Saturday, August 25, 2007

Break Time!

I'll be off relaxing for a week, so new content until after Labor Day. In the meantime, check out the view from Peekskill's Riverfront Green Park (above, looking north toward Bear Mountain). Enjoy the site!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Old Outside, New Inside

If you like the look of older farmhouses, but are more of a New House person, this might be for you. The circa 1860 home in the Kitchawan area of southern Yorktown had a major renovation and addition in 2003. While the exterior is pristine, the interiors seem to have lost most of their original details. The kitchen has the now-standard stainless appliances and granite counters, and the bathrooms look nicely updated. The house has 2,500 square feet with four bedrooms and the 6 acre property includes a 4 stall barn. While some of the interiors feel a bit bland and boxy (I much prefer the similar Chadeayne Homestead, which is just down the road and also for sale, albeit for a lot more), this listing does offer a lot for a pretty low price. $849,000 ERA Insite Realty

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Music, Movies, the Moon, and More

Looking for something to do? Try one of these events:
Screenings Under the Stars The summer's outdoor movie series ends with Happy Feet on Thursday, 8/23, at Kensico Dam Plaza and Charlotte’s Web on Friday, 8/24, at Tibbetts Brook Park.
Summer Concert in the Hay Barn This Thursday 8/23, the Stone Barns is hosting award-winning violinist Sharon Roffman and a group of musicians performing the music of Spain from 1685 to the present. The concert is at 6:30 PM Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
The 11th Hour This new documentary, narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio, looks at our impact on the planet and what we can do to repair the damage. Friday 8/24 through Thursday 8/30. Jacob Burns Film Center
Moon Viewing Picnic and Concert The Hammond Museum's annual moon party is set in the paper lantern-lit Japanese Stroll Garden. Music is free and bento box meals can be purchased. Friday, 8/24. Picnic at 6:30, concert at 8:30. 914/669-5033,
Birding and Breakfast Experts from the National Audubon Society will lead an early-morning bird walk through the orchard and gardens. Afterwards, enjoy an "18th-Century-style breakfast" and tour the manor house. 7:00 Am, Saturday 8/25. Van Cortlandt Manor
Faerie Walk The animals will have extra-special company at Muscoot Farm on Sunday 8/26. 1:00 to 3:00.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Get Arty

Screwing Down a Plan to Save the Earth, by Roshi Newman. (Love that title!) Through August 31 at The Art Gallery at Paramount East in Peekskill.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

$3 Million Baby

The listing agent calls this house "much admired," and the truth is that I always ogle it as I drive down my favorite street. Set on 5.8 lovely acres on Croton Lake Road, just outside of Katonah village, this 1750 farmhouse is indeed eye-catching. The 3,000 square foot home has 5 bedrooms, original wide-board floors, exposed beams, and charm to spare. The property includes a pool, cottage, barn, and garage with studio. I suppose if you can swing the asking price, the annual taxes--$33,833--should be doable as well. $2,950,000 Sotheby's International Realty, Google Map

Dash of Red

Four Sculptures by Robert Goodnough (right), in the sculpture court at the Arts Exchange in White Plains. Through Sept 22.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Little House in the Big Woods

When I wrote this up yesterday the house was available. I rechecked the links before posting it, and it is now in contract. So take this as an example of what is selling.
This small but sweet 1953 cottage has charm and a great location. Situated in the spectacular Teatown area, the one acre property has privacy and pond views--and is a short stroll to both the 813 acre Teatown Nature Reservation and the 112 acre Bald Mountain County Park. The listing agent pegs the house at 2,000 square feet with 2 bedrooms, but other agencies have it listed at 1,700 square feet and 3 bedrooms. Everyone agrees that the kitchen has been nicely renovated with high-end cabinetry and appliances. And the photos don't lie. $729,900 Sotheby's International Realty, Google Map

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Seasonal Art Pleasures" at the Hammond

Today's New York Times has a rave review of the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden's current exhibition. Incarnation, an exhibition of the work of a dozen contemporary Korean artists, is deemed "small but worthy" by the Times. The reviewer calls the museum and it's garden one of the best "seasonal art pleasures" in the area. I agree. Personally, I need no excuse to visit the museum's lovely garden, which is a joy at any time of the year. The show runs through September 7.
The Hammond Museum Source: Korean Artists Mix, and Nature Mingles (NYT), Photo: New York Times

