Road Trip Diary: The Magic & Mystery of Upstate New York

“There’s an authentic charm and romance to these places – a world of its own that merits multiple explorations.” – Art Director & Designer Catherine Mangosing

Catherine Mangosing - An Upstate of Mind
Catherine Mangosing in Amenia NY / Photo by Sparrow Hall

The birth of An Upstate of Mind didn’t surprise me after the numerous conversations I’ve had with Sparrow Hall over the years. Ours is a friendship that sprung from a shared experience of being swallowed up by the Dot-Com boom (and bust) of the late 90s/early 00s. We’ve stayed friends ever since, and I consider him to be one of my oldest and dearest in New York.

As a former West Coaster, I came to New York without having any familiarity with the East Coast, in general. It was Sparrow who first introduced me to the world beyond Manhattan and Brooklyn. It wasn’t until he took me on the first of many road trips to Upstate New York that I even had a glimpse of the many definitions of the state.

Amenia, NY - Photo by Catherine Mangosing
Amenia NY / Photo by Catherine Mangosing

On these trips, we would drive around exploring, taking photos, stopping at various towns and picturesque points, telling each other stories, and often crafting fictitious and rather absurd tales about the characters we’d encounter along the way. There was always a lot of laughter.

I have such fond memories of beautiful scenery and achingly adorable and beautiful little boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. These trips would always be a welcome change of scenery from the pace and grit of the city. Not to mention, the fresh air.

White Barn - Photo by Catherine Mangosing
Photo by Catherine Mangosing

There was never a doubt of Sparrow’s love for Upstate New York, and why the beautiful elements in these places found their way into his writing, his home, his whole being. I’m so happy that he’s brought this story online, and I can’t wait to see where we visit next.

Catherine Mangosing is an art director and designer specializing in brand identity, packaging, and digital content. She has lived in Manila, California, Vancouver, and Brooklyn, residing now in Toronto, CA where she works with clients from around the world – including Porsche, thérapie new york, and recording artist John Legend. Learn more about Catherine and follow her blog (and beautiful Instagram photos!) at >

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