I slowed the car to a creep as I approached the gatehouse to Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa, unsure of my next move. I hadn’t expected a gatehouse, and this messed with my plan to use Honor’s parking lot to stow my car while I slipped to the adjacent Nevele Grande. The vacant Nevele Grande Hotel was the goal of the trip, and I could see its grounds from Arrowhead Road before the street split off.
I centimetered up to the Honor’s gatekeeper, an affable-looking guy in wrap-around shades.
“Hi, how can I help you today?” he tooted.
“Uh…not in the right place, here…do you know how to get back to 209?”
“Oh, yeah!” The gatekeeper began giving exquisite directions that I did not pay attention to. I thanked him, after which he re-capped the more important aspects of the route and, smiling, sent me on my way.
A quickly-fabricated Plan B was to park close enough to a wholesaler’s depot on the side of Rt. 209 to conceal my trajectory. 209 paralleled Nevele’s grounds, so I walked alongside it in the direction opposite Arrowhead..
The fence ringing the grounds had both barbed wire and a giant electrical cable stringed along its top. There were spaces without wire and spaces without cable, but the lacunae never corresponded. Almost a mile from Arrowhead, I found a sloppily-chained gate in the fence.
I had been shocked by fences before, and knew it was nothing excruciating, so I waited for 209 to be clear behind me, then steeled myself and rammed my body through the gap in the gate.
Surprisingly, I did not get electrocuted. I skirted the exposed field the gate opened into, trotting until I was concealed from the road by trees.
In the distance I saw Arrowhead bridging over a wide brook that flowed across The Nevele’s property, a pedestrian bridge running along its side. I couldn’t very well expose myself to that degree, so I went with Option B: fording the brook.
The brook was deeper than it looked; I had to hoist my backpack and cell above my head like a prospector to make it to the islet of sand in the middle. The second half of the brook was far too deep to ford, so I sloshed my way to a second islet farther down. Finding the crossing there to be similarly impassable, I sloshed to a third islet, my pants now soaked up to the crotch.
By now I was close enough to the pedestrian bridge to find that it did NOT, in fact, run alongside Arrowhead. It didn’t actually run along anything, so I sloshed back to the shore I originally left from, then snuck across the bridge, using the vegetation sprouting over its mounts for cover.
The first building I came upon was the pro shop.
As I exited, I saw a car wind around a bend on one of the Nevele’s roads. I froze. It continued on, but I could hear the sound of machinery up ahead.
I skirted the tower to avoid whomever was working the machine. The building was nine stories tall, and looked like something you’d see crowding a beach in Ft. Lauderdale. The Nevele had plenty of property for the building to be constructed laterally, so the architectural choice seemed bizarre. There aren’t many tall buildings in the Hudson Valley, and the structure sticking up from the surrounding greenery seemed monolithic.
As I walked around the giant cylinder, I noted that all the glass doors leading inside were chained shut. As I was examining one of them, a Latino guy in his 30s appeared on the other side and began unchaining it. I didn’t want to just flee, as this is never a good idea when trespassing—that just gets the cops called. I stayed where I was, but it was taking a vast amount of time for the guy to get the chain undone, making my position on the other side seem more suspicious than if I just had continued on my way, like I was preparing to mug him.
He eventually figured the chain out. He exited, glanced at me—pants muddy to the crotch, camera slung around my neck—then just kept on his way.
“Hot out!” I exclaimed dumbly. It just seemed too weird not say something after staring at him through the door for the last minute.
“Yeah…hot today!” he replied unsubstantially, then continued to walk away.
“Huh!”‘ I thought. I supposed the interaction actually went as well as it could have.
I continued around The Nevele’s grounds, snapping pictures as I went.
I finally came across the source of the machinery-noise: a portable generator sat on a small cart with an electrical cable leading to a 2nd-story window. I could hear someone throwing things around up there, but I couldn’t imagine what effect a single person with a small generator could have on a huge, dilapidated resort.
I managed to enter a couple more of the buildings.
While checking out whether a door was tightly chained or not, a Middle-Eastern guy in his 40s emerged up a ramp from one of the structure’s sub-levels.
“Hot out!” I exclaimed again
“Almost too hot for long pants!” I continued.
“Nooo…need the pants in a place like this. Get cut up if you don’t.”
…and he continued on, giving about as much of a shit as the last guy.
I was looping nervously around the Tower when a golf cart screeched up out of nowhere. Two white collar-looking guys were squashed into it, and it looked like they CERTAINLY gave a shit that I was there.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, “Pretty hot—”
“What are you doing here?” White Collar #1 demanded.
“Just taking some pictures of the outsides of the buildings for my site.” I was sure to put the outsides in there.
“Did anyone tell you you could come here?”
“Well…” I chose my words diplomatically. “I don’t have express permission from anyone official to be here, no.”
“Then why did you think it was OK for you to trespass?”
I was sure by this point they were going to kick me out, so I walked a line between defiance and deference.
“Ah…the whole ‘it wouldn’t actually harm anyone’ thing, I suppose.”
White Collar #2 stared through his sunglasses at the pavement while hoisting himself out of the golf cart, as though he thought I might fight him and was somberly preparing himself to dish out an ass-whooping.
“I’m gonna need you to leave.”
“Alright! Sounds good. I’m just going to walk back to my car.”
…and I started back, taking Arrowhead this time.
Nevele, like Grossinger’s, another break-in of mine, is in the running to receive one of the—at maximum—two casino licenses being awarded by the state to Hudson Valley locales.
They’re really gonna have to work on their customer service if they want that license.