Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sorry for the Absence

My apologies to all for the unexplained disappearance. The ongoing struggle to manage the Work/Life/Blog balance got even more difficult than usual and something had to give. While I would rather jettison work, it does pay the bills.

I do hope to start up the blog soon. If you would like an email when the blog resumes email me your info and I will let you know. Until then, take advantage of the hundreds of posts in the archives. Thanks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

On a Break

I'm taking a little rest and relax break. See you all soon.

Weekend Picks—Pick Your Own

I didn't get around to selecting weekend picks. In the spirit of our local "U Pick" farms, please post your own suggestions for fun things to do in the area this weekend. I've included one to get you started.

Moonviewing Concert The Japanese Stroll Garden, lit by paper lanterns, is a magical setting for this ancient custom, Saturday, 6:30 pm. Hammond Museum

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Behind the Camera

Catch the award winning film "Bill Cunningham New York" that tells the inside story of the famed New York Times photographer. For decades, Cunningham chronicled fashion trends and high society in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Now this documentary takes a look at his life and times. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Monday, August 15, 2011

Early Birders

Join the farm's birder for a morning bird walk through the pastures and hiking trails to identify species. Tuesday, 7:30 am. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rental: Teatown Treat

Year Built: 1930
Square Feet: 4,133
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 0.599 of an acre
Location: The Croton section of the Teatown area.
Best features: Location and charm. Set in a nice spot on lovely Blinn Road in the Teatown section, this property is a sweet spot to spend some time. (For hikers, it's a stone's throw from Bald Mountain, Teatown Lake Reservation, and the Teatown-Kitchawan hiking trail.) The large house has a nice living room with cathedral ceilings, a lovely dining room, and some great fireplace mantels. Outside, there's a killer front porch and a sweet rear patio.
Downside: The small property is a downside, but for a rental there's more than enough land.
Monthly Rent: $4,200

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wednesday Night Music

Enjoy the sounds of Jon Cobert, a musician who is adept at the piano, organ, accordion, guitar, bass, drums, and singing. He'll be performing tunes from his new CD, "Here's your Canoe". Wednesday, 8:00 pm, at 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Micro Brews, To Go

"A new shop in Croton-on-Hudson is now offering a constantly changing lineup of brews in growlers; most of them are not even available in traditional bottles. The Green Growler Grocery has a half-dozen draft lines ready to fill 32- or 64-ounce jugs (about $7 to $9, or $10 to $17 each)... The bottles cost $3.50 and can be brought back for refills — or you can bring your own."

The New York Times article on the Green Growler Grocery in Croton. Check out the shop's website for a list of current brews. The store also sells all you need to brew your own at home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Peekskill Celebration Come down to the Riverfront Green Park to enjoy dragon boat races, festival foods, music performances, Underground Railroad tours, petting animals, and the nighttime fireworks extravaganza. Friday and Saturday. Peekskill Celebration

Caramoor International Jazz Festival The three-day festival is packed with jazz legends and innovative voices on the international scene. Pianist Renee Rosnes and her own quartet kicks off the festival, followed by virtuoso bassist Christian McBride, guitarist Juan Carlos Formell, Jason Moran, Edmar Castaneda, and many others. Friday through Sunday. Caramoor International Jazz Festival

Guided Nature Hike Join a hike lead by a naturalist on the trails through the sanctuary. Saturday, 10:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary 

What Do You Do if Someone Wants to Eat You? Hide! Run! Fight back! Explore these methods and others that animals use to protect themselves from being a predator’s lunch. Saturday, 1:00  pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Evening Howl Enjoy visiting the wolves during their favorite hour - dusk. Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families and discover why summer is a magical time for packs in North America. Saturday, 7:00 pm. Wolf Conservation Center

River Day Take a boat-ride and celebrate our relationship to the river in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Hands-on activities include fishing, hearth cooking, and brick making. Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Van Cortlandt Manor

Annual Small Press Celebration Enjoy listening to readers from Slapering Hol Press, Toadlilly, Westchester Review, and Inkwel. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Hudson Valley Writer's Center

