Chris Clemens

Creator + Owner + Author = Chief Exploring Officer. Chris has been traveling back and forth across New York for years studying and discovering the tucked away gems of the state and chronicling the journey

22 Comments

  1. Paul
    September 25, 2017 @ 6:29 pm

    That museums book looks like something I need in my life; thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  2. Christine Smyczynski
    September 25, 2017 @ 8:28 pm

    I am the author of a book about upstate New York that just was published September 5. Backroads and Byways of Upstate New York (WW Norton) features 20 different drives throughout the state. Here is a excerpt from my press release:

    Backroads and Byways of Upstate New York, By author Christine A. Smyczynski, covers something from every region of upstate New York, from mountains, lakes, beaches, and everything in between. It offers a sampling of some of the intriguing places to visit in upstate New York State, a number of them off the beaten trail, although others are close to the larger towns and cities.

    Well-known destinations are mentioned, as well as places you may have never heard of before. This book includes areas along the Hudson River, Lakes Erie and Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the Erie Canal, as well as the scenic regions of the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains.

    This book features 20 drives and destinations, perfect for daytrips, weekend getaways, or even a week’s vacation if you’re so inclined. Some of these drives will take you partly on the highway, while others will take you into the middle of nowhere. A number of the routes have definite themes, such as a wine trail, while others string together a variety of attractions and sights along the way. Some are established scenic byways while others are routes the author personally thought would be interesting to travel.

    The book is available at book stores and from online retailers, like amazon

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      September 25, 2017 @ 8:31 pm

      Thanks, Christine! Looking forward to checking it out!

      Reply

  3. Jamie Anne Arnott
    September 25, 2017 @ 8:41 pm

    Hey Chris and fellow upstate enthusiasts! If you’re lucky enough to find them in a thrift store or online, Carl Carmer’s work is beyond amazing! Lots of long forgotten stories and fables of places all over the state, his works very charming and brings to life that Upstate New York is a very special and magical place. I had the pleasure of my Grandma reading me her copies from the 40s-60s when I was little and it just absolutely instilled in me 34 years later great pride of where I live and where I’m from. So if you have the patience to scour the internet or thrift stores, don’t hesitate, Carmer’s work is just that good and that exciting!

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      September 25, 2017 @ 10:41 pm

      Awesome suggestion, Jamie! Thanks for the tip!

      Reply

  4. Brian Mack
    September 25, 2017 @ 11:05 pm

    Forgotten Allies by James Kirby Martin and Joseph T. Glatthaar – This book is about the Oneida Indian’s contributions during the American Revolution.

    The Saratoga Campaign by Several Authors including a chapter by Saratoga National Historical Park Historian Eric Schnitzer – The battles of Saratoga proved to be a turning point in the Revolutionary War when British forces under the command of General John Burgoyne surrendered to American forces led by General Horatio Gates. The Saratoga Campaign provides a new and greatly expanded understanding of the battles of Saratoga by drawing on the work of scholars in a broad range of academic disciplines. Presenting years of research by material culture scholars, archaeologists, historians, museum curators, military experts, and geophysicists, this definitive volume explores these important Revolutionary War battles and their aftermath, adding a physical and tangible dimension to the story of the Saratoga campaign.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      September 25, 2017 @ 11:07 pm

      Great suggestion, Brian. Thanks for adding this one to the lineup!

      Reply

  5. David Brooks
    September 26, 2017 @ 6:58 am

    If you want the *Ultimate* in Exploring Upstate going waaay back: A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country, 1634–1635;, The Journal of Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert

    Great work by a bizarre man who’s own story after his return is worth looking into for its own twists. If the idea of reading this work is frightening, there is the graphic novel version illustrated by George O’Conner.

    So far as other NY books, on the topic of the Erie Canal – read Artificial River and then pick up Jack Kelly’s work, Heavens Ditch. Brian Mack has me thinking of a few other great works about the Mohawk & Schoharie Valleys as well, and just about anything in that vein from Gavin Watt would be worthwhile for the history nerds out there.

    Schneider’s ADK book is great and check out from a local library system the 50 Great Hikes in the Adirondacks to get your feet on the ground exploring the range. The suggestion Chris makes to pick up local history books is great too, and a lot of those Arcadia Press books have a lot of history packed into the captions of photographs as well.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      September 26, 2017 @ 7:58 am

      Awesome additions to this list. Thank you, David!

      Reply

  6. Zactus
    September 26, 2017 @ 9:29 am

    I can think of a lot of books, but one that is compelling and interesting enough for general consumption would be “William Coopers Town”. Such an interesting look at the development of the leatherstocking region. Furather you get a detailed glimpse into the time and politics following the development.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      September 26, 2017 @ 6:34 pm

      Thanks, Zactus! The Cooperstown story is definitely one I think I’d enjoy digging deeper in to. I’ve come across that title but am yet to pick it up. Appreciate the suggestion. I’ll move it up in the queue!

      Reply

  7. Kara
    September 26, 2017 @ 6:21 pm

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been looking for books set upstate, too. I love Julia Dahl’s crime novels. The 2nd book in her series, Run You Down, is partly set in the Catskills: https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Dahl/e/B00I0BJ51Q

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      September 26, 2017 @ 6:36 pm

      KARA!!!! Thanks for the comment! Good to connect with you here and not just Instagram. 🙂

      You bring up a great idea. The fictional or loosely based on real events that took place in New York could be a list in itself. Until now, I hadn’t heard of the Run You Down series. Appreciate you jumping in with the suggestion!

      Reply

  8. Carol
    October 17, 2017 @ 11:50 am

    Arch Merrill, a former Democrat & Chronicle newspaper writer, wrote 24 books on upstate New York and Rochester, including “Slim Fingers Beckon” (Finger Lakes), “Towpath” (Erie Canal), and “A River Ramble” (Genesee Valley). They are still available from amazon and almost certainly in your local public library.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      October 17, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

      Aaahhhh yes, Carol! Arch Merrill is a legend beyond measure! I agree that anything he has written is worth picking up. Thanks for including this.

      Reply

  9. Lenora Riegel
    November 1, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

    Siphre Books is a new publisher working on Upstate New York Books for kids. The first children’s book is set on Seneca Lake and the Watkins Glen State Park. Check it out on Amazon or B&N. Also in bookshops like the Riverrow Bookstore in Owego. We have a middle grade novel in the works set on Owasco Lake and more picture books coming soon! All have STEAM and STEM elements to the stories. And all are local settings with universal themes. Siphrebooks.com “Where fiction, science, and magic …. are one.”

    http://amzn.to/2zqZKUM

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      November 1, 2017 @ 5:51 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for the addition, Lenora!

      Reply

  10. Marilynn Swingle
    November 14, 2017 @ 1:51 pm

    Talking to the Dead by Barbara Weisberg is a non-fiction book about seances held in Rochester by sisters who were world famous.

    Reply

    • Chris Clemens
      November 14, 2017 @ 6:37 pm

      Any books about the Fox Sisters must be a good one! Thanks, Marilynn!

      Reply

  11. Cheryl
    November 14, 2017 @ 7:17 pm

    A work of fiction, What She Left Behind, by Ellen Wiseman. Story takes place at Willard psychiatric hospital. Gives a glimpse of how society treated people with mental health issues in the 20’s and a parallel modern day view of the facility after it was closed down. Story is based on the discovery of actual suitcases stored away after the patients were committed. There is a backstory about the suitcases and the unmarked graves at Willard
    ( willardsuitcases.com).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *