Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Local Sights

The 28th Annual Photographers of Northern Westchester exhibit features works by over a hundred local photographers (including Mark Sadan, above). The exhibit is sponsored by the Croton Council on the Arts and the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Briarcliff, Croton & Ossining and runs through April 4.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Movie and an Interview

Australian director Nash Edgerton, a founding member of the Blue Tongue Collective, discusses his thriller, The Square, with New York Times critic Janet Maslin after the screening. Tuesday, 7:30 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Searching for Hotness

I've featured two Hot Properties a week for a long, long time. So where is the Tuesday feature? I'm not sure if its me or the properties, but none of the new listings are working for me. For one, there aren't many (certainly not for this time of year). And those that are coming to market just don't feel very "hot." I promise to feature some hot props as new as I come across them...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fresh and Well-Priced

"The beautifully displayed fruits and vegetables here include several kinds of chilies, yams, potatoes and squashes. Melons go for $3 and $4 each, a pound of clean, gorgeous leeks costs 99 cents, tomatillos are $1.59 a pound and nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) are $1 a pound."
The New York Times, singing the praises of La Marqueta, a new market on Mt Kisco's Main Street which carries a large variety of fresh produce, poultry, meats, and fish.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend Picks

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Ensemble Known for his charismatic power,  Eddie Palmieri has won nine Grammy Awards. Friday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Candle Making Adults can join Mia Camacho from the Clean Ridge Soap Company as she teaches the technique for making several varieties of scented soy wax candles. Saturday, 10:00 am. Muscoot Farm

Vernal Pools at Mt. Lakes Park Visit the hidden treasures deep in the forest and learn about the vital importance of these seasonal wetlands as spawning areas for salamanders and other amphibians. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Bedford Audubon Society

Naturalist's Hike The park naturalist will select a trail and topic to find some of the exciting ecological events which are occurring. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Animated Shorts Kick off the museum's "Draw On!" week with animated shorts featuring favorites like Danny and his Dinosaur, Max and the Wild Things, and Vashti and her Dots! Then create your own characters. Saturday, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Wake Up Call! The ice is melting and frogs and salamanders are returning to their home pools to breed. Hike along as we do some early spring monitoring. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Billie Holiday by Candlelight Jazz vocalist Tamm E. Hunt produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway show "BILLIE HOLIDAY The Legend." Saturday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Crazy Heart Haven't see Jeff Bridges' award-winning performance yet? Saturday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Vernal Pools Join the farm naturalist for a hike to the vernal pools to see the wood frogs and fairy shrimp. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Laurel & Hardy with Live Jazz Live music by Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra adds new zing to three Laurel and Hardy films, “Double Whoopee,” “Wrong Again,” and “Sugar Daddies.” Sunday, 3:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

The Intimate Inanimate The museum's curator is joined by exhibition artists Dan Hurlin, Roman Paska, and Hanne Tierney in a discussion about puppetry’s unique ability to give form to the internal world of emotions and ideas. Sunday, 5:30 pm. Katonah Museum of Art

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring, a time to renew and relist

So far, some of the best homes to hit the market this spring are relistings of properties that I already featured. Taking homes off the market and then relisting them—often at a lower price and with a new agency—has become common in these recessionary times. Here are my personal picks of previously featured Hot Properties that have recently been relisted:

Featured: December 11, 2008
Location:  Croton
Asking Price When Featured:  $990,000
Current Asking Price: $929,000
Realtor: Julia B. Fee Sotheby's
This wonderful 1968 modern home has bright, open spaces, a cool vibe, and great views of the Hudson. The big downside is still the tax bill ($30,904).

Featured: March 26. 2009
Location: Bedford Corners
Asking Price When Featured: $1,395,000
Current Asking Price: $1,275,000
Realtor: Houlihan Lawrence
Built in 1965, this large home was designed by a disciple of Wright and has a definite Usonian flair. The new listing has more, and much better, photos and you can really see why this one is special.

Featured: March 19, 2009
Location: Yorktown Heights
Asking Price When Featured: $850,000
Current Asking Price: $845,900
Realtor: J. Philip Real Estate
A nicely restored 1895 Victorian in downtown Yorktown Heights, a quick walk to parks, amenities, and the North County Trailway. The old listing had more and better photos.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

German Silent Films, With music

The film series "German Film Pioneers" features four silent treasures from the heyday of the German Expressionist Cinema, all with live music by Donald Sosin. Wednesday's feature is F. W. Murnau's 1924 film The Last Laugh,  considered one of silent cinema’s greats. Through April 21. Tarrytown Music Hall


