Monday, February 28, 2011

Assembled Works

The exhibition "The Assemblagists' Perspective" focuses on the works of Beth Bailis and Judith Solomon, two artists who experiment with found objects to create works with many dimensions. Through March 13 at Innovative Arts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

2011 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts This year's animated shorts program includes five Oscar-nominated films 
and two bonus films from the Academy shortlist. Films include Day and Night (left). Friday through Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center

Adults Snowshoe Hike Strap on a pair of snowshoes and experience a winter’s day in the woods. Saturday,  10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

American Indian Sugaring Find out how native Americans developed the maple sugaring process that gives us the sweet syrup we all love today. A few fireside stories will warm us up before we tap some of our trees the modern way. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation 

Robert Cray Band Five time Grammy Award Winning guitarist Robert Cray tours in support of his new album, "This Time." Saturday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Performing Arts

Animal Tracking Hike Learn to identify the tracks and traces left behind by animals in the winter forest. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary 

Winter Walk The third annual Winter Walk features a back-country hike of the Leon Levy Preserve. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Westchester Land Trust

Creative Conversations Join exhibiting artist Robert Taplin, and artists Elizabeth King and Judith Shea, for a discussion of the figure in modern sculpture. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Peekskill Playhouse Enjoy the presentation of "Until Hamlet Laughs", a play by John Curran.  Sunday, 4:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tudor with a View

Year Built: 1927
Square Feet: 4,306
Bedrooms: 5
Property: 0.9 of an acre
Location: Ossining, in the hills to the north of town.
Best features: This stately home has all the pros of a 1920's Tudor—gracious rooms, great detailing, thick walls, gorgeous windows, and great lines—without the usual con. Not only is this house not too dark, it has a stunner of a view over the Hudson. The kitchen has been nicely updated—although it does have last millennium's granite counters—and boasts a wall of windows.
Downside: The taxes seem a bit high for the property size. Other than the view, the neighborhood doesn't seem to have too much going for it.
Taxes: $21,865
Asking Price: $879,950

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Samosas, To Go

With a menu featuring "Bombay Frankie Rolls," Kabab platters, curries, and Biryani, the new Little Kabab Station in Mt Kisco offers a range of Indian delights. The early word on Chowhound is very positive, with comments such as: "The vindaloo was perfectly spiced and the sauce was thick and rich." The small restaurant has seating for about 10. The new blog Best of Kisco deemed the space "cozy, warm and welcoming" and the comments on the restaurant's Facebook page are all glowing. It sounds like a promising addition to the area's options.
Photo: Best of Kisco

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Discovering a Suburban Sport: Ice Fishing

I always love seeing people out on the Croton Reservoir ice fishing. It's one of the more rural joys of living in Northern Westchester, and the sight reminds me that I'm not in Kansas anymore. So I was pleased to see last week's New York Times article on ice fishing in the local reservoirs. It was a good read—I learned that the ice on the reservoirs has been over 10 inches thick— and a pleasant change from the Times' usual disdain for all things burbia.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

Los Lobos and Taj Mahal This double bill features Taj Mahal, a living legend of the blues and American “roots” music, and the East L.A. Los Lobos (left). Friday, 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall  

Light Riders Multi-instrumentalist Premik Russell Tubbs and his jazz band perform. Friday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Harbingers of Spring Are the red maples showing color? Is the skunk cabbage melting through the ice? Take a hike to look for those very first signs that of spring.  Saturday, 10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation 

Sugarhouse Chat Stop by the sugarhouse to chat with museum staff as they turn sap into maple syrup. Saturday, 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation 

Great Backyard Bird Count Learn how to participate in this annual nationwide event. Count birds at the bird feeders and then take a walk out on the property to count more birds. Saturday, 9:00 to 11:00 am. Westmoreland Sanctuary

107th Annual Lincoln Parade Join the parade and reenactment of Lincoln's stop at the Peekskill train station to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s historic train journey from his home in Springfield to his Inauguration in 1861. Saturday, 10:30 am.  Peekskill Lincoln Society

