Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An Eclectic Charmer

Built in 1925, this new listing in Ossining has an intriguing mix of styles, combining a Mediterranean vibe with some Arts and Crafts elements. Whatever you call it, the 1,700 square foot, 3 bedroom home certainly has some panache. The new kitchen and bathrooms are quite stylish (if not my taste) and appear to be on the high-end side. The 0.21 of an acre lot has a nice yard and lovely patio. Located close to everything, this listing looks like a pretty good package for the price. $539,000
Sotheby's International Realty, Google Maps, Live Search Maps

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not so Floral

The works of Eunja Kang are on exhibit at the Eyebuzz Fine Art gallery, through October 17. Image: Eyebuzz Fine Art

Market Watch

With the stock market continuing to fluctuate madly as the financial system teeters and totters, the number of homes going to contract in the towns this blog covers dropped a good deal last week. While the number is still as high as four weeks ago, the drop in signed contracts would certainly seem to indicate that the ongoing crisis is having an impact on the local market.

Contracts signed
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

NOTE: The above numbers are for single-family homes only. Contracts were signed on an additional 5 cooperative or condo listings last week in the towns this blog covers; 7 co-ops or condos had contracts signed the previous week.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Native American Heritage Festival A day of song, dance, crafts, and food at FDR State Park. Learn the stories behind the dances and regalia. Saturday, 11:00 to 7:00. Redhawk Native American Arts Council

The Honey Harvest Join a beekeeper to learn about that golden nectar, honey. Come prepared to taste samples from his hive and other honey varieties. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Family Fun Pick your own fresh vegetables from Hilltop's chemical-free garden or purchase them at the new farm stand. Learn how to compost garden and kitchen waste and how to use conservation-conscience farming practices in your own backyard. Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Reading the History of Our Landscape Take a hike through the forest and field to discover the past, present, and future of the landscape. Saturday, 9:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Scarecrow Making Workshop Bring clothes and a hat. Stuffing and burlap will be provided. Saturday 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Fall Festival Head to Katonah Avenue for a day of entertainment for all. Saturday. Village of Katonah

Buried in Blue Enjoy the blues of Buried in Blue. Saturday, 10:00. Lucy's Lounge

Jefferson Starship Original members from The Grateful Dead, the Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Jefferson Airplane pay tribute to each band's music. 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Meet the Artist The author and illustrator of over 30 children's books, Julie Downing will read, draw, answer questions, and sign books. Sunday, 1:00. Katonah Museum of Art

Memoir as History Writers Mimi Schwartz, the author of Good Neighbors, Bad Times, Echoes of My Father’s German Village, and Nahid Rachlin, author of Jumping Over Fire, discuss the role of personal experience in writing. Sunday, 4:00. Hudson Valley Writer's Center

Fall Festival Enjoy nature programs, pony rides, bird banding, track casting, the petting zoo, and more. Sunday, 11:00 to 4:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Children's Book Day A festival for young readers and their families (above), who can meet more than sixty of their favorite authors and illustrators. Authors include Jean Marzollo, Jerry Pinkney, and Nick Bruel. Sunday, 11:00 to 5:00. Washington Irving's Sunnyside

Drums Through the Ages This children's concert, presented by the New York Chamber Players, is an interactive exploration of an array of instruments including bodrhran, Arabic tambourine, darbuka, frame drums, shakers, and castanets. Sunday, 4:00. Katonah Library

Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America Hudson Valley resident Frederick Douglass Opie, author of Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America, reveals the global origins of soul food and the forces that shaped its development. Sunday, 2:00. Croton Free Library

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Teatown Contempo

With 4.6 stunning acres in the bucolic Teatown area, this property is pretty appealing. It's very close to the Teatown Lake Reservation and a quick drive to Ossining and Croton. The house itself--which has an Ossining address and Croton schools--has plenty of potential. Built in 1978, the 2,900 square foot, 3 bedroom contemporary has the trademarks of it's era--soaring ceilings, open spaces, and lots of windows. While the kitchen appears to have been renovated in the last decade (there's the telltale stainless appliances and granite counters), the home looks to need some polishing. Cons are that the exterior is partially vinyl and the taxes ($18,359) are on the high side for the price range. $790,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Maps, Live Search Maps

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ashes to Art

The new exhibition "Origins" features works by over 30 artists that use such basic materials as fiber, wood, aluminum, stone, and soil. Works include Zhang Huan's Ash Army No. (?) (above), which is constructed of ash, steel, and wood. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sears Delight

Long before Sears had a softer side, it made some mighty nice home kits. Built in 1915, this Cape Cod style Sears home retains it's vintage warmth and charm. With 1,950 square feet, the 3 bedroom home has some nice spaces and plenty of original details. Set on 0.17 of an acre, the house is on the southern edge of Mt. Kisco, outside of town but still close to the station and shops. $629,000
Prudential Holmes and Kennedy
, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Art of Wood

Ossining resident Matko Peckay creates beautiful art--much of which is very comfortable. Peckay's carved wood pieces range from chairs to desks to sculptures. Peckay was kind enough to take a moment to answer a few questions.

