Friday, May 29, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Pond Study Explore the aquatic life at Bechtel Lake and search for tadpoles, frogs, dragonfly nymphs, and sunfish. Saturday, 11:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Open Farm Day Enjoy the farm, visit with the animals, and tour the gardens. Bring a picnic and have lunch with the llamas and the peacock. Saturday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Rainbeauridge Farm

Edible Wild Plants Learn about the edible, medicinal, and utilitarian uses for common plants and "weeds" in our area. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Creeping Crepusculars! Learn how these creatures navigate their habitats and what happens to our senses as night falls. Saturday, 8:00 to 9:30 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Live Jazz Enjoy the sounds of the Dave Freidman Trio. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Ronan Tynan
Tenor Ronan Tynan sings Broadway hits and Irish standards. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Christopher Dean Band
The Christopher Dean Band plays tunes from their latest CD, "Where I Need To Be." Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Lost Pond Lunch
Bring your lunch and hike out to Lost Pond. We’ll enjoy our food along the edge of this secluded pond while the wildlife entertains our eyes and ears. Sunday, 11:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Spring Roots
Join in for some personal farming. When the work is done, cook everything up into a delicious snack using spring root vegetables and other seasonal foods. Sunday, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Hudson Fulton Centennial Celebrations Kate Johnson, curator of Historic Hudson Valley and author of Sail and Steam: New York Celebrates Henry Hudson & Robert Fulton, will speak about her new book and the history of New York`s centennial celebrations. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Philipsburg Manor

Mianus Preserve Hike Join a Teatown naturalist and the Club Fit Hiking Club leader to hike along this gorge cut from the rushing waters of a glacier ten to fifteen thousand years ago. Meet at the J.V. Club Fit. Sunday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Tour of Lasdon House Learn about the history of Lasdon Park while touring the Main House with the park horticulturist. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Lasdon Park Arbroetum & Veterans Memorial

Tour the Croton Dam The president of the Croton Friends of History leads a walk into the past. Assemble at the library for a short presentation and then carpool to the Aqueduct. Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Croton Free Library

Local Journals, Local Writers A reading of writers featured in the current editions of Inkwell and The Westchester Review. Seven authors will read from their works of prose and poetry. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Films of the Great Depression Enjoy two Spencer Tracy classics from the Great Depression: "Me and My Gal" (1932) and "Man's Castle" (1933). Sunday, 6:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Image by dshearer

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Colonial Classic

This 1860 farmhouse retains its charm and sweetness and sports a nicely renovated kitchen and master bath. With 3,300 square feet, the 3 bedroom house is quite roomy. It appears to be in good condition, and even has central air. The house is set on 6 lovely acres and boasts two covered porches and a patio to enjoy the scenery. Located in the Kitchawan section of Yorktown (with an Ossining address and Yorktown schools), the house has relatively low taxes at $16,036. Pretty sweet. There's an open house this Sunday. $999,999
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Art of the River

As part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the waterway that bears his name, the Katonah Museum is presenting three solo exhibitions of artwork inspired by the Hudson River. The first artist, Nancy Cohen, uses handmade colored paper to transform a gallery into a metaphorical waterway with her work, Perspectives on Salinity: River from Within. Through June 28. Katonah Museum of Art

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Village Vintage

Here's a sweetheart of a house in a nice area in Mt. Kisco, on a pleasant side street within easy walking distance of Main Street. Built in 1900, the 1,800 square foot home has 3 bedrooms and retains lovely original details like pocket doors and moldings. There's a killer front porch and the 0.29 of an acre lot has a nice looking yard. The "updated" kitchen is on the bland side and the exterior has aluminum siding. But the taxes are quite low at $6,727, and the asking price has just been reduced from $609,000. $579,000
Keller Williams Realty, Google Map, Live Search Map

I Scream, U Scream

'Tis the season for cool and satisfying ice cream. Everyone in northern Westchester knows that the place to get the homemade delight is the Blue Pig in Croton. And the New York Times agrees, calling the ice cream an indulgence which is "really worth it." According to Sunday's Times, the Blue Pig creates it's scrumptious treats daily "on the premises in small batches, so it always tastes fresh." In addition to a variety of tasty flavors, the parlor serves up ice cream sandwiches, which the Times reviewer says "are not to be missed." While most everyone agrees on the quality of the Blue Pig's ice cream, it has recently been the subject of complaints on the Chowhound forum for having irregular hours. As one Chowhound poster said, "there are days when I need to satisfy my ice cream fix and then I get disappointed." The Blue Pig is located at 121 Maple Street, Croton.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

