struck by the familiarity of accents, of last names, of food, of the pace.

NYC Public Library is a perfect spot for preservationists.

NYC Public Library is a perfect spot for preservationists.

I’m a New Yorker (Long Islander, if we’re being specific), born and bred, though I’ve found my home as an adult to be in Burlington, Vermont. It’s been almost six years in Vermont, much less than my time in New York.

You get used to the culture of a new home after a while. In Vermont, you can go with the typical no billboards, a focus on the local economy, green mountains and blue skies, an outdoorsy crowd of people. You get used to the habits and quirks and standard practices of wherever you live. While I’ve yet to fall into the hiking and skiing culture, count me in for the local food, environmental love, the beauty of Lake Champlain, and the pure beauty of Vermont.

Growing up on Long Island, there were many, many families with the last name O’Shea. I competed in track with another Kaitlin O’Shea! In Vermont, there are only a few O’Sheas (no relation to me). Most everyone I knew on Long Island was Irish. That is not the case in Vermont. And studying Spanish for 9 years is not as useful in Vermont; French would have been a better choice.

A snowy evening in New York City.

A snowy evening in New York City.

It’s not that I thought I had lost the New Yorker in me; I just hadn’t thought about it in a while. Have you experienced that after being away from your childhood home for a while? Vermont is my home now, and one that I love, but it’s good to know that New York will always feel like home, too, and I know where my roots are. Like the saying goes, “You can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the girl.”

The Upper West Side on a lovely sunny afternoon.

The Upper West Side on a lovely sunny afternoon.

What about you? Have you ever felt something similar?

Mid-century Lodging: Lake Placid

Lake Placid, NY, nestled in the Adirondacks, is one of those perfect winter towns. Whether you’d rather be skiing or strolling and shopping down Main Street or taking a sled dog ride on Mirror Lake, the snow covered evergreen trees and constant snow flurries will delight you, particularly at Christmastime. My sister Annie O’Shea prefers to be sliding down Mount Van Hoevenberg on her sled at 80 mph (she’s on the USA Skeleton Team). When skeleton season rolls around, we typically find time to visit Lake Placid.

Lodging in Lake Placid provides an eclectic mix of luxury resorts, standard hotel accommodations, trailside cabins, small inns, and a look back to roadside America. The Lake House (part of High Peaks Resort) is a 1961 roadside motel. Rumor has it that the place was pretty run down and outdated until this spring 2014 when the hotel closed for a renovation. My family and I chose to stay here and we were pleasantly surprised. Imagine mid-century style combined with the Adirondack aesthetic in crisp, modern lines. Got it? Take a look at some of these pictures.

Welcome to the Lake House.

Welcome to the Lake House. Nice font, right?

Every room has a view of Mirror Lake (which was snow covered and difficult to see as a "lake").

Every room has a view of Mirror Lake (which was snow covered and difficult to see as a “lake”).

The lobby of the Lake House. It was a great spot for sitting by the fireplace (not shown, on right). The only downside was having to leave early on Friday because there was a private party in the lobby. That seemed odd for a hotel.

The lobby of the Lake House. It was a great spot for sitting by the fireplace (not shown, on right). The only downside was having to leave early on Friday because there was a private party in the lobby. That seemed odd for a hotel.

Another view of the lobby. Modern with the ski/ADK aesthetic, yes?

Another view of the lobby. Modern with the ski/ADK aesthetic, yes?

Logs (though the fireplace is gas) and a nice beverage. What better way to spend a chilly, snowy December evening?

Logs (though the fireplace is gas) and a nice beverage. What better way to spend a chilly, snowy December evening?

The chandelier - very creative!

The chandelier – very creative!

Another lobby view. Though the Christmas tree left much to be desired (it was a bad fake tree), everything else made up for it (unless you're my mother, who is still scarred from the cheesy tree).

Another lobby view. Though the Christmas tree left much to be desired (it was a bad fake tree), everything else made up for it (unless you’re my mother, who is still scarred from the cheesy tree).

Nice headboard in the room!

Nice headboard in the room!

The Lake House was great, and I’d recommend a stay there. It’s a great example of modernizing an outdated hotel while keeping the feel of its historic roots. See more photos on the website. What do you think?

And, of course, a view of the bobsled/skeleton track. Go Annie!

And, of course, a view of the bobsled/skeleton track. Go Annie!

Preservation Conferences All Around

Spring is conference season! Everywhere you look, there’s a new conference. Get ready to be invigorated by preservation and inspired by colleagues. Check out this brief list below. Add your own in the comments:

I’m excited to announce that Preservation in Pink will be featured at the Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference as part of the session “Getting Social for a Cause: Social Media and Historic Preservation.” (See the conference brochure, page 12, session C2.) With a theme of “Pride in Preservation” and an opportunity to share my love of social media and historic preservation, I’m honored to be included!

Session C2: Hope to see you there and meet new faces.

Session C2: Hope to see you there and meet new faces.

RIconfbrochure

A great program. Click to read about the conference.

Will you be there?

