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Monday, July 6, 2009

Destination - Milford, PA

A nice picture of our house on a sunny day, one of the few this year so far. It's been incredible - something like 27 days out of the last 32 have had substantial rain. That's not only depressing, it really has a tendency to make us construction guys look pretty bad - landscapers, painters, and homebuilders all suffer under the same need for at least some dry days.

This was really insulting - we sweat and work at every house to get the grass growing at every house, and here a few seeds fell out of the bag and, without the help of any topsoil or really anything organic at all, started growing on the floor of my old yellow truck.

I thought it might be interesting to point out the local towns I enjoy - Lisa and I travel around a little bit and have been doing so for the past 5 years, so be it Callicoon, Narrowburg, Livingston Manor, Port Jervis, Barryville, Kauenenga Lake - we've seen it grow, and have our favorite restaurants and stores in each. In this area of very small towns, it doesn't hurt to have a little inside info from a guy in the know (that would be me).

I've always like Milford, PA, which is about 25 minutes away from the Eldred and Barryville areas in NY where I build most often. I remember when I was much younger, much before I lived in the area, and would stop in Milford on my way somewhere north from Lancaster PA, my hometown. I always loved the feel of the town - sort of like a Bucks County cousin, without all the wealth. Pennsylvania has always had a certain feel to me - can't cross the border into PA without immediately knowing it, without being perfectly able to articulate it.

The anchor of Milford must be the Hotel Fauchere - where Sean Strub engineered a glorious comeback for a hotel faded into glory. With 2 great restaurants, and a front porch for kicking back, right on the main drag - this hotel spared no expense (probably now to the owner's chagrin) in recreating that dreamy moneyed past of it's storied history. This is probably the best scene in the area, with good food, people and service.

Another place Lisa and I like in Milford is the Cliff Park Inn. It's an old inn - too large to be a bed and breakfast, so has that quiet anonymity I prefer. Weekly poker games in the tavern below on Monday and Wednesdays.

Here's the old church in the center of town.

A sampling of the architecture below.

And the Main Street. Lots of good antiques, especially over by the old lumberyard north of Town.
I'm sure to all the high-falutin' people who read this blog that this town looks nice but 'they've seen a lot nicer.' How true I'm sure, but in these parts, this is about a good as it gets, and we are truly appreciative anytime anyone gets it right - be it a restaurant, a deli, a window treatment place, etc... because from my vantage, having hired hundreds of small local businesses over the course of the last 5 years, it seems intrinsically embedded in the gene pool to do it poorly.

Not to switch gears too quickly (note the clever auto analogy right above the Mercedes picture) but here are Bryce and Tom leaving town after a weekend at Gayle's. Tucked safely in the car somewhere are the floor plans to our two new homes and hopefully we can be saying "hello new homeowners" shortly.

And Gayle leaving after a long weekend -

Here's a quick picture of the the future badminton court now that Norm has her flattened, raked and seeded. Before too longs competitive tournaments of hardcore badminton while under the influence of tasty martinis will be the norm.

And ole Lucas, better looking each time we capture him on film. We've just taught him how to read and write, and honestly, he picked it up pretty quick. Still struggles with the 'i' before 'e' thing, but other than that, really taking to it quickly.

The 4th weekend was fun - very sunny and cool. Played some paintball down by the river, bought my first paint by number (a beach scene which we later determined to be a subconscious cry for sunshine) and just really enjoyed spending time with each other in our newly renovated and added-onto home (talk like that should get me some major points).

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