Friday, February 26, 2010

Demme Does Neil Young

This double-feature pairs Jonathan Demme’s latest Neil Young film—a gritty concert movie—and "Neil Young: Heart of Gold," Demme’s earlier portrait of the artist in a more acoustic mood. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. Friday, 7:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Little House in the Big Woods

These 35 acres of pristine woods come with an 867 square foot, 2 bedroom cottage. The house is sweet, but it's the land that is really amazing. Located in Somers (with a Katonah address and Somers schools) the property backs up onto protected watershed land. The taxes are $9,987, and the asking price is $795,000. Prudential Serls, Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Delightful Dilemma

Catch "The Philadelphia Story," George Cukor’s 1940 classic triangle of fun with Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart. Wednesday, 7:30 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beams and Boards

Year Built: 1797
Square Feet: 4,593
Bedrooms: 4
Property: 1.04 acre
Location: Ossining, on the eastern edge of town close to the Taconic Parkway.
Best features: This rambling antique farmhouse has a number of drop-dead gorgeous rooms, from the lovely master bedroom to the cozy dining room to the soaring family room. There are beautiful original floors and exposed beams throughout, five fireplaces, and a lovely porch. I've got a terrible crush on this one!
Downside: While the property looks nice, it's not much land for the price—and the road is pretty densely developed with houses mostly from the late 80's (as well as some from the '60 and a few from as early as the 1800's).
Taxes:  $24,496
Asking Price: $1,100,000 
Agency: Houlihan Lawrence
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Monday, February 22, 2010


Want to look for eagles in the Croton estuary? Or just watch the trains zoom over the bridge? Check out Croton Village's EagleCam. Located at the southern tip of the Croton-Harmon train station, the cam pivots at your command to view the Hudson and the Croton River.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekend Picks

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Kurt Henry Band With a mix of folk, jazz, and Caribbean styles, the Kurt Henry Band has created its own style. Friday, 8:00 pm. Peekskill Coffee House

Lou Volpe Trio A standard of the New York jazz scene, the Lou Volpe Trio performs some well known and some not so well known songs. Friday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

American Indian Sugaring Did you know that maple sugaring was discovered by the American Indians? Find out how they developed the sugaring process that gives us the sweet syrup we all love today. Saturday, 10:00 am. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Winter Wolves Visit the wolves during their favorite time of year and learn about the mythology, biology, and ecology of wolves in North America. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Wolf Conservation Center

Tracking and Tracing Learn how to identify tracks, what they tell us, and where they take us. Kids can make plaster tracks and an animal print booklet, too. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Croton Point Nature Center

Cold Frame Construction Join the farm carpenter and learn how to build a cold frame so you can get an early start to the vegetable-growing season. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky A special double-bill featuring two powerhouse singer/songwriters, Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Bobby Collins Stand-up comic Bobby Collins shares his heartfelt comedy. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Legends of the Leatherman Join historian and author Dan DeLuca as he reads passages and tells us about the process of creating his book, The Old Leather Man: Historical Accounts of a Connecticut and New York Legend. Sunday, 4:00 pm. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Watershed Address What is your watershed address and why does it matter? With an interactive display and other activities,  explore the dynamics of a watershed and discuss ways to keep our watershed healthy. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Grandmother's House We Go

Year Built: 1940
Square Feet: 2,736
Bedrooms: 4
Property: 1 acre
Location: Bedford Hills, north of town and closer to Katonah. 
Best features: Leaded glass windows, paneling, and details like a Dutch door give this home a quaint,  storybook feel. The rooms all look spacious and bright, and there's a separate studio out back.
Downside: The kitchen is probably too quaint and woody for most. The road is a popular thoroughfare.
Taxes: $10,213
Asking Price: $575,000
Agency: Houlihan Lawrence
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thursday Tunes

Acoustic pop/rockers Anthony Melillo & the Melillo Brothers perform original tunes from their debut album,"Just Gettin' Started." Thursday, 8:30 pm, at 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chekhov on Film

Celebrate Anton Chekhov’s 150th birthday with this series of Soviet and Russian films inspired by the celebrated writer. Films include The Lady with the Dog, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and the new adaptation of Ward No. 6, the Russian submission for this year’s Academy Award. The festival runs through February 25. Jacob Burns Film Center

