Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hudson Pastoral

It only takes a few miles on the Palisades Parkway to leave Manhattan behind. And less than 100 miles farther north are monasteries, country homes, bucolic views of the Hudson, and history for the casual or serious presidential scholar. 
Hyde Park,  where FDR's home, burial place and presidential library are run by the Park Service, is our destination via a scenic meander along the Hudson. Nearby the Vanderbilts left a  little 56 room country mansion to the National Park Service as well.  Together, the Roosevelts and the Vanderbilts can occupy a whole day.  Of the two, I prefer the Roosevelts..... old money vs new money.....

But if I were to choose the highlight of Hyde Park, it would be the CIA. The Culinary Institute of America, housed in a former Jesuit Seminary perched on a bluff above the Hudson, is the best lunch spot in the United States.  Attentive service and preparation by the students at the Institute, culinary ecstasy ranging from elegant to cafe fare, delightful views of the red brick monastery and its spires, Hudson vistas.....I could go on, but here comes my chicken pot pie.  Ummmmm!

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