Schoharie

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

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

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

Coming soon: The 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide

With spring just around the corner, it's time once more for our annual Catskills Outdoor Guide -- a glossy, full-color magazine showcasing the best of what the Catskills great outdoors has to offer. 

Once again, the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide will feature pull-out maps of local hiking trails and outdoor recreation spots, articles about how to have fun in the Catskills landscape in all four seasons, and beautiful photography of our stunning region from Watershed Post readers and contributors.

We're currently signing up advertisers for the upcoming Catskills Outdoor Guide. The deadline for reserving space is April 1. For more information, including ad sizes and pricing, see our detailed rate sheet here. If you have a Catskills business or local resource to promote in the Guide, contact us at [email protected] or call 845-481-0155

This weekend: St. Patrick's events around the Catskills

Above: A shamrock on the slopes at Plattekill Mountain. 

Why do so many turn part Irish in the season of St. Patrick? Perhaps because there is something primal about celebrating the end of winter by slathering swathes of green everywhere. Perhaps because Irish Americans have a fine sense of humor and the festivities and feastings in their honor, replete with bagpipes and corned beef, hit a spot emotionally that nothing else quite reaches. Perhaps because nothing sticks a fork in cabin fever like getting outside to take in a parade or run in a 5K. 

Here’s our multi-county guide to the Irish goings-on this St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Catskills.

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

NYC’s watershed police sue their own union

Above: New Environmental Police Officers being sworn in to their jobs patrolling New York City’s upstate watershed, which spans a 2,000-square-mile area, much of it in the Catskills. Photo via the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Flickr page. 

The police officers who patrol New York City’s 2,000-square-mile upstate watershed are suing their own union, accusing it of corruption and of scuttling a long-awaited contract with the city.

In a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in January on behalf of 200 officers, three police officers say that the union’s leadership has betrayed them.  Read more

The Kingfisher Project tells stories of heroin addiction in the Catskills

Above: A bag of heroin. Photo from a series of photographs shot by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio documenting heroin use.  

Heroin addiction is sweeping through the Catskills, taking lives with it. (Here at the Watershed Post, we write more crime stories about heroin than about any other drug.) 

In 2013, 89,269 people enrolled in heroin drug-treatment programs in New York state; in 2014, that number jumped to 118,000, according to data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Heroin abuse is growing the fastest among the young, among ages 18 to 34. Politicians are worried; the governor launched a statewide campaign to battle heroin abuse last fall. 

Locally, the toll is growing. A doctor at Catskill Regional Medical Center calls heroin a "public health crisis." Delaware County's undersheriff says that despite record heroin busts, "more people are using drugs, overdose deaths have accelerated and jails are crowded." Community forums on the topic are being held around the region. 

The Kingfisher Project, a collaborative storytelling and reporting initiative based at WJFF 90.5 FM in Jeffersonville, is digging deep into the heroin epidemic in the Catskills and beyond. 

  Read more


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