A Fantastic Football Museum for The Beautiful Game

Confession:  I have limited interest in football (soccer).  Scratch that.  I have zero interest in football.  I pretend to pay some interest when my son starts going on about Arsenal, his favourite team but, only because I am being polite.  Besides, I am good at maintaining eye contact and pretending to be not bored out of my gourd from my days as a corporate lawyer.

When Leo my Sao Paulo tourist guide from FlaviaLiz suggested we see Estado do Pacaembu and its Football Museum because Brasilians are crazy about football, I figured I would whizz in and out. It was such a great museum, I was actually in there for 2 hours.

football museum at Pacaembu in Brasil


Pacaembu Stadium

The Pacaembu Stadium was built in 1940. It is the only Sao Paulo football stadium not associated with a specific football team.

Football Museum Pacaembu
The city of Sao Paulo rises behind the stadium.

The Corinthians, a local team that either you love or hate (along the lines of Arsenal or Chelsea in London), used to play their games at Pacaembu.  The Corinthians have now moved to their own stadium, the former 2014 World Cup Stadium in the city.  No one should be surprised that there were allegations of corruption levelled at  FIFA as well as Brasilian government entities after this cozy little transfer occurred.

Brasil is the only country to ever have played in every World Cup.  I thought the British were gung-ho about football but Brasilians take it to a whole other level.

Football Museum Pacaembu
I want to be known simply as ‘Phenom’.

The Football Museum

The Football Museum is built under the bleachers of Pacaembu Stadium.

Football Museum Pacaembu

The game of football was only brought to the country in 1894.  The father of Brasilian football is a Charles Miller, an Anglo-Scottish-Brasilian who had been sent to boarding school in England and returned to Brasil with two footballs in his luggage and a copy of the rules.

Football Museum Pacaembu
Charles Miller, seated in the middle, with an enviable mustache.

You are welcomed to the museum by Pele, the Brasilian player many people credit as the best player of all time.

Football Museum Pacaembu
All about Pele

Reasons Why The Football Museum is Captivating

There is a room devoted to the 25 best Brasilian players referred to as the baroque angels and whose holograms appear in a display of light and sound. The players are described in religious terms as ‘angels whose wings transport them through space to the cathedral where their inventiveness, the poetry and the magic of the game is worshipped.” OK, then.

Pacaembu Brasil Football Stadium
The Baroque Angels

There is a cool room where you can listen to what a full stadium sounds like if you are a player on the pitch.

Football is all about stats.  The museum has lots of statistics which unhelpfully are in Portuguese.  However, with my limited knowledge of Spanish I could translate quite a few of them.

Football Museum Pacaembu
Football stats and more stats

Displays show how football has changed over the years from the shoes to the balls.

Football Museum Pacaembu
The changing football

My favourite exhibit was a room dedicated to all of the World Cups every played.  It shows the year, where it was played, who won, the highlights of the games and the historical, social and cultural context in which it was played.

Football Museum Pacaembu
The World Cup Room
Football Museum Pacaembu
John & Yoko, Nixon and the Moon Landing made the headlines as well as the 1970 World Cup

There are lots of football artefacts sprinkled throughout the Museum, such as this football shirt signed by all the players of the Brasilian 2014 world cup team.

Football Museum Pacaembu
Brasilian team for the 2014 World Cup

My Opinion of the Football Museum

There is a fair bit of explanation easily understood and geared towards children as well as interactive games.  Of course, it helps if your children speak Portuguese.

I found the biggest (and really only) issue with this museum is its complete lack of English translations.  This museum could have been so much better if it was more English-speaker friendly.  If this museum had some English translations, my children could have spent an entire day here.

Football Museum Pacaembu Stadium
For example, this diagram is easily understood but there is still no reason not to have an English translation.

I actually found the lack of English in tourist venues a problem throughout Sao Paulo.  Many of the visitor destinations are only in Portuguese (as well as the official tourist brochures).  For a city that wants to be a world-class destination (and has the capacity to be one), their sites really need to be more multilingual.



