Thursday, April 30, 2009

True Usonian

This gem is one of the original Usonian Homes in Frank Lloyd Wright's famed community in Pleasantville. Designed in 1951 by one of Wright's students, David Henken, the 1,500 square foot, 3 bedroom house has lovely woodwork, lots of built-ins, and walls of glass to connect it to the wooded setting. It even has one of my favorite architectural elements—a butterfly roof! And note the row of skylights in the kitchen. Very cool. The house is nicely nestled into it's 1.25 acre property. I hope someone who really appreciates it gets this one. (Search for the listing by MLS #2907836.) $699,000
Prudential Holmes and Kennedy, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Creating a Flag

Artist Dave Cole's work Flags of the World (Study #3) is made from red, white, and blue fabric cut from the official United Nations 192-piece Flags of the World set. A documentary video of the creation of the work and the 450-square-foot final Flags of the World installation, will also be shown. Through May 31. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stately in Stone and Slate

Located in the village of Ossining, this 1922 house certainly stands out. With it's gorgeous stone walls, slate roof, and stunning porch with stone arches, it isn't your average colonial. Inside, the 2,600 square foot, 4 bedroom home has pleasant—if less uncommon—rooms and nice period details. The kitchen and bathrooms have gotten the high-end treatment, with loads of doo-dads and treats. The corner lot is 0.28 of an acre and is a short walk to everything in town. At $13,894, the tax bill is relatively reasonable. While the price strikes me as somewhat high for a house in Ossining village, how often do you find 18 inch thick stone walls? (Search for the listing by MLS #2912187.) $899,000
J. Philip Real Estate, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, April 27, 2009

This Week's Picks

Don't miss these five interesting events for the adults:

1. Touching Home: Film and
Interview The debut film by identical twins Logan and Noah Miller tells the tale of brothers who find their Major League dreams dashed and are forced to rethink their lives. After the film, the filmmakers talk with New York Times critic Janet Maslin. Tuesday, 7:30. Jacob Burns Film Center

2. Kickin’ and Screenin’: Joe Diebes The second exhibition of the four part video and performance series "Kickin' and Screenin'" features the sound installations of Joe Diebes. Thursday, 7:00-10:00. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

3. Connecting the Dots: Lichtenstein and Process The program manager of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation presents a lecture on the artist, his life, and his subject matter. Thursday, 7:00 to 8:00. Katonah Museum of Art

4. David Bromberg Big Band After a long absence, virtuoso guitarist David Bromberg and his incredible group of musicians returns. Thursday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

5. Sight & Sound 2 This multi-media program (above) features video art, live music, dance and spoken-word performances by local artists. The collaborative works include musical performances of works by Carlos Delgado and Helmut Christoferus, and a three-channel video installation. Friday, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Croton Free Library

Monday Eye Candy

Croton Point Park, by JMS2.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekend Picks

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

Earth Day Weekend Exercise your green thumb or help the farmers care for the animals. Take an in-depth tour of the farm and learn about composting, bio-diesel production, or the benefits of pastured livestock. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 3:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Croton Earth Day Celebrate Earth Day at Senasqua Park with games, crafts, and music by Fred Gillen Jr., Solar Punch, and David Goldman. Saturday, 9:00 to 1:30. Senasqua Park

Stream Monitoring Training Workshop Learn and practice how to use water monitoring equipment, collect and identify river creatures, and measure physical conditions. Saturday, 9:00 to 4:00. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Early Spring Bird Walk A farm naturalist leads a bird walk to see the returning birds and those just passing through on their spring migration. Saturday, 8:00 to 10:00. Muscoot Farm

Celebrating Earth Day The fun starts at 10:00 with the planting of trees to help Owls and other wildlife. At 2:00 you can learn about the resident turtles and take a short hike down to Bechtel Lake to watch the staff set turtle traps. Saturday. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Lessons from the Lorax Do you speak for the trees? After a reading of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, participants will join in an active quest, using a map and finding clues to locate hidden treasure. Saturday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Chinese Puppet Show The Chinese Theatre Works (above) presents a puppet performance of “Wu Song Fights the Tiger.” There will also be music played on a guzheng, and children can make a shadow puppet. Saturday, 1:30. Hammond Museum

