Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

The Bob Meyer Project Enjoy the jazz of the The Bob Meyer Project. Friday, 7:30 pm. BeanRunner Cafe

Gabriel Kahane and Alisa Weilerstein Singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane and cellist Alisa Weilerstein team up for an evening off Kahane’s own compositions along with cello works by Bach. Friday at 8:00 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Treasure Beach Bring your beach finds and explore the treasures that we’ve collected to find out more about ocean life. Saturday, 10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Peter Muir Jazz pianist Peter Muir performs. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Croton Free Library

Pickling 101 Learn how to preserve summer’s bounty. Cucumbers and other in-season vegetables from the farm will be used to teach how to safely make and preserve delicious pickles. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Captain Blood With exciting set pieces and an intense climactic battle at sea, Captain Blood features a young Errol Flynn as a gentleman pirate, a gorgeous Olivia de Havilland, and a passionate tale of derring-do. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Peekskill Jazz & Blues Festival 2011 Check out the free performances by jazz and blues artists including Tommy Castro Band, The Curtis Brothers, Chris Massey's Nue Jazz Project, and Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble. Saturday, 3:00 to 10:00 pm. Peekskill Jazz and Blues Festival

Summer Concert Series The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra performs works by Bach and Mendelssohn on the lawn. Saturday, 6:00 pm. Lasdon Park

Turtle Walk Kids age 8 and up can join the search for Eastern Box Turtles. Help walk the meadow to locate turtles so that they may be identified, recorded, and released. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Garden Tour Take a peak at two Cortlandt Manor resident’s private gardens. Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Contempo with Flair

Year Built: 1969
Square Feet: 3,300
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 0.99 of an acre
Location: Ossining, east of downtown and close to Cedar Lane Park
Best features: See how the house is tucked into the hill and gently caresses the land? Today's builders would flatten the property into a level square and plop a colonial on it. Back in the day people knew how to design for the site. Inside, the house boasts lots of windows and details like soaring ceilings and nifty paneling.
Downside: The wall-to-wall in the bedrooms is just one of the features crying out for updating.
Taxes: $14,897
Asking Price: 699,000

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chill Spot

Looking for a cool place? Check out the Mianus River Gorge Preserve, a 750 acre sanctuary featuring some of the sweetest sights in the area. The old-growth evergreens, the deep ravine, and the soothing sound of the river give this spot a refreshing vibe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On the Forum: Looking for a Rental

Karen Asks:

"We're looking for a 1 to 2 bedroom rental property in Northern Westchester. Ideally it would be a private cottage and dog friendly. We're both writers with excellent credit and references. With utilities our ceiling is $1900. Thanks. "

Got any ideas? Share them on the NW Forum.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Storyteller on the Roof

The film "Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness" is the tale of the writer who chronicled the Jewish experience in Eastern Europe and whose stories became the basis of the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. The filmmaker Joseph Dorman joins New York Times critic Janet Maslin for a post screening interview. Monday, 7:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekend Picks

The week was too busy and there's no air conditioning in my home office—so, my apologies for the lame picks post.

Mohegan Lake Film Festival Catch short films submitted by filmmakers throughout the world on one of Mohegan Lake's beautiful beaches. Friday, 7:00 pm. Mohegan Lake Film Festival

The Comedy of Errors Shakespeare's comedy will be performed by Curtain Call. Bring your picnic basket and blanket to dine on the lawn. Friday, 7:30pm. Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flipping Out in Croton

And a new kitchen, too!
I first featured this house in June 2008, when it was listed at $925,000. It was on and off the market—at lower and lower asking prices—until finally selling in November 2010 for $488,000. Now someone has given it the once over—complete with new roofing, new baths, a new kitchen, and other updates. The 1915 house still has 3,400 square feet with 3 bedrooms. And it still sits on a lovely 3 acre property on sweet Finney Farm Road. Another improvement is the tax bill, which has dropped from $24,328 in 2008 to a more palatable $20,285. The refurbished house is asking $819,000.
Houlihan Lawrence
Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Outdoor Flick

Catch a showing of Being John Malkovich, Spike Jonze’s surreal take on the human desire to experience “fifteen minutes of fame,” shown outdoors in the Katonah Museum of Art's sculpture garden. The film will be preceded by “Dr. Breakfast,” an animated short. Thursday, 8:00 pm.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Local and Yummy

"Since May, the market manager, Jennifer Gordon, had been handpicking a group of nearby farmers and producers; many come from just 10 or 15 minutes away and all use organic or sustainable practices.” 

