Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Candles Made of Sand Help collect sand and create candles to take home. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park

Nature Quest Show your knowledge of nature in this treasure hunt. Saturday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Tools, Toys, and Foods Learn about the heritage and habits of the Eastern woodland Indians in this progam that has enthralled thousands of school children over the years. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

The Derek Trucks Band Just 27 years old, Derek Trucks has forged a name for himself as an innovative guitar virtuoso, and was recently featured on the cover of Rolling Stone for their "New Guitar Gods" issue. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Rising Stars Now in its seventeenth year, the Rising Stars Program showcases the talents of promising young classical musicians. Saturday, 8:00; Sunday, 4:00. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Free Family Day Visit the museum free of charge and enjoy a plush toy-making workshop with Wendy Ann Gardner, author, illustrator, and creator of Scary Stories and Naughty Naughty Pets (as seen on TV!). Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Catch the Academy Award–winning feature debut (above) of the cheese-loving Wallace and his ever-faithful dog Gromit. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Wolves for Kids Learn about the misconceptions and mythology surrounding wolves and how they're an important part of our natural world, and then get to visit with the Center's own wolves. Sunday, 11:00. Wolf Conservation Center

Least Traveled Path Join this extended hike to a section of the sanctuary that sees far fewer footsteps. Sunday, 1:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Randy Stern Guitarist and songwriter Randy Stern strums his stuff. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Opportunity in Katonah

A sweet colonial with original details in the heart of Katonah's quaint village for under $700,000? Is there a catch? Yes, indeed. While brimming with potential, this 1900 house needs plenty of serious polishing. The absence of any kitchen photos in the listing doesn't bode well, and there is just one full bathroom. Nonetheless, it's pretty easy to see what a stunner this 2,000 square foot, 4 bedroom house could be. Set on a 0.11 of an acre lot, the house is close to the center of town and within walking distance of all. $689,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuscan Ceramics

The exhibit "Tuscan Journey in Form" displays the work of Florentine ceramic artist and sculptor Paolo Staccioli. The artist's work includes six foot sculptures, travelers, horses, warriors, spheres, steles and vessels that evoke a rich history from Etruscan times to the present. Through November 21 at Kiesendahl and Calhoun Fine Art

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tidy Tudor

Built in 1929, this 1,300 square foot Ossining home has some lovely details. The house has 2 bedrooms and a very nicely renovated kitchen. Located in the Indian Village section near the center of town, the property is 0.09 of an acre. There's just one full bath, and the place sure isn't big, but there's plenty of charm and character for the money. $349,000
Legends Realty Group, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, October 27, 2008

Perfect Pickings

There's still time to pick and munch some tasty apples! Check out the lovely Wilkins Farm in Yorktown. Photo by hugohurst.

Market Watch

The continuing free-fall of stock markets around the world kept the number of would-be buyers relatively low last week. On the other hand, the number of contracts being signed in the towns this blog regularly covers rose a bit compared to the previous week.

Contracts Signed on single-family homes

9/15/08 to 9/19/08: 17
9/22/08 to 9/26/08: 9
9/29/08 to 10/03/08: 13
10/6/08 to 10/10/08: 11
10/13/08 to 10/17/08: 8
10/20/08 to 10/24/08: 11

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Spooks and Spirits in the Wine Cellar
Storyteller Jonathan Kruk will take you on an exciting and spooky travelogue of Croton Point’s real wine cellars. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park

Herbs and Spices
How is mustard made? Did you know that licorice comes from the root of a plant? Learn how Native Americans and settlers used plants for food, medicines, dyes, and even toys. Then dye cloth, make pomander balls, and aromatic sachets. Saturday, 11:00. Croton Free Library

History of the Reservation Hike Enjoy the fall foliage as we hike along the Revolutionay Road to learn how the 1720 Joseph Benedict homestead anchors the path of history leading to the "ruins" on the western side of the Reservation. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Boo Walk Enjoy a non-scary Halloween scavenger hunt for children—and hayrides, too. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Children Of Eden A musical about parents, children, and faith loosely based on the story of Genesis. Saturday, 1:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Bach the Master Craftsman
Pianist Andrew Rangell performs. Saturday, 4:00. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Owl Prowl Give a hoot and join a nighttime hike to learn more about these fascinating nocturnal creatures. Saturday, 7:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Golden Apple Coffeehouse Self-described "traveling hootenanny" Hope Machine sings traditional and original songs with messages of hope, love, and celebration of the human spirit. Gathering Time's seamless vocals bring life to original, traditional, and classic folk and folk-rock music. Saturday, 7:30. Golden Apple Coffee House

