I woke up to find scarsdale covered in a thick fog - and when I turned the news on it was affecting all of New York's transportation. There is also nonstop coverage of the Boston bombing situation, to date one of the bombers has been killed and police have cordoned off a Boston suburb searching for the other brother. Hopefully this will all be resolved today - I will be there in a week!
I am on the ferry going over to Staten Island, to visit the Richmond historic village. I take a local bus for about 40 minutes, the village is in the centre of the island. The buildings close to the foreshore still show the evidence of cyclone sandys destruction. The further you get into the island, the nicer the suburbs and houses become. The streets look particularly nice as they all seem to be planted with spring flowering trees.
I arrive at the historic village (Fridays free entry), and there is a whole lot of activity - film crews and trailers and tents. Tomorrow is a major BBQ contest and the competing roasters are getting their meat prepped, pigs skewered, and their roasting spits and serving tents set up. It's a big deal - the winner goes on to compete nationally and there is a food show devoted to the art of the BBQ. All have a secret spice rub or marinade - my favourite pigs butt rub! The villages wood fired ovens in the historical houses will be used as well, to bake breads and pies, and also as their own entry in the fire roasting of meat competition. That means we have access to things we would not normally, and some people from the historical society have come in costume.
I have a chat to the on site volunteer carpenter who let me into his workshop whilst he waited for the camera crew to set up. He showed me his beautifully made kitchen utensils like butter presses, buckets and wooden spoons, and explained all the farmers on the island would have made all their own furniture and wooden tools. Next door is a tea house - in M Bennett house. I told them I was an M Bennett, but no relation to the founding fathers. For $3 I got two cups of tea and a plate of biscuits and a cupcake! Everyone who works here is a volunteer so I leave a decent tip.
Richmond historical village is a real village, established around 1695 originally by the Dutch, in the centre of Staten Island. The historical society has preserved the insides of a few buildings, accessible only on tour. The tour was conducted with energy and passion by a volunteer, we went inside a farmhouse, a general store and a school, all beautifully restored, and were told lots of interesting stories about life in the 1800-1900s. There is an onsite museum which focuses on the history and economics of Staten island, and the life of children in the past. Even though it is out of the way, it's well worth a visit, and the BBQ event tomorrow will be fun by the looks of how things are shaping up - lots of good humoured rivalry and they haven't even started cooking yet!
It's a long way there and back - to get home it's a bus, ferry,walk, train, train.