Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend Picks

The best activities and things to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

Eagles in the Hudson Hills and Highlands Learn about the recovery of the bald eagle population in the Hudson Valley and beyond. This program is taught in collaboration with Westchester Community College’s Adult Extension Program and is open to anyone over 16. Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

It's Groundhog Day! Celebrate early and make a groundhog mask, paper puppet, and yummy treats. Kids can learn about hibernation and what it means if the groundhog "sees its shadow." Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Bedford Environmental Summit. See Wednesday's post for details on this all day event full of lectures, workshops, and demonstrations. Saturday, 8:00 to 4:30. Bedford Environmental Summit

Sea Glass Workshop Learn how sea glass forms by observing various pieces through a microscope. Then make and take home a sea glass pendant. Saturday 1:00. Croton Point Park

My Beautiful Girl, Mari Directed by Seong-kang Lee, this South Korea animated movie (in Korean with subtitles) is a fairy tale about a lonely boy who gains access to a heavenly paradise through an abandoned lighthouse. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

Morning Animal Adventures Meet one of the animals and learn about its history, conservation status, and ecological connections. Saturday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Music and Movement An early childhood educator teaches kids rhythm and pitch through songs, instruments, and dance. Saturday, 11:00. Croton Free Library

Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest If you missed this stunning children's film at the Burns Film Center, now is your last chance to catch it. Saturday, 8:00; Sunday, 3:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Fred Astaire Dance Studio Celebrate the world of ballroom dance at the seventh annual performance of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Waltz with Bashir The 2008 Golden Globe Winner for Best Foreign Film (in Hebrew with subtitles, right) tells of the horrors of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Anthony da Costa Enjoy a live performance by Anthony da Costa as you warm up with hot cider. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Two Children's Plays "The Lorax and Moneybags" is inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic and tells the tale of a villain bewitched by the beauty of the Truffula Trees. "Queen Kunka Bunka and Her Royal Rotten Rascals" is an original musical in rap. Sunday, 1:00. The Children's Theater Company of Peekskill

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Turrets, Bays, and More

Located in the lovely Captain Merritt's Hill section of Mt. Kisco, a short walk to the station and stores, this home is quite interesting. Built in 1915 but clearly renovated and recently "expanded," the house has an appealing mix of old quirk and new flow. With 3,300 square feet and 4 bedrooms, the spacious home has modern details like corner windows, large decks, and a cathedral ceiling in the living room. While the kitchen finishes are too standard for my taste, the space looks very appealing. There's also central air and what the listing calls a "high efficiency" heating system. The 0.44 of an acre property appears to be mostly steep and wooded. The listing certainly seems like a deal—especially since the $6,374 tax bill is surprisingly low and the asking price has already had a $25,000 reduction. What do you think? $965,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Working for a Greener Future

This Saturday brings the first Bedford Environmental Summit, a day-long conference with lectures and workshops on building a more sustainable future. The event is a collaborative effort between the Town of Bedford’s Energy Advisory Panel and the Bedford Garden Club, along with over 100 other partners. There will be a keynote speech by Bob Woodruff of ABC News and lectures on everything from eating locally-grown foods to the state of our oceans and sea life. Congressman John Hall and other local politicians will be on hand to discuss green legislation in the works. Workshops will cover topics such as the fine art of composting, "green" careers, and how to reduce your household waste. There will also be an expo with about 50 booths with representatives from local businesses and organizations. The summit is being held at the Fox Lane High School and runs from 8:00 to 4:30. Register online.
Bedford Environmental Summit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Condo With Nice Angles

It's been forever since I featured an apartment. This condo in Peekskill has plenty of character and some nice features. Located in a stunning 1880 structure, the 950 square foot condo has one bedroom "plus den" and one bathroom. All the rooms benefit from interesting ceiling angles, giving the small apartment a fair deal of visual oomph. The bedroom and den are on a second level, and the apartment has central air. The taxes are $5,478 and there is a monthly common charge of $381—which brings the monthly charges to just over $831. $230,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, January 26, 2009

High Praise for a Music Hall

The Tarrytown Music Hall got a nice write-up in Sunday's New York Times, which hailed the performance venue as experiencing a "resurgence." According to the Times, the Music Hall's budget has grown from $130,000 in 2003 to more than $2 million—and the number and variety of performances has kept pace. The theater produces its own events and also rents out the space to traveling shows. It is also the venue for many performances of the Random Farms Kids Theater, a local children's theater workshop. Much of the article tells the touching story of the couple who saved the building from being turned into a parking lot in 1980. The couple's daughter, Karina Ringeisen, now manages the Music Hall along with her life partner, the theater's executive director Bjorn Olsson. Tarrytown Music Hall
Image: MR38

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Picks

The best activities and things to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

