Monday, January 31, 2011

Slip Slidin' Away

The snow was packed and the sledding was speedy Saturday at Downing Park in Yorktown Heights. For readers' recs on where to sled, check out the Forum.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Stick Animal Safari Enjoy the Indie rock of Stick Animal Safari. Friday, 8:00 pm. Peekskill Coffee House

The Blues Dogs Enjoy a night of blues with The Blues Dogs. Friday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams' haunting play is staged by Infinity Repertory Theatre. Friday through Sunday, 8:00 pm. Main Street Arts

Tracking for Kids Animals leave many traces of their presence for us to find. Learn the basics of tracking animals and then make your own tracking field guide. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Big River The Lighthouse Youth Theater performs Big River, a staging of the adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 pm. Yorktown Stage

Winter Weeds What remains behind when summer blooms fade? Take a walk to locate the dormant vestiges of herbaceous plants. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Let It Snow Fun indoor winter activities for families. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Bloom Off the Rose The Peekskill Playhouse presents "Bloom Off the Rose", a collection of monologues about diverse characters set in the shadow of their lost virginity. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Updated Classic

Year Built: 1790
Square Feet: 2,468
Bedrooms: 4
Property: 0.31 of an acre
Location: Katonah, on Cherry Street, on the the western edge of the village.
Best features: I've often admired this house while driving by, since it is a near perfect example of colonial charm, sitting nicely on its property. Inside, the house has been renovated and boasts two very nicely updated bathrooms. The kitchen and dining room are especially appealing, and the porch is ideal.
Downside: Some of the renovation seems off-key to me, especially in the master bedroom and living room. The house is on a relatively busy road and—for a village house—is a long walk from amenities.
Taxes: $17,908
Asking Price: $770,000

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Live, From Sundance

Watch nine of the best fiction and documentary shorts being shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Then hear live updates from the Jacob Burns' Executive Director and programmers, who are on site at the festival. Tuesday, 7:30 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Monday, January 24, 2011

On the Forum

What are the best spots for sledding?
Musicians, want to have a jam session?
Where can I walk in the snow? 

Got an answer? Got another question? Check out the Forum and share.

The Times Tours a Usonian

Check out the New York Times' House Tour of an enlarged and updated Usonian in Pleasantville. Built in 1950 by a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, the house is on the market for $1,260,000 through modern house realtor Tom Goddard. Image: The New York Times

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Tree ID Learn how to identify trees from their bark and markings in the dead of winter. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Winter Colors While many think winter is mainly white, colors abound in the field and forests. Take a walk to see the different colors and discuss their importance to the creatures. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Full Moon Hike Everything changes when the sun goes down and the full moon rises. Hike to the Pine Forest to see who is about on a winter’s night. Saturday, 7:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Bald Eagle Survey Join two naturalists and eagle survey volunteers to see Bald Eagles as they return from their day of hunting to their roosts along the  Croton Reservoir. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Bedford Audubon Society 

Winter Woolies Visit the woolly sheep and try your hand at carding, spinning, and weaving with real sheep wool. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm
Steel Passion, Drum Band A small band with a big sound, Steel Passion plays global music with an island cadence: calypso, pop, jazz, classical and liturgical. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Croton Free Library

Sarah Blacker Folk-rock singer/songwriter Sarah Blacker (left) sings tunes from her just released second album, "Come What May." Sunday, 4:00 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Skate, Skate, Baby

There's a question on the forum 
about good ponds in the area for
ice skating. Any ideas? Another 
option is indoor rinks. Check out
Metromix's round-up of nearby
places to skate indoors.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Check Out the Forum

Take a look at the new NW Home Forum, a place to ask questions and share information. You don't need to register to participate, and you can use any name you wish. Reply to an existing thread, or click "New Topic" to add your own.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oscar Buzz

Catch a screening of hit film—and Golden Globes winner—The Social Network. Then listen in as film writer Mark Harris and New York Times critic Janet Maslin discuss this year’s Oscar race. Get the inside scoop on how Oscar campaigns are waged and the chances of the other contenders—True Grit, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, The Fighter, and more. Tuesday, 7:30 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Monday, January 17, 2011

Introducing the NW Home Forum

Need advice from locals? Got a great handyman or a favorite place to bike? Here's a new place to share ideas and tips, ask questions, and seek advice. Just click on the link above—and start posting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Big Stakes The classic 1922 western film "Big Stakes" comes to life with live music by the Devil Music Ensemble. Friday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Hemingway's Cat This eclectic jam band is led by composer and guitarist Lorah Yaccarino. Combining elements of Rock, Blues, and Jazz with exotic riffs and rhythms their sound is original and upbeat. Friday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Hot Flicks Catch "The King's Speech" or "Black Swan." Or both. Friday through Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Fine Art Workshop This two-day program offers guidance from instructors and gives artists the chance to work from live models and a reference skeleton. Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00 pm. Studio No. 9  

