Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quintessential Village

If you're looking for a house in a village setting, this new listing in Mt. Kisco may be just what you had in mind. The lovely 1925 colonial has original details, gracious spaces, and a renovated kitchen. The 4 bedroom, 2,100 square foot home is set on a nicely landscaped half-acre lot near the train station and stores. While the house and setting may be picture-perfect, the audio might not be what you had imagined: The house is across the street from the Saw Mill Parkway. On the pro side, the $9,901 taxes are pretty reasonable. $900,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Drawing on Inspiration

Sunday's New York Times had a good review of the current exhibit at the Garrison Art Center. Drawing Revealed includes final works as well as preliminary sketches and explores "the practice of drawing...from many points of view," according to the reviewer. Artists include Jeesoo Lee (whose work, Untitled, is above), Stan Stroh, Nancy Bauch, Ula Einstein, and Charlotte Schulz. The show is running through February 17. Garrison Art Center
SOURCE: The New York Times: Opening a Window on the Creative Mind
Photo: The New York Times

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Contempo in the Woods

Located east of Katonah village, this new listing is pretty cool. The 1960 contemporary has vaulted ceilings, lots of windows, an open layout, and plenty of flair. The 2,000 square foot, 3 bedroom home has a large deck from which to enjoy views of the wooded acre. I'm liking the vibe, and the price seems quite good compared to what else is out there. $619,000
Sotheby's International Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, January 28, 2008

This Week: Documentaries

In the mood for a documentary? You're in luck.

The Jacob Burns Film Center has four documentaries this week: Operation Filmmaker is about a film student from Baghdad invited by Liev Schrieber to work on “Everything Is Illuminated” (Monday, 7:15). Billy the Kid follows a 15-year-old boy trying to find his place in the world (Tuesday, 7:15). A Walk Into the Sea explores the disappearance of the filmmaker Danny Williams (Wednesday, 7:15). The Killer Within (right) is about a college professor who confesses that he committed a murder 50 years earlier (Thursday, 7:15).

The Paramount Center for the Arts is showing I for India, which chronicles an Indian immigrant's life in England (Thursday through Sunday, 7:30).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hot Property: Open House

Location: 201 Walnut Street, Peekskill
Open House: Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00
Featured: January 15
Asking Price: $314,000

Weekend Events

Add some buzz to your days off:

Backyard Beekeeping A professional beekeeper leads this workshop for those interested in starting a hive. Registration required. Saturday, 10:00 to 2:00. Muscoot Farm

Dream Catcher Workshop Learn which plants work best to create your own authentic dream catcher. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Nature Center

Winter Night Walk Take an evening stroll through fields and forests and then warm up with hot drinks and doughnuts in the sugarhouse. Saturday, 6:00. Trailside Nature Museum, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Bill Frisell Performs Guitarist Bill Frisell mixes rock and country with jazz and blues. Sunday, 8:00, Paramount Center for the Arts

Whoo Eats Whoo?
Discover what owls find tasty by dissecting their pellets, the tiny bundles of fur and bone that they regurgitate. Sunday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Great Music in a Great Place The Valerie Capers Jazz Ensemble in concert playing jazz classics of Gershwin, Ellington, Porter and more. Sunday, 3:00. Ossining Public Library

Winter Woolies Visit the woolly winter sheep in the barnyard, then come into the Activities Building to try your hand at carding, spinning, and weaving with genuine Muscoot wool. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Imani Winds The Grammy-nominated wind quartet Imani Winds spices things up with European, African, Latin American and American traditions. Sunday, 3:00. Performing Arts Center

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stone, for Less

There's just something about a stone house that is hard to resist. This 1925 example is set on the northern fringe of Ossining, just off of Route 9. The 2,400 square foot, 4 bedroom, 4 bath house has nice details and good bones–and lovely winter river views. The 0.21 of an acre lot has some attractive stonework and mature plantings. While the location is far from ideal, it is really close to the Croton-Harmon station. Overall, this seems to be a lot of house for the price. $539,944
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Maps With a Better View

I've recently discovered Live Search Maps, which have a bird's eye view feature which gives a far better picture of a site than the standard aerial view. On the con side, the site only works with certain browsers (not including Safari), the satellite images are mostly low res, and the maps seem to be less accurate in terms of address placement than Google's. So, I'll continue to include the link to the Google Map for my Hot Properties posts, but from now on I'll also include a link to the Live Search Map whenever it is useful. How's that for customer service?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Street Scenes

Marika Mori's Tea Ceremony III (above), is included in Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie, an exhibition of over 60 artists which explores street life. Through April 15. Neuberger Museum of Art

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

By the Lake

Lake Katonah is bit further east than I usually venture, but this listing appears to be one of the more interesting options in it's price range. The 1980 contemporary is pretty bland on the outside, but the interior has been all gussied up. The 1,800 square foot, 3 bedroom house features a nicely renovated kitchen and living room. Large sliders lead to a deck with winter views of the lake and the wooded half-acre property. The house is part of the community association and has lake and beach rights, but is a relatively short drive to Katonah. $564,900
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map

