Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Log Cabin by the Croton River

It's not every day that you come across a Sears Roebuck log cabin. And it's not every day that you find a house with frontage on the Croton River. This 1931 cutie has both distinctions. The 1,500 square foot, 3 bedroom house is "in need of renovation" according to the listing—but it has plenty of lovely details and oodles of charm. The one acre property straddles both sides of the road—the house is on one side, and the riverfront parcel is across the street. The dead-end road is within walking distance of Silver Lake, playgrounds, and other Croton amenities. The house clearly needs work, but there is definitely loads of potential here. $459,000
River Towns Realty, Google Map, bing Map

Monday, June 29, 2009

Top of the Hill

Although it's impossible to miss the huge hill in the center of Croton Point Park, it somehow took me years to realize that there were trails across it. Perhaps because I had read that the hill was actually a trash heap—on what had originally been a swamp in the point—it still took me awhile to venture onto it. What a pleasant surprise. The hill is covered with a 113 acre meadow full of wild flowers and swaying grasses. Though it is not that high, it affords a stunning vista over Half Moon Bay to the north and the wetlands and river to the south. If only all dumps end up this beautiful! Croton Point Park

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Macro-invertebrate Mayhem A naturalist teaches about the stream life that can only be observed with keen eyes, wet hands, and an inquisitive mind. Saturday, 2:00 to 3:30 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Z Costa-Gavras' story of a Greek politician’s assassination forever changed the way thrillers are made. Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Bluebird House Monitoring Check on the status of the many nesting boxes and view different nest types, eggs, and young. Saturday, 10:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Farm Open House and Tour Come visit the farm and learn about the projects, crops, and our sustainable efforts. Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Summer Reading Kick Off A magician and ventriloquist combines comedy, magic, juggling, and puppets with a message that encourages readers to keep those pages turning. Saturday, 11:00 am. Croton Free Library

Kevin Sardine Enjoy the Caribbean and Reggae vibes of Kevin Sardine. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

George Benson Grammy winning George Benson sings tunes from his four-decade career. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Performing Arts

Keller Williams Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Keller Williams puts on a one-man show. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

The Melvin Taylor Blues Band Groove to the sounds of Chicago blues musician Melvin Taylor and his band. Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Pond Study Learn which creatures live in and around the farm pond. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Tour the Perennial Gardens Join the horticulturist in welcoming summer with a walk through the perennial gardens. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Tiempo Libre The two-time Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre opens the third year of Sonidos Latinos with a scorching concert of crazy rhythms and infectious energy. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Caramor Center for Music and the Arts

Farm to Table Cooking Classes Come pick from the crops, bring the goodies back to the kitchen, and prepare and share the creations inspired by nature. Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Carl Bethge Singer, songwriter Carl Bethge performs bluegrass tunes. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Peekskill Coffee House

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bedford Idyll

Set on a lovely road near Mt. Kisco and Bedford village, this renovated carriage house has been nicely updated and has lots to offer. Built in 1934, the 2,700 square foot house has 5 bedrooms and a renovated kitchen and bathrooms. The home has plenty of original features and an overall nice vibe. There's also a renovated barn which boasts a playroom, kitchen, and sleeping loft. The 2.75 acre property is nicely landscaped and features a saltwater pool and patios. The taxes are surprisingly low at $12,564. Originally listed at $1,699,000, the price has been chopped three times (most recently 2 weeks ago) and now seems pretty reasonable. $1,395,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A New Art Factory

Last Sunday's New York Times had an interesting article about the Lift Trucks Project, a former forklift factory in Croton Falls that has been converted into artists' studios and gallery space. According to the Times, the 5,600 square foot factory was purchased by South Salem resident Tom Christopher, a painter who immediately recognized the structure's artistic potential. The first exhibit, “From a Factory Floor,” highlights the work of silk-screen artist Gary Lichtenstein and shows pieces by 14 artists printed by Mr. Lichtenstein. Works include those by Tom Christopher (bottom left) and Jackie Micheline (bottom right). The exhibition runs through July 12. Lift Trucks Project
Images: Lift Trucks Project

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Bays and a Dormer

This 1928 Ossining house has a nice presence, with a lovely front porch and appealing symmetry. The 1,300 square foot home has 3 bedrooms, original details, and plenty of warmth. The kitchen and a bathroom have been updated in a perfectly nice but very expected way (granite, stainless, double sinks, etc.), and there's a large deck in the back. The 0.20 of an acre lot has a pleasant yard and backs up on woods for added privacy and a sense of nature. The house is located on an attractive street on the outskirts of town, but busy Route 9A is just a stone's throw away so it may not be the quietest spot. The realtor's site lists the taxes at a low $6,409, but two other site have them at $8,276—so check that out if you're interested. $439,222
Mark Seiden Real Estate, Google Map, bing Map

