Would You Live In A Haunted House?

The New York State Ghostbuster Law

We drove to Nyack to see the house on the right at the dead end street overlooking the Hudson River. It’s haunted. In 1991, a couple in contract to buy it, suddenly wanted their down payment returned when they learned the house had ghosts. They had to take the case to the New York Appellate Court which ruled in their favor. The case is known as Stambovsky v. Ackley And New York State laws now says that an owner has to disclose if a house is haunted. Not too many people know about the law or the house, except for real estate agents and law students.


Our Visit to Laveta Place

A Mini Cooper convertible was parked in front of the house when we arrived, but it didn’t look like anyone was home so we took our picture in front and then walked across the street to a similar house that had a for rent sign. I walked up to knock on the front door but I could see through the window that the house was completely empty, except for a rocking chair. The wraparound porch has spectacular views of the Hudson River. We took our photo.

This empty house felt more haunted than the famous one. A former owner of the 1 Laveta Place home described the ghosts as two girls in 18th century hoop skirts and a small man in a red coat, which indicates a British soldier from that era.

No one was home in either of the houses at the end of this street when we visited, but it didn’t feel like we were alone. A case of nerves, maybe…? Or maybe not…

You might thing that buying a known haunted house would mean a discount. The house the law was written for is valued by Zillow.com at $2.2 million. The other house, the one in our Instagram post, is valued at $5.3 million. It’s much larger, modern and has a stone staircase leading to a tile and stone deck at the riverside!

Do you believe in ghosts?

A HuffPost/You.gov poll found that 43% of people in the United States believe in them. A Chapman University poll found 53% of their survey believe. The comments on my Instagram post were a mix. I imagine the four people who have bought the house in these past 28 years didn’t believe in ghosts, but they didn’t keep the house for very long. This is a house by the water and water is a portal for spirits. That’s why bridges are often rumored to be haunted.

This entire Hudson Valley is filled with rumors and stories of ghosts. From the porch in my photo, you can see the town of Sleepy Hollow, the setting in the famous Legend of Sleepy Hollow! written by Washington Irving in 1820. The famous haunted scene of the story is of the headless horseman on a bridge!.

Last Halloween, we visited Washington Irving’s home for a Halloween tour (Instagram post just above). If you had strong binoculars, you would be able to see the Nyack homes acrosss the river.

Spooky Photo

Are ghosts real? That’s for you to decide…

My grandmother always told me, “Don’t be afraid of the dead, be afraid of the living.”

I’ll leave you with this last photo taken during a visit to someone’s house. The window is too high for this to be a person in the window.

It sure looks like Coco is trying to alert us to something…. In this case, there was no one in the window! It’s just a shadow of a wooden post!

Sunday Stills is a great inspiration for new blog posts! I often come up with ideas I would never have thought about. Come join us!

Would You Stay In This Unusual Lighthouse Hotel:

Saugerties Lighthouse: This Hotel Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Imagined!

Saugerties Lighthouse: This Hotel Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Imagined!

Saugerties Lighthouse (built in 1869) to signal ships on the river that the town’s harbor was here. It’s now a hotel.

Before going sightseeing in town, check if the high tide will prevent you from returning to your hotel. On my Instagram post (further below), one person couldn’t believe the hotel would let you be stranded away from your room. He thought there must be a boat. Well, there isn’t. That’s why they suggest you pack your belongings in a small backpack. My Insta-friend shouldn’t feel bad for expecting a boat. I did too, and so did some other people we found along the trail.

Even in low tide, make sure you’re back before sunset when the trail closes. It’s the only way back unless you have your own boat to dock. You wouldn’t want to walk the half mile after dark anyway. It’s not the distance, it’s the terrain. You’ll walk through sand and over little wooden bridges and you’d have nothing but moonlight and your cell phone flashlight to guide you.

The tall grass in July along the trail to Saugerties Lighthouse hotel.

This is a trail that can flood at times so you really don’t know what you’ll find on the path. The soggy terrain has caused several big trees along the path to fall over and you see the bottom of the trees like a wall as you pass by. This is a sandbar with sediments from an 1888-89 channelization project. There are 100 species of flora here.

I’m looking at the roots of a fallen tree!

Facts About The Hudson River

I told you this is a river. It’s the Hudson River, but it has tides. That’s because it’s not exactly a river. It’s a 153-mile estuary with currents in two directions and contains both salt and fresh water. The river has two high tides and two low tides in every 24 hour period.

