Before we head south to the nation’s biggest city, we thought that it made sense to cover a few desk escapes in upstate New York, starting with Syracuse (sorry, ‘Cuse) and then moving west to Rochester and Buffalo before we head down to New York City. So, without further ado, here are a few activities that can get you away from your office for an hour or so and that might just stop you from pulling your hair out when you’re asked to do yet another PowerPoint presentation!
Syracuse, New York Great Desk Escape Activity #1: Play Bocce in Onondaga Park
It’s hard not to love Onondaga Park - despite the relative throngs of traffic, it’s still our favorite place in town to get away from the noise and distraction of the city. And while you could go biking through the park’s many trails or go for a run, we think that the best escape here is spending a buck and renting a bocce set for a half hour (or joining one of the MeetUps where a group plays). The game isn’t that hard to play (although it’s better with more people) - basically, you try to get as close as possible to a little ball with the big balls that you throw. We know that this is really a two+ person game, but we think you can play by yourself, too — it just becomes more like playing golf, where you’re challenging yourself to do better. And, more importantly, you’re getting your mind off of whatever is going on at the office for a little while.
Syracuse, New York Great Desk Escape Activity #2: Jog or snowshoe in Clark Reservation State Park
If you had unlimited time during the day, you’d probably want to head over to Tinker Falls instead (with its awesome waterfalls, but since you’ve only got an hour, we think that Clark Reservation is a pretty good back up. Not only can you see a beautiful alpine lake and some cliff walls, every single route in the park is fairly short, which means that you can explore at almost any pace and still be back at your car for the ten minute drive back into town without worrying about whether or not you’re going fast enough. Besides, places that are pretty aren’t meant for speeding through — you’re supposed to stop and enjoy them a bit!
Syracuse, New York Great Desk Escape Activity #3: The Museum of International Masks and Puppets
As we were thinking of good indoor activities that took under an hour and didn’t involve drinking or going to a bar to watch basketball, we had an epiphany (we think we did, anyway). We thought about all of the cool stuff you can do indoors in Syracuse (we were real tempted by Canastota Kart Speedway, but vetoed it because it’s a bit too far away for a true desk escape), and then we realized that, right there in the middle of town, there’s an oft-maligned one-of-a-kind musuem (at least, it’s maligned by some of our friends there, who note that there are often lots of small children around). And while unique doesn’t always mean good, in this case, we think it’s a pretty incredible collection. And it’s actually pretty fun to take in a puppet show, too — yeah, the plotlines are, in general, subpar, but we’re always amused and it takes our mind off of whatever else is going on. And isn’t that the point of a desk escape?
Well, that’s it for today! Until tomorrow, happy exploring!