Saturday, April 22, 2006


Downhome Reception in Upstate New York

Anastasia’s long-time friend Andrea Bucci (mentioned in Anastasia’s tale) was kind enough to invite us to stop over in her town of Marcellus, situated among the forests and farmland outside of Syracuse, New York. We stopped there 2 nights for some much needed R & R.

Andrea took us to see the neighboring town of Skaneateles, centered around a finger lake of the same name. The small village with its luxurious spa and resorts is known as a weekend getaway for the rich and famous. According to Frommers, in recent years it gained a considerable amount of attention when President and Mrs. Clinton vacationed there.

Due to the unique pronunciation of the town’s name, all morning long until we passed Skaneateles’ welcome sign, I was under the mistaken impression that Andrea was taking us to see “Skinny Alice”, assuming she was referring to a friend of hers! (The town’s Iroquois name is pronounced more like "skinny atlas", according to locals).

We were surprised to see the color of the lake was a shade of turquoise not unlike the Turkish riviera! It shouldn’t have been a shock, as Skaneateles is known to have the cleanest water of all the “lower 48” states.

We ate lunch at the Blue Water Grill before stopping at the local bookstore, Creekside Books. When speaking with the staff of the store about our book and tour, we learned that one of the employees, Delores Brosnan, was a former faculty member of SUNY Purchase, and friend of Zehra Arat, a Political Science scholar and early supporter of Expat Harem.

That evening, Andrea hosted a 10-person friends and family reception of the book and we enjoyed meeting the folks of Marcellus in the eclectic atmosphere of Andrea’s charmingly remodeled 1800s farmhouse.

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