A trip up the Hudson.
A trip up the Hudson.

We always use our time wisely on the train “to and from” the farm.  We were each wrapped up in our computers when we heard the sudden exclamation, “Wow, I haven’t seen you guys in years!”

We both looked upward to see an acquaintance from the past.  It had been a decade since we had last seen him, and it was prescient that he bumped into us on the train.

“This is the first time I’ve ever taken the train up the Hudson,” he said.  “It’s so amazingly beautiful.”

We chatted with him for a few minutes more and then he returned to his seat.  We looked at each other, shut our computers and looked out the window and the swiftly passing beauty of the Hudson River Valley.

Having made the trip so many times, we had taken it for granted for too long.

I realized that in all the “To & From” blogs I’ve written over the past year, I had never once given readers a glimpse of what the trip itself is like.

Here are a few of the favorite vistas along the way:

The Henry Hudson Bridge
The Henry Hudson Bridge

When I was completing my medicine residency at Columbia University, I would often sit in Inwood Hill Park looking at this bridge.  Now I recognize it as the very beginning of the trip to The Beekman.

Kykuit
Kykuit

Kykuit the Rockefeller estate in Pocantico Hills has a security system comparable to Fort Knox and houses a vast art collection hidden in bombproof underground chambers that form a vast network of rooms and tunnels beneath the house.

West Point
West Point

West Point was built on a narrow point in the Hudson River.  During the Revolutionary War a chain was stretched across the entire breadth of the river to prevent passage by the British forces.

Bannerman's Castle
Bannerman's Castle

Bannerman’s Castle-the most striking site on our trip is the ruin of the Bannerman Castle.  It sits on a small piece of land in the middle of the Hudson called Pollepell Island which Francis Bannerman, an ammunition’s dealer, purchased for $1,500 in 1900.  It was all but destroyed by an explosion in the 1920s and sits eerily at the center of many a Hudson ghost story

Blithewood Mansion
Blithewood Mansion

Blithwood is near Annandale on Hudson and now belongs to Bard College

The lighthouse at Hudson
The lighthouse at Hudson

Whenever I see the Hudson lighthouse, I know that the journey is almost done.  Hudson is a wonderful town full of high-end antique shops.

Albany
Albany

Josh’s grandfather owned the cement company that built the buildings that distinguish the skyline of Albany, the end of our train journey.

What vistas have you been overlooking on your daily commute?

by Dr. Brent

Reader Comments

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Marge

What a beautiful reminder of the rich tapestry of the land where I grew up. Trips up the Hudson, apple picking in the Fall and countless dips in cool streams. N.Y. is so magical in my memories. Thanks for sharing.

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Laura Maythenyi

Hi Brent,

Years ago I use to do alot of weddings at Glenmere. It was starting to decline back then. The new owners have done amazing things there. I will have to ask my husband if his company did the steel work. They come in to shop where I work every week, and I am hoping to have time to go over for lunch this summer. There are so many amazing places tucked along the Hudson.

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Jonothan

For the past few years I lived in Bronx NY and a picture with Henry Hudson Bridge reminded me of the views you can see out of the window, riding the subway.

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Roger

Dr. Brent:

I have only been through upstate New York one time but it was in the autumn and I can still remember the beautiful scenery, the vivid colors as trees were changing, leaves were falling, and evergreen trees were interspersed through the reds, golds, and yellows. My brother and I were driving a large moving truck loaded with all of my belongings. I was moving from Boston to Los Angeles. We were surprised to see how beautiful the countryside of upstate New York is … such scenic beauty outside and apart from "the city". I enjoyed seeing parts of the former Erie Canal and the many small farms which somehow look different from those which dot the landscape in 'the west'.

I would love to drive through the area again, or take the train like you do.

Thank you for posting such lovely photos on your website. You guys have a good eye for scenic photography!

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DB

I commute DOWN the Hudson, ferrying ON the Hudson, every day. You get your choice: Looking right traces the old rotten-rock crags of the lower Palisades, remnants of and ancient mountain range atop which Edgewater, Weehawken, West New York and others go about their sub-urban day. 180 degrees to the left, you trace the skyline of Manhattan – itself tracing a now-buried pair of mountain peaks; the bedrock of the City's skyscrapers. I imagine, someday, counting – maybe photographing – all the (must be) ten thousand wooden water tanks on rooftops of city homes and offices and former factories. The water-crossing transforms us at both intersections of each day. Lives lived in/on waves.

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Will

Brent, I tried to include the photo in my post so you could see it, but it didn't show up 🙁

I agree…they are like giant alien beings in such a stark environment. I just enjoy getting out the daily routine…I find it healthy to disengage several times a year.

If you ever need help boxing soap orders, I'm your volunteer. I'll work for free just to get to see the town of Sharon Springs!

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Will

A few days ago during vacation, I was driving my rental car down a rather boring stretch of interstate from L.A. to Palm Springs. As the sun was rising, I just randomly grabbed my iPhone and snapped a quick shot of the windmill farms. Even at freeway speeds, the cellphone captured a fantastic morning light. A stark desert view can be so pretty.

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tyler

a lovely reminder. thank you for sharing as i'm unfamiliar with the idyllic scenery of your hudson river jaunt. fantastic and so loaded with history! living in the midwest, st. louis had its 'heyday' nearly 100 years ago. my home and the surrounding areas are that same age and i often overlook the run-down mansions of long ago while taking short-cuts in the city, through gaslight square, and by world's fair pavilions of the past. a ghost town now for sure but not to be forgotten.

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Nicholas

I really enjoyed this record of a lovely trip up the Hudson. I occasionally spend time in Athens, NY and am familiar with a few of the points along the way. My daily commute is from Red Hook, Brooklyn to the West Side of Manhattan; not that far but filled with points of interest. I ride along the water in Brooklyn getting great views of the tall ships downtown. Then past the brownstones and cafes of Brooklyn Heights over the Brooklyn Bridge. Jogging around City Hall and over to the Hudson, in face, which I ride up to 39th st, near my studio. It's a bit different, but nice all the same.

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Linda

Beautiful! Kind of like "stop and smell the roses along the way……."

I've decided that I have always, and WILL always, enjoy the journey as much, if not more, than the destination.

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Elaine

Hi, Dr. Brent!

That first picture is just stunning! That is a lovely trip that you take each week. It is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Have a good rest of the week.

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Linda Rodriguez

I'm salivating at how beautiful your trip was! I grew up in NY and for me, the Empire State Building and our Twin Towers always made my heart race. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story!

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John

I travel a couple of times a month from Los Angeles to my folks' home in San Diego. During the summer, I time my trip so that I am buzzing along Highway 5 above the ocean south of San Clemente as the sun sets. That stretch of freeway cuts through the last empty tract between San Diego and the Orange County/Los Angeles County "megalopolis". After all these years, the sight of the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean rolling out to the horizon as the last rays of the setting sun dance on the breakers never ceases to bring a sigh and a sense of peace. I'm glad you guys looked up from your computers and soaked up all that Hudson River beauty.

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