Article-a-Day #3: Mental Floss -John W. Jones: The Runaway Slave Who Buried Nearly 3000 Confederate Soldiers in Elmira, NY

On July 5, 1844, Jones crossed a toll bridge into Elmira, New York, with less than $2 in his pocket. Unlike most runaways bound for Canada, Jones decided to stay in Elmira. It’s here that Jones would become one of the country’s most successful Underground Railroad conductors, one of the richest black men in the state of New York, and the last earthly link for nearly 3000 dead Confederate soldiers.

SOURCE: https://www.mentalfloss.com

If you’re descended from American Slaves You Must Visit Charleston, South Carolina

Historians estimate up to 70% of all slaves that entered the 13 Colonies came through markets in Charleston, South Carolina. The likelihood that one or more of your ancestors came through this port is 100%.

Charleston is a city that does not hide its slave history. Every tour I took focused on the role slavery played in building the city and its wealth. I was surprised by this! Usually when I travel finding history about American Slavery and its aftermath is pushed to the margins. Museums on the subject often require making an appointment, are underfunded and in economically depressed areas.

It was with great joy that I was able to experience American history in the mainstream! One of maternal great-grandfathers was from Charleston and of Gullah ancestry. All of the tour guides were knowledgeable and honest about slavery and introduced me to my Gullah ancestry!

If you are an Ethnic American, you need to make your next vacation to Charleston. It will break you, rebuild you, and increase your pride in being American.

My top activities for Charleston:

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My Favorite Christmas Light Displays in Westchester County

This is nice tour of Westchester County’s best Christmas homes!

My favorite Christmas displays:

    • Harrison: 50 Parsons Street
    • New Rochelle: 155 Vaneck Drive
    • White Plains: 21 North Kensico Avenue
    • Yonkers: 244 Trenchard Street (decorated for different holidays)
    • Yonkers: Corner of Durst Place and Dunwoodie Street
    • Yonkers: Cypress Avenue between Yonkers Avenue and Hayward Street
Harrison, NY
Harrison, NY
Harrison, NY
Harrison, NY
Harrison, NY
White Plains, NY
White Plains, NY
New Rochelle, NY
New Rochelle, NY
New Rochelle, NY
New Rochelle, NY
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Apple & Pumpkin Picking in Bergen, Fairfield, Rockland, & Westchester Counties

You might have to make an appointment to attend, call ahead.

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Furnished Housing Rentals


NYC Metro Fandom

My Favorite Halloween Activities in New York City Metro

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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!

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

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Westchester County Bronx River Parkway Bicycle Sundays 2020

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Masks are required for all participants.

Dates:

  • May 3, 10, 17, & 31
  • July 12, 19, & 26
  • June 7, 14, 21, & 28
  • Sept 13, 20 & 27

For complete details visit https://www.thewpf.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

AFFILIATE LINKS:

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Empire City Yonkers Raceway Bus Schedules

Bus Tour Operators:

Also check out MTA Metro-North Railroad Getaway to Empire City Casino in Yonkers

**NOTE: The Casino is also accessible by taking the 4 Train to Woodlawn (last stop on the line) and transferring to the Bee Line 20 bus (about a 10 minute ride) which will drop you off in front of Empire City. The Express BXM 4C bus also stops in front of Empire City.**

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MTA Metro-North Railroad Getaway to Empire City Casino in Yonkers

VIATOR DEALS: See the world and gamble in the world’s best casinos

Take the Metro-North to Empire City, located at Yonkers Raceway!

  • Empire City has over 5,000 video slot machines and horse racing daily.
  • Open from 10 AM to 2 AM, machines start at one cent!
  • An additional bonus pack is available to holders of the Empire Club members, including game and food vouchers.

For detailed information about the Metro-North Railroad Getaway or to order tickets visit the MTA at mta.info.

ALSO refer to Empire City Yonkers Raceway Bus Schedules

**NOTE: The Casino is also accessible by taking the 4 Train to Woodlawn (last stop on the line) and transferring to the Bee Line 20 bus (about a 10 minute ride) which will drop you off in front of Empire City. The Express BXM 4C bus also stops in front of Empire City.**