My Travel Monkey

Paraisopolis, This Side of Paradise

The walls surrounding the houses get higher and higher as we drive closer to the favela.  Then suddenly there is a road with no walls.  The road’s dusty flatness comes us a surprise after the well-paved streets of the main city .  Welcome to Paraisopolis.  Somewhat ironically, the favela’s name translates as Paradise City.  It may not be your standard vision of paradise, but it is home to many people for whom conditions could be much worse.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil

Leo, our tour guide from the tour guides Flavia Liz, has assured us that he has gotten permission from the powers that be to visit the favela.  We are here in Paraisopolis to meet a couple of artists who work with recycled materials.  I will write about these artists in a later post because their work is really interesting in its own right.

Leo has been given two conditions for our visit to Paraisopolis.  We need to have our windows rolled down so people can see in our car and we can only take photos if we ask for permission.  Apparently we are safer in Paraisopolis than anywhere else in the city on that morning.  The word of the one gang that controls the city’s favelas is the law in this neighbourhood.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
The rooftops of Parasaipolis

After having spent a week in an armoured car with tinted windows that don’t open, I am at first disconcerted by the fresh air and sunshine streaming in through the car windows.  Soon, however, I am fascinated by the life in the busy streets.  There are a lot of children staring at us curiously (Sao Paulo can only afford half-days of state-sponsored schooling).   You also get mothers with babies on their hips, beautiful young women sashaying along in their tight clothes and the occasional dodgy looking group of men hanging out on a doorstep.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
A grinning old lady who doesn’t mind being photographed.

Paraisopolis is the second biggest favela in Sao Paulo. This favela sits cheek by jowl with the wealthy neighbourhood of Morumbi.  My friend’s daughter goes to the American School in Sao Paulo which is located in Morumbi so I am guessing an equivalent neighbourhood in London would be St. John’s Wood.  A well-known photograph of a luxury high-rise in Morumbi, which has a swimming pool on each floor, overlooking the favela shows this juxtaposition clearly.  The neighbourhoods are so close and yet so far.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, 2005. (Foto: Tuca Vieira)

Like other favelas, Paraisopolis sprung up in the steep hillsides surrounding Sao Paulo when people from the north of Brasil came south in search of a better life.  Even if they found jobs, they were priced out of the housing market in the city.  The immigrants became squatters on the outskirts of the city which eventually became a neighbourhood.  So, bizarrely, people may own their homes but they don’t own the land underneath their house.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
A charming house until you notice the corrugated tin roof.
Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Haphazard but colourful building

Crowded conditions in Paraisopolis have led many homes to have a second floor.  People just built another house on top an existing house with the most random collection of staircases connecting the two parts.  Many of the staircases just looked really unsafe cobbled together from whatever materials were at hand.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Watch your step!

Another thing you notice is the spider-web of illegal cabling running along every house and street providing services such as electricity and gas.  The pipes just open onto the street and you feel the occasional splash of water from dodgy plumbing.  The city’s rivers are polluted thanks to the illegal dumping of untreated sewage from the favelas.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Lots of illegal cables everywhere.

Wedged between Morumbi and the mountain, Paraisopolis has to accommodate approximately 100,000 people who live there.  The city of Sao Paulo has built some high-rise buildings but the premium on land means there are not very many.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Government-built residences to replace the ramshackle housing.

The neighbourhood has become famous by association with the Brasilian soap opera I Heart Paraisopolis, a fictionalised account of the neighbourhood.  Although it reminds me of the British soap opera Eastenders about a working class neighbourhood in the East End of London, the Brasilian soap opera has better looking people.  Women in Paraisopolis are well-groomed and well-dressed no matter what the circumstance.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
A sign advertising childcare.
Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
One of the wider back alleys in Paraisapolis.
Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Clothes drying on a line in front of the fabulous football pitch.

Paraisopolis has its own schools, grocery stores, boutiques etc.  There is also a terrific football pitch with astroturf.  Many people live in Paraisopolis but work in Sao Paulo.  The city is trying to extend services such as gas and water to the neighbourhood which is a de facto acceptance of the favela.  Currently, many of the services are illegal connections to the city’s supply.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Selling eggs from the back of the car
Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Football = Religion = Opiate of the Masses?

Life is different in Paradise City.  Yet, it feels like a real neighbourhood.  We walk around with the artists that we met.  It seems they know everyone and everyone knows them.    I expect there is much more of a community here than in the wealthier areas where each house is surrounded by high walls topped with razor wire.

