These are trying times. I think that for a while I tricked myself by doing ab challenges and drinking foamy coffee but y’all – it’s getting to me. The election. The pandemic. The disregard for human life that we see systemically everyday. THE COLD WEATHER!

Everyone needs a breather, a change of scenery from time to time. Whether you have the resources to get away or you don’t, I want to remind you to unplug and do things that make you happy.

Sometimes if I need to get away I just walk around Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I go sit on a bench and forget the world. I turn off my phone. I listen to the leaves fall and the dogs bark.

I find I’m a happier person when I do so. My mental health is prioritized and I realize how beneficial pausing is. 

I personally suggest, if you have the resources, to get away from the city you’re in for a weekend or a night. I say this at the end of October, when cases were not surging in New York. Now, unfortunately, travel isn’t recommended. But! I implore you to bookmark this guide for post-covid fun. 

With Airbnb (no this isn’t sponsored) the world is at your fingertips. Truly. A cheaper alternative to hotels – I love escaping to someone’s else’s nook in the world.

So, I implore you to join me on a weekend away from Brooklyn and the chaos to Beacon, NY. 

Beacon is located about an hour and half away from the city by car or just under two hours by metro north train from Grand Central. It’s located in Dutchess County right on the Hudson river. The town of Beacon is known for its two mile main strip, also known as Main Street.

Down main street, you can find restaurants, vintage shopping, and all the cozy little small town shops you can imagine.Something that needs addressing is that Beacon is art hoe heaven. Firstly, there is Storm King Art Center about 15 minutes from Beacon, but it might as well be in Beacon. It is a 500 acre open air museum made up of outdoor sculptures with art from the most esteemed artists of the 20th century.You have to reserve your tickets ahead of time, and I suggest renting a bike so you can experience every sculpture the museum has. The piece below is a mirror fence that is very popular for pictures – you can see why.

Secondly, you need to visit the Dia Beacon Art Museum. The Dia Beacon is a contemporary art museum right outside of the train station. As someone who loves modern art, I’d say this is my favorite art museum in New York as a whole. It is filled with gems in a little pocket of upstate New York. I mean, what’s there not to love?

If you’re the outdoorsy type, I suggest hiking Breakneck Ridge. The entrance to the mountain is a few steps from the main strip. It took me about 6 hours to get to the very top and I complained the whole way up, but it is a great way to disconnect.I didn’t use my phone, other than to take some pictures at the top, and in hindsight I realized how much I needed that. 

I am someone who is so driven by what’s next and I live to be busy, so this type of forced relaxation felt like a much needed rewiring. As if you didn’t need more convincing about this awesome town, I’m going to mention a restaurant where everyone knows each other and the owner will personally know your life story by the time you ask for the check. The restaurant in question is called Max’s on Main. It is a brick lined pub serving up American grub and beer. The walls are covered with signed classic rock memorabilia and the waiters are made up of fun local characters.The beloved owner, whom I had just met when I was seated, made sure to give us great service, a laugh, and delicious food. It’s a mom and pop shop that I implore you to visit if you ever get the chance to grace the streets of Beacon, NY.

Alas my trip came to a conclusion. Two days and I was recharged. That’s all you need. 

Well, you don’t even need that! You can have the same effect if you go and walk around your neighborhood for an hour and buy a hot chocolate from a local business. Or spend all day in bed watching Harry Potter without a care in the world. Have a moment to escape. What I’m saying is – we all need to recharge and sometimes it’s hard to recognize that. But your self-care is important and I want us all to remember to prioritize it. 

Rachel Cabeza is a Latinx actor/writer located in Brooklyn, NY. She loves watching movies, hiking with her dog, cooking pizza in her pizza oven EVERY weekend, and working out. Rachel is excited to bring a new column about skincare, beauty, and fashion to Mixed Mag and connect with all the amazing readers.

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