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Picks

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

John Mayall Storied rocker John Mayall performs classics and hits from his latest CD, Tough. Friday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Great Backyard Bird Count Join in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The museum has a large observation window, so you can count from inside. Saturday, 9:00 am; Sunday, 1:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary 

Native American Toys An archaeologist helps children create toys that were a staple of the Native American childhood. Saturday, 1:00 p.m. Croton Point Park Nature Center 

Valentine Crafts Mother Nature will provide some of the materials needed to make personalized gifts for loved ones. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation 

Chinese New Year Celebration  In honor of the Lunar New Year (Year of the Tiger), enjoy traditional stories, music, dance, and food from China. Saturday, 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Coyote Howl After learning a bit about the coyote, take a short walk and have some howling good fun! Saturday, 7:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

The Burton Greene Trio Eclectic composer and performer Burton Greene performs with Ed Schuller and George Schuller. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe 

Animal Encounters: Snakes Have some slithering good fun and meet some snakes. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Winter Farm Tour Get face-to-face with the farm's livestock in their winter shelters and learn about what’s growing in the four-season greenhouse and main production field. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

The African Queen—and Champagne Passion burns as hot as the blazing sun in this classic starring  Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. After the screening, enjoy a Valentine's Day champagne reception. Sunday, 5:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center 

The Rhonda Denét Project Valentine’s Day dinner seating features live music with Rhonda Denét, a singer with a repertoire that spans from Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, and Anita Baker to Stevie Wonder. Sunday. 12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Antique Fixer

Year Built: circa 1700
Square Feet: 2,700
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 2.7 acres
Location: Yorktown Heights, in the bucolic Huntersville area.
Best features: With exposed beams, paneling, built-ins, and multiple fireplaces, this farmhouse is oozing charm and character. Set on a lovely property with nice landscaping, it's pretty easy to see that this homestead could be a real stunner. 
Downside: When the listing uses the word "restore," you know that work is needed. Outside, the  house has aluminum siding (on a 1700's colonial!), and there's a 3 story barn, pool, and tennis court that all need to be returned to their "former glory." Inside, the house looks like it needs at least a fair amount of cosmetic care—like removing that wall-to-wall carpeting (in a 1700's colonial!).
Taxes: $16,143
Asking Price: $650,000
Agency: Coldwell Banker
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Art to Art

The exhibition "Ekphrasis" celebrates the ancient tradition by which one medium of art tries to relate to another. This eclectic collection features works by A.R Penck (top left), Saul Steinberg (top right), Stanford Kay (bottom left), Salvatore Rosillo (bottom right), and many others. Text by novelists, non-fiction writers, and poets will be displayed in silk-screened broadsides alongside the art. Through March 27, at the Lift Trucks Project.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big and Bold in Bedford

Year Built: 2009
Square Feet: 13,000
Bedrooms: 5
Property: 20 acres
Location: Bedford, in the heart of the estate area.
Best features: If you're looking for room to roam, this place has it both inside and out. Designed by Ogawa/Depardon Architects, the house boasts gorgeous materials and an elegant minimalism. In addition to some massive public areas, there's also an interior reflecting pool and koi pond, a gym, theater, and wine cellar. And check out the shower in the master bathroom.
Downside: In the era of downsizing and restraint, a 13,000 square foot home is probably a bit of a hard sell. And, while I like the style, it will take a huge amount of interior design to tone down the coldness and make this look less like corporate headquarters and more like someone's home.
Taxes: $60,750
Asking Price: $9,500,000 
Agency: Julia B. Fee Sotheby's
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Monday, February 8, 2010

Creating A "Showcase for American Craft Brewery"

Peekskill is becoming quite the beer-lovers haven. Not far from the Peekskill Brewery, a new brew pub is set to open this month. A reader sent me a tip about the Birdsall House, a gastro pub which will focus on small production breweries from New York as well as ales and lagers from European breweries. Stating that "the world does not need another grilled chicken sandwich," the owners promise to offer a menu with a "focus on local, sustainable foods from the bountiful Hudson Valley." The owners have been updating a blog with regular posts on their adventure in bar-making, and you can also read more about them on Peekskill Daily. The bar is located on Main Street, directly across from the original Birdsall House, which operated from 1764 to 1852.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekend Picks

