On one of our first days off Andy and I decided to drive down the Hudson Valley and explore our new temporary home state. Our destination was Washinton Irving’s Sunnyside, the house of the American author Washington Irving who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. We had a guide dressed in period costume show us through the house which Irving had designed himself to include the best elements of architecture that he had observed throughout Europe during his time as an ambassador for the U.S. He had copper pipes and a water heating system installed, which was very advanced for his time, and a shack out back with a deep well-like hole in it to store ice during the summer. The porch was also really nice with a beautiful view over the widest part of the Hudson River.
Our next stop was the Union Church of Pocantico Hills to see a
stained glass window by Henri Matisse and nine windows by Marc Chagall. The windows were commissioned by the Rockefellers who used to attend services here and it is still a working church today. The intricacy of the Chagall windows are amazing and the artwork glowed with the natural light coming in from outside.
On the way home we stopped in the town of Sleepy Hollow to see the graveyard that that inspired Washington Irving to write The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Although we didn’t see the headless horseman we did see some very old grave sites and the final resting place of Irving himself.