Monday, January 21, 2008

This Week's Events

A sampling of art, music, movies, and dance:

Persepolis Marjane Satrapi's film version of her bestselling graphic novel is a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film. Monday through Thursday. Jacob Burns Film Center

An Evening With Styx The multi-platinum rock group lights up the stage. One night only. Wednesday, 7:40. Paramount Center for the Arts

Henry and Mudge A new musical based on Cynthia Rylant's best-selling children's books. Friday. Tarrytown Music Hall

Labyrinth A 1986 fantasy film by Jim Henson and George Lucas which features David Bowie, Jennifer Connely, and some of Henson's puppets. Through Jan. 27. Jacob Burns Film Center

The Beauty of Little Things This dance program is a collaboration of the all-female ensemble Urban Bush Women and the all-male Senegalese Compagnie JANT-BI. Friday. Performing Arts Center

Racing on a Broken Road An exhibition of mixed-media works by Betsy Braun Lane. Through March 9. Paramount Center for the Arts

The Cherry Orchard Chekhov's classic, presented by YCP TheaterWorks. Friday through February 10. YCP Theater Works

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hot Property: Open House

Location: 35 Harris Road, Katonah
Open House: Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00
Featured: November 21
Asking Price: $1,350,000

Weekend Events

Activities and more to keep the kids (and you) happy this weekend:

Soap Making for Kids An expert from Clean Ridge Soap will show children how to make good, old fashioned soap. Registration required. Saturday, 1:00. 1-3 p.m. (914) 864-7282. Muscoot Farm

Erika SunnegÄrdh Renowned soprano Erika SunnegÄrdh performs with The New York Piano Quartet. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Winter Adventures: Cold Crafts Kids can construct a variety of frozen crafts from nature. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Nature Center, Croton Point Park

The Fab Faux Concert The Beatles tribute band reproduces the original studio albums at the Paramount's Winter fundraising concert. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Twigs for Kids! Children will learn a bit of botany while creating edible nature projects and playing twig games. Saturday, 1:00. Trailside Nature Museum, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Family Hands-On Activities Young visitors can learn more about the ideas in the exhibitions when they engage in hands-on projects at the Education Center. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 to 4:30 pm. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Hooray for Herps! What’s more fascinating than a snake? Or bewildering than a salamander? Kids can meet and learn about the reptiles and amphibians in Teatown’s collection. Sunday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Peter Pan Experience the 1924 silent film as it was meant to be–accompanied by a live piano. Sunday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

Farm Chores Youngsters are invited to help out on the farm by collecting eggs, feeding the pigs, or working the ground. Sunday, 11:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

The Brand New Kid An original production from the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, this new musical was adapted from Katie Couric’s popular children’s book. Sunday, 3:00 The Performing Arts Center

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Save This Spot!

This lovely 1915 colonial has a great setting: It's directly across the road from the hundreds of acres of trees on the Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights. The just-listed 4,000 square foot home has 7 bedrooms, lots of original detail, and loads of charm. While some updates are needed, the house has plenty going for it. Sadly, the 3.9 acre property is being sold as 3 lots: a 1.6 acre lot with the house and two 1 acre building lots. (I was able to verify that in April, 2007 the owner applied for a zoning variance to divide the property. Evidently, that application was approved.) Personally, I'd hate to see this gorgeous house and lovely spot overwhelmed by two McMonsters. Hopefully, the buyer will leave well enough alone. $1,650,000

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hot Properties: Two Quick Deals

Location: Croton
Featured: December 10
Asking Price: $449,000
Status: Pending

Location: Croton
Featured: January 2
Asking Price: $815,000
Status: Pending

While many of the houses I've featured are in contract or have sold, many others are still active. Indeed, the speed with which these two listings have found interested buyers is unusual in the current market. Though both of these houses are in Croton, many other Hot Properties in the village have remained for sale for months. Which begs the question: Do these quick deals say anything about the market or is there something special about the houses?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lovely Victorian

This 1885 Peekskill house sure is pretty on the outside. Check out the bay windows, tower, front porch, and that roof line. Few interior photos are offered, but there is evidence of original details such as pocket doors and gorgeous inlaid floors. The just-listed 1,600 square foot house has 3 bedrooms and is nicely located on a corner lot near Depew Park and the Artist's District. While it's relatively small, and updating is undoubtedly needed, this house is loaded with potential. I'd say the price is pretty good. Do you agree? $314,000
Prudential Rand Realty, Google Map

Monday, January 14, 2008

Shrimp Biriyani, Anyone?