The New York Times article on the weekly farmer's market at the John Jay Homestead. Check out my roundup of area farmer's markets for details on this other places to get local produce.  
Image: The New York Times

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chekhov, Live from London

Beamed live via satellite in high definition from the National Theatre in London, this performance of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" stars Olivier Award–winning ZoĆ« Wanamaker (left) as the aristocratic Madame Ranevskaya. Monday, 7:00 pm, at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

Flight of the Pollinator
Bees, butterflies and birds are part of the summer brigade that performs the vital job of sustaining healthy plant populations. Join a naturalist to view the colorful landscape they create and learn about this ecological service. Saturday, 11:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Volunteer Day: Bridges and Boardwalks Volunteers are needed to assist the sanctuary staff in the construction and maintenance of bog bridges and boardwalks. Saturday, 9:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Bird Watching Join Steve Robbins for a morning bird walk through the farm's pastures and hiking trails to identify species and discover how habitat, weather, and other environmental factors influence birds. Saturday, 7:30 am. Hilltop Hanover Farm

"Wind Serenade" Summer Concert The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra performs works by Gounod and Mozart on the lawn. Saturday, 6:00 pm. Lasdon Park and Arboretum

Ottis and the Hurricanes Mixing Delta Blues, New Orleans Funk, and a dash of Rock 'n Roll, Otis and the Hurricanes create their own unique sound. Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Tim Pan Band Playing their own blend of effortless, festive, tunes, the Tin Pan Band performs live. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Mahler`s Vienna: Concert Al Fresco Introduce your family to Mahler and enjoy the sounds of the concert from the Picnic Lawns. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Caramoor

Insectmania! Meet a few of the six-legged ambassadors and go a little buggy! Sunday, 11:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

The Art of Beekeeping Ever wonder how many miles the bees fly to make one pound of honey? Find out the answer to this question and more with beekeeper Ralph Szur. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rental: Furnished and Fabulous

Year Built: 1972
Square Feet: 2,500
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 4 acres
Location: Bedford (with a Mt. Kisco address), in the back roads near Guard Hill.
Best features: A fine specimen of early 70's design, this house has plenty of panache. Lots of windows and good lines give the rooms a bright, modern feel. The large property is lovely. And there's the furniture—a Steinway piano and classic pieces by Eames and LeCorbusier.
Downside: The wall-to-wall is drab. And if the furnishings aren't your style, you're out of luck.
Monthly Rent: $4,000

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flower Looking and Berry Picking

Botanist Carol Levine leads the Bedford Audubon Society's tour of Lasdon Park and Arboretum, pointing out interesting flowers and tree specimens from all over the world. Then the group will head to nearby Amawalk Farm to pick sensational organic raspberries. Thursday, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wine and Dine

Music, wine, and food—what more could you want? 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar and Dylan's Wine Cellar are joining forces to present a four-course dinner complimented by Spanish wines and a live performance by 5-time Grammy nominated musician Jon Cobert. Wednesday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Walk About

Almost a decade after moving up yonder from Brooklyn and I still can't get over how wonderful it is to live surrounded by so much natural beauty. Best of all, lots of it is forever protected and open to all to enjoy. Come the warm weather, nothing beats a good hike into the woods, preferably along a babbling brook or perhaps ending up on a summit with a lookout. But finding all of our area's hidden gems can be tricky. The guidebook Walkable Westchester is perhaps the most comprehensive guide to the area's hiking spots. Another great resource is the Yorktown Land Trust's Yorktown Walk Book (right), which has detailed guides and maps to 20 of the town's public preserves. You can also discover the nine preserves of the Westchester Land Trust that are open to the public. My own list of Recreation links (in the sidebar) is another good way to find some of the area's best preserves and parks. Have fun, and enjoy the scenery! find