How long have you lived in northern Westchester?

9 years, in Ossining.

What attracted you to Ossining?
An 1880's house with enough room for a studio that was affordable. And the diversity of the population.

How does living and working in northern Westchester affect your work?
Westchester offers a surrounding with the perfect mix of sophistication, nature, and relaxation necessary for my work.

Each Spring, you and your wife organize Touched By Design, a group showing of artists. How did that start?
We used part of our house as a showroom and thought we could use it as well to help other regional artists showcase their work in a relaxed environment. It grew from about 75 visitors in our first year, five years ago, to over 350 visitors in the past two years.

To learn more about Matko Peckay's work, check out his website and Touched by Design.

Market Watch

In the wake of last week's near collapse of the financial markets, everyone is wondering what impact the crisis has had on real estate. An article in Sunday's New York Times reports that buyers in the city are moving ahead with scheduled closings, but that those not yet in contract are taking a "pause" to see what happens. Curious to see if the same was true in our area, I looked at the number of listings that had gone to contract in each of the last 3 weeks in the towns that this blog predominantly covers. Here's what I found:

Contracts signed

9/1/08 to 9/5/08: 9
9/8/08 to 9/12/08: 15
9/15/08 to 9/19/08: 17

Evidently, the financial crisis hasn't dissuaded would-be buyers in the area from moving forward and signing contracts. We'll see what happens in the weeks to come...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst With more than 300 booths, the selection of fine crafts represents the best work of artisans from across the nation. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00. Lyndhurst

Clay Workshop Learn the art of Raku, a pottery technique developed in 16th century Japan. Saturday, 12:30 to 2:00. Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Gardens

Fall Warbler Migration Exploration Join a naturalist as we hear, seek out, and identify these "confusing fall creatures." Saturday, 8:00. Croton Point Park

My Forest Some of the world's coolest animals can be found right in our own backyards! This live animal program shows us why our forest is so important--to us and our wildlife. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Look! Think! Make! Children ages 8-10 can closely observe works of art and learn to train their eye and trust their instincts. Mood, climate, season, and location in landscapes are examined, followed by a lesson in basic print-making techniques. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00. Neuberger Muesum of Art

Rosie: A One-Woman Play This play tells story of Rosie the Riveter, and is a tribute to the nearly six million women in the American workforce during World War II. Saturday, 11:00. Croton Free Library

Live Animal Experiences! Come meet a chinchilla, wallaby, kinkajou, gecko and more! Saturday, 2:00. Registration required. Yorktown Library

Sights and Sounds of Southern Mountain Music Join experts in various styles of southern mountain music for the tales and photos behind the tunes they play. Saturday, 7:30. Croton Free Library

Adding ‘Natives’ to Your Landscape Learn about the shrubs, trees, and wildflowers that are native to the area and how to can incorporate them into your own backyard. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Dinner and a Movie Bring a picnic dinner, buy fresh vegetables, and watch “The Next Industrial Revolution,” a film that explores how businesses are transforming themselves to work with nature and enhance profitability. Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Trouble the Water The Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning film (above) tells the tale of Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her 9th Ward neighbors throughout the rise of the floodwaters, the retreat to higher ground, and the return to the devastation of Katrina. Multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Johnny Feds Enjoy the tunes of blues guitarist Johnny Feds and da Blues Boys. Saturday, 9:30 to 12:30. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Fall Foliage Cruise Benefit Support the HOPE for Youth Foundation and take a cruise on the Commander from the Peekskill Riverfront Green up the Hudson. Sunday, 1:00. Hudson Highland Cruises

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Looking for Love

Few things make me sadder than a lovely and interesting house in need of care and attention. Especially one in a great location. Set on an acre in the heart of the gorgeous Mt. Airy section of Croton, this 1777 gem is evidently in need of serious polishing. The 3,000 square foot home has 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. The listing says that the house has new mechanicals and a renovated kitchen, but the only interior photos are of the newer extension--which is far from appealing. But the exterior and location alone make this home worth a look. $630,023
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Creative Crop

Want to take a walk on a farm and view cutting-edge art at the same time? No problem. Just head up to Saunders Farm in Garrison for Collaborative Concepts 2008. For the third year, the farm is teeming with more than 50 works by a variety of artists, including Tom Holmes (above). Through October 31. Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Porch, and a Picket Fence, too

What could be sweeter? Built in 1924, this 1,300 square foot abode has some nice details and a homey feel. The 3 bedroom house has been renovated and boasts new mechanicals. The small lot has a nice deck and yard and is located on a pleasant street on the outskirts of Ossining. For the money, this seems like a decent deal. $429,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, September 15, 2008

Seasonal Art

Explore the natural world through the paintings of Lorie Gurian, on display at the Flat Iron Gallery in Peekskill through September 28.

