New York State Museum - Dedicated to Exploring the Human and Natural History of NYS

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thank you for all the love you showed for my spring series on shops!  I hope you take time to pay them a visit!  As we are about to say goodbye to March and usher in April, I know some of you are already thinking about spring break.  Or should I say, your kids and grandkids are looking forward to spring break.  As I've said before, this area is full of so many wonderful things to see and do.....many of them we forget about as we travel out of town for adventure.  I hope today's post will get you to consider playing tourist right here in our own state capital, specifically at the New York State Museum.

Did you know this week is Museum Week?  I didn't either!  If you haven't been there in a while, I hope today's post will not only serve to remind you what a treasure it is but encourage you to check it out again.  It's definitely one of the many great places often overlooked by locals.   Did you know the NYS Museum is the oldest and largest state museum in the country??  It was established in 1836 and, located at the southern end of the Empire State Plaza, the museum's 100,000 square feet of exhibition space houses several new visiting exhibits each year in addition to their long-term exhibits. The museum is dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of the state and is visited by a half million visitors each year from all around the globe.  The museum has a pretty fascinating history - one I won't go into here today, but I urge you to check it out yourself.....

 I remember visiting the museum as a child when it was housed in the State Education Building.  As a youngster, the mastodon was, of course, one of the most impressive sights I'll never forget as well as the exhibits about the native American Indians. They were so life-like, they were almost scary to a young child.  Both of these are still on display at the current museum on Washington Avenue, although the American Indian (now called the Native Peoples of NY) exhibit may not be as large as it once was.  Even as an adult, I was so impressed by the mastodon exhibit, I wrote a post about it last spring.   This is what the exhibit looked like in the 1920's and in the '60's:

And this is what it looks like now:

To read last year's post about the Mastodon:
These days the museum still features a number of other exhibits, including Fire Engine Hall, Birds of New York, Minerals of New York, New York Metropolis Hall, a very moving World Trade Center Rescue, Response and Recovery exhibit, Adirondack Wilderness, as well as travelling temporary exhibits.  The day we visited it was to see an exhibit on the Shakers.  What an exhibit that was!!  Of course the kids will be most excited about the Discovery Place and Kids Cove where they can take part in a number of hands-on activities, as well as the NYS Carousel on the 4th floor of the museum. Whether you're young or old, go alone or take the youngsters in your life, you can't help but love the NYS Museum.  Here's a glimpse of what awaits you when you go.....(I had so many photos I wanted to share, I had to collage them in order to include more).  Don't forget you can click on any photo to view in a larger format.

The World Trade Center Exhibit

For a closer look at just a corner of this incredibly moving piece of history....
The flag above was actually recovered  at the World Trade Center by State Police .

New York Metropolis
Take a close-up look at this photo....the list on the right gives origins of many famous foods, all created in New York.
In case you can't read the list, 
 I guess NY is pretty famous for creating some popular menu favorites.  Who knew?!?!

The Birds of New York - just a few of many on display!

And for the won't want to miss .....

Fire Engine Hall

There it is.... a tiny glimpse of what awaits you right here in our own state capital.  And that's just a piece of what's downtown!  There's so much more to see and do once you're there.  If you haven't visited in a while, put the New York State Museum on your bucket list.  It's free admission (donations are appreciated but not collected) and it's open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30-5:00.  Closed Mondays and on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.  For more information, please use the links below to check out the museum website and to follow them on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.  Please come back soon to Life As I See It where I'll be featuring more ideas for fun things to do in the coming weeks as we enjoy the arrival of spring!

