Hundreds line up for free driftwood

Above: Tyler Borchet, center, searches the driftwood pile at the Jan. 23 driftwood giveaway in Olivebridge. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

Driftwood is the Catskills version of the iPhone -- people line up around the block to get it.

Hundreds waited in below-freezing weather in the Ulster County hamlet of Olivebridge on Friday, Jan. 23 for a chance to pick through a pile of free driftwood being given away by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

The NYC watershed agency removes driftwood from the shores of its Catskills reservoirs every year. To get rid of the driftwood, the agency used to burn it. But this year, it tried something new: giving it away to the public.

Above: The line for driftwood. Photo by Julia Reischel.   Read more

The Heron: A Chef's Tale

Ohio native Marla Puccetti, who co-owns The Heron in Narrowsburg, NY with her chef/partner, Paul Nanni, grew up in the restaurant industry – her uncle ran a steakhouse and her father owned an Italian restaurant – but it was not the career path her family envisioned for her.

“I begged my dad to let me work for him, but he wanted me to go to college and get a nice office job,” she recalls. “This is tough work, it’s a tough business and he wanted something different for me.”

Marla earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and moved to New York to attend New School University for her graduate degree. She embarked on a successful television production career, working for the Oxygen Network, Hornet Inc. and City Lights Media Group as well as MTV, VH1, Discovery, TLC, and the Cooking Channel.  Read more

DEP: Artists, come get our driftwood

Above: "Driftwood Cove" in the Ashokan Reservoir. Photo via the NYC DEP.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is hosting an odd event this Friday, Jan. 23: A driftwood giveaway.

The DEP has a driftwood glut on its Ashokan Reservoir, one of the city's upstate lakes that supplies NYC's drinking water. A portion of the reservoir's west basin is dubbed "Driftwood Cove" because of the large amount of wood that piles up along its shores after washing down the Esopus Creek through the Catskills, according to a DEP press release. 

For years, the DEP has given its driftwood away to artists, who use it in sculptures and crafts. But in that past, the DEP has also burned some driftwood, which has disappointed some artists who wanted as much of the wood as they could get.  Read more

Without Valentine's Day...

February would be, well.....January!

Jim Gaffigan


Do you have a Valentine' Day snip bit you would like to share?

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Ulster County makes new move toward eviction of Catskill Mountain Railroad

Above: Families board a Thomas the Tank Engine train in Kingston during a Catskill Mountain Railroad event in September. Photo via the Catskill Mountain Railroad Facebook page.  

Ulster County is preparing to file more litigation in an attempt to evict the Catskill Mountain Railroad from county-owned train tracks, according to Ernie Hunt, the spokesman for the railroad, and Ulster County Legislator David Donaldson. 

Hunt said that the railroad’s lawyers received notice on Tuesday, Jan. 13 that Ulster County would soon appeal a September decision by Ulster County Supreme Court Judge Richard Mott that prevents the county from evicting the railroad.  Read more

Pancake Breakfast

February 7, 2015 - 8:00am

Pancake Breakfast to support Food Pantry

Olivebridge United Methodist Church

5147 Rte 213, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Saturday, February 7th, 8:00 am – 11:00 am


*Pancakes, eggs, sausage, drinks (*gluten free available)

Contact: Diana 657-8775


Pancake Breakfast

Pancake Breakfast to support Food Pantry

Olivebridge United Methodist Church

5147 Rte 213, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Saturday, February 7th, 8:00 am – 11:00 am


Pancakes*, eggs, sausage, drinks (*gluten and sugar free available)

Contact: Diana 845-657-8775

New early bear hunting season may have led to record kill numbers 

Above: A bear snacks on birdseed after smashing a bird feeder at a home in Andes in 2006. Photo by Peter Possenti (using a telephoto lens.) Used with permission

The spot Tim Meservey found at the base of a tree early one Saturday morning in September was a hunter’s dream. On a rise, it faced a gully that is a country lane for wildlife. A few hundred yards away is a farm where bears strip sweet, young corn from the stalk when no one is looking. 

Usually, bears are not on Meservey’s big game list. Not as plentiful as deer, they are also elusive, and it was rare to see one in the woods by the time regular hunting season arrived in November in Greene County, where the 39-year-old hunter and middle school art teacher lives. 

“They tend to head back up in the mountains in fall,” Meservey said.

But when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) initiated an early bear season that started on Sept. 6 – the regular season opened Nov. 15 – Meservey said he finally saw an opportunity.  Read more

Valentine's Day Raffle Returns

The New York Times jumps on the visit-the-Catskills bandwagon

Above: A double rainbow over the Ashokan Reservoir in July 2014. Photo by Rebecca Balzac, shared in the Watershed Post Flickr pool. 

Joining the likes of Travel + Leisure and Fodor's, the New York Times has listed the Catskills as one of "52 Places to Go in 2015."

"Not your Bubbie and Zadie’s getaway," the NYT writes, ranking the Catskills #39 on its list. The paper names a series of Catskills establishments that have been enjoying fantastic press recently, including The Graham & Co. and the Phoenicia Diner in Phoenicia and Cucina and Woodstock Way in Woodstock--all of which were also recently lauded in a feature in Vogue.

There's also the inevitable comparison to Brooklyn:   Read more

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