Tracks in the Snow Many animals are about searching for food, and leaving their tracks in the snow. We’ll follow tracks to see what animals are doing in the cold winter world. Saturday, 11:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation 

Cross Country Skiing Zip across the park in the snow. Saturday, 10:00 am. Croton Point Park

Bluebird House Construction Learn how to build a home for bluebirds. Saturday, 11:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Great Big Faces Caricaturist Paul Merklein draws famous faces and people right from the audience. Who will he draw next? Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Croton Free Library

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Victorian Sweetness

Year Built: 1892
Square Feet: 1,602
Bedrooms: 4
Property: 0.14 of an acre
Location: Peekskill, just off of Hudson Avenue and close to the river.
Best features: The exterior is just about perfect. Inside, this lovely house is chock-a-block with original features and nifty doodads (check out the railing detail). The kitchen has great cabinets and the rooms all look well-proportioned. The front porch looks ideal.
Downside: Some rooms might need a little love.
Taxes: $8,471
Asking Price: $315,000

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Praise for Thyme's Open Kitchen

"The kitchen, at the far end of the intimate 48-seat room, has a low dividing wall, and the two noted chefs — Tom Costello, also the owner, and Neal Ferguson — spend most of their time facing the dining area. They look relaxed... That sense of comfort comes through in the food as well — even though much of what is being created is sophisticated fare."

The New York Times review of Thyme Restaurant in Yorktown Heights, which received a "Don't Miss" rating (the highest possible). Image: The New York Times

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chasing Dragonflies and Damselfies

Dragonflies and their cousins damselflies can be beautiful and elusive. In this lecture, Ed Lam (the author and illustrator of Damselflies of the Northeast, a Guide to the Species of Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States) will discuss the variety and habits of dragonflies. He'll also share stories from his five-year chase to document the more than 320 North American species for a new field guide. Wednesday, 7:30 pm. Bedford Audubon Society

Still Lovin'

And still touring. Enjoy 
the now-classic hits of
The Lovin' Spoonful
live and on stage.
Wednesday, 8:00 pm.
Tarrytown Music Hall

Monday, January 10, 2011

Somewhere to Write (and Listen)

The area has a new place for writers and those who like to hear their work. The Marmaduke Writers Factory was started about five months ago by a group of local writers, according to the New York Times. Located in the old Marmaduke foster home in Pleasantville, the factory has 11 members, including Benjamin Cheever, Kate Buford, and Marilyn Johnson. The primary purpose is to give authors a place to work and to share their ideas and feedback with one another. But the factory is also reaching out to the public. The first reading by members was in December, and on Tuesday, January 25, there will a panelist discussion on writing historical fiction. The factory is planning a host of other public events for the near future. Check out the factory's website, which is full of interesting info.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

December Sales and Deals

2010 went out quietly, with slightly fewer homes in the area going to contract in December than in previous months. For comparison, the number was just under last December's and well above December '08. Two previously featured Hot Properties sold last month, but none went to contract.

Contracts signed on single-family homes

November: 56 
December: 52

December 2009: 54
December 2008: 35

Hot Properties That Sold

Location: Yorktown Heights
Featured: April 20, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $650,000
Last Asking Price: $650,000
Sold for: $650,000 

Location: Ossining
Featured:  December 8, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $699,222 
Last Asking Price: $619,222
Sold for: $585,000

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Food News

One of my resolutions was to eat more delicious food (there was something in there about high-fiber dishes, but I dropped it). Fortunately, my searches of the blogsphere have uncovered a few new ways to do that: 

Korean Delights The blog Hungry Travels reports that the new sushi place in Croton, Asagoa, has a number of Korean dishes on the menu. The blogger and his friend tried the bi bim bop (or is it bap?) and the beef bulgogi, and they liked both dishes. The restaurant's owners are reportedly Korean. (Another local spot for bi bim bop is  Neo World Bistro in Mt. Kisco.) Image: Hungry Travels

Haute Wheels Lohud's Small Bites blog reports on what it dubs "Westchester's first gourmet food truck." Parking daily in Yorktown Heights, Sharion's D'lish Dish serves up such fare as black bean cilantro soup, BBQ beef on brioche, chicken parmesan sandwiches, New England clam chowder, and cajun-seasoned waffle fries. The truck is open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Baked Goodies Another new spot in Croton is Baked by Susan, a bakery serving up cookies, brownies, and other treats. The Westchester Eats blog reports that Susan Okeefe's goods have long been available in shops around town, but now they have a home of their own at 163 Grand Street.

Here's wishing for more culinary options in the new year!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcoming 2011

As always, the family rang in the new year with a walk in the woods. The sky was a bit overcast and the snow drifts across the path were a challenge at times, but it was a very beautiful walk. Truthfully, we walk in the woods most weekends—but there is something very satisfying about doing it on the first day of the year. It's a promise to ourselves to make sure that, no matter what the year brings, we find time to do the things we love—and to take advantage of where we live.