Saturday, July 1, 2017

Postcards from Poughkeepsie

Where is Poughkeepsie?
Friends!

The only constant in Poughkeepsie - The Hudson
After coming to USA, I think this is the first time I am staying in a small ‘town’ (not considering Grand Canyon Village). For most, the word Poughkeepsie only rings a bell if they have seen Friends and to be frank, I was also one of those till last year. And then Hidden Figures, the movie came out! I googled a bit around IBM Fortran and found out that IBM Poughkeepsie was its birthplace. Hence, I started thinking Poughkeepsie might be a type of Hi-Tech city with tall building – since it was a part of New York. But Poughkeepsie, to my surprise turned out to be a quaint little urban town, that seems to have crawled out of the cocoon of a village in the recent past.

Sunset over the Walkway over Hudson and Our Lady of Mount Carmel's Church
Poughkeepsie, is a small town in upstate New York, that is totally untouched by the Skyscraper craze you think of the minute New York is mentioned. A small old church and close by a bright white church – both talking about the time passed by in their own way, a small station that connects this sleepy town to the ever-busy city of New York, the constant company of the Hudson, spaced out historical sites like Franklin Roosevelt’s house - now turned into a library and museum, Samuel Morse’s house (scientist who invented Morse Code) – now turned into a wedding and exhibition centre, and some hiking trails – this was the Poughkeepsie I read about.

Where once Samuel Morse lived (Source)
At first, I thought it would be just the perfect way to spend a slow summer exploring, discovering and falling in love with nature, history and the quiet. But unfortunately, l am extremely disappointed with Poughkeepsie – probably I had some high expectations or probably because I had not been exposed to remote areas of USA, but sure I have struggled to settle down in Poughkeepsie. All the above-mentioned facts were not false but travelling in the town is a task if you do not own a car, and so is exploring history, because it isn’t as extensive as I expected or maybe not that well preserved.

One of the many old dying building of Poughkeepsie
But like every place, Poughkeepsie does have one highlight – the Hudson. Walkway over the Hudson turned out to be my silver lining and my area of peace in Poughkeepsie, or rather the park overlooking the walkway. Just off the town’s train station, one you hear a faint gurgle of a flowing stream. As you approach the sound, it gets louder and you reach a small waterfall and then there is the quiet – quiet of the expansive Hudson. 

The small stream that joins the Hudson from Poughkeepsie
Here, on the Hudson, one can see the old Cantilever bridge that still stands tall and has been a landmark of this town since 1889! Initially built as a double track railway track, this bridge was once the only fixed Hudson River crossing between Albany and New York City, but in the late 1900 it went out of function due to a fire accident. After a lot of legal and functional issues, the bridge was eventually converted to a pedestrian ‘walkway’ and has been the most visited place of Poughkeepsie ever since.

The Walkway over the Hudson!
I love spending my evenings in Upper Landing Park, the park from where you get the lift to this historic bridge and the park from I am sending out all these postcards from on my blog today.

The part of Poughkeepsie I loved
Despite my disappointment with the town, Upper Landing Park and Walkway over the Hudson are places where I feel close to history, nature and the quiet, I was expecting!

There always in a silver lining right?
Have you ever traveled to a place with a lot of expectations and met with only disappointment? How was your experience? Do let me know in the comments below!


14 comments:

  1. We totally understand your disappointment with the Poughkeepsie as we had been through the same when we had moved to UK! But over the time we loved staying in that town and we really miss the time we spent there...

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  2. Many places are over-sold to us. I guess we have to keep our expectations low...

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  3. I can safely say I had never heard of this town before today:) It's too bad it didn't live up to your expectations. The waterfront is stunning though. It looks so peaceful there.

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  4. Managing expectations while traveling can be a challenge. Or just a matter of focus. There's always something to find in every place, as you did with the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

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  5. I've never heard of Poughkeepsie, but I think the first thing I'd need to know is how to pronounce it! The Hudson looks really pretty, especially with the sunshing glaring over it. You're living there I take it? It seems like more of a residential than tourist town

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  6. Wow! I had never even heard about Poughkeepsie before. This is for the first time I was reading about it. Looks a pretty charming place. Would love to visit it one day.

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  8. Some of the sights to see here is amazing! Especially the architecture in the buildings. Nice read!

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  9. The jetty over the water looks really beautiful, I can see why you love that part of Poughkeepsie. For sure I have been to places with a lot of expectations finding only disappointment. Ambon in Indonesia was such a place, and it was my own fault - super rain season.

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  10. Wow! excellent it is amazing post. It is the best architecture in the building. Really It is very nice blog.
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  11. I saw the tile and was about to google Poughkeepsie. But then you have already provided enough details. Loved the little factoids about the place. Was amazed to find this place having such important historical connects. Wonder why Morse's place is called Locust Grove. Did he keep locusts as pets? he he

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  12. I'd never heard of Poughsie before. It's looks like such a cute little town. Such a shame that it didn't impress you, though the water views look pretty impressive

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