Paraisapolis Favela in Sao Paolo Brasil
Marijuana-related poetry (e.g., I want to die on your lips like a joint)

Having seen the wonderful if disturbing 2002 film Cidade de Deus (City of God) set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Paraisopolis.  I trusted that Leo was not going to take us into a dangerous situation.

Yes, there are signs of marijuana use but Paraisapolis seems to have the trappings of a working class neighbourhood where many people try to eke out a living as best they can.  As we leave Paraisopolis, I find it disturbing to note that these conditions are not the worst in Sao Paulo.


This post is part of the #TheWeeklyPostcard and #WeekendWanderlust link-ups.



Travel Notes & Beyond

The Must-Visit Destination for Foodies in Sao Paulo

The Mercado Municipal in the city of Sao Paulo in Brasil has pretty much spoiled me for any fruit for the rest of my life.  I knew much of the fruit we got in Europe and North America came from South America  I had, however, never tasted the fruit when it was fresh and before it was flown thousands of miles.  Wow!  The taste – sweet, tart, acidic or even chalky just exploded like fireworks in my mouth.

Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo in Brasil for foodies

Leo, my guide with Flavia Liz, a company that does personal escorted tours of Sao Paulo, made me a happy woman when he took me to the Mercado Municapal de Sao Paulo.  A well-known hotspot for gourmet and food lovers,  it has more than 250 stalls that sell primarily grocery items.  The stalls are piled high and heaving with fruit, vegetables, cheese, spices, wine and bacalao (salted cod).

mercado municipal de sao paulo
Nuts by the bucket
mercado municipal de sao paulo
Salted codfish
mercado municipal de sao paulo
Coffee that will put hair on your chest.
mercado municipal de sao paulo
What size would you like?

The building was constructed in 1928 to be a market and has Art Deco influences. During the short-lived revolution of 1932, the military stored munitions here.  Post-war, it reverted back to being a market and remains a foodie destination to this day.

mercado municipal de sao paulo
Art Deco Entrance

Our guide told us that if you wanted to impress any dinner guests you get your fruit and vegetables from the Mercado Municipal.  Considering all the fruit I tried was scrumptious, I have to agree with him.  I tried other things too such as the expresso which was so strong I was wired for a good 10 hours afterwards and the mortadella, a sweet and tangy Italian salami, famous for being made into sandwiches in Brasil.  The fruit, however, spoke to my sweet tooth (or perhaps even sang Handel’s Hallelujah chorus).

mercado municipal de sao paulo
If anyone wants to feed me these grapes, I would not say no.
municipal mercado de sao paulo
Little slices of calabrese deliciousness

There is a mezzanine level with restaurants which gives you a bird’s eye view of the hustle and bustle below.  The market deals with about 450 tons of food per day!!

mercado municipal de sao paulo

From the mezzanine level, you also get a closer look at the stained glass windows created by a Russian artist famous for his work with stained glass in churches.  Apropos because the market might as well be a temple to the glory of delicious food.

mercado municipal de sao paulo

The Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo is open 7 days a week.  It’s free to enter but I guarantee you will walk out having bought something.

Where To Hang Out With the Residents of Sao Paulo Brasil

Getting into Ibirapuera Park on the weekend is a challenge itself.  You need to cross the pedestrianised walkway encircling the park which is a steady stream of people whizzing by on their bicycles, roller blades and skateboards.  With my friend’s children in hand (or possibly being braver, they took me in hand!), we decided to just step off the sidewalk and make a run for it, weaving our way through the traffic until we reached the (relative) tranquility of the green spaces in the centre of the park.

bicycles at Ibirapuera Park Sao Paulo Brasil

roller blading couple at Ibirapuera Park Sao Paulo Brasil

Ibirapuera Park is a 2 square kilometre green beating heart in the concrete vastness that is Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brasil.  As the most important park in the city, many compare Ibirapuera to New York City’s Central Park.

bridge at Ibirapuera Park Sao Paulo brazil

black swans at Ibirapuera Park Sao PauloBrasil

Opened in 1954 to celebrate Sao Paulo’s 400th anniversary, Ibirapuera Park was created by the famous Brasilian architect, Roberto Burle Marx.  Burle Marx was also instrumental for creating many of Rio de Janeiro’s urban parks.  He was the first to recognise that local vegetation (that other people dismissed as useless shrub) was cool for its variety, shapes and sizes.

Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo Brasil

You can tell where Ibirapuera is in the city because it contains the Obelisk, a memorial devoted to the 1932 revolutionaries who started a short-lived rebellion against the federal government of Brasil.  The Obelisk pierces the blue sky as the tallest monument in the city, fairly stark in its stone simplicity.

Ibirapuera is great for people-watching on a sunny weekend because it seems half the city is there.  There are families out with their children, young couples on dates, and lots of skateboarders and cyclists.  When I was living in New York, I always felt I could wander into Central Park and run into someone I knew even though it was a city of 8 million.  Considering how crowded Ibirapuera Park is, I’m sure locals feel the same way about their park.

street art at ibirapuera park sao paulo brazil
Street Art at Ibirapuera Park

skateboarders at Ibirapuera Park Brasil

coconut drinks ibirapuera park sao paulo brasil

A lot of the playground equipment wouldn’t meet American or European safety standards but that does not seem to bother anyone other than my friends and me.  There, are plenty of things to climb on for young children.  For older people, there are other forms of entertainment like ping pong tables, basketball courts etc.  I love the concept of poles hung up where you can bring your own hammock and hang out in the sunshine!

Children's play area at Ibirapuera Park Sao Paulo Brasil
children’s play area
relaxing at Ibirapuera Park Brasil
Hanging out in a hammock

Sao Paulo’s most famous architect son, Oscar Niemayer, designed many of the buildings in the park.  Like Barcelona’s city centre park, Ibirapuera is also the setting for several museums.  I thought the coolest building was Niemayer’s recently built musical hall, the Ibirapuera Auditorium.  Although designed in the 1950’s, it was only completed in 2005.  It’s instantly recognisable – a white trapezoidal building with a red metal marquee sticking out like a tongue from the entrance.

sculpture at Ibirapuera Park Brasil

If you are in Sao Paulo and want to get a sense of how the local community enjoys their free time, I definitely recommend a stroll through Ibirapuera Park.



Packing my Suitcase

The Truth About Toucans (and Photo Contest Giveaway)

I’ve been a big fan of toucans ever since I was introduced to Toucan Sam, the mascot for Fruit Loops cereal at a very impressionable young age.  (Hey – it was the 70’s! No one knew sugar cereals were bad for you.)  Apparently, I’m not the only fan of toucans.  These pretty birds are popular pets which make them a high-value target for animal traffickers.

Being a travel photo addict, I took lots of photos of toucans at the Parque das Aves in Brasil which houses a large collection of toucans rescued from traffickers.  At the bottom of this post, there is a give-away you can enter to win a Motorola Droid Turbo by sharing your own favourite travel photos.  Apologies to my non-American resident readers, but the contest is open only to American residents.

toucans at Parque das Aves in Iguassu Brasil

The Trafficking of Toucans

I finally got to see some real toucans at the Parque das Aves in Foz do Iguassu in Brasil.  This park, located right outside the entrance to the national park of Iguassu, serves as a home for many birds that have been rescued from traffickers and poachers by the Brasilian police and environmental department.  Right behind running drugs and guns, animal trafficking is among the most profitable of criminal activities in Brasil generating almost a billion dollars a year. Wow! That’s a lot of animals!

toucans on a tree

Although I’m not a fan of zoos and aviaries because I always feel sorry for the animals kept in cages, this centre is different.  Many of the birds here have been deemed unfit to return to the wild by veterinarians due to the horrific treatment they have received at the hands of humans.  For example, their wings have been clipped or they were kept in such small cages they never learned to fly.

toucan in brasil

The Parque das Aves has the largest toucan collection in the world.  Toucans are popular pets and are one of the biggest targets of traffickers and poachers.  Through The Toucan Project, the park rehabilitates rescued toucans as well as studying their behaviour.  The scientists at the park try to let the birds have as close a life as possible to that they would have had in the wild.