Peekskill's new "gastro pub," The Birdsall House, is open for dinner and now lunch. Check the website for daily menus and the beer lists. According to the restaurant's blog, they're serving beef from Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor, which feeds its cattle the spent grain from Capatain Lawrence Brewing Company in Pleasantville, whose brews they're also serving. Talk about locovorian cycles!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One Hundred Years of Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s six-decade career is celebrated with this centennial retrospective of 15 films. This week's films include Ikiru (Tuesday), Throne of Blood (left, Wednesday), and Kagemusha (Thursday). Through April 6. Jacob Burns Film Center

Monday, March 15, 2010

Open Thread

I'm taking a break. Readers are invited to share thoughts, questions, suggestions, complaints, and whatever else you want—as long as it relates to life in the area and you aren't rude.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Picks

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Evolve Dance Festival The 4th annual Evolve Dance Festival presents an evening of visionary professional dance, featuring an eclectic array of guest artists. Friday, 7:30 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

The Big Takeover Keeping alive the tradition of roots, ska, and reggae, the The Big Takeover is refreshingly upbeat and original. Friday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Animated Shorts This year's animated shorts program includes five Oscar-nominated films, and three bonus films from the Academy shortlist. Saturday, 12:15 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

LEGO Builders Kids in grades three to six can create LEGO masterpieces with thousands of bricks, parts, and mini figures. Saturday, 2:00 pm. John C. Hart Memorial Library

Amphibians Learn about the natural history and ecological connections of our local amphibians. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Sugarfest 2010 Enjoy an all-you-can-eat home-made Pancake Feast served with 100% New York Maple Syrup and then discover the evolution of maple syrup.  Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Bluebird Box Workshop The Eastern bluebird is the state bird of New York, and a beautiful resident which relies on human help for its breeding. Make bluebird boxes to take home. Saturday 10:00 am. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Earth's Touch Toddlers can learn about shapes, colors, and sizes while making nature crafts and going on a nature hike. Saturday, 11:00 am.  Croton Point Park Nature Center

The Sweetest Path Part of Caramoor`s Vocal Rising Stars program, singers perfrom songs from the fathers of French mélodie to its 20th century innovators. Songs by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Ravel, Satie, and others. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Miss Julie A performance of August Strindberg’s ground-breaking play. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Saltbox Theatre Workshop

The Frog Prince Singing Harp performs this classic tale. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Field Library

Erin Hobson Singer/songwriter Erin Hobson sings tunes from her first CD, "Talk Radio." Sunday. 5:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For Artist's Only

Year Built: 2002
Square Feet: 2,200
Bedrooms: 2
Location: Peekskill, in the downtown Artist's District and close to everything.
Best features: Located in the city's subsidized Peekskill Art Lofts, this resident-restricted co-op has great space, 16 foot ceilings, and loads of windows and light. There's plenty of room to live and work, and the bedrooms look quite comfortable.
Downside: Buyers need to qualify as "working artists" per the city's guidelines, and the purchase is cash only.
Monthly Maintenance: $1,615
Asking Price: $42,153
Agency: River Towns Realty
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Latin Jazz

Percussion ensemble Skin Against Metal melds traditional, folkloric, and Afro-Cuban jazz rhythms. Wednesday, 7:00 pm. 
Bean Runner Cafe

The Organic Gardener

The farmers from Rainbeau Ridge will share trade secrets on organic gardening. Wednesday, 9:30 to 11:00 am. John Jay Homestead

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well-Balanced in Bedford

Year Built: 1901
Square Feet: 2,406
Bedrooms: 4
Property: 2.3 acres
Location: Bedford, just east of the village green.
Best features: This lovely colonial has been very well renovated with a pleasing mix of contemporary style and vintage charm. Clean lines abound in the well-proportioned and bright rooms. The kitchen is nicely updated with marble counters, and there's central AC. The property looks good, too. Given all that, the asking price—and taxes—seem quite reasonable for the location.
Downside: While a comfortable size, the house isn't that large for the $$. The houses on this stretch of the road are close together and it feels neither "village" nor "country."
Taxes: $15,396
Asking Price: $999,000
Agency: Prudential Holmes & Kennedy
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Market Stats

— The increase in sales of single-family homes in Westchester County for January 2010 compared with January 2009. During tht time, the median sale price rose 12.7 percent. Source: The New York Times

Monday, March 8, 2010

A New Hot Spot

The Karma Lounge opened last weekend on Ossining's Main Street, offering the downtown area its first "martini bar and grille." The Journal New's Small Bites blog visited and deemed the place "sophisticated and simple." There's an interesting menu of main dishes, as well as a variety of small plates—and a large assortment of martinis. 