Last Comic Standing
The winners of season 6 of TV's "Last Comic Standing" perform in the flesh. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

The Curtis Winchester Band An exceptional blues and R&B singer, Curtis Winchester and his band performs. Saturday, 9:00. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Re-thinking the Harvard Five Area architect Joeb Moore (above) discusses the practices of the Harvard Five, a group of mid-century modernists based in New Canaan, and that included Philip Johnson and Marcel Breuer, who attempted to define a new model for single-family residential life. Sunday, 4:00. Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

Poetry Reading Come listen to the works of Peter Cole, author of Things on Which I’ve Stumbled, and Roger Sedarat, author of Dear Regime: Letters to the Islamic Republic. Sunday, 4:30. Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Traditional Contempo, With Views

Built in 1987, this house seems to have captured the moment when tastes in residential design where (sadly) shifting from contemporary to traditional. While the structure has the vocabulary of a classic house, it also possesses the openness and crispness of a contemporary. The combo seems to work quite well in this 3,000 square foot, 3 bedroom house. The big draw here, however, is the view of the Hudson River, which looks pretty amazing. Located in Cortlandt (with a Croton address and Hendrick Hudson schools), the house is set on 12 lovely acres and is across the street from Oscawana Park. $1,295,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Art of Provence

The work of French artist Collette Laruelle is on display at the Gallery du Soleil, through November 9. Paintings include Soleil Brulant, above.
Image: Gallery du Soleil

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Divine Space

Artists (or others) in search of great open space should take a look at this potential-laden former church in Ossining. Built in 1927, the 1,600 square foot building has vaulted ceilings, huge windows, and some really nice details. There's no kitchen and just 2 half-baths, so plenty of work is needed to make this into a functional home. Located in the village, the house is set on an 0.2 of an acre lot across from the High School and within walking distance of everything. The price has recently been reduced. $299,000
Prudential Rand Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bathroom Fantasies

1. 2.

NOTE: There was a malfunction with the poll, and I had to reload it. My apologies to those who voted earlier and whose votes were lost. There had been 8 votes, with 5 going to bathroom number 2.
Between the economy and the election, I've been feeling a tad anxious lately. Which made me think of great bathrooms for long, stress-reducing soaks. Bathroom 1 comes with an 8,000 square foot renovated barn selling for a less-than relaxing $5,995,000 (Houlihan Lawrence). Bathroom 2 can be purchased along with a 5,000 square foot 1920 colonial, and is a relative steal at $2,495,000 (Houlihan Lawrence). So, where would you rather launch your rubber duckies?

Market Watch

The failure of the federal bailout plan to calm the stock market apparently caused some potential buyers to take a wait-and-see approach last week. The number of single-family homes going to contract in the towns this blog regularly covers dropped to the lowest point in the 7 weeks since I've been tracking it.

Contracts signed on single-family homes
9/1/08 to 9/5/08: 9
9/8/08 to 9/12/08: 15
9/15/08 to 9/19/08: 17
9/22/08 to 9/26/08: 9
9/29/08 to 10/03/08: 13
10/6/08 to 10/10/08: 11
10/13/08 to 10/17/08: 8

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Teatown Fall Festival Enjoy an array of seasonal fun, from pumpkin decorating (right) to hay rides. There will be live music, live raptors, and lively eco-activities for the whole family. Park at the IBM complex on Route 134 and catch a shuttle bus. Saturday, 10:00 to 4:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Legend Weekend Event The grounds of Philipsburg Manor are lit by candle lanterns and bonfires and transformed into a haunted landscape visited by goblins and ghosts from Hudson Valley folklore. Saturday and Sunday evening. Philipsburg Manor

In Search of "Clay Babies" These objects are rare and unique to Croton Point Park. Learn how they formed, then join a hike to find them. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park

If Hudson Only Knew Join Native American author Evan Pritchard for this lecture and slide show on the Algonquin civilization and their sacred geography along the Hudson River as it was in 1609. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Look! Think! Make! Children ages 8-10 will be guided to conjure a short story based on one of the museum's figurative paintings. Then they can join a workshop creating relief painting constructions from corrugated cardboard and other materials using their narratives as inspiration. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00. Neuberger Muesum of Art