Nature Scavenger Hunt Celebrate spring and sharpen your observation skills with a self-guided scavenger hunt using our checklist. Saturday 10:00 to 2:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Stone and Woodworking Workshop Learn how to shape wood with fire and stone tools, make a spoon, bowl, or even a miniature canoe. Saturday 1:00. Croton Point Park Nature Center

Spring Twilight Hike Find out what goes on in the evening at this time of year. Saturday, 7:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Rob Bartlet Stand up comic Rob Bartlett from Imus in the Morning gives his take on celebrity culture, world politics, and more. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Operas by Puccini The Taconic Opera performs two operas by Puccini, "Il Tabarro" and "The Medium." Saturday, 8:00; Sunday, 2:00. Yorktown Stage

Andrew Craig Enjoy the "pseudo jazz, Brazilian bossa nova, Celtic, pop, and folk" sounds of Andrew Craig. Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Check Out the Chickens Learn about the farm's chickens and enjoy making a chicken-related craft. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Doubt The prizewinning play by John Patrick Shanley, presented by M&M Productions, tells the story of two nuns, a priest, and a concerned parent. Sunday, 2:00. John C. Hart Library

Thursday, April 23, 2009

60's Style in the Village

Most modern homes in the area are found outside of the towns, enjoying the natural scenery and lovely properties, but not within walking distance of any stores. This interesting abode is an exception. Built in 1960, the funky home boasts plenty of mod style and is located in the Captain Merritts Hill section of Mt. Kisco, a short walk from the train and everything else. The 3,600 square foot, 3 bedroom house has a very large and appealing main living space, with walls of windows. The half-acre property is very pleasant and has a nice patio area. At $14,675, the taxes are relatively low for the size. The big con is that the lot backs onto the Saw Mill Parkway. Other than that, this one has got lots to like. $829,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Openings at Peekskill Artists' Lofts

The City of Peekskill’s Office of Economic Development will hold a tour of the live/work lofts that are currently available for rent and purchase in The Peekskill Arts Lofts on Tuesday. Purchasers need to meet the city's Artist Certification Requirement as well as income eligibility rules. The walking tour will start at the Peekskill City Hall at 840 Main Street at 2:30 on Tuesday. You can contact Christopher Marra, Economic Development Specialist for the City of Peekskill, at 914-293-0916. Please RSVP by Friday, April 24 at 4:00.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Spring in her Art

Enjoy the multi-media works of Jennifer Judd-McGee at Eyebuzz Fine Art through May 8. For an interview with the artist, check out eyeblog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Details on a Victorian

In honor of Earth Day, I am re-featuring this Peekskill gem which I first posted back in May, 2008. Since then the asking price has been reduced from $469,900. More importantly, the new listing agent has added a plethora of photos which give a much better idea of the home's many charms. Built in 1863, the 2,500 square foot, 3 bedroom house is brimming with original detail and gorgeous woodwork. Most of the abode has been renovated—including the kitchen—while some areas still need a bit of work. But the house looks to be more than worth the effort. $399,000
Re/Max Classic Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, April 20, 2009

Green and Yummy

Am I the only person suffering from green fatigue this Earth Day? It seems that every over-priced, unnecessary item is being marketed as "green" and somehow good for the planet. As if the conspicuous consumption of brand new items and high-rise condos can ever be sustainable. But some things are unarguably green—such as locally-grown, organic produce. The just-opened Table Local Market in Bedford Hills sells a large range of fresh produce from local farmers, "sustainably raised" meat and poultry, as well as cheeses, dairy products, and bread from local producers. The market also has an array of prepared foods for sale. While the owners were evidently too busy to respond to the emails I sent a few weeks ago, they did take the time to host The Journal News' Liz Johnson, whose blog post on the market has lots of details and photos. It all looks extremely tasty and, dare I say it, green.
Table Local Market
Image: The Journal News