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But It Might Take Till the Crows Come Home

Friday, March 25, 2016
What is it they say?  You can lead a horse to water.  Well, as an only child I have to admit I'm pretty independent and a bit determined on occasion.  (That might be a code word for stubborn). That saying definitely does not apply to me (I know my mother would agree).  Don't get me wrong.... I'm not obnoxious, but once I have my mind set, I'm not easily swayed.  That can be a good thing. For example it served me well in high school when smoking pot became popular.  I had no trouble saying 'no' to drugs.  However, there are times when it wouldn't hurt to be more open minded towards trying new things and the feature of today's post is one of those very things.
Crow Cottage, Chatham NY
Had I driven past this beauty, I'm pretty sure I would have stopped!!  Wouldn't you?
A year ago when I wrote my first series about shops, several people (including other shop owners) then and since then have asked me if I'd ever been to this shop.  Over and over again.....this shop kept coming up.  And I continued to resist....Why???  For two reasons - the first being that I am pretty strong minded that my posts come from a place of genuine enthusiasm over something I discover that truly excites me, a place I can't wait to share.  And #2, along with that theory, several times I'd checked out this shop's Facebook and decided that it was too 'primitive' for my taste and I was determined that since I don't decorate in primitive, I wouldn't be able to write an enthusiastic post.  Here's where my strong will doesn't always serve me well.   Fast forward to last weekend when we were visiting the Dirty Bird Antiques and met the talented Terri Littlefield.  In collecting Terri's bio information, particularly where she sells her creations....what is one of the shops she mentions???  Yup...the shop I've avoided for a year......Crow Cottage!!!   Well that did it.....I may be determined, but I'm not blind.  Finally I decided I HAD to visit Crow Cottage in Chatham, NY.   I'd received the last sign.....I got it!!!
Crow Cottage

And what did I determine as soon as I stepped inside......that I was an idiot and Crow Cottage is not strictly primitive (and that I wanted to buy a bunch of stuff).  See, it pays to be open minded and not draw conclusions without all the facts.  When a dozen people tell you to go somewhere.....Go!   But hey, I finally went and I'm so glad I did.  Just like I was told how wonderful the shop is, I was also told how nice the owner, Jody Sauca, is.  I'm tellin' you.....these shop owners are the nicest, warmest people!  Jody greeted me with a huge hug (telling me I was so cute as she towered a good foot over me).  I think I've figured out why all these owners are so happy and so fun......they get to spend their life shopping and buying beautiful merchandise and then spend every day surrounded by it until we come in and buy it!  What's not to love about that?  I'd always be smiling if I spent my time surrounded by all those pretty things too!

Crow Cottage is filled to the brim, every nook and cranny, with all sorts of primitive and country accents for your home.  Of course, among all those pretties are the beautiful creations of Terri Littlefield, which today consisted mostly of her original needlework.   I wanted every piece, but settled on one.  What a great place to buy a gift!  Have a look.......

Crow Cottage

Crow Cottage

Crow Cottage

Here is one of Terri's paintings.....
Crow Cottage

And one of her needleworks.....LOVE this one!

Crow Cottage in CHatham NY

Crow Cottage Primitive Shop in Chatham NY

Love the verse on the needlework below!

This gorgeous bunny is also a Terri Littlefield original!

Gorgeous florals.....after buying florals in all the shops I've featured, I'll never be satisfied with the big box stores again!

So.....have I convinced  you?  Crow Cottage is not just for people who love's for everyone who loves pretty things - old and new!  So many things, so little time!  Don't be crazy like me.....get in your car and drive to Chatham!  The ride down Route 66 is just beautiful!  Jody is a sweetheart and will make you feel welcome and happy you visited.  Of course, you might come home with your wallet a little lighter, but hey, isn't that the point?

To learn more about Crow Cottage, you can use the links below to follow their Facebook page .....
Crow Cottage is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-5:00 and is located at 3 Railroad Avenue in Chatham.

Thanks for reading this and all my shop posts.  I hope you have a chance to visit them all soon.  Stay tuned as I get back to my usual theme and I share with you some fun and beautiful destinations, including some of the great scenery we've happened upon in our travels to all of these great shops.  If you like my blog and don't want to depend on Facebook to deliver it to your feed, consider signing up to receive it in your email.  I promise I won't be sending you any junk and no one will have your email (even me) except the program that delivers it to you . will never miss a post!  Have a great Easter weekend and come back soon to Life As I See It.
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