Arkville

Six new Catskills publications cater to urban transplants

Above: An image from Catskill Made, a new digital publication. Photo of milkweed by Tom Smith.

Along with maple syrup and the first red blush of buds on the mountainsides, spring is bringing a bloom of new publications devoted to covering the culture, arts and lifestyle of the Catskills — through the eyes of flatlanders.

These days, urbanites are fleeing to the Catskills from New York City in droves. If you ask them why, they say that they're searching for something -- a kind of authenticity absent from more citifed environs.

“We yearned for a place with a slower pace of life, fewer pretensions, friendlier people, and more authenticity — something we had always experienced on our trips here," said Alecia Eberhardt, a new arrival to the Catskills who is the editor of Catskill Made, a new digital quarterly journal that launched on March 21. "So in the summer of 2013 we made the leap, and almost two years later, here we are.”  Read more

Catskill Center director to retire; replacement sought

Alan White, the executive director of the Arkville-based Catskills Center for Conservation and Development, is retiring, according to a press release issued by the CCCD on Wednesday, March 25.

Left: Alan White. Photo via the Catskill Center's website. 

The statement quotes Jim Infante, the chairman of the CCCD's board, saying that White will "devote the next chapter of his life to his beloved farm." White raises goats on a homestead in Halcott Center. 

White took the job almost exactly five years ago, in 2010. Previously, he was the director of the Nature Conservancy's Catskill Mountain program. 

The press release does not say when White will formally end his tenure at the CCCD. A candidate to replace White has not yet been chosen.   Read more

Main Street Boot Camp conference brings scores to Delaware County

Above: Attendees at the Main Street Boot Camp in Margaretville on Tuesday, March 24. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A two-day Main Street Boot Camp conference sponsored by the Arkville-based MARK Project nonprofit attracted 90 attendees each day, according to Peg Ellsworth, the MARK Project's executive director. 

The conference, which was held on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 at the Hanah Mountain Resort and Country Club in Margaretville, aimed to bring together business owners, county and municipal officials and state development coordinators to discuss economic development in the Catskills.  Read more

Wednesday Night’s Show: Firewood, Forest Tools & More with Bob Conyea

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM
WIOX ROXBURY 91.3FM or www.wioxradio.org

On Wednesday night’s show we’ll be talking to Bob Conyea about Firewood, Forest Tools & More. Bob has been the owner of a nearby chainsaw shop for about 20 years. However, he is also well versed in the history of forest tools and how they were used in these mountains. We’ll also ask Bob about modern-day forest tools and the industry they are used in, as well as their future. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online at www.wioxradio.org to learn more.

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST?
It was fairly cold out yesterday which allowed me to escape the maple evaporator since the trees weren’t running with sap. On my walk up the hill, the maple trees rewarded my ascent with a sweet “maplesicle.” Some the maple trees had wounds from this year’s tree trimming, or some other injury. The wounds had leaked out some sap, but then froze. The frozen ice was surprisingly sweeter than expected. Hey, it’s better than nothing.  Read more

The best of the new Catskills restaurants

Above: Fresh-made donuts at Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts. Photo by Julia Reischel.

New eateries serving fresh doughnuts, Vietnamese banh mi, baklava and cheesy grits have all opened in the mountains this past year or so. From the 2015 Catskills Food Guide, here are some of our favorites.

The doughnuts at Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts (5950 Main St., Tannersville, 518-589-6262), which opened in late 2013, are made to order by the Doughnut Robot, a countertop machine that deploys circles of batter into bubbling hot oil while you wait. After frying, they’re dipped in flavored glazes like Key lime, pumpkin, apple cider, and caramel and sea salt. For a quarter, you can add a bacon glaze. For $4.50, you can add eggs, cheese and meat to make a true caloric heavyweight: a doughnut-based breakfast sandwich “slider.”

