Saturday, January 24, 2015

Local Communities, Snow and the Show Must Go On

So the Catskills got some snow over night.  Since I crossed 3 counties last night and this morning, I was able to see 3 different snow fall melodramas. We had two families coming up in the morning, and they braved it so I braved it.  I'm only one person (albeit a pretty energetic one) so sometimes we have to double up on sales appts which is always fun and interesting.  This tour started in Rhinebeck then to Saugerties and then to Kerhonkson and Olivebridge area.  Both groups arrived before me, and were joking each other cause they came from the same part of Brooklyn and were all wearing the same winter jacket from Canada that I guess is all the warm rage this winter - I missed the memo.  One family had two children, the other was pregnant with the first.





As the owner of a business that deals with a lot of towns in a a much more micro way than most, I have the distinct pleasure of seeing the how sausage is made on a very local level.  The nuances and issues I have personally taken an interest in over the past few years have ranged from a local trucking law, overzealous zoning disguised as anti-gas drilling initiatives, flawed town tax reassessment, a 10% tax increase in Highland, a proposed $300,000 deck overlooking the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, and lately the inclination of the local 1% to discourage two interesting business investments in the Town of Highland.

All of these efforts have one thing in common - I'm hugely outnumbered by the local intelligentsia, the support I get for the efforts is strong but quiet among the community, each time have affected change at some level (even if that change is only slowing down a flash mob of momentum about some issue or another) and without a doubt have more tested perspective than those who I debate.  The tendency of the local affluent Sullivan County-ians to follow the dubious lead of people they'd laugh out of the room in their real lives in the City is a strange side show up here in this poor, rural area.

As Winston Churchill said - To Change is to Perfect - but all too often up here in the 2nd poorest county in the State, any change is rejected because they like it poor, empty and without any evidence of earnest local improvement.

Friday, January 23, 2015

NY Times, 2005

To my point in my last post - 

NY Times Narrowsburg Article 2005. 

Honestly, not much has changed from this description and vibe, for better or worse.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

NY Times Covers Sullivan

Deja Vu Baby, Deja Vu.  It's like I went to Kansas and came back, and everyone is talking about the same things they were in 2005-2007.

Wide Open Acres

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catskills; The Place To Be it Seems.


Some research forwarded from one of our clients:


39. The Catskills, New York

Not your Bubbie and Zadie’s getaway.
Something funny is happening in this mountainous region 100 miles north of New York City, where Jewish comedians like Woody Allen once performed at Borscht Belt resorts: The Catskills are being reshaped by a new generation of fresh-air-seeking urbanites. On summer weekends the tiny hamlet of Phoenicia resembles Williamsburg North, with pilgrims drawn by the Graham & Co., a 20-room hotel started by four Brooklynites, and the local favorite, Phoenicia Diner. And with Vogue-approved spots like the Italian restaurant Cucina and short-stay cabins Woodstock Way, Woodstock has moved beyond its tie-dyed hippie image. What hasn’t changed is the abundance of outdoor activities: world-class trout fishing, rafting on Esopus Creek and skiing at Hunter Mountain and Belleayre Ski Center.STEVEN KURUTZ

Catskills, NY

The region that welcomed Jewish families in the ’50s, hippies in the ’60s, and soon, perhaps, casino gamblers is also making room for a new tribe: hip, design-crazed travelers. A string of stylish B&Bs have opened, many of them by transplants from Manhattan and Brooklyn (call them “hicksters”) who value buzzwords like local, authentic, and handmade. Among them are the bohemian-chic Hotel Dylan in Woodstock, the Arnold House in Livingston Manor, with its tavern and diminutive spa, and Phoenicia’s Graham & Co., where the retro amenities include Tivoli radios, bonfires, and a badminton court. Area farms provide the ingredients for inventive restaurants like Table on Ten, in Bloomville, which just added a trio of whitewashed rooms upstairs. The blackjack tables—and a few megaresort proposals that envision the return of the area’s Borscht Belt heyday—may be only a few years off, so now is the time to enjoy fly-fishing, hiking, antiquing, microbrewery-hopping, and other placid pursuits. —Peter J. Frank



