A Passion for Lighthouses

Cross posted on Pinay New Yorker on Friendster

Montauklighthouse_2 I can’t really remember when it was that I started to develop a fascination for lighthouses.  I’ve been a postcard collector for 2 decades now and I guess it started from the lighthouse postcards that I received.  Back in the beginning, I collected anything and everything from outside the Philippines.  I regret now that I never paid enough attention to the Philippine postcards not knowing I would eventually leave Manila to live in another part of the world.  Isn’t it ironic that I am now collecting Philippine postcards?  — even you’re everyday run-of-the-mill postcard found in National Bookstore

When I finally settled down in New York in 2000, I set about expanding my postcard collection and found myself concentrating on maps and lighthouses.

In the five years I’ve been here, I’ve confined my collecting interest so far as US postcards are concerned to the two — and I’ve built a sizeable collection from the 50 states, although not all have their lighthouses.  (Only coastal states of course have the benefit of having lighthouses dotting their coastlines.)  I have been trying to put them all in one website but have almost given up on doing that due to the size of the collection.  I’ve been collecting off and on but have always had a fascination for them.

One particular favorite of mine is the Montauk Lighthouse located in the nothernmost tip of Long Island, a 2 hour drive away from New York City.  I first visited Montauk in April 2003 after my second miscarraige and after I got laid off work when my CFO was let go due to job elimination.  It was Alan’s way of trying to cheer me up — and we had a lovely time although it was still chilly in the beginning of spring.  Since then, I’ve been back only once but it’s just a drive away.

Alan has given me lighthouse calendars and friends who know sometime surprise me with something lighthouse related.  Whenever we visit a place with a lighthouse, we try to make it a point to go and visit even just the grounds if the lighthouse is not available for viewing.

Montauk is a lighthouse collector’s delight because it has been converted into a museum and the grounds are just breathtaking.  Imagine yourself standing on a cliff at the edge of New York and all you see beyond is the blue sea.  It’s also one of the more popular lighthouses amongst lighthouse postcard collectors and is much sought after to complete collections.

And here’s a bit of trivia for lighthouse afficionados out there: did you know that the Statue of Liberty is actually a lighthouse?  I learned that from an old friend from postcard collecting, Wes Babko ko shared this bit of trivia with me a few years back.

There’s certain magic for me when I think about lighthouses.  Today is a good day to think of magic and favorite things.  I remember standing inside the Montauk lighthouse and looking out into the horizon.  It’s not just breath-taking, it’s awe inspiring.  That’s me and my fascination for lighthouses.