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On The Road with NYSOM: (Sweet) 16 Reasons to Visit NY

We admit — because of this winter’s interminable cold weather — we’ve been counting down the days until April. Despite our New York teams not making it to this year’s Sweet 16 round in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, March still gave us many reasons to celebrate in New York. Between Women’s History Month and the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan, we also feted two of our favorite iconic New Yorkers: Bill Cunningham turned 85 on the eve of the opening of his Facades exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, and Milton Glaser teamed up with AMC’s Mad Men for a collaboration between an original “mad man” the television hit show. In the spirit of celebrations, we ended the month by raising a glass to March and to the coming spring with a stein of craft-brewed ale at Cooperstown’s Brewery Ommegang. Read on for our (sweet) 16 reasons to visit New York right now. Have a favorite New York story happening right now? Tell us in our comments below!

1) Mardi Gras in Western NY | Buffalo & East Amherst

The beginning of the 2014 Lenten season is just a few days (without vices) behind us, but we’re already marking our calendars for next year’s Mardi Gras fête in Western New York. There’s nothing like a little Cajun food in East Amherst and Zydeco music on Grand Island to make you feel like you’re in NOLA. Rounded out with the Annual ArtVoice Mardi Gras parade in Buffalo, next year’s celebration will be one for the books.

2) The Insider’s Guide to Long Island | Stony Brook & Setauket

From George Washington’s spy ring to classic local delis and beyond, our Long Island correspondent and Stony Brook resident gave us intel on year-round attractions in two of the region’s most representative towns.

3) Buffalo’s Peace Bridge | Buffalo

We looked to our northern neighbor as we learned about the bridge, built “to commemorate the century of peace between the United States and Canada following the end of the War of 1812.” The next time you’re looking for an easy international adventure, the Peace Bridge spans the Niagara River between the U.S. and Canada, allowing for easy travel between Buffalo and Toronto.

4) Milton Glaser & Mad Men | Manhattan, NYC

It was a thrill to see our favorite original ad guy make headlines this month with his graphic design collaboration with AMC hit “Mad Men.” Glaser was not only an original “mad man,” in the 60’s, but also our inaugural video interviewee. Look out for Glaser’s psychedelic posters on phone booths and buses all over Manhattan in the coming weeks as we count down to the premiere of the show’s seventh and final season. Watch the designer of the I ♥ NY and Brooklyn Brewery logos (just to name a few) here.

5) The Insider’s Guide to Albany | Albany

From a New York State Museum with 17 permanent exhibitions to a lively and historic theatre scene, read our Capital-Saratoga region correspondent’s inside scoop on the many reasons why Albany is not “Smallbany.”

6) The Insider’s Guide to Fredonia | Fredonia

“History and modernity meet in sharp contrast” in Fredonia, according to our Chautauqua-Allegheny region correspondent. “[It’s] a side effect of containing a thriving university (SUNY Fredonia), a world in and of itself."

7) 17 Things to Know about St. Patrick’s Cathedral | Manhattan, NYC

With over 5 million visitors each year, Manhattan’s most iconic religious structure is filled with many enlightening historic facts. Did you know the midtown cathedral is missing its cornerstone?

8) Bill Cunningham’s 85th Birthday & Facades at the N-YHS | Manhattan, NYC

In the age of Instagramming, Tweeting and blogging street photography, it’s easy to let print photography fall off our radar. But every Sunday, we rush right to the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times to see the past week’s vantage point of the man in the blue jacket. Check out “On the Street” photographer Bill Cunningham’s snaps of New York City in the ‘60s and ‘70s at the New-York Historical Society, now until June 15th.

9) New Marketplace Additions | Kingston, Elmira, Syracuse & New Lebanon

New on our NYSOM Marketplace this month are hand-crafted pecan brittle from the Hudson Valley; wildflower-inspired, silk-screened dish towels, pillows and clutches from the Southern Tier; a locally-designed and created sterling silver jewelry collection from the Catskills; and hand-printed maps made in Syracuse. These are just a few more reasons to love made-in-New York products, and to visit our made in New York Marketplace!

10) Sybil Ludington | Kent

In NYSOM’s history books, the unsung historic hero of the Hudson Valley is Sybil Ludington. During the American Revolution, 16 year old Sybil rode 40 miles on horseback through the night to alert the American militia that the British were coming. The ride was twice the length of Paul Revere’s famous Midnight Ride. Here’s to you, Sybil, in honor of Women’s History Month!

11) The Insider’s Guide to Carmel | Carmel

According to our Hudson Valley correspondent and Carmel resident (and former Brooklynite), "you won’t find a Whole Foods ... But you also won’t find the semi-suburban sprawl, the snotty attitudes, the high property taxes or the rampant consumerism that has managed to creep its way into much of the Hudson Valley." Read on for more about her move from Brooklyn to this Hudson Valley hamlet, and the best ways to explore on your own.

12) Metal City: The Malleable Magic of Milgo/Bufkin | Brooklyn

We were totally mesmerized by the innovative methods of metal-magician Bruce Gitlin and his team at the Milgo/Bufkin factory in Brooklyn. From Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture to a monumental 9/11 memorial, learn more about the ingenious ways this iconic company helps brassy and bold New York be “a metal city.”

13) March Madness in Syracuse | Syracuse

Despite an upsetting loss to Dayton at the end of a very close game in the Round of 32, it was so exciting to see New York’s State colors on the NCAA leaderboard this year. We’re definitely counting down the days until we can start rooting on Orange’s basketball team again!

14) Buffalove Development: A Buffalo Love Story | Buffalo

Buffalo residents Bernice Radle and Jason Wilson have tied together a passion for preservation, design and development to found the Buffalove Development. The story of Buffalove is not only a love story for their city, but also for the development’s founders.

15) Diane Reeder & The Queens Galley | Kingston

Local legend and hunger crisis superwoman Diane Reeder has completely redesigned the soup kitchen model with an original approach to feeding the hungry. Though her Hudson Valley soup kitchen is now closed, her story remains a powerful one with hope for the future.

16) Brewery Ommegang | Cooperstown

Brewery Ommegang is not only a local fixture and attraction in Cooperstown, it’s also a national phenomenon (the Belgian-American ale house ships its beer to 43 states in the US). Though domestically-produced with an innovative approach, the beer is made according to very specific Belgian traditions and techniques. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Ommegang is releasing their special edition Fire and Blood Red Ale this Monday. Save the date for that day and the next, when you’ll be able to purchase tickets to their annual Belgium Comes to Coopertown Summer Beer Festival!

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