Friday, May 30, 2008

Weekend Events

Here are some activities and events in Northern Westchester this weekend:

Bird Walk Learn about the different breeding behaviors and songs of local birds. Saturday, 8:00. Muscoot Farm

Meet the Authors The annual event features a variety of local writers. The children's portion starts at 10:00 and includes readings by Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty, Who is Melvin Bubble?) and Jerry Pinkney (Noah’s Ark, The Little red Hen). The teen portion features a workshop by Elisabeth Wolfe and Annabel Monaghan (Click, A Girl’s Guide to Knowing What you Want and Making it Happen). The adult portion takes place from 12:00 to 3:00 and includes readings and discussions by Alison Gilbert (Always Too Soon), Susan Breen (The Fiction Class), and Jeff Gordinier (X Saves The World). Saturday, 10:00 to 3:00. Warner Library, Hudson Valley Writers Center

Spring "Pondering" in the Park Put your old clothes and shoes on and come out and play with us. Identify and hold fish, tadpoles and waterbugs. Saturday, 1:00. Croton Point Park Nature Center

Asian Heritage Celebration In the first in a series of county-sponsored ethnic festivals at the Kensico Dam, enjoy Asian food, arts and crafts, music and entertainment. Saturday, 11:00 to 6:00. Asian Heritage Celebration

Spring Blossom Hike Enjoy an easy hike in search of the blossoms of spring. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

The Furuya Trio An award-winning violin, cello, and piano trio, the Furuya sisters perform works by Schubert and Mendelssohn. Saturday, 7:30. Croton Free Library

Open House for Artists Artists are invited to network, make and renew friendships, share work, and view and discuss the museum's exhibitions. Saturday, 6:30 to 8:30. The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Dan Bern and Guests Musician Dan Bern performs, along with guests Stephen Kellogg and Anthony Dacosta. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Susan Kane Singer-songwriter Susan Kane performs her "roots-based music, from blues to country." Sunday, 1:00. Peekskill Coffee House

Livestock Tour Get face-to-face with the animals and discover what sets Stone Barns and other grassfed farmers apart. Sunday, 12:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Story Sundays: Vulture View Sunday morning story-time continues with tales of everyone's favorite scary creature. Sunday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Possibilities in Peekskill

It's been awhile since I found a feature-worthy house for under $500,000. This listing fits the bill. The 1865 Victorian has 2,500 square feet and 3 bedrooms, but just one bathroom. While some freshening-up appears to be in order, the rooms all have nice wood floors and original details. (The listing refers to "magnificent fireplaces with hand carved mantels and surrounds," but those aren't photographed.) The kitchen has recently been updated with new cabinetry and granite counters--and, while the overall redo is not to my personal taste, I do love the pressed-tin back splash. The house is set on a 0.16 of an acre corner lot close to the riverfront park and train station. All in all, this one looks quite interesting. $469,900
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Music Festivals

Sunday's New York Times had a handy dandy writeup of the major arts festivals coming up in the next few months. Here are some of those in Northern Westchester:

Shades of Jazz June 11 to August 22 The many notable performers at this years festival include guitarist Peter Bernstein (June 11), vocalist Gino Stitson (June 16), and Israeli reed player Anat Cohen (Aug. 6). Katonah Museum of Art

Clearwater Music and Environmental Festival June 21 and 22 This annual mega event (above, top left) brings about 15,000 people to Croton Point Park to groove to such classics as Pete Seeger and David Amram. There will also be new blood, such as the Six of Us and the Higher Ground Band. Clearwater Music Festival

Caramoor International Music Festival June 21 to August 3 The 63rd annual festival (above, bottom) will feature pieces from Mexico and Brazil (June 29), tango (July 6), musicians Peter Serkin (June 28) and Sarah Chang (July 19), as well as classics such as Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” (July 5). Caramoor Center for Music and Arts

Pleasantville Music Festival July 12 This year the festival (above, top right) will include 21 performers, including deSol and Graham Parker. Pleasantville Music Festival

Upstate Reggae on the River Eco Music Festival August 23 Held at Croton Point Park, this new festival aims to promote environmental causes. Performers will include Rootz Underground, Leon and the Peoples, Mystic Dub, and the Jah Messenjah Band. Upstate Reggae on the River

The New York Times: Summer Arts Festivals
Images: top left, Clearwater Festival; top right, Lynda Shenkman Curtis; bottom, caramoor