Animals & Acrobats Capturing the fun of an early American traveling circus, the three-day event includes continuous performances: Flight of the Raptor demonstrations, tumbling acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers, magicians, fortune-tellers, mimes, storytellers, horse-drawn wagon rides, music, and more! Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Van Cortlandt Manor

Story Festival This new festival brings a range of professional story tellers together at events throughout Mt. Kisco. Check the website for details. Saturday and Sunday. Sunflower Story Arts Festival

Fun with Map and Compass Come out and learn how to read a map and use a compass. Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Campfire Cooking Learn how to prepare tasty food over an open campfire. Cook up stews, breads, desserts, vegetables, and more. Saturday, 12:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Little Women Nominated for three Oscars, this adaptation features Susan Sarandon as Marmee, and includes Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and a 12-year-old Kirsten Dunst. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Film Center

Stairway to Heaven Head to the meadow at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation and check out the Big Dipper and more. Bring your telescope or use the astronomers'. Saturday, 8:30 to 10:30 pm. Westchester Amateur Astronomers

The Legacy Trio Enjoy the jazz as The Legacy Trio (Curtis Lundy, Rodney Kendrick, and Craig Haynes) takes on the music of Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Roy Haynes, and Abbey Lincoln. Saturday, 7:30 pm. BeanRunner Cafe

Singer/Songwriter Showcase Three female vocalists take the stage: Lisa Frieder, Sheri Miller, and Abby Payne. Sunday, 6:15 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Meet the Baby Animals It's spring and the farm animals are having their babies. Tour the farm and meet the new babies. Sunday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Livestock Tour Get face-to-face with the farm's livestock and learn about what sets grassfed farmers apart. Sunday, 12:00 pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Turtle Monitoring Learn about and take part in our effort to collect data from the painted and snapping turtles living in Bechtel Lake. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hex-traordinary House

Built in 1963, this hexagonal concoction in the Mount Airy section of Croton still looks cutting-edge and way cool. A cross between a dome, a tent, and a Stealth bomber, this 3,000 square foot, 4 bedroom abode certainly packs a punch. There's loads of glass, wood, and interesting angles and spaces. The home is beautifully set on 1.1 acres of woods and boasts a free-form pool. The $19,805 tax bill isn't cheap, but this is definitely a one-of-a-kind house—and the asking price seems like a steal to me. $729,900
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Big Box Art

The World’s Largest Cardboard Sign is 10 feet tall, 12 feet long, and weighs 200 pounds. It is part of Alejandro Diaz’s exhibition, Blame it on Mexico, which includes neon, vinyl, and fabric signs, as well as multi-media installations. Through June 7. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Celebrating Gay Life, on Film

The 6th annual "Out at the Movies" festival at Jacob Burns showcases 14 movies that explore the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender experience. The series includes documentaries such as Outrage and Before Stonewall which explore the history and politics of gay life in America. Less serious films include Antarctica, a look at the gay experience in Tel Aviv, and Were the World Mine (right), the tale of a teenager who uses a love potion to make his entire town take a walk on the homosexual side. The series starts tomorrow with an opening reception and a showing of Outrage, as well as a live interview with Kirby Dick, the film's director. Through June 3. Jacob Burns Film Center

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Charming Foreclosure

The New York Times had a series of articles this weekend about the growing number of foreclosures in the region. Westchester evidently has fewer foreclosures than the rest of the tri-state area—and, compared to most of the area, northern Westchester has hardly been touched by this epidemic. But there are definitely foreclosures around. One of the nicest is this lovely 1850 colonial in Somers. The 3 bedroom house is pretty small at 1,200 square feet, but it is fully-loaded with classic charm and appears to be in good shape. The taxes are $7,797, and the asking price has been reduced from $285,700. The home is located on a relatively mellow stretch of Route 202 also called Mill Street (a complication that evidently makes Google unable to correctly map it). Not bad at all for the money. $257,000
Triton REO Management, Live Search Map