toucan in brasil

The Truth About Toucans

Here are 9 cool facts about toucans.  Did you know:

  • Toucans are only found in the forests ranging from Mexico to Argentina.
  • There are 37 different types of toucan which range from the really large toucans to the smaller Aracaris and Toucanets.  The largest toucan is the Toco Toucan.
  • The huge beaks are used to forage for food in the dense foliage of their forest habitat.  Despite their size the beaks are really light-weight and sharp.  The beaks are made from the protein keratin, the same stuff as human hair and nails and rhino horns (another animal subject to human cruelty).  Toucans toss food from the tip of their beak into the air, catch it in the back of the beak and then swallow.

toucan in brasil

  • The length of a toucan’s beak can be greater than its body!  To help balance out all that beak, the toucan has a longish tail as well as two toes in the front and two toes in the back.
  • Toucans are not very good at flying. Mostly they hop from tree to tree.
  • Other than its use for eating, a male toucan’s beak is also used to attract females and show dominance.  Yes, size matters.  As part of their dating ritual, males and females toss food back and forth to each other with their beaks.  This ceremony reminds me of the drinking game, suck and blow, sometimes used by humans in their mating rituals.
  • They eat mostly fruit but sometimes also insects, eggs and baby birds.
  • The toucan’s beak also helps it vocalise.  And, they are loud birds.  To date none have gone around squawking “Follow my nose! It always knows!”.
  • Toucans lay between 2-4 eggs.  Both male and female toucans share parental duties.  Baby toucans aren’t born with their enormous beaks but instead develop them in the first few months of life.

The Giveaway

I hope you enjoyed my toucan travel photos.  To enter to win a Motorola Droid Turbo, share your favourite travel photo(s) with the hashtag #VZWBuzz and visit the Verizon Global website (use the Rafflecopter link below).  You can get extra bonus entries using the same link and following some of the cool travel bloggers involved in this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom, and a group of some of my favorite Wanderlusters have teamed up with OM Media Group to help you stay connected while wandering the globe, and make sure you never miss a shot.

Share your favorite travel photo(s) for a chance to win (a Motorola Droid Turbo). Be sure to join @theonlinemom and the Verizon Wireless Buzz crew for some fabulous Twitter chats – every Friday at 3:00 p.m. eastern using the hashtag #VZWBuzz.

Verizon giveaway

Valid to residents of the United States only. All photos must be original with no copyright or distribution restrictions. Photos remain the property of the entrant, who further agrees to give Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom, OMMedia Group, and participating bloggers permission for use solely in promoting this giveaway. Entries with nudity, violence or illegal activities will be deleted and the entry voided. Prize fulfillment will be completed by OMMG. No cash value or substitutions. Winner will be chosen by random number generation and announced within 48 hours of the contest end date (8/30/2015). Winner will be notified via email and has 72 hours to provide shipping information for the prize. If 72 hours lapses without contact, a new winner will be drawn.


This post is part of the #TheWeeklyPostcard and #WeekendWanderlust link-ups.


Travel Notes & Beyond

American Ninja training at Cape Cod Inflatable Park

My kids love the Cape Cod Inflatable Park in Yarmouth with an intensity that defies logic.  Or maybe I’m just an old grump. 

The Inflatable Park delivers exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a whole lot of inflatable bouncy things like you’d find at a kiddie party but bigger, better and just generally… more insane. 

 This year they have done a revamp of the whole place so many of the inflatables were new. My kids could barely contain their excitement because their old favourites were still there plus lots of new exciting ones. 

For example, there was the  inflatable where you put yourself in a Velcro suit and try to throw yourself so that you stick onto a giant dart board. 

We had the mechanical bull operator throw my Spanish au pair for a really wild ride. It seemed only fair since the Spanish are still into bull fighting. We felt justice ought to be served in some small cosmic way.  

Then you had the crazy jousting on top of the inflatable which reminded me of those crazy Japanese television contest shows.  It was really entertaining to watch – similar to Total Wipeout featuring your own family. 

We had a football game which descended into chaos and occasional flagrant handballs. 

Although we’be been midweek before, this year we went on a Satirday in July. it was very busy with both kids and adults. 