The Form of Matter In collaboration with the Hudson Valley Writers' Center and the Westchester Arts Council, the HVCCA presents four short poetry performances inspired by works of art in the museum (including Daisy Youngblood's Foreign Monkey, right). Saturday and Sunday. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Morning Animal Adventures Meet one of the animals and learn about its history, conservation status, and ecological connections. Saturday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Plaza Suite
A production of the Neil Simon play by The Mighty, the Paramount's theater in residence. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest We saw this film by Michel Ocelo last weekend with my son and we were blown away by the animation and storytelling. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

Duos & Trios A family music experience intended to bring family members together onstage to perform music of any kind to celebrate the role music can play in every family’s life. Saturday, 2:00 to 4:00. Croton Council on the Arts, Croton Free Library

Westchester Symphonic Winds The Westchester Symphonic Winds perform music by Tscherpnin and Persichetti. Saturday, 8:000. Tarrytown Music Hall

E.T. The Extra-Terrestial A free showing of the Spielberg classic. Sunday, 3:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Cooking Greens Harvest greens in the greenhouse and then cook up a delicious snack. Leave with tips and recipes to use at home. Sunday, 2:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

The Winter World of Animals Discover how animals stay warm in the cold months. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Montrose Manor

Located on the edge of Georges Island Park in Montrose, this property has stunning views across the park to the Hudson. Built in 1888, the 4,700 square foot house has a number of large public rooms and 4 bedrooms. There's what looks like a recently renovated master suite (which is too McMansion for my taste), central AC, and a "gourmet" kitchen. The 6 acre property features a pool, tennis court, and a one-bedroom guest house. The estate stands out in the otherwise modest neighborhood, and the property has just been re-listed after failing to sell last year. The taxes are hefty at $32,227, but this listing seems to offer quite a lot for the price. $1,599,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From Neil Simon to Ionesco

The second season of The Mighty Theater, the company in residence at the Paramount Center for the Arts (right), starts on Saturday. First up is the production of Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite." That relatively light fare will be followed by Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” in April and Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” in July. According to an article in Sunday's New York Times, the later plays will be performed with a limited audience sitting on stage. The company will also continue it's significant arts-in-education programs, bringing theater workshops to students in area schools. Jim Cairl, the managing director of the Mighty Theater, formed the partnership with the Paramount last year after he and his family moved to Peekskill from Manhattan, according to the Times. Contact the Paramount for tickets to "Plaza Suite."
The Mighty Theater Company, Paramount Center for the Arts
Image: The New York Times

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to Basics

This just-listed 1920 abode is located on a pleasant street in Bedford Hills village, within walking distance of the train and shops. The living room and dining room are ready to receive visitors, and the kitchen—while not renovated and quite basic—looks serviceable. The 2,200 square foot home has 3 ample-looking bedrooms and a stunning screened porch off of the back yard. At $10,563, the tax bill is not bad either. All in all, this one looks like a pretty good deal to me. $629,000
Ginnel Real Estate, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, January 19, 2009

Celebrate the Moment

Catch the zeitgeist at the latest exhibition at Eyebuzz Fine Art. The opening reception of "The Obama Show" is, of course, Tuesday from 7:00 to 9:00. The show runs through February 20.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

Under the Ice What goes on under the ice of Teatown Lake? Step out on a frozen world and take a peek into the depths to find out. Saturday, 1:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Planning Your Vegetable Garden Farmer Mary Ellen will discuss how to plan your garden for spring, including what and when to plant, and how to care for your plants. Saturday, 11:00. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Winter Bird Identification We’ll spend an hour watching the feeders while you learn the basics of bird identification and how to use a field guide. Saturday, 9:30. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Eagles on an Island Join the Croton Point Park naturalist as we explore George's Island in search of these wonderful raptors and other birds. Saturday, 10:00. George's Island Park

Seeing the Trees for the Winter Join the park naturalist and have fun identifying different trees by their bud shapes. Saturday 1:00. Croton Point Nature Center

The Wrestler Mickey Rourke returns to the screen in this Golden Globe winner. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Discovering Ecosystems Meet animals from the rain forest, desert, and our own temperate forest during this live animal program. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Rebel Red Catch the soulful sounds of Rebel Red. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

In Search of Animal Signs Hike along the farm roads in search of animal tracks and other signs. Sunday, 1:00. Muscoot Farm

Gallery Talk Get insights from artists Richard Dupont (above) and Grimanesa Amoros. Sunday, 4:00. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pre-Revolutionary Goodness

I don't usually feature homes in Chappaqua, but I'm making an exception for this one since it's practically in Mt. Kisco—and I like it. The 1750 farmhouse has 3,100 square feet of living space and 5 bedrooms. The living room features great beams, and the dining room and master bedroom both have corner fireplaces. I'm no fan of the wallpaper, but that comes off pretty easily. There's central air for indoor comfort and a lovely porch from which you can view the 1.8 acres. The big downside here is the annual tax bill—a hefty $40,802. $1,950,000
Prudential Holmes & Kennedy, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where Moving Pictures Took Off