Monday, June 22, 2009

Reader Tip: New Garden Supply Store

A reader sent in a tip about Hilltop Farms, a new garden supply shop and cafe that just opened in the formerly decrepit Victorian near the Croton A&P on Albany Post Road. The tipster writes that the store sells seasonal items such as flowers, pumpkins, and Christmas trees as well as house wares and nice garden ornaments. There is also a café with "amazing" muffins, among other baked goods. According to their website, Hilltop Farms will carry local produce as well. The store was brand new and the service was still pretty rough when the tipster visited, so hopefully that will improve. Check it out. Hilltop Farms

Renovating a Peekskill Landmark

The building at the corner of Main and North Division Streets in Peekskill was built in 1860 and once housed the Bensky stationary and newspaper store, but has since fallen on hard times. Now the Historic Landmarks Preservation Board and the Planning Commission have approved the new owner's plans to remodel and restore the Bensky Building. The plans call for creating offices on the top two floors and a restaurant on the ground floor and basement level. According to the North County News, the owner, Giovanni Stiefelmann of Croton, plans on spending about $400,000 on the renovation and is already in discussion with potential restaurant operators. According to the City of Peekskill, the City Planner, Jean Friedman, called the plans to retain and restore the building's unique architectural features "outstanding."
Image: City of Peekskill

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Clucky, the Brave Little Hen Stone Barns and Visible Theatre are pleased to present the return of this engaging tale of a chicken who dreams of living free-range. Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival Check out Wednesday's post for details on the two days of music, storytelling, plays, art, tall ships, and green living at Croton Point Park. Saturday and Sunday. Clearwater Festival

Butterflies at Bylane An expert naturalist leads a walk through the meadows of Bylane Farm, where more than 60 species of butterflies have been recorded. Saturday, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Bedford Audubon Society

Dan Zanes and Friends Get ready to sing and dance with wild abandon to the sounds of folk heroes Dan Zanes and Friends! Saturday, 1:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Songs from Around the World The Boys and Girls Choir of Croton Harmon sings songs from Africa, Italy, France, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia and Argentina. Saturday, 3:00 pm. Croton Free Library

Summer Solstice Fundraiser Raise money for Lasdon't glass house conservatory and enjoy food, live music, and an astronomy program. Saturday, 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Night Flight Just as twilight descends the acro-bat-ic night flyers come out. Come watch the flight of bats and find out how they provide essential ecological services. Saturday, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Premik Russell Tubbs The highly praised composer and multi-instrumentalist Premik Russell Tubbs performs with a talented group of musicians. Saturday, 7:00 pm. The Bean Runner Café

Cowboy Junkies Ejoy the country, blues, and folk mix of the Cowboy Junkies. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Who Are These People? Watch a composition come to life as you pin, baste, cut, sew and assemble unique fabric collages using the works of art as inspiration. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Neuberger Museum of Art

Father's Day Fishing Come on out with your dad and enjoy this special event as we suspend our “No fishing” policy at Bechtel Lake. Bring your own fishing equipment. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Public Exhibition Reception: Meet the Artists! Meet the artists behind the museum's five new exhibitions. Also listen to a panel discussion and lecture about the works on display. Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Father's Day Food at the Farm Celebrate Father's Day at the farm and enjoy food prepared by the Muscoot Farmers Market. Sunday, 12:00 to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pretty, Private, and Peaceful

Located in the lovely Huntersville area of Yorktown Heights, this house makes the most of it's stunning 4.8 acres. The 2,100 square foot home was built in 1958 and boasts vaulted ceilings, skylights, and loads of windows. In addition to the 3 bedroom house, there is a small guest cottage (which has a fireplace, but no windows as far as I can see). The property features a pool and tennis court, as well as gorgeous views of the distant hills. The taxes are $20,290. Given the asking price, I'd say this is another good deal. Agree? $869,000
Houlihan Lawrence, Google Map, bing Map

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Still Rocking on the River

Four hundred years ago Henry Hudson explored our great river. Forty years ago the Clearwater sloop launched it's environmental mission. And Pete Seeger, the founder of the Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival, is celebrating his 90th birthday. All of which adds up to three good reasons to rock on. This year's two-day music extravaganza at Croton Point Park features a huge number of performers, including Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal, Pete Seeger, and Susan Tedeschi. In addition to the music and a variety of other land-based festivities, participants can take cruises on the Clearwater sloop and the Mystic Whaler. According to the article in Sunday's New York Times, all proceeds from the festival go directly to the Clearwater organization, which runs a number of programs aimed at promoting sustainable living and a greener environment. The fun runs all day Saturday and Sunday. Clearwater Festival

Much Ado About Something

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival opens its 23rd season this weekend with performances of Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). The season will also feature Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles. As always, the performances are held on the gorgeous grounds of Boscobel. The season runs through the summer, ending with the last performance on September 6th. Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Either I'm missing something or this listing is a great deal, even in the current market. The 1945 Tudor has 1,900 square feet and 3 bedrooms. The living room and kitchen are to die for, with vaulted ceilings and lovely beams. The other rooms looks equally appealing, with nice details and lots of light. The screen porch alone makes me want to buy the place. The house is set on 3.1 acres in Montrose, on the bucolic and storied College Hill Road, and is close to the Cortlandt train station and to the Blue Mountain Reservation. At $11,180, the taxes are quite reasonable, too. So, what's the catch? $525,000
Coldwell Banker, Google Map, bing Map