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In Town Tudor

Year Built: 1929
Square Feet: 2,777 
Bedrooms: 4
Property: 0.31 of an acre
Location: Mt. Kisco, on a nice street and just steps from the shops and restaurants
Best features: If you're looking for a walkable location, this is one of the best the area has to offer. The house is one block from Main Street and a short walk to the train station, library, and everything else in Mt. Kisco. The slate-roofed abode has loads of Tudor charm and a great screened porch. Inside, the rooms are gracious and boast some nice details—love that stairway banister!
Downside: It looks like some sprucing up is in order.
Taxes: $10,463
Asking Price: $620,000
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nature, by Black Light

What's out and about at night? Take a walk as darkness falls to black-light for splendid creatures of the night. Thursday, 8:00 pm, at Teatown Lake Reservation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Local Farmland Protected

The Yorktown Patch reports that Yorktown, Cortlandt, and Westchester County have joined forces to ensure that Hemlock Hill Farm remains protected from development. The owners of the 118-acre farm, located in the towns of Cortlandt and Yorktown, sold the conservation easement for the land to the county. The purchase of the $2.7 million easement will ensure the continuation of the family-owned farm well into the future. Check out the farm's store for dairy products, meat, poultry, eggs, and more.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Buzz on Beekeeping

What's the latest trend to hit Northern Westchester? According to an article in The New York Times, the area is abuzz with beekeepers. Beekeeping classes at Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights and at the John Jay Homestead in Katonah are finding a growing number of interested attendees. Classes have also been held at the Teatown Lake Reservation, Muscoot Farm, and other area spots (and are often featured in my Weekend Picks). The Times quotes Margaret von der Meden, who tends four hives at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights, as saying, “When I started 13 years ago, no one was doing it. Today, people are beekeeping all over the place.” Ms. Von der Meden belongs to Croton Bees, a beekeeping club with over 30 members, and has recently started producing a line of bee-based creams, Beehive Goods. If you'd like the pleasure of local honey without the trouble of beekeeping, Peter Pratt's Inn sells it own honey and several local brands are for sale at both Hilltop Hanover Farm and Table Local Market.
Image: The New York Times

On the Set

Croton Gorge Park was taken over for a few days last week by the filming of Gods Behaving Badly, the movie based on Marie Phillips' novel starring Christopher Walken, Sharon Stone, Edie Falco, and other notables as Greek Gods. The movie is set—and mostly filming—in Manhattan, but the park is standing in for Zeus' mansion (note the faux doors erected along the dam's wall). The film is set to release in 2012.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

The Bob Meyer Project Enjoy the jazz of the The Bob Meyer Project. Friday, 7:30 pm. BeanRunner Cafe

Gabriel Kahane and Alisa Weilerstein Singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane and cellist Alisa Weilerstein team up for an evening off Kahane’s own compositions along with cello works by Bach. Friday at 8:00 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Treasure Beach Bring your beach finds and explore the treasures that we’ve collected to find out more about ocean life. Saturday, 10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Peter Muir Jazz pianist Peter Muir performs. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Croton Free Library

Pickling 101 Learn how to preserve summer’s bounty. Cucumbers and other in-season vegetables from the farm will be used to teach how to safely make and preserve delicious pickles. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Captain Blood With exciting set pieces and an intense climactic battle at sea, Captain Blood features a young Errol Flynn as a gentleman pirate, a gorgeous Olivia de Havilland, and a passionate tale of derring-do. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Peekskill Jazz & Blues Festival 2011 Check out the free performances by jazz and blues artists including Tommy Castro Band, The Curtis Brothers, Chris Massey's Nue Jazz Project, and Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble. Saturday, 3:00 to 10:00 pm. Peekskill Jazz and Blues Festival

Summer Concert Series The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra performs works by Bach and Mendelssohn on the lawn. Saturday, 6:00 pm. Lasdon Park

Turtle Walk Kids age 8 and up can join the search for Eastern Box Turtles. Help walk the meadow to locate turtles so that they may be identified, recorded, and released. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Garden Tour Take a peak at two Cortlandt Manor resident’s private gardens. Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Contempo with Flair

Year Built: 1969
Square Feet: 3,300
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 0.99 of an acre
Location: Ossining, east of downtown and close to Cedar Lane Park
Best features: See how the house is tucked into the hill and gently caresses the land? Today's builders would flatten the property into a level square and plop a colonial on it. Back in the day people knew how to design for the site. Inside, the house boasts lots of windows and details like soaring ceilings and nifty paneling.
Downside: The wall-to-wall in the bedrooms is just one of the features crying out for updating.
Taxes: $14,897
Asking Price: 699,000

