Category Archives: NYCMetro

Want to save bees and butterflies? Turn your lawn into a habitat!

I have turned my front and back lawns into habitats for native insects. American lawns are modled after British manor homes. Trying to achieve this archaic ideal has become so standard it’s cliche.

Tall native grasses of the Northeast were decimated to make way for smaller tropical and genetically modified smaller species which are easy to cut.

I’ve learned from untold research that trees, native plants and tall grasses that are allowed to flower provide the most food for native and migrating pollinators like bees and butterflies. Birds that do not migrate also benefit from seeds of mature grasses during the lean winter months when food is scarce.

My yard is a combination of food garden while the remaining is a native and non-native plants. Since I’ve changed from a manor house grass lawn I’ve had so many visitors to my lawn!

native goldenrod
Goldenrod-Native Plant
Spider laid it’s eggs on my American yew-Native
Native mantis on Mint (not native)

So basically, as stated in 1989’s Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Native Plant Center for native plants in your part of the United States.

Upcoming Native Plant Sales in New York Tri-State 2018



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My Favorite Halloween Activities in New York City Metro

Super Mario t-shirts

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Bane Haunted House Is the best haunted house experience in NYC Tri-State. You will be touched, you will be yelled at, you will slide down slides, be put in a box. You will be scared, you will laugh, you will be ENTERTAINED!! It’s an AMAZING experience. Plus Groupon has discounts!

Location: Bane, Livingston, NJ

Brighton Asylum This haunted house isn’t just Halloween, Brighton hosts Halloween all year round. It’s all live actors, they have interactive zombie shooting in some houses. If you wear a glow necklace they will enhance the haunting experience-scream in your face, touch you, all that fun stuff! My favorite haunted experience was Brighton’s Christmas Haunted House!

Location: Brighton Asylum, Passaic, NJ

Horseman’s Hollow is in the actual Sleepy Hollow, not to far down the road from Irvington, where Mr. Washington Irving himself lived. The event takes place on an actual plantation owned by one of America’s first wealthy families the Philipses. On regular days you can go and learn how the slaves who lived and worked on the plantation lived (well worth the trip for you American History fans). During the month of October experience the fright of the Headless Horseman on his giant black steed riding the grounds along with other 18th Century ghosts including Red Coats and Ichabod Crane! My favorite memory of this event was watching my mother and aunt throw my youngest brother straight into the Devil who resides in the barn. Hilarious!

Address: Plilipsburgh Manor, 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

The first time I went to Rye Playland’s Scared by the Sound was about a decade ago. Waiting in the dark at Rye Playland is creepy. Add to that the calm waves of the Long Island Sound as your background music and before you even enter the haunted portion of the amusement park you are freaked out. However once inside you realize you are going to be even more creeped out! People with chainsaws popping out, clowns, and having to walk through a grave yard where anyone can reach out and nearly touch someone (mainly you). My favorite memory of my first visit was a pitch white woman, with flaming red curly hair, walking stiff as a board, swiftly chase my screaming brothers from the grave yard down the boardwalk. Priceless!

Address: Rye Playland, 100 Playland Parkway, Rye, NY 10580

I ventured to Carmel, Putnam Valley, NY to Smalley’s Inn and Restaurant. Yes, it is actually haunted. My family and I have been honing our psychic skills for a couple of year, and before I even walked in the restaurant I felt immediately the spirit it was a woman. Mind you I knew nothing about the place and no one in my family mentioned to me the ghost was actually a woman! She even joined us during our meal (the air around the table became COLD), she was especially present when the owner charismatic and enthusiastic current owner Tony Porto came to our table and showed us picture ghost hunters professional and amateur had captured of the woman who haunts the restaurant. The pictures are downright creepy and confirmed what I felt about the resident spirit. Who according to my impressions of enjoys her celebrity status! Even if you are NOT a believer of spirits you have to visit Smalley’s for the incredible Halloween decor. The best I’ve ever seen! Think of any stereotypical monster, doll, clown, and vampire fright and it is on display. The atmosphere is literally to DIE FOR! Call ahead, I visited in late September when the Halloween crowds were not large. Mr. Porto says in October they bring in actors and the wait to be seated can be long.

Address: Smalley’s Inn and Restaurant, 57 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY 10512

Halloween Train Show at Lasdon Park takes place on the weekends in October. This is a cute Halloween activity for kids. I attended several years ago and my nephew had a blast! The main house is decorated for Halloween, inside are a variety of trains (including Thomas). In addition you can purchase plants and seasonal gifts at the Shop at Lasdon.

Address: Lasdon Park, 2610 New York 35, Katonah, NY 10563