There is a separate toddlers area as well as a water park inflatable area which is included in the general price of admission.  In addition there is a challenge area of trapezes, tightropes etc which is meant for teenagers and adults. It’s probably really good if you are preparing for a show like American Ninja. The challenge area is an additional fee. 

The Cape Cod Inflatable Park isn’t cheap.  A summer day admission runs $29 (less for little ones). The Stay and Play Rate with the attached Cape Cod Family Resort is not bad value in this context.  For each room you get 4 park passes, breakfast and a pretty good double-bedded room. The rooms are recently revamped too with comfortable beds, air conditioning and WiFi.  We had no problem getting connecting rooms.  The breakfast is nothing special (cereal and plastic-wrapped muffins).  The cost of this motel bounty? In the summer, it’s $169 per room for the weekdays and $219 per room on the weekends. 

Gone wild for blueberries

I realise I out up the post “it was just what we did” with no actual post. Oops. Epic Fail on the multitasking on holiday.  

So what did we do? My kids and their friends picked wild blueberries from the bushes around our summer house and made a blueberry pie from scratch with them. Technically lots of them were huckleberries (smaller than blueberries) but why be persnickety?  It was delicious. 

It was good wholesome fun. I felt very Martha Stewart meets The Brady Bunch.  

There are wild berries and beach plums everywhere on Martha’s Vineyard.  You’d think it would be grapes but no.  Beach plums are an acquired taste and make better preserves than pies. 


Fun For Kids: Roosevelt Island Tram in Manhattan

While we were waiting for our table reservation at Serendipity, the famous ice-cream store in Manhattan, we had a couple of hours to wander around.  The cheapest and easiest option was to take the kids down the street from Serendipity and take the Roosevelt Island tram.  For the price of a New York subway ticket, we got to see Manhattan from a different perspective.

The Roosevelt Island Tram

You get great views over the traffic and buildings in Manhattan from the tram as it crosses the East River.  From Roosevelt Island itself, the skyline of the East Side of Manhattan is spread out before you.

Roosevelt Island tram view

Roosevelt Island tram view

The Roosevelt Island Tram entrance/exit is located at 59th Street and 2nd Avenue.  It only takes a few minutes for the trip and runs regularly.

Kids, of course, will be familiar with the Tram from the climactic scene in Spider-Man (2002) where Spider-Man has to choose between his girl and the passengers on the tram.  Fear not, without the Green Goblin attacking the tram, it is perfectly safe.  Over 26 million people have rode on the tram since it began operating in 1976.

The Four Freedoms Park

The tip of Roosevelt Island is being redeveloped into The Four Freedoms Park, named after the famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt from the 1941 State of the Union speech.

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world. The second is freedoms of every person to worship god in his own way – everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want…everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear…anywhere in the world.

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

The park is the last work of the late great Modernist architect, Louis I. Kahn.

Roosevelt Island tram view


Roosevelt Island tram view

Roosevelt Island, New York City

I had never actually been to Roosevelt Island before I took the kids. This island is located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. It had an infamous history as the dumping ground for the undesirables of New York society.  In the 19th century, there was a penitentiary (for criminals) and asylum (for the mentally unstable) located on the island.  There were a lot more women than men in the asylum because it became an easy place to park a wife you didn’t want.  Atlas Obscura has a fascinating piece on the history of the island.

The fact that the authorities dumped both criminals and the mentally ill together tells you exactly what they thought about these people.  Anyway, Nelly Bly in a pioneering piece of investigative journalism, wrote about the horrors of the asylum which helped to close it down.

In the late 20th century, the island was converted to residential housing. It’s name was changed from (the ironic) Welfare Island to Roosevelt Island in honour of the 32nd President who was from New York.  There are about 10,000 residents now living on the island.  Many diplomats choose to live there because of the easy access to the United Nations across the water.  More recently, Cornell University announced that it was building a state-of-the-art technology centre on the island.

Roosevelt Island tram view
A clear view of the UN building

So, in a nutshell, other than the park and the tram, there really isn’t much to see on Roosevelt Island.  On the other hand, the park and the tram are definitely worth experiencing!


We spent a pleasant afternoon in the park and expended enough energy to feel justified in ordering massively-oversized sundaes at Serendipity!