Things To Do

So you already know you will be at the hotel between sunset and sunrise, and maybe during the day, depending on the tides. That’s why the lighthouse recommends you bring fishing tackle, swim wear, books, knitting… anything to stay occupied. They tell you to bring your favorite snacks and beverages, too.

There’s a separate tiny island where you can eat or just relax. Btw, my husband almost never wants to appear in a photo


So You Still Want To Spend A Night At Saugerties?

You will have to book far in advance. The hotel has just two rooms and one shared bathroom, and it’s difficult to book. They recommend you get on an availability email list. When I checked at the end of July, the earliest reservation was for January 3rd. Here you go: www.saugertieslighthouse.com

The Appeal Of Saugerties:

The views are beautiful and the lighthouse is romantic. You are completely alone at night. Even the hotel staff may not always be present. There’s a little island deck alongside the lighthouse which is a wonderful place to eat or just sit and relax.

So, would you stay in a place like this?

Make you need a quiet place to relax under the moonlight and forget the world for a day or two. Or maybe you would feel trapped.

Day Trip To Saugerties

You can also visit Saugerties for the day. Bring your lunch and eat on the deck where my husband is sitting in the photo. You can call ahead for a tour on the weekend. It’s free, but with a suggested $5 contribution ($3 for children).

You won’t be able to see the lighthouse at night, unless you can rent a boat. Then you can get some awesome photos!

Let me know in the comments.

Sunday Stills is a fun weekly photo challenge, open to all bloggers!

If you feel like reading a little more, try this recent post:

The House By The Railroad, Or, Feelings Of Loneliness & Isolation

Boutiques & Eateries, Industrial Design, Google and Oreos? WHAT???

Chelsea Market is an arcade of boutique stores and unique eateries with an industrial-themed look, located on the entire city block between 15th and 16th Streets and 9th and 10th Avenues. I’ve visited many times and I am always fascinated by the hard granite, rustic metal and worn brick look of the place.

What is the story behind Chelsea Market?

In the 1890s baking companies occupied this space, which consisted of 19 different buildings at the time. The space has now been transformed into just one building.

In 1898, several of the larger ones merged into the National Biscuit Company, better known as Nabisco. It was here, back in 1912, that the Oreo cookie was invented.


Nabisco left in 1958 and the space remained mostly empty over the years. In the 1990s, a new owner developed these empty buildings, connecting them into just one.


When you walk through the Chelsea Market arcade of stores, you are immediately charmed by the granite benches, industrial ceiling fans, exposed elevator shafts (no longer in service, of course), plaques, antique ads painted on the faded brick walls, historic artifacts preserved in glass cases. It makes the place look like they pretty much left it as it was… but don’t be fooled. Chelsea Market is that way by design. Still, these touches make Chelsea Market very enjoyable to walk through, and it maintains the feel of the history of the Chelsea neighborhood.


On the upper floors are television studios like Food Network, MLB.com, music producers and YouTube offices.

What is Chelsea Market’s Future?

Google is currently in contract to buy Chelsea Market. The deal is expected to finalize in April 2018. They already own the 1932 Art-Deco building across the street, a building that occupies the entire city block and has more floor space than Apple’s brand new headquarters in California.


Why are they buying Chelsea Market? We’ll have to wait and see…

Best Taqueria in NYC

Los Tacos No. 1 is our favorite taqueria in the city. My former students from Sonora, Mexico, Valeria and Evguenin, once told me before class that they had the best tacos since Mexico and then told us it was the taqueria at Chelsea Market.


The taqueria is very popular and has since opened Los Mariscos, a seafood taco area, also in Chelsea Market. Your lunch will be healthy, inexpensive and delicious. If you want seafood tacos and your traveling companion wants regular tacos, tell him to meet you in the seating area in Los Mariscos. If you want a beer or other alcoholic drink, buy it in Los Mariscos.

How Much Time Will I Need At Chelsea Market and What Else Is There To Do Around there?

We always bring friends and family to Chelsea Market when they’re visiting, and we always eat at the taqueria. You won’t need too much time at Chelsea Market, maybe about an hour, and you can exit through the 10th Avenue side for Highline Park, the abandoned elevated train that has been converted into a beautiful park above ground. I’ll have a post about Highline Park soon.

A word of warning: Chelsea Market gets very crowded on beautiful days, but I still highly recommend it.

Tap here for directions from wherever you are: Google Maps | Apple Maps

Take #iconic NYC Photos eBook by Aixa

Photoville: Photojournalism On Social Issues That Need Our Attention

What first impresses you about Photoville, an outdoor photojournalistic exhibitition, are the 55 shipping containers stacked onto two floors, filling up Brooklyn Bridge Park.