Saturday, August 18, 2007

High-End Homes for Bedford

While the market for new construction nationally is in a definite slump, tomorrow's New York Times reports on two new developments in the Bedford area. The Stone Manors at Twin Lakes (right) is a development of 17 homes being built by Tri-County Development on Pine Brook Road. The homes will be from 8,000 to 10,500 square feet and prices will start at $4.25 million. Another article reports that Donald Trump is moving ahead with plans to build "mansions" on 213 acres in Bedford. Meanwhile, Trump has pulled the plug on a plan to build homes in North Castle, citing the town's "anti-development" stance. That mirrors what occurred in Yorktown a year or two ago, when Trump gave up on plans for a golf course community on Baldwin Road due to the town's resistance. He later donated the 154 acres of land to the state, which dutifully dubbed it The Donald J. Trump State Park.
Betting on High-End Home Buyers (NYT), Trump Drops North Castle Development (NYT), Photo: New York Times

Friday, August 17, 2007

View Master

There's nothing like a sweeping view of the Hudson, and this house has it in spades. The home is pretty standard 90's contemporary and the recent renovations are high-end but standard '07. What makes this listing noteworthy is great flow, lots of light, and oodles of big windows framing truly stunning views. Located on .93 of an acre in Croton, the 4,210 square foot contemporary has 4 bedrooms. A major con--and the probable reason for the relatively reasonable asking price--are the annual taxes: A whopping $32,057. Yikes! Compare that to the mere $7,000 taxes of the 5,300 square foot former opera house for $2,350,000. Perhaps you can think of it as just $87.50 a day for great views of the Hudson. $1,650,000
Houlihan Lawrence

What to do?

My picks for the weekend:

Crafts Fair Garrison Arts Center's 38th annual crafts fair feature over 70 artists from around the country. Saturday and Sunday, at Garrison's Landing Garrison Arts Center
Teatown Paddle Take a canoe trip around the lake and watch the fish, turtles, and dragonflies. Saturday, 10:00-11:30. Ages 7 and up. Teatown Lake Reservation
Moliere This new film from France offers a look at the life of the famous satirist. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Jacob Burns Film Center
Kids' Hike Youngsters will learn about nature on this guided tour through the woods. Sunday at 10:30. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Verse, Prose, Anything Goes

This Friday is monthly Open Mike Night at the Hudson Valley Writer's Center in Sleepy Hollow. Starting at 8:00, people are invited to share their poems, stories, essays and pretty much anything. If you're not ready for prime time, check out the Center's many writing workshops. The Center is located in the old Philipse Manor train station, along the Hudson River.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Loft in Suburbia

This 1,700 square foot 2 bedroom condo offers an interesting mix of style, surroundings, and amenities. The unit is in the restored St. Germaine Building on the outskirts of Peekskill and has a definite hip loft vibe. On the other hand, the building is part of the gated Chapel Hill "community," which mostly consists of semi-detached houses and townhouse units and has a definite suburban feel. The new construction is aesthetically deadly, but the development does have nice amenities--including a pool, tennis, gym, sauna, and trails. The apartment looks quite nice, and the grounds are lovely, but I wonder who exactly is going to want a funky loft in a cushy development. If you do, this might be for you. $449,000 Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Chapel Hill

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Better Than New

Buyers who want the benefits of new construction usually have to settle for a developer's cookie-cutter plopped down on a treeless square of sod. Which makes this listing an uncommon chance to have an almost new home with some charm in a lovely setting. Rebuilt on the site of a 1950's structure, this 2,200 square foot 3 bedroom has been reinvisioned in a cottage style. While I'm not one for faux traditionals, the architect appears to have handled the transformation nicely (nary a turret nor Palladian window in sight!). Located in the beautiful Huntersville area of southern Yorktown, the 1.95 acre property is quite attractive, and even has pond frontage. The flipper seems to be in a hurry to sell, since the asking has been cut twice in a relatively short time, and the house now seems to be very well-priced. $839,500 Houlihan Lawrence

Friday, August 10, 2007

Classy Cape

While this 1930 Cape isn't too much to look at on the outside, the interior has plenty of charm and a very nicely renovated kitchen. The 1,850 square foot home only has 2 bedrooms, but the unfinished attic space could be a future bedroom. Perhaps most appealing are the 2 acres in the lovely Mount Airy section of Croton. Given the land, location, and price--not to mention that kitchen--this seems like an excellent opportunity. $649,000 Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map

Weekend Family Fun

Shakespeare on the Green The Ridgefield Playhouse and the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival are presenting a free performance of As You Like It this Saturday at 2:00.
Great Expectations The Jacob Burns Film Center will be showing this classic Saturday and Sunday at 12:00.
Peekskill Jazz and Blues Celebration On Saturday from 4:00pm to 11:00, North Division Street will be alive with the music of the John Abercrombie Trio, the Richie Hart Trio, Carlos Colina and The Straight Up Blues Band, and more.
Second Saturday Party The Katonah Museum of Art's monthly celebration with live music.
Ecuadorian Festival Enjoy music, food, and dance this Sunday at Croton Point Park. 10:00 to 7:00.
Farm Discovery Day Meet the animals at Muscoot Farm on Sunday. 1:00 to 3:00.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