Monday, June 15, 2009

A New Plaza for Peekskill's New Museum

The City of Peekskill has approved plans and obtained funding for the Lincoln Plaza, a new park in front of the soon-to-be Lincoln Depot Museum. According to the North County News, work on the plaza will start next year and will include construction of a pedestrian bridge across the train tracks to the Riverfront Green park. The plaza and museum will both mark the site where then President-Elect Abraham Lincoln spoke in 1861 from his train, and will commemorate Peekskill's history and role in the abolitionist movement. Plans for the park include a boardwalk along McGregor Brook (a stream running through the site) and murals depicting historic events. The site is envisioned as a stopping point along the Westchester RiverWalk, and is a part of the larger redevelopment plans for the waterfront area. Check out the Lincoln Society for more about the history of the depot (including the text of Lincoln's address), and visit the City of Peekskill website for details on the planned park.
Images: Schematic from the City of Peekskill; Lincoln Depot photo by neatnessdotcom

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekend Picks

What to do this weekend in Northern Westchester:

Osssining Village Fair Enjoy food, music, hands-on activities, and browsing vendors at this outdoor fair. Downtown Ossining. Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Ossining Village

Flight of the Pollinators Follow a naturalist to view bees, butterflies, and birds as they perform the vital job of sustaining healthy plant populations. Saturday, 10:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation

Touch My Heart Yoga Kids can explore animals, nature, and basic anatomy though traditional yoga postures. Saturday, 11:00 am. Croton Free Library

Discovering Ecosystems Learn what makes a habitat unique and perfect for the creatures that live there as you meet animals from the rain forest, desert, and our own temperate forest. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Local Color Catch the 12th annual exhibit of works by Croton area artists. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00 pm. 10 Old Post Road South, Croton Council on the Arts

Spring "Pondering" in the Park Put your old clothes and shoes on and come out and view, identify, and hold fish, tadpoles, and water bugs. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Croton Point Park Nature Center

Cartoons in the Park Join animator Jim Jinkins in search of silly and strange creatures hiding in his fantasy photos. Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Once Upon a Peanut Author Marlene Whelahan reads her children's book, Once Upon a Peanut, about when her daughter was diagnosed with peanut allergies. Saturday, 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Dave Brubeck Quartet
The legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and his quartet perform his intricate arrangements. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Pop Goes the Easel Celebrate pop art and culture with live reggae music in the Sculpture Garden. Commission a portrait sketch from the artists on hand. Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Katonah Museum of Art

The Gil Parris Band Grammy-nominated Gil Parris sings tunes from his latest album—including "Duck Walk," which is currently #1 on Music Choice, America's top cable radio channel. Saturday, 9:30 to 12:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

The Andy Polay Trio
The Andy Polay Trio plays jazz tunes including Miles, Coltrane, Brubeck, as well as original material. Saturday, 8:30 to 10:00 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Fat Tire Festival
All are welcome to spend a day riding some of the greatest trails in New York State at the Westchester Mountain Bike Association's 14th annual celebration. Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Blue Mountain Reservation

Dairy Day Spend an afternoon learning about dairy cows. Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Muscoot Farm

Kid's Nature Hike Use your eyes and ears to explore what is happening on this hike of about ¾ of a mile. Sunday, 11:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Online Journal Readings Discover online journals with readings from The Acentos Review and Ozone Park Journal, followed by a Q&A with the journals' editors. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crisp and Cool

I almost never feature new construction simply because I almost never like any. But this listing is an exception. "Completely rebuilt" in 2007, this 5,400 square foot home has oodles of style and all of the high-end do-dads one could want (check out the master bath). The soaring spaces and modern materials work well with the tremendous light and views of the surrounding woods. The 5 bedroom, 3 plus bathroom house has some great indoor areas, and the exterior looks pretty interesting (in a Dwell Home way). The house is set on almost an acre in the lovely Mt. Airy section of Croton, and the taxes—$20,292—are pretty low for new construction. $1,250,000
River Towns Realty, Google Map, blink Map

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dot's Art!

This exhibition of 65 works examines Roy Lichtenstein's creative process and artistic evolution during the 1980s and 90s. Drawings, collages, and sketchbooks provide a glimpse into the artist's thoughts and working methods. Through June 28. Katonah Museum of Art

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Katonah Colonial

Located on a sweet street just steps from the village mews, this front porch charmer is quite appealing. Built in 1870, the 2,000 square foot house is perhaps short on bedrooms—there are only two—but it has wonderful original details, stained glass, and a nice kitchen. There's also a large family room extension, which was built in 2001 and is not my style at all (perhaps that could be converted to a master bedroom?). The house is set on 0.24 of an acre lot and has a relatively low tax bill of $13,470. What do you think of the price? $749,000
Prudential Holmes and Kennedy, Google Map, bing Map