Making A Mile of Kids' Art

Pretty soon people all over Peekskill will be walking on kids' art--literally. As reported in Sunday's New York Times, thousands of students from over 30 school districts in Westchester are participating in the Public Tile Project, which will create a mile-long path of kid-made ceramic tiles leading from the Peekskill train station to the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. For the project, a collaboration of the HVCCA and the Peekskill Education Foundation, elementary school students are creating delft-inspired tiles which are intended to reflect the Dutch influence on the Hudson Valley and to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the Hudson River. The HVCCA is holding a benefit this Friday at 6:00 to raise funds for the project. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill Education Foundation
SOURCE: The New York Times: A Children's Art Project on a Pretty, Grand Scale

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Recent Sales and Deals

I took Monday off to chill--and I hope you did too. But back to business (or, in my case, hobby/obsessive compulsion): Just two previously-featured Hot Properties have gone to contract in the 2 weeks since my last update on May 12. Both listings had been on the market for quite some time, and the Yorktown property had its asking price chopped by $100,000 since first being listed. As far as I can tell, no Hot Properties have closed in the last 2 weeks.

Location: Sommers
Featured: October 15, 2007
Asking Price: $1,250,000
Status: Conditional Contract

Location: Yorktown
Featured: August 24, 2007
Asking Price: $749,000
Status: Conditional Contract

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Events

Activies and things to do in Northern Westchester this holiday weekend:

Animals and Acrobats
A weekend of continuous performances (right), including raptor demonstrations, giant puppets, jugglers, mimes, horse-drawn wagon rides, and live music. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, 10:00 to 5:00. Van Cortland Manor

Part of the Movies for Kids series, this masterpiece of thrills, slapstick, and romance in the insect world features ladybugs, spiders, endless lines of caterpillars and two amorous snails. Saturday, 12:00. Jacob Burns Flm Center

Campfire Cooking Learn how to prepare simple, tasty food over an open campfire, such as stews, breads, desserts, vegetables and more. Registration required. Saturday, 12:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Jam Making Workshop Join a master gardener as she demonstrates the process of making jams. Registration required. Saturday, 1:00. Muscoot Farm

100 Years of Broadway This lavish and lively show recreates some of the biggest moments from the best known Broadway musicals of the century. Stars from shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Jekyll and Hyde light up the stage with the most popular songs from the hit shows they starred in. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

Expressions of Impressions
The Croton Cortlandt Center for the Arts spring exhibit includes works by more than 50 local artists, from beginner to professional. Through May 31st. Croton Cortlandt Center for the Arts, Hendrick Hudson Free Library

Muscoot Farmers' Market
Support local farmers and enjoy a day at the farm. Fresh produce, meats, cheese, soaps and candles, honey, maple syrup, flowers, fish, chutney and delicious baked goods are all available. Sunday, 11:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Farm to Table: Chicken & Eggs Harvest greens and vegetables in the greenhouse, collect the eggs, and then cook everything up into a simple snack for a true farm-to-table experience. Sunday, 11:00. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Lasdon Memorial Day Antiques Fair The 23rd annual fair features a large variety of treasures. Monday, 10:00 to 5:00. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something Old, Something New

This lovely colonial is set on 1.8 acres on a buccolic, winding road just off of the Croton Reservoir in Yorktown (with a Mt. Kisco address and Yorktown schools). The 3,200 square foot house was built in 1905 but was completely renovated in 2000. While the interior is a tad too "updated" for my taste, the 4 bedroom house has a flowing, open layout with loads of windows and light. The renovated kitchen and bathrooms are spacious and quite nice, too. Although the setting is peaceful and pretty, the house is a quick drive to Mt. Kisco, Yorktown Heights, and other towns--not to mention the wonderful North County Trailway. And at $15,650, the taxes are relatively reasonable. $795,000

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Eye Candy

The Croton Aqueduct, in downtown Ossining. Photo by jeeprider.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lovely, With Lots of Land

Located on the outskirts of Ossining, this new listing has an impressive 16 acres of land, complete with main house, guest cottage, pool, and tennis court. The 1900 colonial is less than massive at 2,900 square feet, but the 4 bedroom house has plenty of charm and original detailing. (Love the double porch! ) The grounds appear to be very nicely landscaped and well-maintained, but the house seems to be sited along the edge of the property and is surprisingly close to its neighbors. And all that acreage does increase the tax bill, which is an estate-worthy $30,311 a year. Nonetheless, it's a lovely house on an amazing piece of property. $2,100,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jazzing Things Up

