Monday, August 25, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Well, swimming actually. I'm away for a break and there will be no new content until September 2nd or 3rd . Until then, enjoy the archives!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Upstate Reggae on the River
Held at Croton Point Park, this new festival aims to promote environmental causes. Performers will include Rootz Underground, Leon and the Peoples, Mystic Dub, and the Jah Messenjah Band. Saturday, 10:00 to 8:00. Upstate Reggae on the River

Map and Compass Learn the basic use of these critical navigation tools. Saturday, 1:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Vegetable Picking Walk the fields and select your own vegetables. Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00. Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center

Eating Locally Maryanne Hedrick, the founder of My Personal Farmers, a service that delivers local produce, speaks on the importance of eating locally and how we can do so in the lower Hudson Valley. Saturday, 1:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Elegy In this adaptation of Philip Roth's The Dying Animal (above), Ben Kingsley portrays a cultural critic who finds his life thrown into tragic disarray by a student, played by Penelope Cruz. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Summer Seining The Croton Point shorelines are teeming with fish and crabs. We will use a 25-foot net to catch, identify, and release them. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park

Pick Your Own Eggs Get an inside peek at egg production on a small farm while getting hands-on experience with our chickens. Saturday, 11:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Roxy Perry Singer Roxy Perry performs her unique brand of the blues. Saturday, 9:30 to 12:30. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Anthony DaCosta Young and much-heralded musician Anthony DaCosta performs songs from his many CDs. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Garden Work Learn from a master gardner how to care for the herb garden by cultivating, watering, and composting. Sunday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Muscoot Farm

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Privacy and Proximity

Your spouse wants privacy but you want to be close to everything? This listing might do the trick. Located in the affluent Captain Merrit Hill neighborhood of Mt. Kisco, the home sits on a lovely 1.3 acre property yet is still an easy walk to Main Street. Built in 1906, the 2,000 square foot abode has 3 bedrooms and boasts lots of charm and original details. The kitchen is sweet, but looks a little cramped and outdated. The house has a pleasant sunroom and a lovely patio. $949,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spanish Hues

The paintings of Spanish artist Gemma Guich (including Calella, above) are inspired by the views of the Pyrenees Mountains and the Costa Brava, which surround her home. Her work is on exhibit through September 30th. Gallery du Soleil

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Croton Village Cutie

I generally try not to feature listings in the same town back-to-back, but since the last Croton property was on the high end, it's interesting to take a look at the lower end. Built in 1867, this sweet but small home has plenty of charm. Weighing in at a slight 1,168 square feet, the 2 bedroom colonial has a picture-perfect front porch, nice sunporch, and a lovely yard. The kitchen looks like it could use an update, as does the bathroom. The home is smack in the center of Croton's Upper Village, close to everything but also on a main street just steps from the commercial area. For the price, it seems like a nice deal. $399,999
River Towns GMAC, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Lot of Art

An interesting array of objects has popped up on a large lot on the outskirts of Peekskill. The North County News reports that the city's latest spot to view creative works is the Art Lot. Created and run by Collaborative Concepts, the lot is next to the Hat Factory, one of Peekskill's oldest industrial buildings (and itself the site of a number of art events and installations). The inaugural show at the lot is “Art Lot Goes Green,” and many of the works are made from recycled trash. Joseph Kleinmann's “Pour White Trash” (right) features metal debris welded together. According to the North County News, many of the works are by Peekskill residents, including Kleinmann, Jo Ann Brody, Jody Carlson, Ludwig Dochterman, Michael Anthony Notiello, and Jim Ward. Exhibits at the Art Lot will change regularly. Given the fragility of many of its exhibits, the lot is fenced off. To arrange a closer look, contact the Peekskill Arts Council. The Art Lot is located north of town on North Division Street.
SOURCE: North County News: That's no scrap yard - that's the Art Lot
Image: Joseph Kleinmann with Pour White Trash; photo by Tony Seideman for the North County News

