Glimmering again in New York

Warning: opera fans crossing the road
"Eeeee-aaaaan" shouted the woman behind the desk in the border crossing, with an ear-splitting intensity. I jumped up and went to her station. Yes, I said. I've learnt after much travelling in the States that my name is pronounced in this way by Americans. My friend later confided she could not understand why I responded to the name, Ian. Where are you going? demanded the officer. Cooperstown. Why? We're going to an opera festival. She looked as if we had just said we were going to commit a murder, took a visible intake of breath, rolled her eyes and stamped my passport.
Glimmerglass doing what it does best
Six hours later we arrived at Glimmerglass, not the real name of the lake on which we are staying, but the name James Fenimore Cooper used in his novels for Otsego Lake.
Paula, our pilot on the tour boat Glimmerglass Queen, told us this is because the water is still and resembles a mirror every morning. On the lake she took us past Kingfisher Tower, a folly built by Edward Clark who made his fortune in Singer sewing machines.
Kingfisher Tower Castle on Otsego Lake
When Paula was a girl she said she used to call for Rapunzel to throw down her hair. One day the caretaker who knew her, threw down a yellow rope tied with a ribbon. Cooperstown and Otsego Lake, its real name, are unspoiled because of Mr Clark. He owned most of the land and it is now protected by a foundation.

Breakfast today was a delicious egg and sausage bagel at Danny's Market, an excellent spot for sandwiches and breakfasts on main street. (They've stopped selling beer but you can buy them in the pharmacy next door) You can get your medication and your beer at the same time, smiles the waitress. All around town were SUVs with baseball team names scrawled on the windows. This is mecca for baseball fans and lots of kids come to play at Doubleday Field.
Paula, captain of the Glimmerglass Queen
But we are here for the opera and at the Alice Busch Opera Theater we sit on benches and watch the sun go down while others picnic on the hill. We drink Crescendo ale , which local brewery Ommegang created  this summer especially for the Glimmerglass Festival. A delicious start to the evening before the glorious Armide, a baroque opera with jewel coloured costumes and lots of sumptuous ballet. It was a co-production by baroque specialists Opera Atelier from Toronto and a pleasure to behold. We particularly loved Colin Ainsworth as Renaud and the comic Aaron Ferguson and Olivier Laquerre as the two knights. They were genuinely funny and got lots of belly laughs from the audience.
Testing out the opera glasses. A Glimmerglass sunset.
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Shop window in Cooperstown


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