Hello and welcome. My name is Elena Ruggieri-Smithies and I’m a freshman at Vassar College. I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio, but I’m glad to be in Poughkeepsie for the next four years of my education. Though Ohio is known for its soybeans, cows, and corn, Columbus is a metropolis that dwarfs Poughkeepsie in size and population. Living here has opened my eyes to the beauty and simplicity of living away from a big city. I can now truly appreciate a night sky full of stars and the fresh air and even the quaint town of Arlington.
For our first field trip in this class, we traveled to Amenia, a small and inconspicuous town just forty five minutes away from Vassar. The trip there was a colorful blur of greens and yellows and browns of the country side. When we reached the one, lonely light we took a left to reach the farmer’s market. Here we parked and disembarked and surveyed the few white tents that housed the vendors and their goods. I saw fresh produce, olive oil, baked goods, homemade soaps, spices, dairy products, clothing, and more.
I tried some of the tomatoes, even though my instincts told me they weren’t ripe, and yet to my surprise they tasted of summer and warmth. The spices in the gold lipped jars smelled delicious and brought back memories of my mom’s Italian cooking. The vendors at every stand were kind and inviting. I spoke with the vendor for Ronnybrook Dairy Farms and purchased a drinkable yogurt only to instantly fall in love with the wonderful mango flavor. Later I tried peach and then strawberry. Another stand I stopped by sold fresh baked goods such as brownies, scones, cookies, pies, and so much more.
A cute diner sat on the corner of the main street intersection. The theater portion is said to open up later in the fall.
Across from the diner was the town bank, a shimmering fountain (above) and a memorial to those who lost their life in battle (below).