Il Trovatore Verdi's opera is performed in a tradtional 15th century staging at the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center. Saturday, 8:00, Sunday, 2:00. Taconic Opera

John Sebastian and David Grisman The creator of "Dawg" bluegrass, John Sebastian and David Grisman, lead singer of the Lovin' Spoonful, perform. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

The Eternal Bach Four artists, two performing on modern instruments and two on Baroque instruments, illuminate solo works by J.S. Bach. Saturday, 4:00. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Pete Hop and the Wallbangers Guitarist Pete Hop performs. Saturday, 9:00. Lucy's Lounge

Family Discovery Sunday This historical program for families includes a short tour and a themed activity. Sunday, 10:00 to 12:00. John Jay Homestead

Nick Lowe and Graham Parker Punk rockers Nick Lowe and Graham Parker rock out together. Sunday, 7:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

utumn Celebration
Music, hayrides, pumpkin painting, fall crafts, games, pony rides and a whole lot more! Sunday, 11:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Lost Pond Hike Enjoy the fall foliage and scenery during a 1 mile walk to Lost Pond. Sunday, 11:30. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One Person's Foreclosure... another's gain, I guess. Built in 1931, this sweet house has pleasant rooms and lovely nooks and crannies. The 1,600 square foot, 2 bedroom home looks to be recently renovated and in good condition. Located in Beford Hills, the 0.17 acre lot has a nice yard. The big con is that the house is a stone's throw from the Saw Mill Parkway (which also cuts it off from the village center). Other than that, there's lots to like—especially for the price. $476,000

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Creative Crafts

This Friday marks the beginning of the fifteenth annual Westchester Craft Show, a three-day event showcasing the work of 115 outstanding artists. The show features everything from ceramics to furniture to jewelry, and includes works by Kari Lonning (left) and Nico Yetaki (right). In addition to merchandise, there will be a number of lectures, including furniture maker Scott Grove's discussion of contemporary furniture design. The shows runs daily from 10:00 to 6:00 through Sunday at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. Westchester Craft Show

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dollar Days: Big Price Cuts

I took a look back at the Hot Properties I've featured over the last year that are still for sale and found that, while many have received mild price cuts, a few have had their asking prices seriously axed. Here are some of my picks of Hot Properties that have had their asking prices cut enough to make them seem—compared to what has been selling—like very good deals.

Location: Croton
Featured: June 26, 2008
Old Asking Price: $925,000
New Asking Price: $699,000
Agency: Houlihan Lawrence

Location: Yorktown
Featured: June 10, 2008
Old Asking Price: $1,195,000
NewAsking Price: $999,000
Agency: Houlihan Lawrence

Location: Ossining
Featured: May 8, 2008
Old Asking Price: $729,900
New Asking Price: $575,000
Agency: Houlihan Lawrence

Location: Katonah
Featured: October 10, 2007
Old Asking Price: $1,285,000
New Asking Price: $999,000
Agency: Sotheby's International

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Sights and Sounds of Music

The Jacob Burns' new series, Classical Music on Film, brings the glorious sounds of Bach, Mozart, Glenn Gould, Yehudi Menuhin, Philip Glass (above right), and others to the screen. The films explore many aspects of music, from the making of a Steinway (above left) to the musings of some great composers. Highlights include Brief Encounter and Alexander Nevsky, two films that look at the role of classical music scores in cinema. Check the website for specific movies and showtimes. The series runs through October 29. Jacob Burns Film Center

Market Watch

Last week's near collapse of the global economy seems to have dissuaded a few would-be buyers from signing on the dotted line. But the number of single-family homes going to contract in the towns this blog regularly covers has been relatively stable since the crisis hit—at least compared to the stock market.

Contracts signed on single-family homes
9/1/08 to 9/5/08: 9
9/8/08 to 9/12/08: 15
9/15/08 to 9/19/08: 17
9/22/08 to 9/26/08: 9
9/29/08 to 10/03/08: 13
10/6/08 to 10/10/08: 11

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Harmon Open House The MTA opens the doors to its largest equipment facility (left) and lets visitors explore new trains, old trains, and all the cool equipment needed to keep them running. Catch a shuttle bus from the Croton-Harmon Station. Saturday, 10:00 to 3:00.

