New Paltz

Explore the Catskills: Lark in the Park 2014

Above: “Big Indian Leaves,” taken in Big Indian by Michael LoBianco, the 4th Place winner in the 2014 Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest.

The trees are popping into color like popcorn. If you haven't wandered somewhere outside in the Catskills yet this fall, get out there. 

Need a nudge? That's why the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York New-Jersey Trail Conference throw the annual Lark in the Park.

The Lark is a series of outdoor activities led by experienced hikers, paddlers, cyclists and anglers throughout the Catskills region between October 4 and Columbus Day, which falls on October 13 this year.

We've put together a calendar of the dozens of hikes, paddles, food tastings, movie screenings, bike rides, and picnics that make up this year's Lark in the Park festivities.   Read more

En pointe en plein air: The Ballet Project

Above: A ballerina in a hay field in Liberty. Part of "The Ballet Project," a series of portraits of ballerinas in Catskills and Hudson Valley vistas by Erik Christian.

In the right light, the landscapes of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley can take on a kind of mythic quality. Mountaintops, forests, ponds, cliffs, caves—and it helps if you throw a ballerina in the mix.

That's the concept behind “The Ballet Project,” a photo series by Monticello photographer Erik Christian in which he captures his dance-inclined daughters against a dramatic variety of natural surroundings. His dreamlike images transform the Ashokan Reservoir into Swan Lake and the Neversink Gorge into Giselle's forest glade.

We caught up with Christian to talk about the project, which he’s been creating in collaboration with his kids (now 13, 10 and 7) for three years and counting. (Christian asked us not to identify his children in this story.)

Q. Where did the idea for “The Ballet Project” come from?  Read more

Voices of the American Musical Theatre: "Ya Got Me-Songs for Two or Three"

November 8, 2014 - 8:00pm

Unison Arts Center presents Voices of the American Musical Theatre: "Ya Got Me-Songs for Two or Three," on Saturday, November 8th at 8pm. These elegant duets and trios are culled from the uniquely American canon of the musical theatre songbook and will be performed in Unison's cabaret setting. The show will feature local favorites Molly Parker-Myers, Kevin Archambault and Victoria Howland. Paul Schubert will serve as the musical director for the evening.

Tickets are $21 in advance ($18 for Unison members) and $26 at the door ($22 members). Students are half price with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at unisonarts.org or by calling 845-255-1559.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.

845-255-1559

Laurel Masse: Jazz & Conversation

November 9, 2014 - 2:00pm
See video

Laurel Masse, one quarter of the legendary Manhattan Transfer, will appear at Unison Art Center on Sunday, November 9th at 2pm for an afternoon of music and conversation. Vinnie Martucci will accompany Laurel on keyboard.

With her lush, expressive voice, absolute pitch, flawless diction and ready wit, Laurel Masse left an indeible mark on Manhattan Transfer. She toured with the Transfer for seven years, recorded four albums and made numerous television appearances.  In 1978, a near fatal car accident cut short her tenure with the group. When she resumed her career after nearly two years of convalescence, it was as a solo artist. Her focus turned to Celtic and classical music, and she often performed a cappella. She recently returned to her Jazz roots and was awarded "Best Bistro Jazz Vocalist."

Tickets to this event are $20 in advance ($15 for Unison members) and $25 at the door ($20 for members). Students are half price with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at unisonarts.org or by calling 845-255-1559.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.

845-255-1559

Community Needs Assessment Survey Available to Hudson Valley Residents

Kingston, N.Y. – September 22, 2014 – Residents of New York's Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster and Dutchess counties are invited to take a short survey about their health and the services they use. The goal of the survey is to learn more about the health care needs of the community to identify and plan localized healthcare delivery in the future.

The survey is anonymous, will take less than 10 minutes to complete and is available online. Participants are encouraged to share the survey link and information about the survey with friends, family and other residents of the Hudson Valley.  Read more

Life Drawing Intensive

November 15, 2014 - 10:30am

Unison Arts Center offiers a Life Drawing Intensive on Saturday, November 15th from 10am-4:30.

This one day life drawing intensive event gives professional artists and students an opportunity to work with experienced models for an entire day. Participants should pre-pay over the phone (845-255-1559) or online at unisonarts.org. Registration will close at 3pm on Friday, November 14th.

The cost is $35 for Unison members and $45 for non-members.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.

845-255-1559

Singer/Songwriter David Roth

November 1, 2014 - 8:00pm
See video

Cape Cod singer/songwriter David Roth will bring his many talents to Unison Arts Center on Saturday, November 1st at 8pm.

