Green Door closes

Green Door, a Liberty-based quarterly magazine about Catskills life and culture, is shutting down.

It's been a good run; in their three years and 13 issues, Green Door's founders have launched a multi-use art space on Liberty's Main Street, popularized the word "hickster," gotten a nod from the New York Times for their "Narrowsburg Not Williamsburg" T-shirts, and earned plenty of love from the local arts and business community. But, as the sage says, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Founders Ellie and Akira Ohiso announced the news on the magazine's website and Facebook page on Tuesday:

After 3 years, 13 issues, and more success than we had ever imagined, Green Door Magazine has decided to take a break. Our success would not have been possible without our loyal readers devouring each issue.

We continue to be champions of the #Catskills and #HudsonValley celebrating all the things this part of the world has to offer. Our summer issue is still out on newsstands and around the area so enjoy our best issue yet!

Say it ain't so! As local media types, we here at the Watershed Post are always sorry to see a fellow media outlet go. And as publishers, we're intimately familiar with how tough it is to run a sustainable local-media business, whether in print, online or both.

We reached out to publisher Ellie Ohiso via email for more on why the magazine is folding, and whether it might return. In her response to us, she made it clear that the issue currently on the stands will be Green Door's last. 

Watershed Post: Do you have definite plans for restarting? Is it possible this might be the end of Green Door, or are you committed to bringing it back?

Ellie Ohiso: We have no plans to continue Green Door as it currently exists. It was a very tough decision for us, but we felt we were ending the magazine on our terms and in a very positive space.

WP: What's the reason behind the hiatus? Too much work? Not enough money? Or something else?

EO: The success of Green Door is beyond what we expected. The outpouring of support and bittersweet sentiments made us aware how beloved we are by the community.

Yesterday, when our eldest came home from school, and we told him we announced its ending, he cried. As any small business owner knows, your personal and work life can often become intertwined. In that respect, the time off from the magazine will give us more time to devote to our family.

The magazine was successful in that we went from having to cover every expense to very recently covering the cost of the magazine by the magazine itself. Which makes this last three years mostly a love letter to the area.

WP: You've had a three-year run and gotten a lot of love from the community. What are you proudest of?

EO: The magazine would not have become the success it is, if not for where we live. There was something we were tapping into when we created it that had come into fruition through the magazine itself. It was the manifestation of all the creative forces in the mountains and valley. It is created, shaped, filled, from start to finish, in New York State. It is local, and not only in the trendy sense of the word.

It was a reaction to negative narrative letting people know if was ok to live here. You weren't alone. There is legitimacy in creating community in this space.

WP: Beyond future issues, were there any other plans for upcoming stuff that you'll have to put on hold now?

EO: The Headquarters in Liberty. What an experiment! That is a lesson in "If you build it, they will come." We feel like we created a community driven location where people could gather, play music, exhibit art, and talk about ideas for the area. We hope it could be a model of what is possible in the Catskills.

For now, we're taking the time to digest the change, and appreciate the outpouring of support. There's something special about ending something when people yearn for more. We feel like we still have a lot more to do and say about the special place we live. On that note, we're available for weddings, birthday parties, and bar mitzvahs.

WP: What's next for you and Akira? Are you staying in the area?

EO: In the immediate short term, we're taking time to enjoy all the things we wrote about in Green Door. Longer term, we're looking to develop careers in the area.