The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The center of the world on Halloween is undoubtedly Sleepy Hollow, a small village of Mount Pleasant, in Westchester County – around an hour away from Manhattan. Adding the fact that my uncle and his family also live there, there was no question I’ll spend the day there.

Luckily, it was a sunny, rather warm day, which provided the perfect background for the visit, since the color of nature during this time of the year is out of this world there. It feels like the saturation in the area is increased, like there is something different with how the air filters the light there.

My girlfriend and I took a subway to get to Grand Central, where we switched to the Metro-North line to Poughkeepsie. Since we had friends in the area that day (no surprise on Halloween), we met up with them in Tarrytown, a slightly bigger town adjacent to Sleepy Hollow. From there we walked over to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which is a tourist magnet this time of the year. It is the final resting place of figures such as Washington Irving, Andrew Carnegie, Walter Chrysler, William, and John D. Rockefeller, and the list goes on. We even bumped into my aunt, who works there – especially hard during the Halloween Season.

We then parted ways with our friends and walked over to my uncle’s house. Initially, we feared that the usually ‘dressed up’ town will feel empty and blank due to the pandemic, even on this day, but it proved us wrong. Kids were all over the place, with their masks on, parents keeping them in a safe distance. Most of the families offered the candies from the trunks of their cars, so there would be no physical contact. It was reassuring to see how the town overcame the difficulties, and still managed to have and provide a good time to its citizens as well as the tourists.

We finished the day in a local hibachi restaurant, which is the place where I celebrated my birthday 6 years ago when I was doing an internship in Manhattan and was living at my uncle’s house. It was memorable to reflect back on the last 6 years and rewind a little. And looking forward, although 2020 will go down as the worst year of the century so far globally, the experiences we gain from living through it will be all the greater.

Ákos Orbán


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