Food Buzz: Reviews of 12 Grapes and Q

Three weeks ago I did a Food Buzz post on a few new restaurants in the area. Sunday's New York Times caught up with reviews of two of them. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar, in Peekskill, got a "Good" rating, with the reviewer expressing surprise at the quality of the food given that it is a "music spot." Standouts include rum-glazed shrimp, mushroom ravioli, flatbread pizza Margarita, miso-glazed black cod, breast of duck, pork tenderloin, and blackberry cabernet sorbet. A review of Q Restaurant and Bar in Mt. Kisco says the "ribs are king, but the excellent Texas brisket, pulled pork and barbecue chicken wings come nipping at their heels." The reviewer also raves about the pies.
SOURCES: New York Times: A Versatile Menu, Wine and Even Music, New York Times: For Ribs and Fixings

Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Fine Arts & Crafts Fair The 39th annual fair continues its tradition as a premier event in the Hudson Valley for collectors of fine art and craft. Over 75 artists, regional food artisans, and wineries will converge at the Garrison Landing Riverfront Park. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00. Garrison Art Center

Moonviewing Picnic and Concert Experience a tea ceremony and the 4,000 year old sounds of a kugo concert. Saturday, 6:30. Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Gardens

End of Summer Reading Celebration Join in for games, prizes, and lots of surprises! Saturday, 3:00. Croton Free Library

Man on Wire Winner of both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at Sundance, this exuberant film is about Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the newly constructed towers of the World Trade Center. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns film Center

Frog Hunt What’s croaking in the lake? Bull frogs and green frogs, that’s what! Grab a net and join an old fashioned frog hunt to learn about the frogs that live here. Saturday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Casablanca The world will always welcome lovers...and this classic movie. Especially when the showing is in a 1930's movie palace and is completely free! Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

The Slippery Chickens Listen to the rockabilly sounds of The Slippery Chickens. Sunday, 7:00 to 10:00. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Creative Writing: Gathering Nature’s Abundance
Join a facilitator for an afternoon of creative writing as you listen to the songs of birds. How might the Preserve’s landscape inspire you to explore, reflect, and create as you transform your words into meaningful prose or poetry? Sunday, 1:30. Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Sail the Hudson River Set sail from Verplanck for a three-hour sail aboard working replicas of 19th century sailing vessels (above). It is an opportunity to learn more about the Hudson’s environmental concerns and see things from new perspective. Sunday, 10:00 to 1:00 Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Canning the Summer's Bounty There’s more than one way to can, pickle, or preserve. Join local food advocate Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of Real Food Revival, for a workshop that will teach you a few different ways to keep August’s bounty around into next season! Sunday, 1:00. Stone Barn Center for Food and Agriculture

Camp Cooking Extravaganza Discover the fine art of cooking over an open fire. Sunday, 3:30. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Pond Study Learn what creatures live in and around the farm pond. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Yiddish Heritage Celebration Explore the music, dance, and singing of Yiddish culture. Sunday, 5:00 to 8:00. Kensico Dam Plaza

Image by james.doyle

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Twin Peaks

Built in 1929, this 4,500 square foot stone manor is pretty impressive. Not to mention that the property consists of 14 acres high in the Mt. Airy section of Croton. The 5 bedroom house has 4 bathrooms, a stylish (though apparently small) kitchen, and a number of large, gracious rooms. (Love the master bath!) The grounds include a large pool, multiple patios, and plenty of mature landscaping. Pretty sweet. Given the size of the house and property, the $28,300 annual tax bill seems almost reasonable. $2,600,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Journal of a Renovation

The new owners of a lovely house in Peekskill have started a blog to record the joys and travails of the restoration they're about to embark on. Restoration and Renovation will share the owners' adventure as they bring their home (which I featured as a Hot Property) into the 21st century. A and J (as they call themselves) were kind enough to take a moment to answer a few questions.

Where are you moving from? We're moving from Montclair, NJ. We were there for about a year. Before that we were in Los Angeles (Studio City).

Why did you pick Peekskill? We really liked the feel of Peekskill, all the great older architecture, the artsy downtown, the proximity to the river and the fact that it is not a cookie-cutter community. Every time we visited the area, it seemed like we met friendly people, too.

