March 17, 2015

Like most New Yorkers, we’ve been dying to escape the horror that is the winter of 2015 (yes, I know you’ve had it worse, Boston). We haven’t been a non-family visit and/or friend’s wedding vacation…ever… so when our friend Tim mentioned that he was heading to California in February, we sprung for tickets and got to work planning a trip within our trip. We found this awesome Air Bnb called Sweet Rock Ranch nestled in the boulders overlooking Joshua Tree and spent a few days cooking, listening to records, hot tubbing, checking out the views and doing a bit of exploring in the park with a group of friends. I had never been to the desert before, so this was a pretty incredible introduction.

Almost immediately after we arrived, I grabbed my camera and started scaling the rocks in my skirt and inappropriate shoes. I think I am part goat.

Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Green Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Green Pokey Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Many Piles of Rocks-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Sweet Rock Ranch View-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Purple Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Pokey Tree-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Pile of Rocks-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Pokey Cactus-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Golden Hour -15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Animal Bone-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Brambles-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree Scary Tree-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree View-15
Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard Yucca Valley Joshua Tree View 2-15

Yes, we did got to Pappy & Harriet’s. Their bloody marys were delicious.

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December 4, 2014

A few weeks ago we got a surprise package in the mail from our friend Tim with a copy of Hiking the Road to Ruins by David Steinberg enclosed. Chris and I have been spending more and more time exploring on our weekends, so we were very excited to receive this unexpected guide to the kinds of weirdo places we love (Thanks Tim!) Since I had a venue walk through in Westchester on Sunday, we decided to take advantage of the trip and make it a half work/half adventure day. After my meeting, we ate in Scarsdale at the Candlelight Inn – hello best egg salad sandwich ever – before heading up a windy road to Tackamack County Park to explore the long-abandoned army trails. We got a little nervous as we got further and further up and realized “oh.. there’s actual snow here…” and glanced sheepishly at our beat up Converse and thin flannel. We’re not quite hikers yet, folks, still a ways to go…

Steinberg’s book has a very detailed written explanation of how to get to the tunnels, plus a tiny hand written map to help you get where you’re going. We had read an account of the area being a hotbed of evil/Satantic occurrences, so I definitely used this opportunity to misquote Blair Witch Project, one of my favorite “hiking” activities. The walk was fairly straight forward, as we wound up through the park, through a residential area, through a pine grove and finally hit a low wall that was the ceiling of the tunnels.

The army tunnels are the remains of what once was Camp Bluefields, a National Guard rifle range which closed in 1912. After the grounds were used by the YWCA and the ROTC, the area was eventually abandoned after World War II, where it’s sat and deteriorated ever since. With miles of available cement walls, layers of graffiti cover every available inch, as well as some of the trees surrounding, almost like a Tacheles in the woods.

Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-1
Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-2
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Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-12
Bored Vegetarian Abandoned Army Tunnels-13

We didn’t bring headlamps along, so didn’t venture too far into the tunnels, but you can walk the stretch of the area without much daylight, if you dare. We’d like to go back in another season to explore the other side and bring more lighting to explore, but overall it was a cool place to explore and capture in photos. On to the next one…


September 16, 2014

If you’ve been following The Bored Vegetarian for a while, you may have noticed my love for exploring the old, the abandoned and the decaying. I remember driving by an run down yellow house every day growing up and always having an urge to climb inside and see what secrets were hidden in its rotted interior, but because of my general fear of breaking the rules, I never did.

When we took our first trip to the East Coast when I was 13, I was amazed at all of the history that was laid out there in the open. Cemeteries in-between buildings in Boston; hidden rooms for the Underground Railroad in our host’s house in the suburbs; the stories I heard wandering around Ellis Island clutching my walking-tour tape player. I was so excited and intrigued by it all that it motivated me to abandon my roots in the Northwest nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve been exploring ever since.

A few weeks ago, Chris and I joined Mitch Waxman of the Obscura Society NYC on his walking tour of some of the industrial areas of Brooklyn and Queens, along the Newtown Creek. I have lived in Greenpoint for almost 5 years with this wasteland practically in my backyard, but I had never truly understood how huge of an impact irresponsible industrialization has had on my neighborhood and surrounding area. It was eye-opening (and eyeball-burning), disgusting, dangerous, smelly and educational. All the things needed for a nice Saturday stroll!

Looking for unexpected places? Check out these resources:

Atlas Obscura
Abandoned NYC
Scouting NY

Industrial Brooklyn 18 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 17- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 16- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 15- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 13 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 12 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 11- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 11 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 6- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 9- The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 8 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 7 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn 5 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard
Industrial Brooklyn - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard 4
Industrial Brooklyn 3 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard.
Industrial Brooklyn 2 - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard.
Industrial Brooklyn - The Bored Vegetarian Bethany Pickard

August 25, 2014

Chris and I have been spendingmore weekends exploring the Hudson Valley over the last year. Highway 9 shoots up through Manhattan and winds along the river until slowly everything loud and crowded blurs and disappears behind us and all we see is lush green mountains. A few weeks ago we climbed Mt. Beacon in our best city slicker hiking gear (aka $10 shoes from Rainbow and skinny jeans) and took in the miles long views from the top. Last weekend we spent drove up to New Paltz and explored Lake Minnewaska. The city has its benefits but I’m sure wouldn’t mind trading it in to see this every day…

Hudson Valley Views Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Bridge Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Views Lake Minnewaska Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog
Hudson Valley Views Lake Minnewaska Mountain Bethany Pickard Vegetarian Blog

June 9, 2014

There comes a time in every girl’s life that she must witness one of her dearest friends, with whom she once frequently ate Trader Joe’s black bean soup paired with Vino Verde before late night dance sessions at Great Scott in Allston, MA, get married on an island in the Puget Sound. That time is less than three weeks away!