That 70's House

Having come of age in the (very late) 70's, houses like this just make me happy. The light, the openness, the walls of glass--they just say, "Come on in and relax!" Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority since most of these gems sell for next to nothing and end up being 'reinvisioned' as colonials. Even if the magnificently mod architecture of this 3,000 square foot 5 bedroom doesn't get you, the land and location should: 5 acres on Vermont-like Croton Lake Road, close to the village of Katonah. There's even a pond. On the con side, the house clearly needs some updating--even a lover of most things 70's draws the line at the living room's red wall-to-wall. $998,000 Houlihan Lawrence

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Eye Candy

The old Baptist Church on...wait for it...Baptist Church Road in the Huntersville section of Yorktown. The graveyard includes many tombstones dating back to the early 1700's, when the hamlet was part of Van Cortlandt Manor. Photo by Korkie

Monday, August 6, 2007

Room for the Fat Lady

The second most expensive listing in Croton at the moment, this former opera house is a village landmark. The impressive stone structure is located on Truesdale Drive, just above the Croton River and a short walk to the beach at Silver Lake. This is one of my favorite areas of town, since it has a 'country' feel but is still close to most village amenities. Completely renovated in 2006 after a damaging fire, the 5,300 square foot residence has 4 bedrooms and some huge spaces. While there aren't too many original details left, the interiors do look darn nice (just ignore that black leather furniture). Set on an acre of land. $2,350,000 Houlihan Lawrence, Nancy Kennedy, Google Map

Friday, August 3, 2007

Charmed, I'm Sure

The village of Katonah has lovely houses, interesting stores, a stone library, and even a village green. While houses beyond the village sell for as much as $9 million, those within it's confines tend to be far less expensive. This pretty 1886 Victorian is one of the pricier listings currently on the market. With 3,450 square feet and 4 bedrooms, the home is dripping with charm. There are no photos or mention of the kitchen, which raises concerns, but there's also no question that this house has plenty going for it. $1,500,000
Renwick & Winterling Realty

Weekend Art & Literature, for the Kids

As part of it's monthly First Saturday's program, the Nueberger Musuem of Art will have special gallery talks and workshops for children ages 5 to 10 where kids can create their own art. Better yet, admission is free from noon to 5:00. August's theme is Thinking Big, based on the monumental paintings found in the exhibition Cleve Gray: Threnody. Gallery Tours at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm; workshops: 1:00-4:00 pm. Nueberger Museum of Art

The Katonah Museum of Art is hosting special story times throughout August. This Saturday, Vicki Ingrassia, the Katonah Children's Librarian, will be reading. On Sunday kids can meet Yumi Heo, illustrator of Henry's First Moon Birthday, who will be reading from and discussing her books.

Get Row-dy

Celebrate the importance of the river in the area's history at River Day at Van Cortlandt Manor this Sunday. There will be boating, fishing, hearth cooking, and brick making. Visitors can also enjoy music, food, and storytelling. The Arm-of-the-Sea Theater, the Hudson Valley's "eco-logic theater" group, will be performing "City That Drinks the Mountain Sky." Van Cortlandt Manor

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Funky, for Less

This 1961 3 bedroom house has got a cool vibe and a great location. Set on an acre in the Mount Airy section of Croton, the home features lots of windows and an open, modern feel. It's 1,900 square feet, but over 600 of that is on the lower level. With less than 1,300 square feet on the main floor, the primary rooms are bound to be tight. But the price is right. $499,000 River Towns GMAC

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Peekskill Pretty

This Victorian in Peekskill's historic district clearly needs a fair amount of work, but it seems to have all the ingredients of a lovely home. The 2,700 square foot 4 bedroom has some nice mahogany details, high ceilings, and parquet floors. On the con side, the bathrooms and kitchen require gutting, and chances are the electrical and other systems need updating, too. But for the price of a Manhattan studio, this house could be something special. $450,000 Houlihan Lawrence

Comments Welcome

The site is now getting a fair number of visitors--both newbies and returning ones. I'm flattered and pleased. But I'd like to remind everyone that comments are invited. After all, half the fun of a blog is sharing your opinion and reading what others have to say. Do you like a house? Agree with the pricing? Have you you been to a hot spot? All posts have a comment option--and anonymous comments are okay. I'd also love to get any feedback, suggestions, or complaints--please feel free to let it rip.