Above: Doughnut sliders at Twin Peaks Coffee & Doughnuts. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

Tara and Nathan Jamieson, the owners of Feather & Stone (38 West St., Walton, 607-510-4027, featherandstonerestaurant.com), which opened in September 2014, express their love of travel in their menu. One week, they’re celebrating the Midwest with fried cheese curds, and the next it’s the American southwest with Texas smoked brisket. They have a special affection for New York state dishes — the Rochester Garbage Plate is a mix of meats, chili, fries and salad — and the humble burger, seven versions of which appear on the menu.  Read more

Snow days weigh heavily on Catskills college students

Above: The SUNY New Paltz campus on March 13. Photo by Keady Sullivan.

After a brutal winter in the Catskills, college students are holding their breath, hoping for no more snow days.

College classes at SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Sullivan and SUNY Ulster have all experienced weather-related cancellations with more frequency than usual in 2015.

For SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Sullivan students, Monday classes have been hit particularly hard. Three consecutive Monday snow days on Jan. 26, Feb. 2, and Feb. 9 prevented classes from meeting and have significantly set back course curriculums.

SUNY Sullivan had the most official, university-declared cancellations of colleges in the Catskills region. Four whole days of classes were cancelled, and classes were either delayed or closed early on three additional days. In Ulster County, SUNY New Paltz cancelled classes six times and SUNY Ulster cancelled classes four times.

In Schoharie County, SUNY Cobleskill cancelled classes three times. In Delaware County, SUNY Delhi cancelled classes twice. And in Otsego County, SUNY Oneonta cancelled classed on one day and partially cancelled classes on another day.  Read more

Catskills sugarhouses open for Maple Weekend

Above: Maple syrup from the Catskill Mountain Sugar House in Grahamsville. Photo by Richard A. Smith

New York state produces almost a fifth of the nation’s maple syrup, and much of that comes from the Catskills. The mountains are home to many sugarhouses, from large operations with state-of-the-art evaporators that use reverse osmosis to little shacks that still use the old-fashioned boiling method.

Maple syrup is available all year long, but the tapping season lasts for just a few weeks in March, when frosty nights and sunny days get the sap moving.

The best way to watch a sugarhouse in action is to visit one. The sights, sounds and smells of sap boiling in the sugarhouse mean that sweetness, like springtime, is just around the corner. Shake off the late-winter blahs and come celebrate Maple Weekend -- actually two weekends of open houses -- in the sugar shacks of the Catskills. Listed below are events that are within the Watershed Post's coverage area; a statewide list of all 160 locations can be found at mapleweekend.com.  Read more

Village elections are mostly quiet, with a few hot races

Photo by Flickr user Vox Efx. 

Today, Wednesday, March 18, is Election Day for most New York villages. Village elections in many Catskills villages are sleepy, uncontested affairs, but a few are real contests with full slates of candidates from multiple parties.  Read more

Wednesday Night’s Show: Catskill Trees with Gary Mead – People & Trees

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM
WIOX ROXBURY 91.3FM or www.wioxradio.org

Every 3rd Wednesday we talk to Gary Mead about a different tree found in or near the Catskill Mountains. Every tree is different, and there is always something unique & special we find out about it. However, this time around we’ll be straying from the path a little bit by discussing the overall tree-to-human relationship – People & Trees. Gary Mead is the owner of Fruitful Furnishings. Fruitful Furnishings began in 1979 as a custom furniture shop. Within ten years, a sawmill was added for producing dimension parts and providing custom sawing, planing, and kiln drying services to customers wishing to furnish their homes with wood from their own trees. More recently, Gary has added Gary Mead Gallery – located at the mill-site – which showcases one-of-a-kind pieces made from wood. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ www.wioxradio.org to learn more.  Read more

Luck of the Irish: More St. Patrick's Day events

Above: Delhi's St. Patrick's Day parade. Photo via the parade's organizers. 

It’s a gray and drizzly St. Patrick’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Festivities celebrating the Irish continue all this week in the Catskills. 

A few St. Pat’s events take place today: 

Gavin’s Irish Country Inn in East Durham in Greene County will be celebrating all day long on St. Patrick’s Day itself, Tuesday, March 17, with a Irish pub fare and a three-course dinner with their own homemade Irish bread, leading up to a fine evening shindig with the Brothers Flynn Band and the Farrell School of Irish Dancing from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Read more


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