What are your plans for the house?
We are hoping to restore it with a few updates. The exterior needs some serious TLC. We'd like to add another 1.5 bathrooms and update the kitchen (but no granite). Our preference is to try and create classic updates that blend with the style and period of the house.

Have you done this before? We have some experience. We completely gutted and redid the kitchen in our 1926 bungalow in Studio City and did some additional renovations on the rest of the house. This will be our first time creating a bathroom from scratch. Our last house in Montclair didn't need quite the same level of work, but we did a lot of cosmetic work on it.

What's the biggest lesson you've learned from past projects? Plan everything out down to the smallest detail before getting started. On our last project we just jumped in and ended up sort of figuring things out as we went, causing us to have to redo several projects. For example the sink faucet we originally bought didn't end up fitting and we had to buy a new one. If we had realized that before the walls were up, we could have adjusted, but by the time we figured it out, it was too late. You also need to factor into your budget that unexpected issues will arise and that, if you're doing it yourself, you're going to make some mistakes and therefore might need a bit extra in terms of materials. A smaller thing we've learned is that you can never measure too many times or too carefully. Measure twice and cut once.

Flower Power

Works in watercolors and oils by Wendie Garber (including "Red Tulips," above) will be on view through August 24 at the Flat Iron Gallery in Peekskill.
Image: Flat Iron Gallery

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dormer Delight

Built in 1930, this 1,900 square foot Dutch Colonial is brimming with charm and character. The 3 bedroom house features gracious spaces and lovely details. The house only has one full bath and while the kitchen looks very pleasant, some might want to give it an update. There's a large deck in back, and the 0.17 of an acre lot has a nice yard. Located on the southern edge of Mt. Kisco, the house is close to the town center. At $6,100, the annual taxes aren't bad at all. $629,000
Prudential Holmes & Kennedy, Google Map, Live search Map

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saving a Firehouse, Creating a Museum

Peekskill's historic 1890 firehouse is about to be lifted out of the way of danger. The building had been slated for demolition as part of the rebuilding of the Route 9 bridge, which literally runs through it's roof. But Sunday's New York Times reports that the building will be moved to safety this week. It will only go about 500 feet, to a temporary spot where it will rest for a scheduled 10 months. Then the structure will be moved across the street to it's permanent home in Lincoln Park, along the Hudson riverfront. The old firehouse will be placed beside the historic Lincoln Depot, where Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in 1861. Plans are to restore the firehouse and to make it and the depot (which has recently been refurbished) into a small museum and visitors center. The Times reports that the City of Peekskill is inviting proposals for the final design and use of the new plaza. Whatever the final plan, the firehouse and depot are both wonderful buildings and their restoration is sure to be a great addition to Peekskill.
SOURCE: The New York Times: A Peekskill Firehouse on the Move
Image: hourman

Food Buzz: Brewery Update; Hearty Food in Mt. Kisco

Peekskill Brewery The much anticipated addition to Peekskill's waterfront is almost completed. The owner says that there will be a soft opening of the bar this Saturday (by reservation only) and then the official opening will occur the following Saturday (August 23). I got a sneak peek tour of the Brewery this weekend. The bar area is very appealing, with a 'classic pub' atmosphere. The restaurant is pleasant, if a bit bland (decorations aren't up yet, but the owner said that they plan on displaying work by local artists). A hall connects the two areas and has windows into the actual brewery. All in all, the space is warm and inviting--and I can't wait for my first sip. Peekskill Brewery

Cafe of Love Sunday's New York Times had a review of one of the newer restaurants in Mt. Kisco, the Cafe of Love. Run by the owner's of the popular Ladle of Love gourmet take-out shop, the cafe features fare that is "so hearty that a diner can feel satisfied after a few mouthfuls," according to the reviewer. The restaurant rates an overall "good," with the reviewer praising a number of dishes (the harvest celebration soup, arugula and beet salad, lamb chops, and roasted pork loin, among others), but criticizing the overly large menu and untrained staff. Back in May, the Journal News gave the restaurant a rave, with the reviewer calling the seared tenderloin "rich, tender, and dripping with flavor." Posters on chowhound are for the most part extremely positive about the cafe, though others question the prices, which are also on the hearty side. I haven't been yet, but I walked by over the weekend--the interior is appealing in a comfy-country way, and the restaurant has an inviting, covered outdoor area on the sidewalk. Cafe of love, 38 East Main Street, Mount Kisco

