Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

09/07/09 Labor Day Weekend ended on a high note.  I took (along with my sister Kelly and our friend Arnon) a roundabout way home from the farm, stopping to visit Sunnyside – the home of author Washington Irving – and then crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge and into New Jersey for a great dinner at a Portuguese restaurant in Newark, NJ. Who knew that Newark had an enclave of Portuguese and Brazilians? Not me.



This was once the most famous house in America. After a lifetime of travel, author Washington Irving made his home at Tarrytown on the Hudson in 1835. Many luminaries visited him here – including 2 Presidents, Charles Dickens, Walt Whitman, etc.   Though he is best remembered for 2 of his short stories – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle – Irving wrote over 40 books and in many ways is still considered the Father of American literature.

Washington Irving246*

[Somebody left some change by the bust.]

Front Gate196*

[Front gate. Sunnyside was at the forefront of romantic landscape architecture – a sort of a planned looking wildness to stand in contrast to the formal topiary and rigid grids of English and French gardens.   The most important example of this style is Central Park in New York City, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted who got the job after a recommendation by Washington Irving.]


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