Have you ever traveled into a painting, your mind wandering, becoming a part of the scene yourself? The colors. The atmosphere. You can see that a story is there within it and it just draws you in. I have. Certainly in a museum or a gallery. I have some favorites that I visit over and over again. I love a good story.
Our house is filled with the art created by my husband's grandfather and great grandfather, the former a painter and potter and his father, a painter. Art runs deep and a mixed generational timeline dots the walls of our house. Some are the stories of travels, or fantasies of travel and others are of friendships, including trades made between friends of one piece for another. Some bear an inscription to a friend about a time shared together. If you stop long enough to take notice, you can get lost a thousand times. For the most part, the subjects are humble. Blooming apple trees. A color study in red with a shoe, a book, a lacquered tray. The same apple trees in the fall. Some are Italian scenes of washer women working or lingering in a doorway.
One painting, set in a town square of sorts, where a band plays and families gather at twilight, talking, chasing balloons and listening to the music really captures me. It used to hang in our bedroom and when we moved a few years ago, it got a new frame and now anchors the living room above the sofa. It's a perfect spot for it, inviting conversation and a gathering of friends and family.
We talk about this painting from time to time and that its location is not that far from the apple orchards where my husband's mother and her own father grew up. He painted this scene and if he were still alive he could probably tell us a lot about it and the people in it. It feels like he knows them.
This past weekend, trusty dog in tow, we took off to points north to have a look for the painting's location and found it in Goshen, NY. I invite you to get lost and found with me here and then to explore the lovely Goshen for yourself.
Goshen is full of history and its history is well curated here. The town looks cared for with wide welcoming avenues, a central church park designated as a national landmark in 1980, a flag lined main street complete with a sparkling hardware store, several places to eat and a barber shop, just as you might dream.
In the park, 18 monuments and sites are enumerated on a park sign positioned between an historic fountain heralding the town's horse history and the exact bandstand featured in our painting. The rest of the sites are within walking distance.
The Everett Memorial, featured in the painting, was erected in 1917 to honor the memory of the soldiers and sailors who lost their lives in the Civil War. Of the 1,282 men from Goshen who left to fight in the Civil War -- most of them in the 124th Infantry also known as the Orange Blossoms -- less than 300 survived. Pretty devastating for such a small town.
In addition to the Everett Memorial in the Church Park, Goshen features some beautiful architecture and much to explore. The racetrack -- the first half-mile harness track in the US (1838) -- will lure us back in warmer weather to sit in the grandstand (maybe with a colorful hat on) and to witness history run by.
History is around every corner in Goshen. Noah Webster, of dictionary fame, taught school in the building that is now Goshen's Town Hall from 1782-83 (left). And, if your interests tend toward the gory side, Claudius Smith, a reputed Tory marauder was hanged in Goshen in 1779 and his skull is reported to be embedded in the masonry over the door of the town's 1841 courthouse (center). I guess that story might even serve to deter more modern crimes. Yuck. If you'd like a piece of this history for yourself, the current building that houses the library and historic society is for sale (right). Tempting.
All of our touring about and waltzing down memory lane made us hungry, so we inspected the menus and decor of several good looking restaurants in town -- a pizza place, a diner-like establishment, a deli, an Italian restaurant with music in a hotel founded in 1790, a juice bar, and an American tapas bar with a broad selection of brewskis. Goshen has a lot of options for hungry visitors. We passed on all of these and wandered in to Angelita's Mexican Kitchen. I am afraid that we may never see the inside of any of the aforementioned places because Angelita's -- a small, simple place that shares a porch entrance with the Goshen Barber Shop -- was not to be believed. For more details on Angelita's, visit Farm Girl's Guide to Getting Lost & Found in the Catskills, or just take my word for it and go!
Whatever it is that gets you going -- a painting, a hankering for an amazing meal, a country drive -- getting lost and found is so rewarding! Give it a go... in Goshen!
XOXO Farm Girl