Weird New York: Your Travel Guide to New York's Local Legends and Best Kept Secretsby Chris Gethard
It's called the Empire State for a reason, for as all New Yorkers know, our state is the one by which all others are measured. The Pilgrims probably landed here first, and recorded history got the geography wrong, because really, everything started here. We have the Yankees and the Mets, plus the Giants and the Jets, even if they are, for some weird reason, in New… See more details below
It's called the Empire State for a reason, for as all New Yorkers know, our state is the one by which all others are measured. The Pilgrims probably landed here first, and recorded history got the geography wrong, because really, everything started here. We have the Yankees and the Mets, plus the Giants and the Jets, even if they are, for some weird reason, in New Jersey. And we have trout, lots of cows, the Catskills, the Baseball Hall of Fame, a really big waterfall, and we're the birthplace of Martin Van Buren and Millard Fillmore, for Pete's sake.
But there's something else, something we've got so much more of. We've got a great big quantity of . . . weirdness. Yes, our level of bizarreness is so high that we enticed an out of stater to become a New Yorker and chronicle it all. With notepad in hand and apples in pocket for nourishment, author Chris Gethard scouted the state's highways and byways in search of the odd and the offbeat. He tracked down impossible-to-believe tales, only to discover odd grains of truth that give the stories just enough credibility to make one feel . . . slightly uneasy.
So turn the pages and visit Long Island's Big Duck, travel down Moan and Groan Road in, of all places, a town called Hope, and sample the Jell-O Museum in Le Roy. Drive by the abandoned insane asylums that blanket the state?big surprise. By all means avoid the screaming and gunshots of House Road, but do coast up Spook Rock Road, say hi to Jumper and Grumpy at America's largest pet cemetery, and knock on Eunice Welsh's crypt (she might knock back). Be lured into the water, if you're really dumb, by the Lady of Lake Ronkonkoma, and next time you're in Staten Island, beware of Bigfoot?he's found his way out there.
Yes, it's a grand state, and it's clear why we all sing "I Love New York" with such fervor. A brand-new entry in the best-selling Weird U.S. series, Weird New York is filled with all the good stuff your history teacher never taught you. So get on the road with Chris for a great adventure. We guarantee it'll make you love New York that much more.
Chris Gethard served as the associate editor of Weird NJ magazine for over four years. While there he helped write and edit the book, Weird NJ, and co-authored its follow-up, Weird U.S. Chris is also an actor and comedian, has contributed writing to shows on Comedy Central, and has acted on a number of TV programs, including Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He is a performer and teacher at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Manhattan.
Chris grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, a few short blocks from the laboratory where Thomas Edison once put on public electrocutions of a variety of animals. Now he lives in Astoria, Queens, just a stone's throw from the Hell Gate section of the East River where over one thousand people perished in the General Slocum steamboat fire of 1904.
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