A few choice activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Big Boss Bossa Nova Catch the Latin/Jazz/Funk sounds of Doug Munro and Big Boss Bossa. Friday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Ran Enjoy the brand new print of Akira Kurosawa’s indelible reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

EagleFest The 6th annual celebration of the Hudson Valley's eagles features birds of prey shows, eagle exploration tours, storytelling, educational exhibits, interactive games, crafts, and hands-on discoveries. The festivities are held at Croton Point Park. Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

The Golden Bird A classic Brothers Grimm tale of trust, treachery, hope and despair, in which goodness wins out when the hero learns to see beyond appearances. Saturday, 3:30 pm. Katonah Village Library

T. Ray & the Smokin' Section Enjoy the Soul, Blues, R&B, and Rock of T. Ray & the Smokin' Section. Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Old Fashioned Valentine's Day Make a unique Valentine's Day card for a family member or special friend. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Propogating Housplants Learn vegetative plant propagation techniques including stem and leaf cuttings, leaf sections, division and air-layering. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Opportunity in the Upper Village

Year Built: circa 1900
Square Feet: 1,330
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 0.08 of an acre
Location: Croton, in the lovely Upper Village across the street from the town hall and close to all.
Best features: This vintage village home hasn't been treated well, but there's a sweetheart in there waiting to be reborn. The good thing about faux wood paneling is that it is easy to remove. The price seems to reflect the good deal of work that is needed.
Downside: Ripping off the interior paneling is easy—replacing the exterior Aluminum siding will be tougher. You'll also want to restore the floors and put in a new kitchen, and who knows what the bathrooms are like.
Taxes: $7,410
Asking Price: $349,900
Agency: River Towns Real Estate
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Occasional Restaurant

“People stop in and ask what’s going on — they say that the lights and all the fun that people seem to be having drew them in.” 

—David Leveen, the chef and organizer of Skillet Restaurant, which takes over Grouchy Gabe’s Grill in Croton once a month, as quoted in the New York Times.
Image: The New York Times

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Sales and Deals

2010 didn't exactly get off to the best start. The number of properties going to contract in the towns this blog covers was down quite a bit in January from the previous month. On the brighter side, some very nice houses found soul mates. It's nice to see good houses become homes. 

Contracts signed on single-family homes
December: 54
January: 38

Hot Properties That Went to Contract

Location: Yorktown
Featured: November 17, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $619,000
Last Asking Price: $595,000

Location:  Yorktown Heights
Featured: June 18, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $869,000
Last Asking Price: $819,000

Hot Properties That Closed

Location: Ossining
Featured: October 27, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $629,999
Last Asking Price: $559,000
Sold for: $559,000

Location: Croton
Featured: May 5, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $1,749,000
Last Asking Price: $1,695,000
Sold for: $1,600,000

Location: Bedford Hills
Featured: December 2, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $14,500,000
Last Asking Price: $11,950,000
Sold for: $9,500,000

Monday, February 1, 2010

Buy a Bucket

Each February, Teatown Lake Reservation taps its maple trees and then boils the sap into syrup in the Sugar House. $40 gets you your very own bucket of maple sap. You'll also get two tickets to the annual pancake brunch in March and a bottle of the award-winning, grade A, pure maple syrup. Stop by Monday to reserve your bucket!

Reconnecting Peekskill's Parts

A crucial aspect of every vision to continue Peekskill's restoration has been recreating a strong link between the downtown and the waterfront. Last week the City of Peekskill published the "final plan" for the Central Avenue and South Water Street Conceptual Plan. The 77 page document, which was developed by ADL III Architecture PC, outlines plans to redevelop the two avenues with mixed-used residential and commercial structures, small parks, and public areas with art displays. The redeveloped area would connect to the new Lincoln Depot Plaza and the Peekskill Landing park, both of which are now in construction. The plans are chockfull of great ideas, from new museums to green walls to pedestrian-friendly streetscapes. Let's hope it all actually happens.
Images: City of Peekskill