Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Natalie Zaman and Magical Destinations of the Northeast

As most of you know, I live in the northeast USA, so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that Llewellyn was putting out a book called MAGICAL DESTINATIONS OF THE NORTHEAST, by Natalie Zaman. They sent me an early copy to look at so I could blurb it, and man, is this book fun! So I asked Natalie to stop by the blog and say hello, and tell us what kind of cool magical places one might find in New York State in particular.

Are you as thrilled as me that the new Harry Potter film is set in America? And in New York!!!

Personally, I can’t wait to look for all the magical spots as they’re portrayed in the movie…

But wait.

New York—and not just NYC—is already a magical place. I’m delighted that Deborah Blake (insert fan girl moment!) invited me to do a guest post on her blog about this very subject—so in honor of her (she is a New Yorker!), Harry Potter and all things beasty, here are some places where you can really find Fantastic Beasts in the Empire State (and some are totally free!):

If you find yourself east of the Hudson River near the Connecticut border (South Salem, NY), you can run with the WOLVES at the New York Wolf Conservation Center.

MOOSE—not just in Maine anymore! Visit Adirondack Park for a potential moose sighting. They’ve been in the park since 1980!

Narrowsburgh, New York is the EAGLE Capital of the northeast. In addition to the 20 pairs of nesting eagles who are current residents, up to 200 birds winter here from points north in Canada. Visit Narrowsburgh is January and February to see eagles flying overhead.

Visit all sort of other BIRDS at Berkshire Bird Paradise—the largest avian sanctuary in the state.

New York state is home to several FARM SANCTUARIES, places where animals of all shapes and sizes, some abused and abandoned have found forever homes where visitors are welcome. Check out the Catskills Animal Sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

ADOPT a pet in/from New York? I did! Check out Time Out NY’s picks to adopt a pet in New York City. The New York Humane Society has been helping animals for over a century, and Rescue Me maintains listings of rescue agencies and shelters by state.

And of course, the Big Apple is home to many fantastical creatures…

  • Take an OWL or BAT tour in Central Park, the city’s largest green spot. 
  • The Cloisters is home to the famed UNICORN tapestries. 
  • Rub the snout of the BOAR in Sutton Place Park for good luck! 
  • Strike a pose with the Library LIONS at NYPL’s main branch on 53rd Street. 
  • BULLS and BEARS—Oh my! Visit these icons of tenacity and strength on Wall Street in the Financial District. 
  • Suspend expectations as you gaze at “Gran Elephandret” in Union Square between 14th and 17th Streets, an ELEPHANTINE rendition of The Hanged Man. 
  • Visit the Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn to see the wildlife (there’s lots), and pay your respects to Henry Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA (there are also several beloved pets buried in the cemetery as well). 

  • Find more fantastic beasts near you by visiting Animal Tourism—there are listing by species and state Visit the Ephemeral New York blog to find more animal sculptures and art scattered throughout New York City.

    With love from the Wandering Witch

    Natalie Zaman is the author of Magical Destinations of the Northeast and co-author of the Graven Images Oracle deck (Galde Press). A regular contributor to various Llewellyn annual publications, she also writes the recurring feature “Wandering Witch” for Witches & Pagans Magazine. When not on the road, she’s busy chasing a flock of free range hens around her magical back-garden. Visit Natalie online at

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