Sunday's New York Times had a nice write-up of India House in Montrose. Commenting on the restaurant 's "wide variety of delicious and creative choices," the reviewer focuses on the bargain brunches. For just $10.95 per person ($12.95 on Sundays), you can get a range of treats from vada to masala dosa. Sounds yummy.
SOURCE: The New York Times: Indian Brunch, on a Budget

The Commute: A Reporter's View

The New York Times Real Estate section is running a series of online profiles of commutes in the region. One that was featured last week is the semi-express to Croton-Harmon. This train, which makes stops between Tarrytown and Croton, is the longer and less-desirable option for Croton commuters. (I usually get the express to Poughkeepsie, which goes straight from Manhattan to Croton and is faster.) The article correctly captures the usual mood of the ride, noting the "strange serenity of the post-work crowd." Riders who are interviewed suggest that the general calmness of the passengers is due to the mesmerizing view of the Hudson and the fact that they are happy to have some relaxing down-time after work. As a regular commuter, I'd agree. While there is the occasional person talking too loudly on his or her cell, by and large the ride is peaceful and pleasant. And the view is awesome.
SOURCE: The New York Times: Metro-North Hudson Line From Grand Central to Croton-Harmon

Friday, January 11, 2008

Weekend Events

A few activities to help pass the time:

Creature Connections Kids can explore the food web, animal life cycles, and the relationships between predators and prey. Saturday, 1:00. Trailside Nature Museum, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Eagles and Wintering Bird Exploration View eagles and other raptor birds in the area. Bring your own binoculars. Call (914) 862-5297. Saturday, 9:00. Croton Point Park

Children's Classics on Stage
The premier of musical adaptations of Stone Soup and Dr. Seuss's Yertle the Turtle and The Butter Battle Book. Saturday and Sunday, 3:00. Ford Theater, 1031 Elm Street, Peekskill. The Children's Theatre Company of Peekskill

Life in a Frozen World
What is it like to spend the winter under ice? Get a glimpse of life for the fish, turtles, and muskrats that live in the lake. Registration required. Saturday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Robin Hood This musical version of Robin Hood features a cast of young performers. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 and 3:00. Yorktown Stage

Live Music Get a mug of coffee or hot cider and listen to the rocking blues of musician Marc Von Em. Sunday, 1:00. The Peekskill Coffeehouse

Treats for Tweets Help make some special treats to keep the birds and other wildlife from going hungry this winter. Registration required. Sunday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Winter on the Farm Find out how the farmyard animals and birds adjust to the winter habitat. Sunday, 1:00. For information: (914) 864-7282. Muscoot Farm

Rabbit Hole The Proscenium Players present a reading of Pulitzer Prize winning David Lindsay-Abaire's play. Sunday, 2:00. Neuberger Museum of Art

Ice Skating at Bear Mountain The ice skating rink is open. You can also hop on the classic Merry-Go-Round. Sunday, 10:00 to 10:00. Bear Mountain State Park

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Little House, Big Charm

Due to the continuing dearth of new listings, I've been casting a wider net than usual. One good catch is this stone cottage located on the western edge of Chappaqua. The 1930 house is relatively small at 1,600 square feet, but it is big on character. Stone and wood floors, a beamed ceiling, and a nicely renovated kitchen all make this 2 bedroom cottage a cozy place to snuggle up. The 1 plus acre property looks nicely landscaped. One downside is that the Taconic Parkway appears to be quite close. Fortunately, those stone walls look darn thick. $875,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

High-Style Condo

My search for Condos with character turned up this lovely unit. Located in a stately 1888 mansion on the outskirts of Peekskill, the 2 bedroom apartment has some drop-dead gorgeous details. Carved paneling, French doors, exposed brick walls, and a terrace are some of the treats in this 1,200 square foot unit. Given that the building does not seem to have many amenities, the $575 monthly common charge sounds a tad steep. Not to mention the $4,900 tax bill. But there's definitely lots to like here. $295,000
Keller Williams Realty
, Google Map

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Striving for a Greener Future

The new Town Supervisor of Yorktown, Don Peters (Democrat), has pledged to sign the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement. The agreement, which states that the town will reduce carbon emissions to at least 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, was developed by the Sierra Club as part of it's Cool Cities campaign. Yorktown will join 780 other Cool Cities nationwide and 30 in New York state, including neighbors Peekskill and Mt. Kisco. Following the agreement would put the towns in keeping with the targets proposed for the entire country in the Kyoto Protocol, which was never ratified. Yorktown residents have also started a Cool Cities campaign, Green Yorktown, to raise awareness of and support for the town's efforts.
SOURCES: North County News: Peters Pledges to Serve and Protect, Cool Cities: New York
Image: Sierra Club

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hot Property: Just Sold

Location: Katonah
Featured: September 17
Asking Price: $1,489,000
Sale Price: $1,345,000
Official Time on Market: 2 months

SOURCE: The New York Times: Residential Sales Around the Region

5 Fab Acres–and a House, Too!

I generally limit the featured properties to houses with some architectural interest, but I'm relaxing my guidelines for this listing because it strikes me as a good deal for the land and location. The 5 plus acre property is quite stunning and is just across the street from the reservoir in the truly beautiful Huntersville section of southern Yorktown. While the 1983 contemporary won't win any design awards, it has good light, nice lines, and definite potential (just picture hard wood floors and some not-so-blah furniture). With 1,900 square feet, the house is suffering from a bedroom deficiency (there are only 2). But considering that 1.8 acres in a far less desirable location is selling for $275,000, this seems like a good price for just the land–let alone a house too. This listing has been on the market for a while and the price has been reduced. $699,000