Sunday's New York Times had a nice piece on the Swinging Jazz Set Collaborative, a group which changes combinations of performers and switches from a duo to a quartet to a sextet depending on the performance. The group performs regularly at Ruben’s Mexican Cafe in Peekskill. According to the Times, this week they will be at Ruben’s on Thursday and at the Division Street Grill, also in Peekskill, on Saturday.
SOURCE: The New York Times: Changing Configurations Make up Jazz Collaborative

Local Goats, Great Cheese

The goat cheese from Rainbeau Ridge Farm in Bedford Hills got a rave writeup in Sunday's New York Times. With a herd of 26 goats, the farm makes its own cheeses, including Chevre Lait, Meridien, Li’l Bloom, and, the reviewer's favorite, Mont Vivant. The cheeses are sold at Bedford Gourmet, Mount Kisco Seafood, and the Blue Hill Cafe. The farm also runs a range of kids programs and offers cooking classes for adults. Raibeau Ridge Farm
SOURCE: The New York Times: Her Goats, Her Cheese

Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekend Events

Some activities and fun things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Lasdon Plant Sale Check out the stunning gardens and pick up a variety of annuals, perennials, and shrubs. Saturday, 9:30 to 3:30. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Honey Flow Join a beekeeper to learn what he and his bees are doing to top last year's record honey production. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Leafy Neighbors Learn more about the trees in your own backyard and what they can do for you. Saturday, 11:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Petals on the Point Join the park naturalist to seek out and identify the whereabouts of these spring beauties in the park. Saturday, 2:00. Croton Point Park Nature Center

Artists' Open Studios The annual event opens the door to artists' work spaces in Armonk, Bedford, Mt. Kisco, Katonah, Somers, and Yorktown Heights. Visit the studios and alternative spaces in any order during the two-day event. See the website for the participating artists' portfolios, and for where to pick up a Tour Packet and map. Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 to 4:30. The Open Studio

Springfest Enjoy an afternoon of music, games, and other fun activities. Sunday, 11:00 to 3:00. Muscoot Farm

Meet the Artist As part of the museum's ongoing series, Robert Cottingham, whose work is displayed in the show Here's the Thing, will share images of his art and discuss his career. Sunday, 3:30. Katonah Museum of Art

Caramoor's Sonidas Latinos Family Concert Caramoor’s family concert (above) goes on the road to share the glorious music of South and Central America and the Caribbean. Performers include Marco Granados and his Un Mundo Ensemble. Sunday, 3:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Poetry Reading Poet Tom Sleigh reads some of his work. Sunday, 2:00. Mount Pleasant Public Library

Shad Fest The annual ode to one of the Hudson's tastiest fish includes free shad samples, performances by Arm of the Sea Theater, and music by Solar Punch, Gillen and Turk, and the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus. Plus lots of crafts vendors! Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00. Croton Point Park, Riverlovers Shad Fest

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Village Cool, with Pool

Nestled into a hill over the Croton River Gorge in the village of Croton, this 1957 contemporary has been renovated with style. The 2,600 square foot house has 4 bedrooms, a nicely updated kitchen, and a large family room. The 0.39 of an acre property is quite steep but has a large pool and patio. The spot has a nice away-from-it-all feel yet is a quick walk to the neighborhood playground as well as schools, the library, and most village amenities. $799,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Painted Houses

The show "American Urban" highlights the paintings of Bruce Habowski, including The Green Porch (above). Through June 14, at the Eyebuzz Fine Art Gallery. Image: Eyebuzz Fine Art

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Katonah High

Taking a peek at the higher end of the market, this 1906 manse is a real stunner. Set on a bucolic 11 acre property close to the village, the 4,800 square foot house has 5 bedrooms and lovely rooms brimming with original details and casual elegance. The pool and patio are picture-perfect, and there's also a pond and stream. While the price seems reasonable for the size and quality of the property, the real kicker is the annual tax bill: $54,529. $3,495,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Monday, May 12, 2008

Recent Sales and Deals

Just two previously-featured Hot Properties have gone to contract in the 2 weeks since my last roundup on April 28. On the other hand, both listings found potential buyers in a remarkably short time. While these houses are both very appealing and seem like great deals, they don't necessarily appear to be better deals than many other Hot Properties that have been on the market for months. So, why did these two fly off the shelf while others sit?