Talking About Art—to Kids

Our area has some great museums with lots for children to enjoy. But how do you engage kids in the works? Experts from KMA's Education Department will lead the seminar "What do You See? How to Talk with Your Child about Art" and share techniques and strategies for engaging kids ages 3 to 10 in a love of art. Monday, 9:30 to 11:00 am. Katonah Museum of Art

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Picks

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Cassandra Wilson 2009 Grammy-Award winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Cassandra Wilson performs. Friday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Maple Sugaring Want to learn about the sugaring process? Check out one of these local programs:
  • Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Stop by the sugar house for an informal chat with museum staff as they turn sap into syrup. Saturday, 12:00 to 2:00 pm. 
  • Teatown Lake Reservation From tapping to collecting, boiling to bottling, Teatown’s naturalists will be in the sugar house with facts and folklore. Sunday, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm. 
  • Westmoreland Sanctuary Learn to produce all-natural maple syrup from tapping to tasting. Sunday, 1:00 p.m. 
  • Muscoot Farm  Spend an afternoon finding out all there is to know about making maple syrup. Sunday, 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. 
Volunteer Vine Attack Join in and help the park control these problematic plants before they go to seed. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Croton Point Park Nature Center 

The Elliot Bear Band Delivering their classic renditions of hot N'Orleans Blues, the Elliot Bear Band is sure to heat up the house. Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Composting with Worms It may be hard to believe, but worms create high quality compost. Learn how to build a worm bin, set your worms up, and care for them. Saturday, 12:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Food, Land, Sustainability: How the Greenmarket Saved the Hudson Valley Barry Benepe, co-founder of the New York City Greenmarkets, discuss the impact green markets have had. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Westchester Land Trust

Eagles Out Catch one last glimpse of wintering eagles before they leave for their northern home. Meet at the Croton Boat Ramp. Sunday, 9:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Flight to Freedom: The Story of Margaret Garner An adaptation of the acclaimed new opera by Toni Morrison and Richard Danielpour about an infamous Civil War-era fugitive slave. See the article in the New York Times. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Merestead

It's Tough Being a Woman, but a Woman Can Handle It! In honor of Women's History Month, Marcy Freedman presents several short videos and one short performance piece addressing issues facing contemporary women. Sunday, 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Conversations With the Artist Dutch artist Alon Levin discusses his work. Sunday, 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fieldstone and Fine

Year Built: 1932
Square Feet: 2,618
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 2 acres
Location: Croton, up high in the Mount Airy section.  
Best features: The house has an attractive exterior and some appealing interior spaces. The living room and family room boast cathedral ceilings, nice fireplaces, and good lines. The property looks nice and there's a pool. The price seems reasonable.
Downside: The house (and pool) appear to be very close to the neighbors, there's no mention or pics of the kitchen in the listing, and the taxes are on the higher side for this price.
Taxes: $17,248
Asking Price: $599,900
Agency: River Towns Realty
Maps: Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bell and Denk

"Sharing a stage, a school and a generation... the two artists have, by their own account, developed the sixth sense that characterizes the closest musical relationships."

—The New York Times on classical violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk, who conclude their 20 city tour at Peekskill's Paramount Center for the Arts this Thursday at 8:00 pm. 
Image: The New York Times

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

February Deals (but no Sales)

The number of houses going to contract in the towns this blog covers bounced quite a bit in February from the previous month. A lot of Hot Properties found would-be buyers, too, many of them after being on the market for a very long time. Big cuts in the asking price were needed to move most of them, though not all. As far as I can find, not a single Hot Property got all the way to home plate in February, which is unusual.

Contracts signed on single-family homes
January: 38
February:  63 

Hot Properties That Went to Contract

Location: Croton 
Featured: December 17, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $499,000
Last Asking Price: $499,000

Location: Croton 
Featured: October 8, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $869,000
Last Asking Price: $699,000

Location: Croton
Featured: June 11, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $1,250,000
Last Asking Price: $1,050,000

Location: Peekskill
Featured: April 21, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $399,000
Last Asking Price: $399,000

Location: Cortlandt Manor
Featured: March 24, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $599,999
Last Asking Price: $404,900

Location:  Bedford Corners
Featured:  November 18, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $475,000
Last Asking Price: $335,000

Location: Yorktown Heights
Featured: January 7, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $699,000
Last Asking Price: $499,000

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ethiopian Food Coming to Kisco

The rumors are true! A woman named Selamawit posted on Chowhound confirming that she will be opening Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant in mid-March. The restaurant will be located at 37 S. Moger Avenue. I can't wait!

Three Views on Color

The exhibition "Color" shows the works of three artists—Jennifer Judd-McGee, Eunju Kang, and Heather Smith Jones—who use color in unique ways. Through March 26. Eyebuzz Fine Art