This post is part of the #TheWeeklyPostcard and #WeekendWanderlust link-ups.

Travel Notes & Beyond

It’s Morning Glory in Edgartown Anytime

Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown is a bit of an institution on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  Although billed as a humble farm stand, Morning Glory has the reputation and faithful clientele that would make any high-end gourmet food store proud.

Morning Glory farm farm stand
The barn/farm stand

The farm was started in 1975 on land owned by the Athearn family who have lived on the Vineyard since the 19th century.  Starting off with a farm stand, by 2010 business was thriving enough that a newly-built barn replaced the original structure.  They farm over 120 acres over several sites on the island.  The farm produces a wide variety of crops, herbs and cut flowers.

Morning Glory flowers
Rustic chic flowers

We are lucky we live near Morning Glory Farm and stop by the farm stand often.  I am in the habit of getting their ice tea and a muffin for breakfast after I drop my children off at horse-riding camp nearby. My favourite are the corn muffins followed closely by the peach muffins (in case you are wondering).

Martha’s Vineyard is such a small island that the farm where my children take their riding lessons is located near some of the Athearn family land in West Tisbury.  The horse farm sends off its manure to fertilise the Morning Glory farm crops.

The farm stand’s zucchini bread is deservedly famous for being delicious.  You can find the zucchini bread recipe here at Cape Cod Magazine if you feel inclined to try it out.  I heard grumbling in line in front of me the other day when one woman was complaining to another that the zucchini bread was not as good as it used to be.  Definitely, first world problems.

Morning Glory farm stand
Branded merchandise and books

I thought the best way to introduce Morning Glory Farm to you was with a vlog. It’ll give you a short tour of the farm stand and all the delicious products inside.

Morning Glory Farm is located on the corner of Meshacket Road and the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road.  It is open 7 days a week.

Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown in Martha's Vineyard sells the best farm fresh produce on the island

Brooklyn on the Hudson in New York

Hudson in New York is the cutest little town you ever did see.  I grew up in New York state and I don’t remember anything remotely this pretty in the area.  After a little bit of digging, I found out why.  Hudson is a trendy little town which has been recently colonised by Brooklynites looking for fresh air and small-town atmosphere.

street in hudson New York

The town has had its fair share of ups and downs over the course of its history.  Settled by merchants in the 18th century, the town was very prosperous and lost the vote to become the capital of New York State by one mere vote.  It had to make do with being the 4th largest city in New York by the early 19th century.  By the late 19th century though, it became famous for a less-salubrious reason – becoming the centre of the drinking, gambling and prostitution in the area.  The vice rings were broken up by the mid-twentieth century.


In the 1980’s, antiques dealers moved into the area and began the process of gentrification.  Shortly, thereafter it was gays and Brooklyn hipsters and the transformation to full-on cuteness was complete.

Antiques in Hudson New York

Many of the houses have historic architectural value because they were built in the town’s heyday in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.  The loving restoration of these houses only adds to the charm of the town.

architecture in Hudson New York

architectural detail in Hudson New York
architectural detail

In addition to the 40+ antiques stores you have art galleries, specialty coffee shops, artisanal food shops and charming boutiques in this town.

food store in hudson New York
No corporate supermarket here!
Store in Hudson New York
Pretentious moi?
restaurant in Hudson New York
The psychiatric help here may be the cheapest thing in town.
food truck in Hudson New York
You can’t be trendy without the obliquitous food truck.
store in Hudson New York
Nothing practical here but it’s all very pretty.

My son and I had a great time wandering through town on our Hudson Valley Tour.  I can highly recommend Lick Hudson for their fabulous ice cream flavours such as gingersnap molasses and salted pistachio.  My son had a banana split sundae which I helped him finish.  I needed one of their delicious expressos after I came down from my post sundae sugar-high.

Hudson a small new York town that is beloved of hipsters from Brooklyn

We only did a day trip but there’s plenty of accommodation if you choose to stay here.  Check out the websites Stay in Hudson for accommodation possibilities and Go To Hudson for what to do when you are there.

The town is conveniently located on the Hudson River with its own Amtrak railroad station.  It is 2 hours from New York City and 3 hours from Boston.  We drove to Hudson and parking is really easy.