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Picks

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

Trek Our Trails Hike-a-thon Hike Teatown's 15 miles of trails and raise funds to support their environmental education programs, the care of the nature preserve, and regional conservation efforts. After the hike, enjoy an Earth Day celebration with music, birds of prey shows, and more. Saturday, 8:00 to 2:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Sheep-to-Shawl Explore each step in the process of turning wool into cloth using 18th-century techniques. Sheep-shearing, dyeing wool, and weaving cloth are just some of the activities. Saturday, 10:00 to 6:00. Philipsburg Manor

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughter Based on John Steptoe’s Caldecott Award winning book, this African folktale (above) is brought to life by the Dallas Children’s Theater. Saturday, 2:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Soap Making for Adults Join Mia Camacho from the Clean Ridge Soap Company as she demonstrates soap making with the cold process technique. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Learning Trees by Their Bark, Buds, and Leaves Many trees can be easily identified by their unique markings, growth habits, leaf shape, and bark characteristics. See how many species you can discover during this informative hike. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

The Early Birder Is it true that the early birder gets the best birds? Meet at Cliffdale Farm to search the fields for bluebirds and early spring migrants. Sunday, 9:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Earth Day Westchester 2009 Celebrate with live music and entertainment, free “Earth Machine” composting bins, raffles for prizes like a home energy audit, Farmers Market, lawn and gardening advice, “green” exhibits, and more. Held at Kensico Dam Plaza. Sunday, 10:00 to 4:00. Earth Day Westchester

Putting the 3D in 2D Kids can rip, tear, and create space and dimension in a figurative composition using color. Sunday 1:00 to 3:00. Neuberger Museum of Art

Family Discovery Sunday Enjoy a short tour and themed activity. Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00. John Jay Homestead State Historic Site

Westchester's National Book Award Winners Enjoy readings by Young People's Literature Winner Judy Blundell of Katonah and Poetry Finalist Patricia Smith of Tarrytown. Sunday, 4:30. Hudson Valley Writer's Center

Great Artist Concert Renowned for fresh and profound interpretations, the Brentano String Quartet rounds out the Mendelssohn celebration with the composer's second string quartet and second string quintet. Sunday, 4:00. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Creating a Rain Garden Lasdon's horticulturist discusses how a rain garden works and how to create one. Sunday, 2:00. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Marc Von Em
Enjoy the soulful, funky, sometimes bluesy, sometimes haunting sounds of Marc Von Em. Sunday, 6:00 to 9:00. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something Old, Something New

This 1870 center-hall colonial is a true classic—with a twist. The large family room was done with great style, using stone and glass to connect to the rest of the house. The size and openness of that space should make up for the apparent narrowness of the formal living and dining rooms. The 2,000 square foot house has 4 bedrooms and a large country kitchen. The 5.6 acre property boasts lovely lawns and a very nice patio (with a "granite fish pond," no less). Located in Somers, one con is the home's location on busy Route 202. (Both maps have the wrong placement—the house is actually to the west, by Brick Hill Road.) $890,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Arty Party

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art is launching a four part video and performance series, "Kickin' and Screenin'." The series will feature works by several emerging artists, each of which will be followed by a discussion with the creator. The first event is this Thursday, with Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!’s so-called “interactive dance party,” and Eric Barry Drasin and Cameron Wisch's "audiovisual collaboration" involving video projections, camera tracking technologies, black lights, body paint, and "an intense drum set." The event is from 7:00 to 10:00. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Giving Textiles a Second Chance

Recycling is reaching higher levels at the Arts Exchange's exhibition "Hanging by a Thread." The 51 works by 16 artists use recycled or reused textiles and household items. According to the article on the show in Sunday's New York Times, works include standing vessels woven from the plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in and a sculpture made from used pantyhose. Five of the participating artists—including Leslie Pelino, Leni Wiener (whose quilt made of throw-away fabric pieces is above), and Luis Perelman—will be on hand for the panel discussion tonight at 5:00. The show runs through May 2. The Arts Exchange
Image: Leni Wiener