Recent Sales

I've been delinquent on researching and posting sales data lately. So here's data from July and August for previously-featured Hot Properties:

Location: Peekskill
Featured: March 27, 2008
Asking Price: $469,000
Sale Price: $415,000

Location: Katonah
Featured: April 24, 2008
Asking Price: $619,000
Sale Price: $610,000

Location: Yorktown Heights
Featured: April 17, 2008
Asking Price: $699,500
Sale Price: $650,000

Location: Mt. Kisco
Featured: April 15, 2008
Asking Price: $899,000
Sale Price: $850,000

Location: Katonah
Featured: February 26, 2008
Asking Price: $1,095,000
Sale Price: $975,000

Location: Ossining
Featured: February 5, 2008
Asking Price: $749,000
Sale Price: $650,000

Location: Katonah
Featured: January 29, 2008
Asking Price: $619,000
Sale Price: $600,000

Location: Peekskill
Featured: January 15, 2008
Asking Price: $314,000
Sale Price: $280,000

Location: Croton
Featured: August 17, 2007
Asking Price: $1,650,000
Sale Price: $1,475,000

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

The Peekskill Project The annual events brings the works of more than 50 artists to Peekskill. Art work will be displayed throughout town, and art performances will be held in a variety of venues. See Wednesday's post for more details. Saturday and Sunday. The Peekskill Project

Searching for Sea Glass Come explore the Hudson River shoreline for sea glass. We'll discover how they form, their color variations, and how common they might be. Then create a personal sea glass pendant. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Nature Center

Japanese Culture Day Come and explore a world of fun. Activities include children's origami, a traditional tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy, and a Taiko drum performance. Saturday, 12:00 to 1:00. Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden

Hawk Watching Nothing is more exciting or awe inspiring than seeing a bird of prey slicing through the air above your head. This is the time of year when the hawks are migrating south for the winter. Bring your binoculars. Saturday, 10:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Fritz Lang Films Part of the Fritz Lang Film Series, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a highlight of the director's German-language work. In M, Peter Lorre gives an iconic performance as a serial child killer wracked by guilt. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Bird Feeder Workshop Learn about backyard birds while helping to feed our feathered friends. Come make a wooden bird feeder to hang in your yard. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

David and the Fireflys Come listen to the infectious music of David and the Fireflys. Kids will grove to their tunes about mythical creatures, brushing teeth, hiking in the woods, and catching bugs. Saturday, 11:00. Croton Free Library

Second Saturday Relax at the last Second Saturday party of the 2008 season. Live music, catered food, spirits, and mingling. Saturday, 3:00 to 9:00. Katonah Museum of Art

Geoff Hartwell The rock group Geoff Hartwell Band performs. Saturday, 10:00. Lucy's Lounge

Hudson Ferry-Go-Round
Catch a free ride on a NY Waterway ferry between Peekskill, Haverstraw, Ossining, and Sleepy Hollow. There will be a variety of events in each town, including live music, street fairs, antique auto shows, art shows, and food tastings. Hudson Ferry-Go-Round

Homestead Country Fair The 15th annual fair features swimming pig races (which I just loved!), falconry exhibits, a petting zoo, wagon rides, broom making, live music, and more. Sunday, 11:00 to 4:00. John Jay Homestead

Square Dancing Kick up your heels with the "Friendly Squares." Join in the dancing or just enjoy the activities. Sunday 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

A House For Me Everyone needs a home. Find out how some animals build their houses. Sunday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Thursday, September 11, 2008

High-End Classic

If you're looking for bucolic charm, few places deliver as well as Croton Lake Road, a narrow lane that meanders from Katonah to Mt. Kisco. And it's hard to imagine a house packed with more upscale country appeal than this 1773 colonial. The 3,300 square foot, 6 bedroom home is brimming with polished sweetness, from the 4 fireplaces to the renovated kitchen. The stunning 8 acre property features ancient trees and a separate 3 bedroom cottage. The home has a Bedford Corners address and Bedford schools. At $23,117, the annual tax bill is hefty, but not surprising for the property. $2,985,000
Ginnel Real Estate, Google Maps, Live Search Maps

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Art Around Town

This weekend brings the annual Peekskill Project, when the streets are brimming with art. Organized by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, the Peekskill Project will feature works by 55 artists, displayed throughout the city. Maps are available, and the city will operate free "Art Buses" between the many installations. Events include a demonstration of the Peruvian Despacho ritual at Annsville Creek, the Coffee Cup Project at the downtown Gazebo, and exhibits and performances at the Hat Factory, the HVCCA, and many downtown businesses. Some of the art pieces will remain on display through November 23. On Sunday, the Hudson Ferry-Go-Round will feature free rides on NY Waterway ferries between Peekskill, Haverstraw, Ossining, and Sleepy Hollow. There will be a variety of events in each town, including live music, street fairs, antique auto shows, art shows, and food tastings.
Peekskill Project, North County News, Hudson Ferry-Go-Round

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fairy Tales Can Come True

With a sweeping staircase fit for Cinderella, this ivy-covered stone and shingle manse is pretty breathtaking. Built in 1930, the 2,200 square foot, 5 bedroom, 3 bath house has loads of stunning details, from massive beams to casement windows and sweet dormers. The kitchen looks nicely updated, and all the rooms appear well-proportioned. Set on 3.8 lovely acres in south-eastern Yorktown, the house is close to the villages of Yorktown Heights, Mt. Kisco, and Katonah. $879,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map