State Parks, Graffiti and the Origin of Hamburgers :)

Hello Folks :)

I've decided to pick up this blog again and include some of my more recent adventures in the West.

Our first stop is New York State. Back in September 2013, I decided to visit some friends and explore the Empire State. My adventure started with my rental car at JFK Airport. Picking up a rental in Rush Hour and trying to get to upstate? NOT a good idea! Well, at least now I know that my nerves can handle the stress....

I spent my first night in Binghampton at yet another couchsurfer's house (thanks again Marc!) before I finally started exploring what upstate had to offer. After visiting Albany and Syracuse in 2012, I knew that the landscape up there is rather beautiful, but I was anxious to finally check out some of those state parks! So my first stop was Watkins Glen just south of the Finger Lakes. Well, what can I say? See for yourself:

The walk is about two miles long and takes you along the water. It is fascinating to see how the water made its way through the stone and shaped the Glen. Of course, I was especially lucky to have picked such a gorgeous day! :)

I then drove along the Finger Lakes (beautiful scenery with lots of local wineries to visit!!!) to Rochester to visit yet another couchsurfer. He showed me some of Rochester's graffiti Art scene at an old water reservoir and an abandoned subway tunnel. Here are some examples:

this is my favorite - it reminded me of Native American Art

The Subway Tunnel

some close-ups

Almost missed this one!
I spent a couple of days in Rochester and enjoyed the mixture of small town and upstate landscape as well as the pancakes in one of the diners ;) (I wanna say it was Jay's Diner, but I'm not sure...) I especially enjoyed the old wooden home with the beautiful front porch! I want a front porch...

And, of course, there was also a funny, *did that just happen* kind of story :) So, as some of you might know, I love Hamburg. Most beautiful city ever. And I'm German, and this always seems to come up at some point... So, I'm in Rochester, and my couchsurfer's roommate and I are talking and he brings up Hamburg, New York which is right next to Buffalo. So, of course, I tell him I used to live in Hamburg in Germany and that I love this city more than anything else and so on. He replies with "Do you know the story of the Hamburger?" and I go "Yeah, of course I do, I used to tell it on my city tour bus. Two guys from Hamburg invented the Hamburger in America and they called it Hamburger because that's what they are: people from Hamburg" and the roommate goes "Yeah, but do you know where that happened?" and he goes on to tell me the entire story about how two guys from Hamburg were selling hot dogs at a festival in Hamburg, New York, but they ran out of sausages, so they had to come up with something else, and all they could get from the butcher were patties, so they made Hamburgers! And, yep, he even had a pin from that fair for me :D I love my life!

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