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Bones for the Bucks

This sweet 1880 front porch charmer in Ossining has some nice details and a good vibe. The home has perhaps been over-renovated, with wall-to-wall carpet and a cookie-cutter kitchen. But the big windows, nice moldings, and loads of light give the home character. The 4 bedroom, 2 bath house is relatively small at just 1,300 square feet, but the location is pleasant and close to all—and the $6,912 tax bill is not unreasonable. Overall the price, which was just reduced by $30,000, seems pretty good. Agree? $299,222
Mark Seiden Real Estate, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Year in Film

In his book Pictures at a Revolution, writer Mark Harris looks at the four Oscar nominees for Best Picture in 1967 to discuss the changes occurring throughout the country. The new series at Jacob Burns shows those ground-breaking films—"The Graduate," "In The Heat of the Night," "Guess Whose Coming to Dinner," and "Bonnie and Clyde"—and hosts Mr. Harris and New York Times film critic Janet Maslin in two discussions about the movies and their cultural meaning. The series runs from Wednesday through April 29. Check the website for details on showings and interviews. Jacob Burns Film Center
Images: Jacob Burns Film Center

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekend Picks

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

Bunny Hop! What does it take to hop like a bunny, nose twitching, ears alert? Come to bunny school and learn the ABC’s of bunny life. Saturday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Dr. Dolittle Come see the movie classic, a good old-fashioned Hollywood musical about a cranky but lovable doctor (Rex Harrison) who can talk to animals. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

An Afternoon at the German Opera
This program features music by German composers who have greatly influenced Broadway theater, all sung by young opera singers. Saturday, 3:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Reuse, Redesign, Reconstruct Find out how to design a handbag or tote bag using recycled materials as part of the farm’s recycled crafting series. Saturday, 11:00. Hanover Hilltop Farm

Lymelife Enjoy this movie (above) about the dark side of a 1970s suburban paradise struck by an outbreak of Lyme disease—and then enjoy hearing quests Alec Baldwin and Derick Martini be interviewed by
New York Times critic Janet Maslin. Saturday, 2:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

Calligraphy Workshop for Families Let your creative juices run wild, as you learn writing techniques while using very unique pens. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Nature Center

Amphibians for Kids Put on your rubber boots and get a close-up look at frogs, toads, and salamanders. Learn about amphibian life cycles and adaptations, how to imitate their songs and calls, and then visit their home. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Chocolate Musings and History Chocolatier and Chef Oliver Kita presents a lecture and tasting that follows the journey of chocolate from plantation to the finest shops. Saturday, 2:00. Boscobel House and Gardens

Comedy Night A night of provocative and engaging comedy featuring Shang, Rich Vos, and Bonnie Mcfarlane. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Michelle LeBlanc Enjoy the jazz vocal stylings of Michelle Leblanc. Saturday, 7:30 to 10:30. Division Street Grill

Puppet Show Enjoy Fred Greenspan's troupe of puppets perform a non-violent Punch and Judy Show. Sunday, 1:00 and 2:30. Muscoot Farm

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sweeping Stairs—and Views

When I first saw the listing for this 1968 contemporary in the hills of Croton I was very surprised by the asking price, which seemed remarkably reasonable even in the current market. Then I noticed the annual taxes: $41,544. After I had gotten off the floor, I understood why the price was relatively low. If you can see past the taxes, you may fall for this home's many charms. The 5,000 square foot abode has 4 bedrooms, a huge living room with soaring ceilings and views of the Hudson River, and a super stylish dining room. My favorite features are the sweeping metal stairs and the use of stone and wood throughout the house. The curvy pool is pretty cool, too. The house is set on 3.5 acres just north of the village. $999,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Warhol's Who's Who

The exhibition Pop Politics displays more than sixty of Andy Warhol’s paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs of political figures from American presidents to queens and communist dictators. Through April 26. Neuberger Museum of Art
Image: Neuberger Museum of Art

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A True Antique

Built in 1710, this Bedford beauty definitely counts as an antique—and a true "colonial." The 2,100 square foot house has lovely features like exposed beams and original floorboards, and is brimming with that old fashioned charm that simply can't be faked. The 4 bedroom abode boasts an updated kitchen, too. Set on 1.8 acres, the property includes a big red barn. The house is located in the eastern edge of Bedford and is perhaps not in the most convenient location. But the taxes are surprisingly reasonable at $12, 358, and the asking price seems quite good, too. $895,000
Renwick and Winterling Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, April 6, 2009

