Boating On The Hudson & Beyond Article Excerpt

September 2011

Volume 21, Number 8

Day 4, Tuesday, June 7th, departed St. Johnsville Marina after saying goodbye to Dock Master and new friends… another retired NYPD Detective … leading the good life… boating & fishing every day on the Erie Canal during the summer, wintering in Florida! Where did I go wrong??? We reached our planned destination the mid-point of our nine-day trip, Sylvan Beach on Oneida Lake, at 1830 hours. We would spend the next day Wednesday, June 8th, at Mariner’s Landing Marina relax at the beach before returning home. I have difficulty walking long distances as the result of abdominal aneurysm surgery 7 years ago. Bob also has difficulty walking due to bad knees from years of construction work. Manny can walk like he’s training for the NYC Marathon! Understandably, Bob and I prefer to ride!

One drawback we quickly discovered at Sylvan Beach no taxi’s… no buses… no bike rentals no car rentals! Hoof it or stay! So we hobbled about a mile… felt like 10 to Eddie’s Restaurant on Main Street. Bob and I were hurting puppies! Manny… not even short of breath! Tuesday night at Sylvan Beach is bike night! About 500 motorcycles lined the curb in front of Eddie’s! To our surprise and delight… Eddie’s had plenty of tables available for locals, bikers, and 3 old boaters! We swash buckled in and took in a table. We could have used tattoos and bandanas! The best we could do was shorts and boat shoes! No one really seemed to notice! No pizza tonight! Hot food, coffee, various desserts, great friendly service with a family atmosphere. We had a very cute female admirer giving us the eye! Every now and then she would come by our table to speak to us! I’d guess she was about 5 years old! A beautiful little girl who did her best to make us feel welcome. After dinner, I limped to a park bench nearby, Bob… a Biker… went to checkout Harley T-shirts at an outdoor table… Manny went into a deli to buy Cheerios for breakfast! Must be the breakfast of long distance runners! While shopping, a beautiful and elegant lady approached Manny in the store to advise that we were observed in Eddies during dinner, and the little girl who befriended us was her Granddaughter. This lady introduced herself as Mrs. Leslie Stewart, a 3rd generation family owner of Eddie’s, and Harpoon Eddie’s, a restaurant and bar on the Beach, and the Laundromat. Being a “Launderer” myself… there was an instant connection! Her husband is the Mayor of Sylvan Beach, her son, the manager of Harpoon Eddie’s, and the Sylvan Beach Fire Chief! Talk about influential people! Manny mentioned Bob and my difficulty walking, Leslie stated she would be happy to drive us back to the Marina. Her act of kindness and compassion on three poor souls was most gratefully accepted! Little did she know, nor did we, that we would have the opportunity to give her public honorable mention in the Boating on Hudson magazine for her act of friendship. We visited Harpoon Eddie’s Restaurant & Bar for lunch on Wednesday afternoon and had such a wonderful time… we returned for dinner. The food service was outstanding… we experienced vibes that without a doubt… Lady Leslie had a hand in all of this! Sylvan Beach is on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake with a perfect mile-long white sand beach, has breathtaking sunsets, a fish idled lake, an old-fashioned amusement park, and lakeside dining establishments like Harpoon Eddie’s and beach side cottages. Sylvan Beach was once known as the playground of Central New York and hosted many famous entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellignton. All of this a few steps from the Erie Canal. Much of the businesses in the area, including the Mariner’s Landing Marina, are owned/operated by the Oneida Native American Indians, people who can rightfully proudly claim “Made in the USA”! They have done much to improve the area financially with the creation of thousands of jobs and their generosity of local organizations.  


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