New Paltz

This weekend: Halloween in the Catskills, Part 1

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Above: A promo for Haunted Huguenot Street, New Paltz's annual spookfest, featuring "Mrs. Gertrude Deyo-Brodhead’s infamous Murder Mystery parties at the Deyo House." Tours, spirit readings and ghost stories all weekend.  

It’s the darkening evening of the year, and the veil between the worlds has thinned. Venture out into the mountains and valleys for some resonant Halloween fun, costumed or otherwise, beginning this weekend. There’s a little of everything going on, whether you’re looking for pumpkins and not-too-scary spirits for the little guys, contemplative historic ghost-walks, or smokin’ hot dance parties into the wheeee hours.

Here’s our guide to the fearsome and frolicsome times for Oct. 24 - Oct. 26. We'll have another one next week, to cover the many festivities scheduled across the Catskills for Halloween itself. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Mohonk Mountain Stage Company: "The Big Meal"

December 12, 2014 - 8:00pm

Mohonk Mountain Stage Company presents Dan LeFranc's acclaimed comic drama, The Big Meal, directed by Christine Crawfis, on Friday, December 12th and Saturday, December 13th at 8pm at Unison Arts Center.

Somewhere in America in a suburban chain restaurant on an average night, Sam and Nicole meet fr a drink. Sparks fly, setting in motion the extraordinary tale of five generations of an ordinary family with the moments, both mundane and milestone, that make a life.  Just eight actors at one table morph into multiple characters over nearly 80 years, displaying their shared DNA, humanity and humor. In the spirit of Thornton Wilder's plays, The Big Meal is stunningly ambitious, big-hearted and richly satisfying. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times wrote, "A life-in-overdrive comic drama . . . Dan LeFranc's snappy dialogue captures the tumultuous tenor of family gatherings."

Tickets are $20 in advance ($15 for Unison members) and $25 at the door ($20 for members). Half price for full time students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased online at unisonarts.org or by calling 845-255-1559.  Read more

845-255-1559

New York Times' "Living City" explores NYC's water supply

Up here in the Catskills, in the heart of New York City's vast rural watershed, it's impossible to forget that one lives in the middle of the city's water supply. The city's huge reservoirs dominate the landscape. Watershed affairs dominate local politics. New York City's watershed police patrol along sleepy back roads a hundred miles from Manhattan.

For most downstate New Yorkers, though, water is just a thing that comes out of the tap. This week, the New York Times introduced its readers to their astonishing water system in "Living City," a video series that explores some of the wonders of urban engineering that make life in our nation's largest city possible.  Read more

Man who robbed two Ulster County banks sentenced

A 49-year-old Hunter man was sentenced to two back-to-back prison terms of three to six years each on Tuesday, Oct. 14 in Ulster County Court for robbing banks in New Paltz and Saugerties in 2013, according to a press release from Holley Carnright, the Ulster County District Attorney.

Left: Collin Lambert in a photo released by the Ulster County District Attorney's office.

Collin Lambert pled guilty to robbing Key Bank on Market Street in Saugerties on January 11, 2013, and to robbing Chase Bank on Plattekill Avenue in New Paltz on April 2, 2013.

In both robberies, Lambert displayed a note saying that he had a gun, but did not display a weapon or injure anyone.

Lambert was arrested at his Tannersville home in March after allegedly robbing a third bank in Herkimer in December 2013.  Read more

Country Dance with Eric Hollman

November 15, 2014 - 7:30pm

Unison Arts Center will present community contra and square dancing, led by local caller Eric Hollman, on Saturday, November 15th. These are simiple, energetic dances set to lively fiddle music with American and Celtic roots. Eric will be joined by Ambrose Verdibello on fiddle and Norman Plankey on guitar. Eric will lead a short dance lesson at 7:30 and the dance will officially commence at 8pm.

Eric Hollman is a contra and square dance caller who is known for his zesty 'spaghetti contras' as well as family dances and school programs.  He is the organizer of the former New Paltz 4th Saturday contra and other series run by Hudson Valley Community Dances.  Eris is also a teacher of swing, contra, zydeco and passionate waltzing.

Ambrose Verdibello is an old time fiddler who plays swing.  He works regularly with the youth ensemble 'The Strawberry Hill Fiddlers,' and plays throughout the Hudson Valley with a variety of bands, instruments and styles.  Read more

845-255-1559

Win-Win Casino Night & Auction to benefit Unison Arts Center

November 22, 2014 - 6:00pm

On Saturday, November 22nd at 6pm, the Lake Conference House at Mohonk Mountain House will once again be transformed into a casino, filled with food, games and drink for Unison's second annual Casino Night. Please join us for a night of fun, friends and fundraising (there is no real gambling involved--so you can't lose and Unison wins!)

