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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I have a bit of a secret...I've been to Cooperstown more than two dozen times and I still have never been to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don't tell the government. I have a feeling this is grounds for being put on an anti-American, terrorist list.

As a kid, my parents took me to the Leatherstocking Country town for the fall festival at the Farmers' Museum and then back again later in the winter for the winter carnival in the downtown section of Cooperstown itself.

My fondest memories of both involved food, like all my memories apparently. The farmers' museum festival always had the best homemade pies and soups. And the winter carnival had a great chocolate tasting right in the inn my family used to stay in, the Tunnicliff.

The farmers' museum would also have oldtime baseball demos, not unlike the games I saw this weekend at the Ommegang brewery. And, just down the street from the Tunnicliff toward Glimmerglass Lake, there was an amazing three-tiered hill great for snowtubing and sledding.

These are my memories of Cooperstown. Oh, and walking by Doubleday field. But, other than the field and the 19th century style baseball games, not much baseball thoughts to speak of in a place home to the country's Hall of Fame.

I went back to Cooperstown this weekend with some friends to mainly check out the nearby brewery (though we missed this one and might have to go back).

The cute downtown area, sprinkled with interesting brick and stone architecture that is obviously old, was oddly familiar to me but more so with memories from the eyes of a child and young teenager. I hadn't been back to the town in years. It was really cool actually seeing everything finally from the point of view of an adult and I finally understood why my parents took me back year after year (because when you're a kid you're kinda like 'really? Cooperstown?').

The town, with stores and tourist spots lined up along the main street, was a bit expensive (I paid $12 for my lunch with included some mango and three...yes, three...shrimp) and I remember the Tunnicliff being kinda pricey but also worth it because the rooms were really quaint/cozy/ and anything but cookie-cutter. I remember watching The Three Stooges for the first time as a kid in the inn's lounge.

Cooperstown is about 1.5 hours from Albany. The town boasts only having 1 stop light.

I made a point to visit the hill from my childhood too that I remember going down and climbing up a myriad of times. One time actually a local newspaper photographer captured me going over a small bump and flying for a bit in the air. I was 7-years-old and astounded that that was newsworthy. The hill is now a bit smaller than I remember, but aren't most things compared to the childhood memories gauge?

And, as per tradition, we walked past the Hall of Fame...but did not go in.

At this point, I'm not sure I ever will. It might be one of my claims to fame....also like the fact that I've now been to Vegas twice and have never gambled there. Again, that's just a tradition now and another story.


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