St. Patrick’s Day

The nation turns green today – food, drinks, clothing, rivers – and we feast on Irish Soda Bread, corned beef & cabbage, and perhaps have a drink or two, and wish each other Irish blessing. While we do this, it is important to remember that the Irish were among the waves of immigrants to New York who toiled for low wages, lived in sordid conditions, and struggled on a daily basis to make end’s meet and to make the lives of their children and grandchildren better than their own. Let’s be grateful to everyone who fought so hard, and respect those who continue to fight hard for better lives ahead. Are you Irish? Where from? With a name like O’Shea, I can’t hide the Irish (not that I would!)

Previous St. Patrick’s Day posts on PiP: Irish Soda Bread & A brief history of St. Patrick’s Day & an Irish blessing.

 

 

Preservation Photos #209

Classic railroad station brackets underneath large overhanging, flared eaves. Chester Depot, VT.

Classic railroad station brackets underneath large overhanging, flared eaves. Chester Depot, VT.

I’d love to be traveling home by train this Thanksgiving, but the Vermont to New York trains only run south in the morning. While I love to drive, the train is a great way to travel, too. How are you traveling home, if you are?

A Jaunt Through Buffalo

The trouble with fun events like the National Trust conference or any sort of vacation is that they come to an end, and you have to turn that car around and head home. Returning home is always nice, but following an excellent trip, it tends to be bittersweet. To give the journey home some excitement and adventure, I like to throw in a few surprises and let the preservation spirit guide me. This time I ended up in Buffalo, which was on my way home anyway. Knowing a handful of preservationists in Buffalo, I thought I’d drive into the city to see what it was like. After following Bernice & Dana on Twitter & Instagram, and hearing so much about Buffalo time, it seemed like a good time to visit.

The drive into Buffalo was very flat. It was an interesting layout - water, industry, highway, industry. While much seemed like shuttered factories and property on the outskirts, there seemed to be recent redevelopment occurring as you got closer to the city.

The drive into Buffalo was very flat. It was an interesting layout – water, industry, highway, industry. Buffalo presents an interesting transportation planning relic: placing the interstates along the waterways. It completely cuts off the community from the water access. While much seemed like shuttered factories and property on the outskirts, there seemed to be recent redevelopment occurring as you got closer to the city.

Mills and factories, oh my!

Mills and factories, oh my!

More of Buffalo's industrial heritage on display.

More of Buffalo’s industrial heritage on display.

After exiting the interstate you're suddenly in the land of beautiful architecture. Mr. Stilts was more than happy to pose for photo-ops.

After exiting the interstate you’re suddenly in the land of beautiful architecture. Mr. Stilts was more than happy to pose for photo-ops.

Building after building, Buffalo was stunning!

Building after building, Buffalo was stunning!

Holy scaffolding! That church is getting some love.

Holy scaffolding! That church is getting some love.

City Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings I've seen anywhere.

City Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen anywhere.

Adjacent to City Hall.

Adjacent to City Hall.

Wanting a cup of coffee, I recalled many of Bernice’s instagram posts about Sweetness 7 Cafe, so I thought I’d check it out.

Sweetness 7 Cafe in Buffalo.

Sweetness 7 Cafe in Buffalo.

The interior of Sweetness 7 Cafe. It is absolutely delicious food and coffee!

The interior of Sweetness 7 Cafe. It is absolutely delicious food and coffee!

And the best part of this visit into Buffalo? I met Bernice and Jason at Sweetness 7, because they happened to be there when I was. Both are preservation forces in the City of Buffalo; their work is incredible. How lucky I felt to meet another social media preservation pal. In one trip I met so many inspiring preservationists who I knew via social media relationships prior.

With Bernice in Sweetness 7.

With Bernice in Sweetness 7.

Buffalo, I’ll be back!

Preservation Photos #207

presphotos207.jpg

City Hall in Buffalo, NY

Have you traveled to Buffalo? On my way back from Indianapolis, I drove through Buffalo for the first time and was amazed by the architecture stock, including this breathtaking city hall buidling. I could stare at this building all day. And next time I’m there, I’m taking a tour.

Roadside Summer: Donnelly’s Ice Cream

If you’re in the Adirondacks near Saranac Lake, NY make sure to stop by Donnelly’s Ice Cream on Route 86. A small white building on the side of the road has been making soft serve ice cream since 1953 (with the same ice cream maker!). You line up in and out of the building to order, but only choose your size as their is one flavor per day. Homemade, locally made and a local favorite – what more could you want from ice cream in the summer? There’s plenty of parking and a great view and it’s delicious ice cream. Enjoy!

The front of Donnelly's.

The front of Donnelly’s.

The Registry of Very Special Places (Please do not confuse with the National Register of Historic Places).

The Register of Very Special Places (Please do not confuse with the National Register of Historic Places).

This is much appreciated for those of us who are indecisive.

This is much appreciated for those of us who are indecisive.

The smallest size.

The smallest size.

Adjacent to the ice cream shack.

Adjacent to the ice cream shack.

View while eating ice cream.

View while eating ice cream.

Donnelly's (and Annie O'Shea, USA Skeleton athlete).

Donnelly’s (and Annie O’Shea, USA Skeleton athlete).

The rear of the building.

The rear of the building.

Busy on a Sunday afternoon.

Busy on a Sunday afternoon.