U-pick while you can: Strawberry fields not forever

Squeezed between the end of spring and the beginning of summer, strawberry season in the Catskills emerges for a brief but illustrious period.

For most farms, the season begins in June and lasts about four weeks, sometimes stretching into the first week of July. In the higher elevations, the season tends to run later. This year's cooler spring could also make for a later strawberry season, according to farmer Jim Story of Catskill's Story Farms.

Listed below are farms around the Catskills region that will be open this summer for U-pick strawberries and other seasonal fruits, including raspberries and blackberries.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Greenane Farms
196 County Route 10, Meridale
607.746.8878
Open for U-Pick between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Strawberries available late June through July; blackberries and raspberries available July through October.

GREENE COUNTY  Read more

New Catskills hotels aim for a design-savvy crowd

Above: A room at the Arnold House. Photo courtesy of the Arnold House. 

For over a century, urbanites have found refuge in the Catskills. But the heyday of the grand Victorian mountain hotels is over, and the era of Borscht Belt resort kitsch is passing away. These days, our downstate neighbors are looking for something a bit more off the beaten path in their country getaways.

A new breed of hotel is cropping up in the hills: small, laid-back escapes that cater to a design-conscious clientele. Emboldened by the success of the Graham & Co., a former Phoenicia roadhouse that re-opened as a chic motel last year, several new hotels have seized on the concept of the Catskills as a hipster's alternative to the Hamptons -- a drum New York Magazine has been beating for nearly a decade.  Read more

Yulan man arrested in connection with May 23 shooting

A man who was wounded in a Sullivan County shooting on May 23 was arrested Wednesday on gun and drug charges, after he was discharged from Westchester Medical Center.

Arrested on Wednesday, June 4 was 33-year-old William Sullivan of Yulan. Sullivan has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. Both are felonies.

Another man who was also wounded in the shooting remains in the hospital in critical condition, police say.

Shortly before midnight on Friday, May 23, state troopers and town of Highland police responded to a report of gunshots fired at a residence on Airport Road in the town of Highland in Sullivan County. They found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. Police say the two men had been in an argument before the shooting.  Read more

Year-round mountains: Ski centers shine in all four seasons

Above: The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Windham Mountain, the only event of its kind in the U.S., draws pro athletes from around the globe. Photo by Karl Anshanslin, an honorable mention in the 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest.

One World Cup mountain biking competition featuring 7,000 riders from 35 countries. Three days of yoga. Car and motorcycle shows, skateboard races. Summer concerts starring Buddy Guy, Gretchen Wilson and the brothers Allman and Avett. A chance to taste more than 300 beers made by 70 New York state brewers, zoom above the trees on a zipline or take your kids geocaching.

Welcome to the Catskills ski region, where resorts whose main attractions involve the fluffy white stuff have increasingly morphed into four-season recreation centers with wildly diverse offerings — both indoors and out.

“You have this huge asset — you can’t just shut your doors and wait for it to snow again,” says Troy Ketcham, the sales and marketing director at Windham Mountain in Greene County. “Every mountain is really a year-round mountain.”

Mother Nature smiled upon the winter sports season in 2013-14, with early cold temperatures and bountiful snowfall. Fans of downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing had little to complain about as the snowpack endured into early April.  Read more

This Weekend: Celebrate National Trails Day

Above: The view from Cross Mountain on a brand-new section of the Long Path Trail, which opens to the public on Saturday, June 7. Photo courtesy of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.

For 21 years, the first Saturday in June has been reserved for appreciating the nation’s mountain trails and greenery. This Saturday, June 7, Catskill area parks will observe the 22nd annual National Trails Day by hosting outdoor celebrations — welcoming residents and visitors to participate in hikes, runs and restoration projects, as well as the opening of several brand-new trails.

Below: Volunteers install a sign on the new Palmer Hill Trail in Andes. Photo by Ann Roberti.

Palmer Hill Trail opening, Andes, Delaware County  Read more

Deer charges through Kingston coffee shop

Above: A still of the doe mid-crash, from the security camera footage of at Hudson Coffee Traders. Via Times Herald Record's Youtube channel

Taking a break from the daily grind, a small doe crashed through the glass front door of Hudson Coffee Traders, a popular coffee shop in uptown Kingston, early Tuesday morning. Ariel Zangla at the Daily Freeman broke the story.

Police: Man leaves stool sample at chiropractor's office

The charge is "burglary," but according to state police, the only thing taken was a dump.

A Saugerties man was arrested on Wednesday, after allegedly paying a visit to the Saugerties Chiropractic Center before opening hours and defecating on the carpet near the reception desk. Arrested was 22-year-old Nathaniel Schultz, who is charged with third-degree burglary -- a charge that applies under New York State law whenever a person "knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein."

According to a news release from the New York State Police, Schultz entered the building through an unlocked door before the business opened for the day.  Read more

Head injury can't stop Woodstock artist Lenny Kislin

Above: Lenny Kislin. Photos courtesy of the Orphic Gallery and Lenny Kislin.

After falling and hitting his head on the ice in February, Woodstock artist Lenny Kislin has recently returned to his passion: making sculptures from primitive early American antiques. 

Last week, despite the fog of anti-seizure medication, Kislin started making sculptures again. This Saturday, he'll make an in-person appearance at a new gallery show featuring his sculptures alongside the photography of Catherine Sebastian in Roxbury on Saturday.

Left: "Weather-Beaten, Angry And Disillusioned, Blitzen Flies No More," by Lenny Kislin.

Kislin is a longtime fixture on the Woodstock art scene. On February 9, he slipped on the ice and hit his head outside of his Woodstock home. Kislin was on his way to a gallery opening and didn't immediately notice that he was injured, until he found himself behind the wheel in the middle of an intersection with no idea where he was.   Read more

This weekend: Hunter hosts 10th annual Mountain Jam

Photo courtesy of Hunter Mountain.

The tenth annual Mountain Jam Music Festival, produced by Radio Woodstock WDST and hosted by Hunter Mountain, kicks off on Thursday, June 5 and continues through Sunday, June 8 featuring a line-up of 40 musical acts across three stages.

Jimmy Buff, program director at Radio Woodstock WDST, said booking acts for the Mountain Jam Music Festival is always a bit of a “juggling act.” It takes the perfect storm of luck, album releases and tour schedules to assemble the diverse line-up of new and old favorites.

“Sure, you’ve got your wish list every year,” Buff said. “But schedules have to match up with the dates. Work on this year’s Mountain Jam began when last year’s finished.”  Read more

Between meals: Catskills-style coffee breaks

Above: Phoenicia’s Mama’s Boy Market serves homemade baked goods and a selection of snacks from local purveyors.

Residents of the Catskills are often people who thrive on privacy and peace, but it’s also important that the commons contain ample opportunities to get off of the farm and out of the woods to socialize. Happily, we’re blessed with a fine selection of coffee shops and casual cafés that showcase coffee curation and offer sweet and savory snacks.

Bread Alone Bakery (breadalone.com, multiple locations) has been doing the bakery-café thing for decades, and has two Catskills shops: the main headquarters on Route 28 in Boiceville, and a satellite café in Woodstock. Flour milled to spec, locally sourced fresh dairy and wood-fired ovens are some of the ingredients in its well-loved recipes.  Read more