Giant statues multiplying in the Rondout Valley

A mockup of what a Rondout Valley tourist map might look like, from the Valley of the Giants website.

Pop artist Maria Reidelbach -- the force of nature behind Kerhonkson's "Gnome Chomsky," the world's second-largest garden gnome -- has a vision for southern Ulster County. It involves a dozen 15-foot-tall concrete characters, looming over Route 209 and luring legions of tourists to the towns, farms and roadside attractions of the Rondout Valley.

Reidelbach lays out the case for creating the "Valley of the Giants" on the project's website:

Once several giants have been made, the Rondout Valley becomes the Valley of the Giants­—a beautiful, picturesque, enchanted land populated by charming, surprising, folkloric gigantic creatures.  Read more

Small world

No, that's not a miniature town in a train set. It's Delhi, seen through the lens of local photographer Vala Kjarval, who took this photo a few days ago.

Kjarval has an eye for finding a startling perspective on familiar objects and landscapes. You can see more of her work at

Andes Community Day: Sweet, sweet victory

Last Saturday, the little Delaware County town of Andes came alive with the rat-a-tat of marching drums and the plunk of banjo strings, as the annual Community Day parade wended its way down Route 28. And then the festivities really got underway. (It's not truly summer in Delaware County without an eating contest going on somewhere.)

Thanks to local photographers Joe Damone and Christopher Auger-Dominguez for documenting these feats of culinary athleticism.

On your mark, get set, splat: A brief moment of calm before the watermelon-eating contest begins. Photo by Joe Damone.  Read more

Bankruptcy court rules that Fleischmanns owns the village movie theater

Photo of the Fleischmanns theater in 2009 by Doug Kerr, via Flickr.

A dispute over the ownership of the Fleischmanns movie theater has finally been resolved, leaving the village of Fleischmanns in the movie business.

In a decision issued last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Diane Davis granted a motion for summary judgement in favor of the Village of Fleischmanns, which has been litigating for the right to foreclose on the Fleischmanns Theater for years. The theater's owners, Brian Dowd and Richard Dowd, owed the village about $20,000 in unpaid taxes in 2008, when the village first filed for foreclosure. The case wended its way through county and state courts until last November, when a state appeals court ruled that the village had the right to foreclose  Read more

This weekend: Taste the first draughts of a new local vodka

The Dancing Cat Saloon and the Catskill Distilling Company have been steadily building a distillery right across the street from Max Yasgur's historic Woodstock-hosting dairy farm in Sullivan County for about a year now. Tomorrow, owners Monte Sachs and Stacey Cohen will finally imbibe the fruits of their labor with the debut batch of their first locally grown and distilled spirit, the aptly-named "Peace Vodka." 

According to the distillery's website, Peace Vodka (officially trademarked as "Catskill Mountain Peace Vodka") is made with water from "the 2011 Catskill spring thaw" and locally-grown wheat. A "Catskill Mountain White Wheat Whiskey" is coming soon to join it.

The distillery will be serving its new vodka on Saturday as part of its grand ribbon-cutting event, which will also include live music, food, and fireworks. (Sachs and Cohen also own the Dancing Cat Saloon next store, so they know how to throw a party.)  The date is a significant one -- the original Woodstock music festival was held this week 42 years ago.

Grand opening of the Catskill Distilling Company, 2037 State Route 178, Bethel, NY. Saturday, August 13. Doors open at 3pm. 845-583-3141.


"Dirty Dancing" re-make to put a new generation of Babys in a corner

Oh, who am I kidding? I love Dirty Dancing, that glorious 1987 dance-romance flick set in the fading glory of the 1960s Catskills, as much as anybody.

News broke yesterday that Kenny Ortega, the man responsible for High School Musical, has been tapped to do a 21st-century remake of the iconic film, which starred Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze. (The movie was a big moneymaker. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dirty Dancing has sold more than 10 million DVDs.)  Read more

Flash mob: Director's cut

See video

Can't get enough about the Delhi flash mob? Our WP correspondent and crack local videographer Jessica Vecchione has a 6-minute video that follows the mob that hit Main Street last week from start to finish.

We're "the new Brooklyn." Again. For real this time.

Image by Flickr user Samantha Manton.

Say it ain't so, New York Times "Our Towns" columnist Peter Applebome! Not only are you jumping on the "Hudson Valley/Catskills is the new Brooklyn" bandwagon, but you're doing it with an enormous 2,553-word NYT article

Well, even though we've heard this before, it must be true this time. Applebome offers enough anecdotal proof to choke a grass-fed-and-finished heritage breed Kerry cow:  Read more

This Weekend: A.J. Roach in concert

Sometimes we forget that the Catskills are part of Appalachia, with all its misty hollows and moonshine lore. Folk musician A.J. Roach will cure that little delusion -- his first two albums were all fiddles, banjos and lyrics about life in ghostly eastern mountain towns. According to his website, his latest album, Pleistocene, is a little more city-fied:  Read more

Syndicate content