Monday, May 18, 2009

Walking Along the Waterfront

The latest section of the Westchester RiverWalk was officially opened last week. The additional half-mile of walkway runs through the northern section of Croton Landing Park and boasts amazing vistas, lots of grass for lounging and playing on, and a very interesting bridge over wetlands. The RiverWalk will eventually stretch 51.5-miles and hug the river from Yonkers to Peekskill. So far, slightly more than 31 miles have been completed. Added to the existing three miles in Croton, running from Senasqua Park down to Croton Point Park, this is the longest continuous stretch of walkway, according to the New York Times. Check out the Times and Journal News for more details and photographs.
Image: The New York Times

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

Birding Cole Kettle Come see the pewee, flycatchers, warblers, and others on this approximately 3 mile hike. Saturday, 8:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Shoot Shot Bring a camera and hike along with photographer Rob Dublin as he captures the uniqueness of Croton Point's natural and historic wonders. Saturday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Croton Point Park Nature Center

The Queen and her Court The spring buildup of the hive signals the time to start beekeeping duties. Join the beekeeper as he reveals the fascinating inner social life of the bee hive. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Trail Work and Hiking Day Join the farm staff to hike our 3.5 miles of beautiful woodland trails, and help maintain the trails as you go. Saturday, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Live Jazz Performers Neil Alexander & Nail create a blend of red hot jazz and burning funk grooves. Saturday, 8:00 pm. The Bean Runner Café

Westchester Symphonic Winds One of Westchester's secret gems, the ensemble Westchester Symphonic Winds performs works by Gould, Gillingham, Brahms, and Gade. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Shad Fest Enjoy Riverlovers' 19th annual salute to the tasty fish, with live music, educational booths, children's activities, and shad samplings at Croton Point Park. Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Shad Fest 2009

Colors, Colors Everywhere Kids can use bold inks, lines, and gestures to create one-of-a-kind prints that are full of energy and fun. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Neuberger Museum of Art

Garden Work Assist the master gardener with preparing the soil and planting the seeds in the herb garden. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Pinkster Enjoy this African-American celebration of spring (above), held in the Hudson Valley as early as the 17th century. Festivities include drumming and dance, African folktales, demonstrations of traditional African instruments, and great food. Sunday, 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Phillipsburg Manor

Seeding the Soil Dirty hands, happy hearts. Come and help cultivate biodiversity at Teatown by planting the children’s garden with a variety of flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Sunday, 10:00 to 11:30 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Portfolio Day
Artists are invited to bring their portfolios for one on one constructive critiques with leading gallerists and collectors. Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Choral Concert The Choral Arts Society of Westchester and the historic West Village Chorale perform Carl Orff's “Carmina Burana” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” Held at the Sleepy Hollow High School, 210 North Broadway. Sunday, 4:00. Choral Concert

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Federal, not too Reserved

For a grand Bedford Hills estate, this 1890 house looks quite calm and welcoming. The 5,400 square foot, 6 bedroom house features a number of gracious and spacious rooms, each with lovely original details. The family room, with it's large skylight and wall of French doors, is quite appealing. The house is set on 8.6 acres with some gorgeous plantings and a pool. However, the two circular drives—one on either side of the house—strikes me as a very strange way to use the land. Located just east of Route 117, the house is close to Bedford Hills village and train. For what it is, the tax bill of $48,330 is hefty but not that surprising. And the asking price seems remarkably reasonable. $2,975,000
Ginnel Real Estate, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Light Breezes, Peaceful Places"

"Light Breezes, Peaceful Places" is a solo exhibit of new watercolors and ink paintings by artist Yoshiko Nakanishi, including "Winter Landscape" and "Summer Forest" (above). Through May 31. Flat Iron Gallery

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Updated Farmhouse

Built in 1920, this Yorktown Heights farmhouse has plenty of country charm and all of the modern conveniences. The 3,200 square foot, 3 bedroom house boasts loads of French doors and lovely pine flooring. The 3.34 acre property features a lovely pool and gardens, plus a separate cottage. On the con side, some parts of the house look too updated for my taste (such as the master suite and the kitchen), and the house is pretty close to the Taconic Parkway. But there is loads to like here. At $21,056, the annual taxes seem relatively standard for the size of the house and property—as does the asking price. Agree? $879,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ink and Brush and Beyond