David Roth strikes many chords, hearts and minds with his unique songs, offbeat observations, moving stories, sense of the hilarious, and powerful singing and subject matter.  He has earned top honors at premier songwriting competitions (including Falcon Ridge) and has taken his music, experience and expertise to a wide variety of venues in this and other countries full-tme for more than two decades.

David's songs have found their way to Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, the Kennedy Center, Peter, Paul & Mary concerts and NASA's Space Shuttle "Atlantis."  He is featured on many of Christine Lavin's compilations. Peter Yarrow has raved, "David has reached into our hearts, With voices like his still singing, the candle will remain lit . . ."

Tickets to this event are $21 in advance ($18 for Unison members) and $26 at the door ($22 members). Students are half price with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at unisonarts.org or by calling 845-255-1559.  Read more

845-255-1559

Family Fun at Unison: It's Magic with Andy Weintraub

November 1, 2014 - 2:00pm

Magician extraordinaire Andy Weintraub will appear (or disappear?) at Unison Arts Center on Saturday, November 1st at 2pm as part of the Family Fun series.

Andy's show will focus on the basic principles of sleight of hand and misdirection.  He will teach card tricks, tricks with liquids and some larger stage illusions. He might even pull a rabbit out of his hat!

Andy Weintraub has been studying, performing and practicing magic since the age of 10.  Along the way he acquired a PhD in economics, founded the Rhinebeck Theatre Society and the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck.

Tickets to this event are $12 in advance, $8 for Unison members and $5 for children under 12.  Door prices are $14, $10 and $7 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased online at unisonarts.org or by calling 845-255-1559.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.

(845) 255-1559

Primary elections today

Above: A voting booth in Margaretville in May 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

It's an election year, and today is the day to vote in the primaries. 

The biggest race in the primary is on the Democratic ticket, where underdog candidate Zephyr Teachout is challenging New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Teachout is attacking Cuomo from the left by comparing his fiscal policies to those of Ronald Reagan.  Cuomo is doing his best to ignore Teachout's campaign entirely. (Literally. During a Labor Day parade in Manhattan, Cuomo managed to ignore Teachout as she stood directly in front of him.

Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor against Kathy Hochul, Cuomo's running mate. The race is its own separate primary, and if Wu wins, he could find himself in the odd position of being Cuomo's running mate in the general election.

As for local Catskills races, there are a few worth noting. 

Left: Bryan Babcock. Photo via Babcock's campaign. 

The Delaware County town of Franklin is holding a Republican primary for a town council seat. Bryan Babcock, the owner of Handsome Brook Farm and Bed & Breakfast who is also a professor at Hartwick College, is vying with Lisa Huyck and Donald Smith for one of two seats on the board. Babcock has criticized the town board for not implementing a comprehensive plan for Franklin.

"With several major infrastructure projects on the horizon in Delaware County," Babcock said in a press release. "it is essential that we protect our roads and utilities. To do this we need to be proactive as a Town Board. I feel that my experience as a business leader will help the Board be even more effective for Franklin residents."

In the Ulster county towns of Hardenburgh and Denning, the Sullivan County town of Neversink, and the Delaware County towns of Andes, Bovina, Davenport, Delhi, Hamden and Meredith, there is a Republican primary race for the 101st State Assembly District, which features a contest between Claudia Tenney and Chris Farber.  According to the Daily Star, the outcome of the primary doesn't matter -- both Tenny and Farber will make it to the ballot in November. 

  Read more

Fifth Friday Dance Meet Up: Old Fashioned Cajun with Cleoma's Cajun String Band

October 31, 2014 - 7:30pm

Cleoma's Cajun String Band will appear at Unison Arts Center on Halloween for some old and traditional Cajun music for the final "Fifth Friday Dance Meet Up" of 2014.  Buffy Lewis will teach a dance lesson at 7:30 and the band will play from 8-10pm.

Cleoma's Cajun String Band is Buffy Lewis on guitar and vocals, Roger Weiss on fiddle and vocals, Ambrose Verdibello on guitar, Evie Schneider on bass and Melissa Lovaglio on drums.  The group plays high energy Cajun and Creole dance music in an authentic and Old-time style. Whenever they play, people cannot help but two-step and waltz to the infections rhythms.  Their music is from the heart and each performance embodies the "love of life" axiom emblematic of the heart of Southwestern Louisiana. Let the good times roll!

Whether you are an experienced dancer or just starting out, have a partner or are coming solo, Unison's Fifth Friday Dance Meet Ups offer something for everyone.

Tickets are $10 for Unison members and $15 for non-members and can be purchased online at unisonarts.org or by calling 845-255-1559.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.

845-255-1559

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