This weekend marks the opening of "It All Started Here," a collaboration of the Westchester Arts Council, the Jacob Burns Film Center, and the Pelham Picture House. The project focuses on animated cartoons and movies made in the New York area since 1906. “It All Started Here” includes an exhibit at the Arts Exchange in White Plains and screenings at the Jacob Burns Film Center. On Thursday, the Burns will show a live reenactment of the stage show that accompanied the groundbreaking 1914 film Gertie the Dinosaur, as well as shorts featuring Koko the Clown, Felix the Cat, and Little Nemo–all with live piano accompaniment. On January 27 the Burns will feature animation by J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, from television shows like Saturday night Live and Beavis and Butt-Head. In February, features will include short films starring Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Tom Terrific, and Deputy Dawg. “It All Started Here” also includes screenings at the Pelham Picture House. For more background on the show and the creative forces behind it, check out the article in last Sunday's New York Times.
Westchester Arts Council, Jacob Burns Film Center
Image: Jacob Burns Film Center

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I often catch a glimpse of this sweet home from my seat on the MetroNorth train. Located on a dead-end street on the northern edge of Ossining, the house is set on a low bluff overlooking the Hudson. It also has a view of the tracks–and trains–but that seems like a reasonable trade-off. Built in 1928, the 2,000 square foot abode has 3 bedrooms, a lovely screened patio, and lots of windows. The front of the home looks to have been "updated" in some questionable ways, but the rear retains the original cottage charm. The 1 acre property is nicely landscaped and is next to a small nature reserve. The listing has been on the market for a while and the asking price has been reduced from $700,000. $650,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Good Spot for Mexican and Italian Fare

Sunday's New York Times had a positive review of Portobello, a cafe in Montrose that serves Mexican and Italian dishes. The restaurant is small and intimate and the fare is "excellent" and "intriguing," says the Times. According to the website, the menu has dishes from each cuisine, with prices for entrees ranging from $16 to $26. The Times' reviewer especially liked the "terrific" cannelloni and the fresh limeade. I haven't been yet, but it certainly sounds worth a try. Portobello

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

Eagles and Wintering Birds Exploration Join a journey in and around Croton Point Park to view eagles and other raptor birds. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park

Cold Crafts Let Mother Earth supply the goods to construct a variety of frozen crafts. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Nature Center

Snowflakes and Snowshoes Strap on the snowshoes and head out to discover the wonders of winter. Hot chocolate for all to end the adventure! Saturday, 2:00 to 3:30. Teatown Lake Reservation

The Reader
Stephen Daldry’s tale of guilt, sex, and moral confusion in post-war Germany. Nominated for Four Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns film Center

Kid's Pajama and Movie Night Enjoy a fun and relaxing movie night in your pajamas. Bring some pillows and blankets to watch "It's Eco-Logic," a short film about what kids can do to protect our environment, and "Babe." The evening will start with chocolate and cookies. Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Michelle LeBlanc Trio
Enjoy the jazz vocals of Michelle LeBlanc and her trio. Saturday, 7:30. Division Street Grill

Winter Night Walk
Come for a lovely evening walk through field and forests. We will end the walk with hot drinks and doughnuts served fireside in the sugarhouse. Saturday, 6:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

The Christopher Dean Band Catch the soul and blues of
The Christopher Dean Band. Saturday, 9:30. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

The Sleepy Hollow String Band The Sleepy Hollow String Band strums their stuff. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Churning Butter View a demonstration or how to churn butter and then try your hand at this simple butter making technique. Sunday 1:00. Muscoot Farm

Feeding Birds in Winter Discover the joys of feeding birds in winter. Plantings to attract birds in your landscape will be discussed as well as seed and feeder selection. Sunday, 2:00. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veteran Memorial

The American Songbook Bassist Mark Minkler and guitarist
Jon Sholle play and sing perennial favorites from the American Songbook. Sunday, 2:00. Croton Free Library

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Need a Reminder?

A semi-regular reader told me that she needs a weekly reminder to check the blog. I can't imagine why, but what ever the readers want... If there is any interest, starting this week I'll be sending a weekly email each Friday letting you know what was on the blog that week. (Email addresses will not be visible to other recipients and will never ever be shared with anyone). If you want to get your weekly reminder, EMAIL ME.

How Homey

Built in 1790, this sweet farmhouse looks ready to snuggle up in. The 1,600 square foot home has 3 bedrooms, but just one bathroom. The rooms look bright and pleasant, and although the kitchen has been all gussied up with granite and stainless it still retains a country feel. There's a nice front porch and a screened-in back porch overlooking the 0.4 of an acre lot (which features an attractive barn). Located in the Granite Springs area of Somers, the home has a very reasonable tax bill of $6,001. Not bad for the money. $482,500
Keller Williams Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Local Woods, Lovely Bowls

At a recent craft fair I came across these amazingly beautiful bowls, all handmade with local wood. The craftsman, Charles Lazarus, lives in the Kitchawan section of Yorktown and usually gets the wood for his bowls from the town recycling facility or from fallen trees. The bowls range in price from $40 to over $200, but each is unique and quite stunning. Check out the website for a huge selection of bowls, more information on the artist, and a step-by-step guide to how the bowls are crafted. The Misshapened Bowl