One of the museums in our area that is not part of the new Fairfield/Westchester Museum Alliance (see below) is the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem. A review in this Sunday's New York Times reminds us that, with it's lovely gardens and blooming cherry blossoms, the museum "is one of Westchester’s top seasonal art pleasures." The article reviews the two current exhibits at the museum. “Brush With Nature” consists of 70 works by 23 artists using the traditional art form of ink and brush painting, and includes "Hands On" and "Quieting" by Mary Padilla (above). The other exhibit is of works by Sayoko Harada, an artist living in Gifu, Japan. Both exhibits run through June 19. Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden
Images: The New York Times

Local Museums Join Forces

The six largest museums in Westchester and Fairfield recently announced that they are forming the Fairfield/Westchester Museum Alliance. As of May 1, members of any of the museums have free admission and a 10% store discount to all six institutions. Non-members can get a same-day free pass to all six museums when they pay admission for one. The participating museums are: the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (above, top) in Ridgefield; the Bruce Museum in Greenwich; the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers; the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill; the Katonah Museum of Art (above, bottom) in Katonah; and the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in northern Westchester:

Spring Bird Walk Join a naturalist to look for the birds and search for signs of spring. Saturday 7:00 to 9:00 am. Muscoot Farm

Old Croton Aqueduct Tour Learn the history of the Old Croton Aqueduct and see the inside of the tunnel. Saturday, 9:30 am. Ossining Community Center

Bird Banding Demonstration Learn about migration, nesting behavior, and the importance of bird banding for wildlife conservation. Saturday, 10:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Wolves for Kids Get a great introduction to wolves and learn about the fairy tales and misconceptions surrounding them. Saturday, 10:00 am. Wolf Conservation Center

Mothers & Others Tea Musicale Share a recital in the Music Room with Jennifer Zetlan singing a repertoire of lovely songs for mother, followed by a special tea. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

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

Pond Study: Turtle Trap Monitoring Look for tadpoles, sunfish, and dragon fly larvae in the pond. Then watch the naturalist venture out to the turtle traps to see what we got. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Meet the Authors In conjunction with the Hudson Valley Writers' Center, local authors and illustrators will be on hand to read and discuss their recent work. Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Warner Library

Alan Bates Trio Celebrate spring with the sounds of the vibraphone, drums, and bass. Saturday, 3:00 pm. Ossining Public Library

Nature Friendly Plant Sale Get your habitat-friendly wildflowers, unique annuals and perennials, deer resistant flowering shrubs, vegetables, herbs, and other native plants. Saturday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

The Fun and Funny Juggling Show Enjoy the juggling, sight gags, boomerangs, and sophisticated clowning of Will Shaw. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Croton Free Library

Daisy Jopling "Classical Rock violinist" Daisy Jopling (above) performs. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

They Might Be Giants Formed as a duo in 1982, They Might Be Giants has had a singular career and has developed a reputation as a "must see" live show. Saturday, 4:00 and 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Joe Lovano Saxophonist Joe Lovano leads his Grammy Award winning Nonet through a celebration of 20th century masters. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Radius: For Artists Only An Open House for local artists. Bring a small portfolio of your work to share with other guests and learn about Radius' professional development opportunities. Saturday, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Sheep Shearing May is sheep shearing time on the farm. Watch the sheep get their spring haircuts. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Working with Artists Using Environmental Materials A presentation by leading New York gallery dealer Mary Sabbatino, of Galerie Lelong, in conjunction with the exhibition "Origins." Sunday, 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Mom's Cole Kettle Hike Bring mom on a long walk to Cole Kettle, one of our furthest natural wonders. This hike will take approximately 2 ½ hours. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Country Comforts

Built in 1928, this sweet house is in the Lake Katonah community, not too far from the village. The 1,900 square foot house has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and central air. The living room boasts a vaulted ceiling and stone fireplace and the dining room has windows on three sides (I love that!). The lot is .80 of an acre and appears to have some views of the lake. Overall, it's a sweetheart of a house in a nice spot. The price was reduced from $725,000 just last week. $689,000
Ginnel Real Estate, Google Map, Live Search Map