Friday, August 8, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Mohegan Colony Storytelling & Music Festival For the eighth year in a row, nationally known tellers and musicians gather to share their craft. There will be tales for adults as well as family programs. Featured artists include Bobby Gonzalez, Gail Rosen, the Storycrafters, and Diane Wolkstein. For Reservations, call 914-528-5830. Saturday, 1:00 to 10:00. Hudson Valley Storytelling Alliance, 99 Baron de Hirsch Road, Crompond

Pond Study Come explore Swan Lake and discover some of the creatures that call it home. Participants will use nets to collect insects, tadpoles, and small fish to see how they are adapted to this underwater environment. Saturday, 1:30 to 3:30. Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Singin' in the Rain Kids will enjoy this glorious classic (above) starring Gene Kelly and Jean Hagen as silent screen icons making the transition to talkies. Saturday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center.

Life's a Beach Surf’s up at the backyard beach in the Sculpture Garden. Enjoy live reggae music, cool drinks, and hot food at our backyard beach bash. Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00. Katonah Museum of Art

Jazz & Blues Celebration The second annual celebration honors Carmen Leggio for his contribution to music and the arts and features Afro Caribbean, swing, and Latin jazz. In downtown Peekskill, at the intersection of Park and Division Streets. Saturday, 5:00 to 10:00. City of Peekskill

The Mojomatics Right after the jazz celebration, head down the block to hear the blues and rock of The Mojomatics. Saturday, 10:00. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Buried in Blue Listen to the blues funk music of Buried in Blue. Saturday, 10:00. Lucy's Lounge

Zappa Plays Zappa
The concert experience and musical tribute dedicated to the music of the late great Frank Zappa, featuring Frank's son Dweezil on lead guitar. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Marsh Madness Join a naturalist and explore the wild side of Teatown. Learn to identify common plants and animals that make each habitat unique. Sunday, 1:00 to 2:30. Teatown Lake Reservation

Ecuardorian Festival Ethnic food, music, dance and entertainment at Croton Point Park. Sunday, 10:00 to 7:00. Westchester County Parks

History Hike Enjoy a leisurely walk around the farm and learn its history. Sunday, 10:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Tomato Jam-Boree Join us for fun, music, and a delicious afternoon on the farm as we celebrate Tomatoes. Sunday, 2:00 to 6:00. Rainbeau Ridge Farm

Emily Asen Folk-rock singer Emily Asen plays tunes from her latest CD. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mod Estate

Designed by a co-architect of Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonia community, this 1955 stone and glass house exudes earthy cool. The 2,600 square foot, 3 bedroom residence has loads of glass and many wide-open spaces that embrace the outdoors. And what an outdoors it is--21 acres of woods just east of Ossising, with distant views of the Hudson. The property includes a pool and 2 bedroom guest house. Oh, and a putting green, too. At $48,388, the annual taxes aren't for the faint of heart. As a rule, I am personally against new construction on undeveloped land, but I should note that, according to the listing, the property is sub-dividable–which gives the buyer the option of selling a portion of the property to raise some cash and reduce the tax burden. $2,499,000

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thank Godard

Need a break from Summer blockbusters? Check out the Jacob Burns Film Center's series "Godard in the Sixties." The eight films include highlights from the director's early career such as Breathless, Contempt, and Band of Outsiders, and run the gamut from lighthearted comedy to crime thriller to cinematic essay. The series runs from August 8th through the 21st. Jacob Burns Film Center
Image: Breathless, Jacob Burn Film Center

Poetry Nights

Hear poets read their works at the Hudson Valley Writer's Center. Tonight, Patricia Spears Jones, the author of two volumes of poems, and Elaine Sexton, also the author of two poetry collections, each read selections of their verse. Next Wednesday, catch Renato Rosaldo and Javier O. Huerto reading from their works. On Friday August 15, visit the center for open mike night. Readings are at 7:30. Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Small Space, Big Style