Fodor’s, the world's largest English language travel publication, has released its annual “Go List” of the top 25 places to visit in 2015, featuring locations from the arctic to Australia, and this year the Hudson Valley and The Catskills made the list.
This is no small accomplishment—the national competition alone is extensive, plus the list covers six continents and highlights destinations for every type of trip, such as natural wonders in Iceland to exquisite colonial cities in Vietnam.
But the region’s natural beauty and rich culture led Fodor’s to call the Hudson Valley “impossible to ignore.” They singled out the area's wine production, geography, historic significance, and a growing dining and farmers' market scene as particularly excellent.


Catskills, NY

The region that welcomed Jewish families in the ’50s, hippies in the ’60s, and soon, perhaps, casino gamblers is also making room for a new tribe: hip, design-crazed travelers. A string of stylish B&Bs have opened, many of them by transplants from Manhattan and Brooklyn (call them “hicksters) who value buzzwords like local, authentic, and handmade. Among them are the bohemian-chic Hotel Dylan in Woodstock, the Arnold House in Livingston Manor, with its tavern and diminutive spa, and Phoenicia’s Graham & Co., where the retro amenities include Tivoli radios, bonfires, and a badminton court. Area farms provide the ingredients for inventive restaurants like Table on Ten, in Bloomville, which just added a trio of whitewashed rooms upstairs. The blackjack tables—and a few megaresort proposals that envision the return of the area’s Borscht Belt heyday—may be only a few years off, so now is the time to enjoy fly-fishing, hiking, antiquing, microbrewery-hopping, and other placid pursuits.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

5 degrees, HGTV, Clients Meetings and Design (and grandpa woodstock)

Some people live lives of quiet desperation but it ain't me babe.  It ain't me by a long shot.

Let me set the stage - 5:30pm Sat Eve almost dark at my place in New Paltz, Johnny Cash Pandora Stream in the background, some Brooklyn Lager Winter Ale in the belly and I just keyed a car who rudely blocked my driveway.

Here's the original Grandpa Woodstock (google him, I did) I picked up hitch-hiking today on my way home from my Saugerties home site meeting.  It's 19 degrees and I see this guy.  Gave him a lift to Woodstock 6 miles up the road.

5 degrees this morning.  A high of 19.  Lots going on. We are not bullied by the weather.  Though to counter this irrational exuberance it does seem that every beer I drink and every french fry I eat goes directly to my man breasts.



HGTV scouted us, recruited us, and filmed over the last 48 hours.  Here they are diggin' it with the future owners of Farm 34, in Saugerties NY.  The film crew was cold.




No heat in the house so we did it old skool.  One person lost the faux fir collar on her jacket cause she got to close.



Farm 34 at 8 am.


Farm 34 at 11 am before the site meeting.



Farm 30 in Olivebridge last weekend.




Woodstock tear down and build up Farm house.


 




Courtney and Bronson's new garage.  They helped us out with the HGTV stuff by elevating our coolness ratio by a factor of 3 at least.  


Lucas at the dentist with his lead jacket on.



Building his modular marble thing with our neighbor Theresa.


Lucas and his Mom at me offices.  Lucas with his upturned collar and sweater vest for the filming.



And lot 4 at our land in Saugerties.  



Steve was over at Ranch 10 doing that client walk-thru.


So, it's 5 degrees, It's Saturday and we are laying out a new house with the excavator in the snow above, doing two client meetings, and filming a Pilot.  All before Noon.  The Military's bragging about what they do before 9am got nothing on us.

kickin' it in the Catskills.



Friday, January 9, 2015

Another Day, Another 2 Closings


Farm 26.


And an Owner, Neurologist Josh.


And the awesome awesome Mini Barn.