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

Bird Banding Observe wild song birds being caught, banded, and released as part of a continent-wide science project managed by the US Geological Survey. Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Northern Westchester Butterfly Count An annual rite of summer, the butterfly count is a way for all butterfly enthusiasts to help a monitoring effort. Saturday, 10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Pleasantville Music Festival The ninth annual festival features headliner Marc Cohn, Sonny Landreth, Augustana, Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea, Scars on 45, Geoff Hartwell, Patti Rothberg, Reignjah, If But When, Remember September, Milton, Lisa Brigantino and many more. Saturday, 12:00 to 8:30 pm. Pleasantville Music Festival

Lasdon Summer Concert The outdoor concert series continues with "Inspired by Nature," featuring music by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. Saturday, 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Lasdon Park

William Tell Opera Gioachino Rossini's full opera is performed live. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Hands Dancing Across the Page Join hands with performance artist Marcy B. Freedman to create abstract drawings inspired by the rhythms of live music. Saturday, 6:30 pm. Katonah Museum of Art

Hummingbirds by Hand Learn about our area’s smallest summer bird, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and make a hand-held hummingbird feeder. Sunday, 10:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Tea Fusion Join the herb expert as she explains the many uses for herbs as teas and herbal infusions. Tasty samples will be served. Sunday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Muscoot Farm 

The Tristen Napoli Trio Enjoy the Jazz/Blues/Rock of the Tristen Napoli Trio. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Peekskill Coffee House

The Barber of Seville on Screen Filmed at the Teatro Regio di Parma in Italy, Rossini's charming comedy is sure to leave you singing "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!" Sunday, 3:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crow Hill Colonial

Year Built: 1726
Square Feet: 2,524
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 5 acres
Location: Yorktown Heights (with a Mt. Kisco address and Yorktown Schools)
Best features: Set on a lovely property on beautiful Crow Hill, this antique has lots to like inside and out. Original details and exposed beams give the home warmth and character, while lots of windows keep things bright. Outside, there's a very nicely landscaped pool and a one bedroom guesthouse.
Downside: The taxes are on the higher side. The house's on-again-off-again market history gives a little pause, even in this market when so many homes sit and so many contracts get canceled due to mortgage issues.
Pricing History: I first featured the listing in October 2007, when it was asking $1,295,000. It came back on the market and I re-featured the house in July 2009, with an asking of $895,000. It went to contract in September 2009.
Taxes: $20,860
Asking Price: $899,000

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reader Tip: Dressed Up Coffee House

A reader emailed to recommend the display of retro dresses by Alana Felton on display at the Peekskill Coffee House. The nifty outfits can be purchased or custom ordered. Check out the designer's website for details and more fab pics. Alana's wares will be hanging up through July. Thanks, David!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Furniture Finds

If you're looking for high-end and one of a kind pieces for your home, check out Avant Garden in Pound Ridge. The store features a range of interesting items you won't find most places. The website doesn't list prices, which implies that if you need to ask...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holiday Weekend Picks

My picks for the best music, fun, and fireworks this 4th of July weekend in Northern Westchester

American Roots Music Festival  Enjoy a day of American music with string band, folk, bluegrass, country, blues, gospel, and jazz. Saturday, 12:30 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Pops, Patriots and Fireworks The Orchestra of St. Luke's and violinist Charles Yang supply the music before the fireworks. Sunday, 8:00 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

An All-American Celebration Concert The 22-piece orchestra the Big Band Sound provide the opening act for West Point's fireworks display across the river. Monday, 6:00. Boscobel Restoration

An Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebrate America's holiday by playing old-fashioned games and making ice cream. Monday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

July 4th Jamboree Enjoy patriotic music by the American Colonials Fife & Drum Band, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, kids' Colonial games, a beekeeper, a blacksmith, music, food, and tours of the historic house. Monday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. John Jay Homestead

Fireworks and Music Along with the fireworks above the Hudson, there's a concert at the Riverfront Green Park. Monday, 7:00 pm. Peekskill

Independence Day 1851 Experience a traditional celebration with activities that include ice cream-making, period music, traditional country dancing, and the 19th century's version of baseball. Monday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Sunnyside