Chasing Fall in Rochester, New York (And I found it!)

Monday, November 12, 2018

I had no expectations at all of Rochester, New York. I was not expecting to find anything exciting. I am in this part of New York for work. 
For the most part, I was right. Rochester is very quiet and even feels desolate compared to San Francisco. This makes this city a great place to spend a couple of days to get a break from the crazy hustle and bustle in the Bay Area. 

Actually, I had one expectation, one hope, one prayer -- to see REAL FALL.  My prayers were answered and expectations were more than satisfied. I finally have seen a real East Coast autumn. It was everything as I imagined it to be -- leaves of vibrant hues -- red, yellow, orange -- yet each leaf has the  subtlest difference of color from other leaves. When they are all grouped together on the ground, they are like leaf rainbows! The trees were vibrant and stunning!

When I woke up on my second day in Rochester, I decided to explore and get closer to the trees that I could see from my hotel room on the 24th floor. It seems like there were thousands of  yellow and orange trees as far as my eyes could see. 

I  was looking -- chasing fall -- and I found it. My first autumnal trees  were behind the river and by a parking lot. That little pocket that would have been just a forgettable piece of land during the summer and winter time has been transformed into a fall fairyland. I collected 5 leaves of different hues and kept them. Then I went across the street to a little park. It was in front of the Rochester Police Station. Once again, that little plot of land has been transformed into a lovely fall spot.

I found the real magic at a church yard. It started raining and the wind started picking up. I took shelter at an empty Italian  eatery with the best meatball sandwich that I have tasted in my entire life! Across from it was a red and white church with a little park. It really intrigued me because it was just too pretty to not visit despite the rain. I could see the side of the church with its steeple, and the little yard with benches, pretty trees, a grave and a couple of art pieces. I walked in and it was like a bucolic scene from a fairytale, or an old classic literature set in the early 18th century. The park was empty. I had fun under the trees just exploring and admiring the leaves.

I dreamed of seeing true autumn with its rainbow of leaves of red, orange, yellow, brown and green.  I first heard of the magical changing of the leaves from my aunt when I was a child. She has never been outside of the country at the time but she is well-read. She told me about it while I was playing Autumn Leaves on the piano. When I moved to the US and as I got older, seeing the fall foliage became part of my bucket list (which I call Mason Jar List now since I hate the word bucket).  And I am so glad that I finally got to experience it. It will always remain on my Mason Jar List  because the beauty of fall is something I wish I could experience every year. We just do not have this beauty in the West Coast, although I have seen the breathtaking fall foliage in the Bay Area such as in Napa and Sonoma. As beautiful as they are, nothing could compare to the foliage that I have experienced in Rochester. Fall is just natural part of the landscape in Rochester.  This experience makes me fall madly deeper in love with autumn/fall. (No pun intended.)
And I learned that my newfound activity that has been on my Mason Jar List forever is called "Leaf Peeping." I hope to get the opportunity to see this autumn wonder again someday. 

Check off "Leaf Peeping" on my mason jar list including taking a picture of me holding a leaf amidst the fall foliage!




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