With just 1,295 square feet, this Peekskill house ain't huge. While the exterior is somewhat marred, in my opinion, by an enclosed porch and vinyl siding, the interior has plenty of style packed into it's small frame. Built in 1900, the 3 bedroom, 2 bath house has been updated and sports a gorgeous kitchen, but still retains it's original details. The 0.07 of an acre lot has a nice yard and is well-located--close to the train, Depew Park, the riverfront green, and the Artists' District. $345,000
River Towns GMAC, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, August 4, 2008

West Coast Light

Impressionist artists flocked to the other coast in the early 1900's in search of light and beauty. This new exhibit features 59 paintings by California impressionists (including Study of Monterrey Bay, by Charlton Fortune, above), dating from 1890 to 1930. Through October 5. Katonah Museum of Art

Friday, August 1, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Peekskill Celebration The 12th annual celebration culminates this weekend. On Saturday, over 30 teams of dragon boats (right) will compete in the annual race from 8:00 to 4:00. Watch the boats from the Riverfront Green Park. Performances at the riverfront bandstand start at 11:00 and feature the Hand-to-Mouth Players, singer Vickie Russel, and guitarist Burr Johnson, among many others. Saturday's events end with a fireworks display. On Sunday, visit the antiques fair and flea markt. Saturday and Sunday, all day. Peekskill Celebration

Caramoor International Jazz Festival Trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Wynton Marsalis headlines this year’s festival and makes Saturday night swing. Elio Villafranca and Chuchito Valdes—two of today’s most eminent Cuban pianists—square off in a Cuban musical summit. The afternoon concludes with Brazilian duo Ricardo Peixoto and Claudia Villela in an exploration of 50 years of Bossa Nova. On Sunday, Jimmy Heath turns up the heat and the weekend concludes with Dominican pianist Michel Camilo. Saturday and Sunday, multiple performances. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Family First Saturday: Animal Power Kids can explore representations of animals in African art and culture and then engage in related hands-on art activities. Saturday, 1:00 to 4:00. Neuberger Museum of Art

Campout at Sunnyside Bring a backpack and tent for this popular, overnight event for families. This outing features a picnic supper, a flashlight story walk at twilight, songs and stories around the campfire, and a complimentary continental breakfast on Sunday morning. Saturday, 5:00. Washington Irving's Sunnyside

Dancing in the Park This week's show features classical ballet, the SAGA Dance Company from South Africa, and ethnic dances from India, Italy, and Hawaii. Saturday, 6:00 to 8:00. Yorktown Community and Cultural Center

Encounters at the End of the World Werner Herzog's exploration of life in an Arctic outpost. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Dutchess Di Enjoy the swinging blues of Dutchess Di and the Distractions. Saturday, 9:30 to 12:30. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Duck Soup and Brideshead Revisited Try a classic or a new take on one. In the 1933 Marx Brothers comedy, Groucho reigns as the nutty dictator of Freedonia. Sunday, 12:00. Julian Jarrold's new adaptation of Brideshead Revisited tells the story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence. The film stars Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw, and Emma Thompson. Multiple days and showings. Jacob Burns Film 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, plus modern boat building. Visitors can enjoy music, picnic food, and storytelling. Sunday, 12:00 to 6:00. Van Cortlandt Manor

Terroir Series: Dairy Panel Think of terroir as that special “sense of place” captured in foods and drinks. The Dairy Terroir Panel and tasting will bring you together with local cheese makers and help you discover that eating local is also about appreciating the locale. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Flowers in the Field This excursion will take us to the fields to explore flowers such as Canada Lilies, Ironweed, Thistles, and Queen Anne’s lace. Sunday, 1:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

A Wood Frog's Life Kids can listen to a story about a wood frog and then meet a real one. Sunday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Sleepy Hollow String Band Listen to the bluegrass sounds of the Sleepy Hollow String Band as you sip an iced coffee. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

The Gardener's Palette
The author of The Gardener’s Palette, Sydney Eddison, explains how to look at colors in your garden and use them effectively. Sunday, 5:00 to 6:00. Katonah Museum of Art

Image: neatnessdotcom