To celebrate my friend Laura’s upcoming nuptials, I joined a group of awesome ladies in the woods of Massachusetts in one of the oddest, most delightful of places, The RoundHouse . Though I took many photographs, there was no real way to capture the hidden treasures that we found in every inch of the house: A closet full of costumes; themed sleeping cubbies with dream journals; a hidden tunnel; locked doors with mysteries behind them; a kitchen cabinet full of different cheese graters. The curiosities were endless and kept us up late into the night, learning how to ride the unicycle and play the xylophone. It was three days of making a raucous for no reason and celebrating Laura’s last big hoorah before married life.

But outside of the uninhibited goofiness, it was the view, from high above the Connecticut River that really did it for me. Away from the constant grind of this city I live in, I found peace and quiet and it was wonderful.

The Bored Vegetarian Round House Views
The Bored Vegetarian Picnic Tables
The Bored Vegetarian Round House
The Bored Vegetarian Plants
The Bored Vegetarian Catwalk
The Bored Vegetarian Hole
The Bored Vegetarian Raccoon
The Bored Vegetarian Pantry
The Bored Vegetarian Stained Glass
The Bored Vegetarian Library
The Bored Vegetarian Donkey
The Bored Vegetarian Green View
The Bored Vegetarian Girls Walking

May 16, 2014

In February I bought an old Subaru to commute to a job I didn’t keep, but so far I’ve kept the car (and found a job I want to keep!) Though I never expected or wanted to own a car in New York, the bonus is the ability to getting to explore new places without renting a car or planning too far ahead.

Last weekend, Chris and I headed to City Island, a 1.5 mile island in the Bronx. The island has a decidedly New England coastal town feel minus the public beaches and Boston accents. The two-laned road there reminded me of taking the road out to Cape Cod in the summertime, as if everyone within 200 miles had decided that this was the weekend to go.

We drove down the main drag to see what restaurant options there were (hint: not veg) and ended up at Johnny’s Reef Restaurant at the other end. Policemen were strategically placed along the way to direct traffic for the various seafood shacks lining the street.

Johnny’s is set up similar to a food court, with food stations with various seafood options lining the wall and plenty of tables in the middle and on their giant patio overlooking the Long Island Sound. Chris was eager for some seafood so I resigned myself to a lunch of french fries and a soda, because I am the picture of healthy living.

After that we explored some weird antique stores, some abandoned ships and a graveyard overlooking the water. All in a productive Sunday!

City Island Roof The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Food The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Napkins The Bored Vegetarian
Johnny's Reef Restaurant The Bored Vegetarian
Lady Rage The Bored Vegetarian
Broken Boat The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Hidden House The Bored Vegetarian
City Island Trees
City Island Games

March 9, 2014

Dead Horse Bay is a small body of water within the Brooklyn Marine Park. The area once was home to Barren Island, which was a trash and dead animal dump for Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. In the 1920’s the island and its trash was buried to create Floyd Bennett Field, New York’s first municipal airport. In the 1950’s, the landfill cap burst, exposing the area to a century’s worth of garbage. You can still find old bottles, shoes and other pieces of the lives of the people who once lived there…

Dead Horse Bay Reeds The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Tree The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Beach The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Shoe The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Organized Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Bunny the Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Pot The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Landfill The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Bottles
Dead Horse Bay Heart The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Iron
Dead Horse Bay Knife & Spoon the Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Rust The Bored Vegetarian
Dead Horse Bay Water
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November 11, 2013
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A few years back, my friend Kasey introduced me to Jauntsetter, a website/newsletter of well-curated travel tips for New Yorkers. One of the gems that I discovered through JS is the Silver Sands Motel in Greenport, Long Island. I fell in love on my first trip there a few years back and keep returning to introduce it to more friends (and my mom!). Their cozy bay-side cabins are perfectly suspended in 70’s and 80’s decor and the owners are incredibly hospitable. Last weekend, a group of 11 of us drove up for the night and took over several cabins and had an awesome night cooking, drinking and playing some intense rounds of Celebrity. If you’re ever in need of a quick escape, this is the place to go.

Check out my Jauntsetter of the Week tips from 2011 here and here!


October 6, 2013
July 31, 2013
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I only get back to Washington about once a year to see my family and friends there. It’s always a jam-packed visit and this trip was no different, especially with my insistence on visiting La Push on the coast. We spent a week at La Push every summer growing up and they’re some of my favorite childhood memories. We spent the majority of our trips back then looking for forgotten fireworks and building forts out of the piles of driftwood on the beach. Grandpa Jack would take us out fishing in his boat during the afternoons and we’d spend the evenings by the fire roasting marshmallows.

Though I hadn’t been back in 17 years, not a lot has changed. The cabins are a bit nicer and without the graffitied loft ceilings and ember singed carpets, but the scent of moisture soaked, slightly rotting logs is the same. The rocky paths are are the same, and I still know the best places to find the star fish and sea anemones. I’m not sure there’s anywhere quite like it for me.

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