Brick Making Bonanza Croton Point Park was known for its brick making operations throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Relive this old tradition by preparing clay and molding them into bricks. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park

Bird Banding See birds up close and learn about bird migration, feeding habits, habitat preference, and the importance of bird banding for bird conservation. Saturday, 10:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

The Duchess There's only one place in Westchester to see the new movie starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

The Colors of Fall How many of colors in the rainbow can you find on a color scavenger hunt? Learn what happens to leaves to make them change color and other interesting facts about seasonal changes. Saturday, 10:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Gil Paris Catch the tunes of Grammy Award nominee guitarist Gil Paris. Saturday, 9:30. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Todd Rundgren Iconic rocker Todd Rundgren performs on stage. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Pumpkin Pickin'
Take a hayride to the farm’s pumpkin patch. Select the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern or homemade pie. Sunday, 11:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Authors Reading Writers Gary Gildner and Peter Selgin read from their works. Poet and writer Gary Gildner is the author of 20 books, including Blue Like the Heavens: New and Selected Poems and his latest, Cleaning a Rainbow. Peter Selgin's book include Drowning Lessons and Life Goes to the Movies. Sunday, 4:30. Hudson Valley Writers Center

Doug Ferony and his Orchestra Listen to classics from the the American song book performed by Doug Ferony. Sunday, 7:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Photo by Caboose_Rodeo

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cool Stuff at new Co-op

If you're looking for something unique and handmade, check out the new Beehive Co-op in Mt. Kisco. The store carries a variety of distinctive itemsjewelry, clothing, ceramics, bath and body products, and even locally made baked goods. I asked the store's owner, Petra Geiger, a few questions.

Tell us about Beehive Co-op.
Beehive is a co-operative store in Mt. Kisco that showcases unique, modern, handmade items by local artisans and emerging designers from around the country. Designers rent boutique space for a nominal fee in return for their help running the store. Our goal is to provide new markets for emerging designers, to support creative entrepreneurship and also provide a community through which designers can share ideas and find encouragement.

Are all of the goods by local artisans and designers?
We opened our doors with about 8 local designers and the rest of the artisans come from all over the country. Our goal is to be 75-100% local by the middle of next year. We are looking for designers and artisans who have an established product line, are entrepreneurial by nature, and are really looking to grow their businesses.

How did you first hit on the "co-op" concept?
I am a graphic designer by training and five years ago found myself looking for a creative outlet that didn’t involve the computer. This led to all sorts of crafts and finally I started up a fledgling handbag line which I sold at local markets and craft fairs. One day I walked into an antique market and it all clicked – the same co-op idea could work for emerging designers as well. I developed the plan and opened the first Beehive in Atlanta in 2004 which I sold to a new owner last year under a franchise agreement.

You recently moved to Croton. Why did you pick northern Westchester?
I grew up in Toronto and had always wanted to come back to the northeast. Westchester works really well for us because our kids (we have 2 elementary aged kids) get the benefit of great schools, small close-knit communities, and beautiful scenic surroundings--and my husband and I can recharge and get inspired creatively by jetting into the city every once and a while. There is just so much to do in this area it really suits our lifestyle perfectly!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Double Dutch

This 1926 Dutch colonial in Peekskill (with a double gambrel roof) is bursting with original details and homey warmth. The 1,300 square foot, 3 bedroom home is a tad tight on space but offers loads of charm. From the front porch to the entry hall to the kitchen, the home has plenty to like. The small lot has a nice patio and is located close to the Artist's District and Depew Park. On the con side, the house is across the street from a school, there is just one bathroom, and the exterior is clad in aluminum siding. But, for the price... $299,000
Dolores Leonard Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, October 6, 2008

Recent Deals

Three previously-featured Hot Properties went to contract since my last update on September 8. While one was only on the market for a relatively short time, the other two listings had been looking for love for quite awhile. Interestingly, the priciest one of the bunch finally found a would-be buyer late last week.

Location: Mt. Kisco
Featured: August 21, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $949,000
Final Asking Price: $949,000

Location: Mt. Kisco
Featured: February 12, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $544,900
Final Asking Price: $500,000

Location: Croton
Featured: November 1, 2007
Asking Price When Featured: $1,800,000
Final Asking Price: $1,750,000