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chill Spot

Looking for a cool place? Check out the Mianus River Gorge Preserve, a 750 acre sanctuary featuring some of the sweetest sights in the area. The old-growth evergreens, the deep ravine, and the soothing sound of the river give this spot a refreshing vibe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On the Forum: Looking for a Rental

Karen Asks:

"We're looking for a 1 to 2 bedroom rental property in Northern Westchester. Ideally it would be a private cottage and dog friendly. We're both writers with excellent credit and references. With utilities our ceiling is $1900. Thanks. "

Got any ideas? Share them on the NW Forum.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Storyteller on the Roof

The film "Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness" is the tale of the writer who chronicled the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe and whose stories became the basis of the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. The filmmaker Joseph Dorman joins New York Times critic Janet Maslin for a post screening interview. Monday, 7:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekend Picks

The week was too busy and there's no air conditioning in my home office—so, my apologies for the lame picks post.

Mohegan Lake Film Festival Catch short films submitted by filmmakers throughout the world on one of Mohegan Lake's beautiful beaches. Friday, 7:00 pm. Mohegan Lake Film Festival

The Comedy of Errors Shakespeare's comedy will be performed by Curtain Call. Bring your picnic basket and blanket to dine on the lawn. Friday, 7:30pm. Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flipping Out in Croton

And a new kitchen, too!
I first featured this house in June 2008, when it was listed at $925,000. It was on and off the market—at lower and lower asking prices—until finally selling in November 2010 for $488,000. Now someone has given it the once over—complete with new roofing, new baths, a new kitchen, and other updates. The 1915 house still has 3,400 square feet with 3 bedrooms. And it still sits on a lovely 3 acre property on sweet Finney Farm Road. Another improvement is the tax bill, which has dropped from $24,328 in 2008 to a more palatable $20,285. The refurbished house is asking $819,000.
Houlihan Lawrence
Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Outdoor Flick

Catch a showing of Being John Malkovich, Spike Jonze’s surreal take on the human desire to experience “fifteen minutes of fame,” shown outdoors in the Katonah Museum of Art's sculpture garden. The film will be preceded by “Dr. Breakfast,” an animated short. Thursday, 8:00 pm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Local and Yummy

"Since May, the market manager, Jennifer Gordon, had been handpicking a group of nearby farmers and producers; many come from just 10 or 15 minutes away and all use organic or sustainable practices.” 

The New York Times article on the weekly farmer's market at the John Jay Homestead. Check out my roundup of area farmer's markets for details on this other places to get local produce.  
Image: The New York Times

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chekhov, Live from London

Beamed live via satellite in high definition from the National Theatre in London, this performance of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" stars Olivier Award–winning ZoĆ« Wanamaker (left) as the aristocratic Madame Ranevskaya. Monday, 7:00 pm, at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Flight of the Pollinator
Bees, butterflies and birds are part of the summer brigade that performs the vital job of sustaining healthy plant populations. Join a naturalist to view the colorful landscape they create and learn about this ecological service. Saturday, 11:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Volunteer Day: Bridges and Boardwalks Volunteers are needed to assist the sanctuary staff in the construction and maintenance of bog bridges and boardwalks. Saturday, 9:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Bird Watching Join Steve Robbins for a morning bird walk through the farm's pastures and hiking trails to identify species and discover how habitat, weather, and other environmental factors influence birds. Saturday, 7:30 am. Hilltop Hanover Farm

"Wind Serenade" Summer Concert The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra performs works by Gounod and Mozart on the lawn. Saturday, 6:00 pm. Lasdon Park and Arboretum

Ottis and the Hurricanes Mixing Delta Blues, New Orleans Funk, and a dash of Rock 'n Roll, Otis and the Hurricanes create their own unique sound. Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Tim Pan Band Playing their own blend of effortless, festive, tunes, the Tin Pan Band performs live. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Mahler`s Vienna: Concert Al Fresco Introduce your family to Mahler and enjoy the sounds of the concert from the Picnic Lawns. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Caramoor

Insectmania! Meet a few of the six-legged ambassadors and go a little buggy! Sunday, 11:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

The Art of Beekeeping Ever wonder how many miles the bees fly to make one pound of honey? Find out the answer to this question and more with beekeeper Ralph Szur. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Muscoot Farm