They’ll hand you a map when you walk onto the grounds so you can find exactly what you want. It feels like a small town with pedestrian streets between the containers.

So what exactly is there to see at Photoville

This creative venue houses photos of people’s struggles around the world. The photos are often very disturbing, showing the extreme poverty, life in war torn countries, refugee crises and the difficulties that immigrants face in the United States. There’s so much to see that you can’t figure out where to start.



How Much Does It Cost To See Photoville?

Photoville is free! Your map is just one page of the program. The rest of the program is filled with the complete listing of exhibits, workshops, panel discussions and walking tours scheduled day and night over the two weeks.


You won’t be able to see it all, especially not in a single day. There are too many exhibits, and also the ones you see are too draining emotionally. The event stays around for two weeks so you can come back another day.

Here were our two favorite Photoville Exhibitions:

The Bronx Documentary Center‘s Immigrant Stories, created by New York City high school students documenting the stories of their families in photos and captions.

We also enjoyed Carbon’s Casualties: How Climate Change is Updending Life Around the World.


Relax & Socialize

There’s a beer garden, too. When you show proof of age, they will put a wrist ban on you. This allows the vendors to sell you beer or wine. You can sit on the grass and enjoy your drink with one of the best views of New York City while you chat with your friends about the exhibition. If you wait around until the end of the day, you’ll be in the perfect spot for a beautiful sunset.

Sunset in DUMBO Brooklyn 📷 🌅 #brooklynbridgepark #brooklyn #dumbo

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Clean bathrooms

If you’re at Brooklyn Bridge Park, you can tap here for walking directions to the bathrooms (make sure you tap the “walking directions” option on your map).

Bathrooms 1
Apple Maps – or – Google Maps

Bathrooms 2
Apple Maps – or – Google Maps

When Can I See Photoville?

Photoville is an annual event September. If the weather is nice, take the NYC Ferry to the Brooklyn Bridge stop. You can also reach Photoville by bus or subway or walk across the bridge.

Tap here for directions from wherever you are in NYC.
Make sure to tap “transit” for directions by bus or subway.

Apple Maps – or – Google Maps

Planning A Trip to NYC?

I know that many of you spend time planning your trips. If you’re planning to visit NYC in September, add Photoville to your agenda.

My goal at this website is to have an easy way to find seasonal events. Eventually, I’ll be adding a 6-day itinerary to choose from.

Other Things to Do at Brooklyn Bridge Park

If you’re planning to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, which I recommend even without a visit to Photoville, here are some other things in the area that you are sure to enjoy:

  • A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge;
  • Lunch or dinner at Grimaldi’s or Julianna’s pizza (they are right next to each other): Apple Maps – or – Google Maps
  • Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for dessert: Apple Maps – or – Google Maps
  • Photo ops at City Hall (once you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan side): Apple Maps – or – Google Maps
  • Catch the NYC Ferry for beautiful views of the city and the bridges.

Aixa’s Reading Recommendation

Don’t Let The Extreme NYC Weather Ruin Your Day: Visit The NYC Transit Museum

Historic Casa Santo Domingo Is The No. 1 Thing To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Casa Santo Domingo is a former monastery turned into a 5-star hotel. Founded in 1642, the monastery was partially destroyed by the Santa Marta earthquake in 1773.

This earthquake and its aftershocks had such a profound affect on this city that the government immediately made plans to move the capital from Antigua to Guatemala City.


In fact, Antigua’s original name was Guatemala City. They moved the name, too, to what is now the country’s capital. Antigua means ancient. The city of Antigua is the ancient Guatemala City!


Hotel Casa Santo Domingo is a great place to rest in peace 💀 😱

The hotel restored and continues to maintain these precious grounds. The hotel is expensive, with non-discounted prices beginning at $184. If you already have  accommodations, you can still visit the grounds and the many museums on the property.


Rated by travelers on TripAdvisor as the number one thing to do in Antigua, Guatemala, you will not be disappointed!


The hotel has a restaurant, of course, but don’t feel limited. There are plenty of choices all over Antigua.


There are six museums:

  1. Colonial museum
  2. Archeology museum
  3. Museum of pre-Columbian art and modern glass
  4. Contemporary art museum
  5. Handcrafts museum
  6. Pharmacy museum

You will definitely need a full day here. You’ll go back to your hotel exhausted but too excited to sleep.

Aixa’s Reading Recommendation 😉

Why Did Two Tourists Visit A School In Guatemala and How Did It Turn Into A Highlight of Their Trip?