The admission includes casino chips for a wide assortment of games (remember: there is NO real gambling involved) including blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, a money wheel and more. There will also be a live auction featuring incredible items like fantastic getaways and exclusive dinner parties. Additionally, guests will enjoy a sumptuous array of delicious hors d' oeuvres, dessert and a complimentary welcome cocktail, courtesy of Jim DeMaio at State Farm Insurance.  Other sponsors for the evening are M & T Bank, Woodland Pond at New Paltz and Carol & Thomas Nolan.  Read more

845-255-1559

Columbus Day Weekend in the Catskills: Fests, food, fiddlers and foliage

Can you flip a tractor tire? Test your mettle at the Farm Olympics, happening this weekend at the annual Taste of the Catskills festival in Delhi. Photo by Eamon Queeney.

Columbus Day Weekend is coming up, and the Catskills are making the most of summer's last hurrah.  

If you're a Catskills local, you've been living in a slow-mo fireworks display for a couple of weeks now, as maples, beeches, birches and oaks erupt in a dazzling riot of fall color. This weekend brings peak foliage to the lower elevations of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley -- and while the high-elevation slopes are just a little past peak, there is still plenty of brilliant color all around.

Lark in the Park, a ten-day, Catskills-wide celebration of the great outdoors, wraps up on Monday. Between now and then are dozens of guided hikes, paddles, outdoor volunteer opportunities and more, ranging from family-friendly woods walks to off-trail bushwhacks for experienced outdoorsfolk. Choose your own adventure from our special Lark in the Park calendar  Read more

Unfiltered minerals in Catskills water are the key to NYC's bagels

Above: A bagel with lox from H&H Bagels Midtown East. Photo by Flickr user Kenneth Lu.

A story by the business news site Quartz on Oct. 7 confirmed what New Yorkers already know: The secret to NYC's bagels is in the water. 

Bagel entrepreneurs are so desperate to mimic NYC's water that they have spent years and lots of cash adding those minerals back into their own water in places like Denver and Florida, Quartz reports.

The site interviews Josh Pollack, a bagel maker in Denver, who has developed a secret formula to put NYC-style water into his bagels:

“It’s mainly New York’s watershed program that’s the difference,” he says of the initiative that protects the region’s natural water sources, enabling local utilities to minimally-process the city’s drinking water. “They don’t use a sediment filter for their water, so a lot of the minerals that come from the reservoirs, as a result of those watershed protections, are still in the water." ...  Read more

Stayin' Alive: Don't Get Burned

Gianna Muellerleile tries on firefighter gear at her preschool in 2013. Photo by Jake Millman at Beginnings Preschool in Boiceville.

Not only is this week Fire Prevention Week, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has just declared that today, Oct. 7, is Firefighter Appreciation Day. To mark the occasion, we've asked Rich Muellerleile, a firefighter, paramedic, and longtime Watershed Post columnist to give us a few fire safety tips. Read all installments of Rich's column, Stayin' Alive, by clicking here. - Ed. 

“In the first Place, as an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure, I would advise 'em to take care how they suffer living Coals in a full Shovel, to be carried out of one Room into another, or up or down Stairs, unless in a Warmingpan shut; for Scraps of Fire may fall into Chinks and make no Appearance until Midnight; when your Stairs being in Flames, you may be forced, (as I once was) to leap out of your Windows, and hazard your Necks to avoid being oven-roasted.” – An old citizen

As incredible as it may seem, this quote, which begins with a familiar household adage and was published as an anonymous letter in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1735, was actually written by the newspaper's publisher, Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin's letter was a succinct and relevant fire safety message that, for the most part, does not apply to our present day – unless you routinely carry hot coals from room to room to keep comfortable. (After all, we are in the Catskills.)

It is without doubt, however, that the "Ounce of Prevention" axiom holds resoundingly true in many of the things we do from day-to-day. No matter what calamity you deal with, it is much more easily addressed by preventing it altogether than having to deal with its aftermath.

Enter the annual tradition of Fire Prevention Week, which falls on Oct. 5 - 11 this year.

National Fire Prevention Week is not just a local fire department showing up at your elementary school and conducting a fire drill. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.  Read more

The new hunter-gatherers: Foraging in the Catskills

Above: An Autumn Olive (Wildberry) Mojito. Photo courtesy of Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower. Make your own with the recipe at the bottom of this story.

Foraging for food that grows wild has long been a hobby for nature lovers out walking in the woods. But increasingly, more people are doing what their primitive ancestors did: picking up their spades and baskets and searching out edible flowers, leaves, roots, shoots, nuts and berries.

Left: Dina Falconi, a Catskills forager. 

Two upstate women—Dina Falconi and Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower—are leading the march into the forests and meadows. According to them, there’s plenty of free food out there for the picking; you just need to know what to look for.

Falconi, a Marbletown resident who grew up in New York City, has been steeped in the world of wild-plant identification, foraging and cooking for 30 years now. But growing up, she had no idea what was waiting out in the woods.  Read more


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