Paradise Mill and Silk Museum, Macclesfield, England

by Sandra Hutchinson

The Silk Road may have begun in China, but many people say the western terminus was the city of Macclesfield, in Cheshire, in northwest England. Macclesfield is known for once being the world’s largest producer of finished silk products. In the 1830s, 71 silk mills operated in this market town.

Today, you can walk through Paradise Mill, a working museum where visitors can see original Jacquard looms demonstrated by museum staff. Next to Paradise Mill is the Silk Museum, which presents an extensive exhibit on the history of silk weaving and printing, including a display of a number of looms.

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Enjoying the mineral baths at Saratoga Spa Park’s Roosevelt Baths

By Sandra Hutchinson

Ever since the Native Americans discovered the naturally carbonated spring water that gave Saratoga Springs, New York, its name, people have been drawn to the waters there for bathing and drinking. The Roosevelt Baths are the only mineral baths remaining in use in the park, and the only public mineral baths in the Northeastern United States. Going there to soak in the effervescent waters in one of the original cast iron tubs is an experience not to be missed.


The Roosevelt Bathhouse, Saratoga Spa State Park, in the summer.

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Autumn day in and around Cold Spring, NY— Stonecrop Gardens; Buddhist monastery

By Sandra Hutchinson

During Columbus Day weekend, I spent a pleasant day with a friend in the Hudson Valley, in and around the historic and lively village of Cold Spring. Located on the east side of the Hudson River, directly across the river from West Point in the area known as the Hudson Highlands, much of the village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The central business district contains many nicely preserved 19th century buildings that house antique shops, restaurants and specialty shops. Cold Spring is about 50 miles north of Manhattan, and easily accessible by Metro North Railroad, and many urbanites make their way here for weekend getaways.

On Saturday, the village was bustling with autumn leaf peepers, Hoping for a leisurely lunch, we managed to grab a small table on the porch of Le Bouchon, a cute French bistro at 76 Main Street. The basket of French bread was ample, and I enjoyed a generous portion of perfectly seared salmon with haricots verts and sautéed fingerling potatoes, paired with a nice house Pinot Grigio on this unusually balmy October afternoon. My friend had a croque monsieur, which she pronounced “très bon!”


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North Creek, NY Mosaic Project

By Sandra Hutchinson

If you happen to be driving (or hiking, skiing, biking or rafting) near the hamlet of North Creek, in New York’s Adirondack Park, make a point of stopping on Main Street to check out the mosaic panels.


A multi-year public art project is transforming a wall of concrete into an 180-foot long stretch of mosaic panels that depict life in and around this Adirondack community.

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Community Day at Hildene, in Manchester Vermont

Note from Sandra: I’m pleased to share with you a piece written by my husband, Mark Frost, which appeared in the June 1 issue of The Chronicle Newspaper. 

By Mark Frost; Photos by Sandra Hutchinson

Last year by chance, my wife Sandra and I happened on Community Day at Hildene in Manchester, Vermont. It was great, and it was free. The 2017 Hildene Community Day is Sunday, June 11, from 9:30 to 4:30.

The Hildene gardens are known for their spectacular display of peonies in June. They were in all their glory during last year’s Community Day.

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Fun at Sagamore’s Glacier Ice Bar on Lake George

By Sandra Hutchinson

Having heard a lot of buzz about the “Glacier Ice Bar” and all the associated wintertime activities at the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing on Lake George, a few of my best friends from childhood joined me in an overnight at the iconic hotel in January, during one of the two “Ice Bar” weekends. Turns out, there’s a whole lot more going on than just chilling out with a cocktail while standing around some blocks of ice.


Front view of Sagamore Hotel, on a wintry January morning

Although the Sagamore’s foray into the “ice bar” only began several years ago, it has turned into a phenomenon, drawing huge crowds to the hotel on two weekends in January, a time when the hotel has in the past been closed. A number of other bars and restaurants in the region have followed suit, creating their own happening spots and events with the idea that people will stand outside in the cold to drink cocktails and beer if the mood and music is good, the fires are burning, and your friends show up. Continue reading

27 hours in Manhattan — Hamilton!, holiday windows, Pooh bear, Bemelmans Bar and more!

By Sandra Hutchinson

Ten months after finally securing much-coveted tickets to the Broadway smash hit Hamilton, my husband and I finally got to see it last Wednesday evening. We tried to make the most of our short time in the city. Here’s an overview:

1. Hamilton! Does the hip hop historical musical live up to its hype? Yes it does. It’s a work of genius by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of Alexander Hamilton (based on Ron Chernow’s biography). Hamilton, of course, was one of the founding fathers, and was General George Washington’s chief aide during the American Revolution. Hamilton was key in the development of the Constitution, principal author of the Federalist papers that helped it win ratification, and the first U. S. Secretary of the Treasury.


Hamilton cast after final bows. In front, with arm extended, is Javier Munoz, as Alexander Hamilton.

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