"A sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” —Rebecca Solnit
Fleischmanns, New York
If you were driving through on Route 28 in a car, you would likely miss this place. With only a small sign tucked behind a bend stating “Welcome to Fleischmanns” you might not even realize that a small village was located beyond the trees. Fleischmanns is located in a valley of the Catskill Mountains, and has a population of around 350 people. Evidence still remains of a time when this village was thriving in the late 1800s. The old school, now privately owned and crumbling. A movie theater, now vacant and for sale. Vacant store fronts, homes, hotels and restaurants line Main Street. What remains? A small grocery store, a single gas station, a Mexican restaurant, and a village park is what some people would answer. I, however, would tell you that no matter how good or how bad the condition of Fleischmanns is now compared to the late 1800s, it is my home and the place where I not only grew up, but where I still want to be, live and explore. What remains in this village for me is much more than what makes up its built environment. More importantly my memories and sense of place remain in the natural environment, my family, my home and my community. I could never put into words exactly what I feel when I am home or everything that makes this place so special to me, but I can tell you that this place means more to me than any place I have ever visited. This place has molded me into the person I am today, watched me grow, fostered my creativity and learning, and taught me the importance of appreciating your natural surroundings. My house is immediately surrounded by a dirt road, a pond, a stream, trees, and depending on the season green grass or several feet of snow. However, more broadly my house is surrounded by my family, my community, my memories and the beautiful Catskill Mountains. This is what makes up the place where I will forever call home.