Location: Katonah
Featured: April 24, 2008
Asking Price: $619,000
Status: Conditional Contract

Location: Yorktown
Featured: April 17, 2008
Asking Price: $699,500
Status: Conditional Contract

Location: Croton
Featured: January 2, 2008
Asking Price: $815,000
Status: Sold for $780,000

Location: Croton
Featured: July 24, 2007
Asking Price: $659,000
Status: Sold for $659,000

Friday, May 9, 2008

Weekend Events

Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Plant Sale and Workshops Pick from a superb selection of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, flowering shrubs, and native wildflowers. Then participate in a series of workshops on nature-friendly gardening. Saturday, 9:00 to 2:00. Teatown Lake Reservation

Jonathan Meese A performance and gallery talk with Jonathan Meese, German painter, sculptor, and performance and installation artist. His 20 foot mixed media work, “Fort Knox” (above), is featured in the current exhibition Size Matters: XXL. Saturday, 12:00 to 2:00. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art

Three Sisters Gardens Learn about the traditional three sisters (corn, beans, and squash) gardens of the American Indians. Kids ages 6 and up can plant seeds of their own to take home and nurture. Saturday, 1:00. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation Trailside Nature Museum

Phoebe Snow in Concert Since the release of her debut album in 1974, Phoebe Snow has remained one of the most distinctive voices in popular music. Saturday, 8:00. Paramount Center for the Arts

Understanding the Night Sky Learn the ins and outs of star gazing in this informative program by Astronomy Delight. Then head to Boscobel's front lawn overlooking the Hudson to observe the moon and planets through large telescopes. Saturday, 8:00 Boscobel Restoration

Westchester Winds The 20th Anniversary of the Westchester Symphonic Winds is celebrated with a gala concert and reception. Saturday, 8:00. Tarrytown Music Hall

The Motherlode Trio The mom band Motherlode Trio bemuses and inspires with beautiful harmonies, rocking tunes, and original takes on the oldest profession in the world–motherhood. Saturday, 7:30. Croton Free Library

Mom's and Kid's Hike Bring mom out for this very special day to share the beauty of Spring. Take a walk with a guide and look for flowers, amphibians, and other wonders of nature. Sunday, 1:00. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Sunday Conversation: Eliot Noyes A lecture and slide presentation about Harvard Five architect and design pioneer Eliot Noyes by Gordon Bruce, author of Eliot Noyes: A Pioneer of Design and Architecture in the Age of American Modernism. Sunday, 4:00. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Sheep Shearing May is sheep shearing time on the farm. Watch the sheep get their spring haircuts. Sunday, 1:00. Muscoot Farm

Artists on the Hudson A day of fine food, entertainment, musical performances, and hands-on activities for children. Sunday, 10:00 to 5:00. Washington Irving's Sunnyside

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Farmhouse Fantasy

This new listing on the outskitrs of Ossining certainly hits the sweet spot. Built in 1825, the 2,4oo square foot farmhouse is bursting with casual country charm. The home has 4 bedrooms, a large kitchen, and a roomy front porch. The 3.6 acre property includes a 2 stall barn, horse paddocks, and a chicken coop. Like most older homes, this one is built very close to the road. Unfortunately, in this case that road is Somerstown Road, also (and less bucolically) known as Route 133. But there's a lovely pond across the street, and plenty of land out back. Personally, this sweety looks like a pretty good deal. $729,900
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, Live Search Map

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lawn Sculpture

Serges Spitzer's project, Still Life, includes tens of thousands of custom tennis balls, which are printed with a pixilated camouflage pattern. The exhibition runs through July 13 at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fab 50's Fixer

This new listing in Croton is perfect for someone in search of a project. Built in 1955, the 2,600 square foot house has cool mid-century style and a very nice piece of property. The house has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and loads of windows and light. Some big-ticket items are new (such as the roof and boiler), but there is clearly more fixing to be done. The 3 acre property has partial Hudson River views, some lovely plantings, and an "iffy" barn. It's also close to Route 9 and the train tracks. The taxes are high at $19,355, but this is the only listing I've ever seen in which the realtor states that the property is over-assessed and that the taxes are "grievable." While some work is needed, this looks like it could be something very special. $799,850
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, Live Search Map