Hunter, NY

As a long time city dweller, I regularly look for opportunities to leave the concrete jungle.  We all know how amazing NYC can be, of course, however for ones sanity, it’s imperative to GTFO every once in a while.  And its catching on.  Over the past few years, many-a-folk have packed up their bags, declaring Brooklyn and even Queens (no shade) as too much and heading up north to areas like Hudson and Beacon, opting for a more reasonable way of life.  Well designed boutique hotels keep cropping up on websites like Escape Brooklyn, literally devoted to getting your caboose out of the city.  It was on Escape Brooklyn where my silent prayers for relatively close, outdoors-y weekend trips just a few hours outside the city, were answered.  For this weekend excursion, it was up north to the Catskills.

After a 3 hour-ish drive north of the city, we were surrounded by lush mountains and valleys, clean, fresh air sans humidity and no traces of the typical sounds that plague the city: offensive honking, whistling or general ‘tudes and overall bitterness.

Our first stop was at Phonecia’s Diner for lunch.  The Diner, a highly recommended restaurant, truly lives up to it’s diner-ness complete with round leather stools at the counter which are so cute, its as if they are pleading for patrons to take a seat and order a milkshake. Phonecia’s boasts an incredibly robust menu that had me cursing my stomach for not having the elasticity to support two entrees, as I’ve so easily done in the past (see Berlin post).  I settled on the club sandwich with a side of basil aioli which did not disappoint.

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After lunch, it was the home stretch to Scribners Catskill Lodge.  It was on Escape Brooklyn’s Weekender section that I discovered the beautifully designed Scribner’s nestled at the bottom of Hunter Mountain in the Catskills.  Rich with natural wood, high vaulted ceilings punctuated by skylights and a design aesthetic resembling not only a lodge but a homey atmosphere, the hotel almost seems to beg upon entering:  be present and relax.  After much stalking on the ‘gram, Scribners quickly became a must see for moi.  Check in was relatively simple and provided a peek into the weekends activities: yoga, meditation, s’mores, pool party with DJ and, a planned movie night on Saturday showing cult classic Almost Famous.

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On Saturday we woke up to extreme overcast and rain which sent with it a wave of panic: what in God’s name were we going to do???  After the universe sensed my panic, the sun decided to make an appearance so we took advantage and took ourselves over to Kaaterskill Falls, a stunning, 2-stage, 260 foot waterfall – the tallest in New York state.  To get to the waterfall, its about a 1 mile hike, perfect for someone who wants to be outdoorsy but only moderately active on their weekend of leisure :).  The waterfalls are one of America’s oldest tourist attractions, often being depicted or described by many books, essays, poems and paintings of the early 19th century.

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After the Falls, we decided to book it back to the hotel to get in some pool time before the weather turned.  We got a little in before the sky opened and then spent the majority of the afternoon doing the only thing to do when its rainy in the Catskills: stay inside and drink.  JK. Sorta, but luckily the DJ for the pool party moved inside and we spent the afternoon in the main lounge area jamming to some soulful house, exploring the plethora of coffee table books, playing Uno, gabbing and reading.  That night, we dined at Prospect, the restaurant at the hotel (the burrata is BOMB!!!) and hit the sack early.  On Sunday, the sun decided to grace us with her presence so it was pool time until we hit the road… and hit Phonecia’s diner one last time.

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