Food Buzz: Interesting Italian

Sunday's New York Times gave a "good" to Via Vanti!, the relatively new restaurant in the old train station building at Mt. Kisco. Out of the "dizzying selection" of offerings, the Times hailed the Campo salad, Alfa Romeo piadina, Beatrice pizzette, lamb burger, grilled lemon pound cake, poached pear, and assorted gelati, among other dishes. Via Vanti!
SOURCE: The New York Times: A Hybrid Not to Be Overlooked
Image: The New York Times

March Deals

The number of contracts signed in the towns this blog covers was essentially flat from February to March—good news or bad, depending on your perspective and temperament. Four previously-featured Hot Properties hit the jackpot in March. Two of them found takers quite quickly, while the other two needed at least 6 months—and $100,000 price cuts—to seduce a buyer.

Contracts signed on single-family homes:
February: 49
March: 47

Hot Properties that went to contract:

Location: Ossining
Featured: February 17, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $392,000
Final Asking Price: $392,000

Location: Mohegan Lake
Featured: February 3, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $515,000
Final Asking Price: $515,000

Location: Yorktown Heights
Featured: September 9, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $879,000
Final Asking Price: $779,000

Location: Croton
Featured: September 4, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $865,000
Final Asking Price: $749,000

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekend Picks

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

Wild Food and Ecology Naturalist and author "Wildman" Steve Brill (right) leads a hunt for tasty things growing in the ground: burdrock root, wild carrots, sweet and spicy evening primrose, and lots of mushrooms. Saturday, 10:00. Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

Ornithology Workshop for Families Come learn to identify and classify different bird families and orders. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park Nature Center

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Kids can enjoy the saga of the Baudelaire kids. After the screening an educator will lead a talk about the movie and the first book in the series. Saturday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

Draw On! Join artist Jennifer Wroblewski, toy designer David Dear, and artist Tom Burckhardt, for fun drawing workshops throughout the afternoon. Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Camouflaging Creatures Now you see me. Now you don't! In this live animal program you'll discover why, where, and how animals camouflage. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Mendelssohn at 200 The Caramoor Virtuosi present a program of the composer's male vocal quartets, solo piano works, a piano trio, and the monumental sextet. Saturday, 8:00. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Buried in Blue Enjoy the classic rock of Buried in Blue. Saturday, 9:30. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Vernal Pools Join the farm naturalist for a hike to the vernal pools to see the wood frogs and fairy shrimp. Sunday, 1:00. Muscoot Farm

Perennials for Sun and Shade Lasdon's horticulturist will present a slide program on terrific perennials for both sunny and shady areas of the garden. Sunday, 2:00. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Lichtenstein on Film Enjoy a screening of Roy Lichtenstein, an intimate glimpse of the artist at work. Sunday, 5:30 to 7:00. Katonah Museum of Art

Josh Ritter Musician Josh Ritter plays evocative songs with a weary, melodic richness. Sunday, 7:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Colonial, with Horse Barn and Cottage

While the listing agent is over-reaching by calling it "antique," this 1927 house certainly does have some lovely details and country charm. Located in Yorktown Heights, the 2,500 square foot abode has 4 bedrooms and a wonderful kitchen and dining room, although an appreciation for exposed brick and paneling is probably a must. The 3.3 acre property features a pool, a two-stall horse barn, and a separate 1,500 square foot, 2 bedroom cottage. On the con side, the property is pretty close to the Taconic Parkway and the taxes are on the higher side at $23,170. Nonetheless, there is definitely lots on the pro side. $975,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Personal Faves

"Favorite Things" is an exhibition of recent works by Ed Radford that represent stuff the artist loves—such as an iPod, skateboard, furniture, and a log. Not only does the art look interesting, but it naturally leads to a great project for the kids. The exhibition is at the Croton Free Library through April 30.