Cold Frame Construction Join the farm carpenter to learn how to build a cold frame so you can get an early start to the vegetable growing season. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm

KJ Denhert Catch the "Urban Folk and Jazz" that has earned KJ Denhert 4 Independent Music Award nominations. Saturday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Winter Farm Tour Get face-to-face with the livestock in their winter shelters and learn about what’s growing in the greenhouse and main field. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

The Levins The self-styled "acoustic world folk pop duo," The Levins (left), perform live. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Peeekskill Coffee House

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Village Sweetheart

Year Built: 1926
Square Feet: 1,670
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 0.24 of an acre
Location: Yorktown Heights, in the historic town center.
Best features: With its tower and front porch, this house's exterior exudes small town charm. Inside, the home is brimming with original details, including pocket doors, moldings, and lovely mantels. The big windows and high ceilings add to the gracious, vintage feel. The kitchen is adorable and the bedrooms look spacious. There's even a gorgeous barn in the back. The house is an easy walk to town amenities, parks, the pool, and the North County Trailway.
Downside: The exterior is vinyl siding. Some may want to update the kitchen.
Taxes: $10,443
Asking Price: $449,000

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pop-Up Studio

Proving that lots can be done with little, a local arts group has been creating wee workspaces for artists. According to the recent article in the New York Times, the Peekskill-based Habitat for Artists has constructed —and then dismantled—more than 40 of these pop-up studios in places including Brooklyn, Beacon, Manhattan, and Philadelphia. Measuring a mere 6 by 6 feet, the sheds—dubbed "the Studio Recycled"—are both art form and workspace. The latest studio has been erected in Peekskill. While most are placed outdoors, this creation is in an indoors studio (the Temporary Project Space, 1215 Park Street). The product of a collaboration of over 30 artists, the Peekskill studio is open to the public Saturdays, 12:00 to 5:00 pm—until it is dismantled on March 31.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Time for Chaplin

Break the February doldrums with some Charlie Chaplin guffaws. The festival at the Jacob Burns Film Center runs through February 20 and features 8 classics, including The Great Dictator (left), Modern Times, City Lights, and The Kid.

On the Forum

Where to rent sports equipment—or buy used items?
Find the answer, or add your own, on the NW Home Forum.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Musical Madness, for Kids

The Omaha Theater Company brings their musical production of the kids' book "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake" to the stage. The Cat asks his new friend for some sprinkles, naturally they spill on the floor—and the silliness ensues! Wednesday, 12:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In Other Food News...

The Journal News reports that Croton's Black Cow Coffee Company is opening a new coffee house in Pleasantville. The shop will take over the Wheeler Street store previously used by the Dragonfly Cafe... The Journal News also notes that Peeskill favorite Kathleen's Tea Room has a new owner. Local resident Cyndi McKenzie plans on keeping most things the same, but she has added cupcakes and is extending the hours... The New York Times visited Ossining's Pon Di Riva restaurant, which opened in November. Located steps from the train station, the Jamaican spot offers specialties such as jerk chicken, curried goat, and fried red snapper.


The view from the train, coming home early last week (before the ice on the river melted).

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Authentic Thai" in Shrub Oak

"After a couple of recent visits to this unassuming restaurant, where the sauces are excellent, the preparation reliably good and the menu a bit more than standard fare, I had to agree — it does stand apart."

– The New York Times review of Bangkok Spice restaurant, which received a  "Worth It" rating (a 4 out of 5). The reviewer called out the curry puffs (above) as "flaky and deliciously substantial."
Image: The New York Times

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekend Picks

My picks for the best activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester

The Carolina Chocolate Drops The newest and youngest players in a long lineage of Black String Bands, The Carolina Chocolate Drops perform their mix of traditional roots music and blues. Friday,  8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts 

Mary Crescenzo Trio The songs of Ellington, Berlin, Gershwin, and Warren come to life with the Mary Crescenzo Trio. Friday, 7:30pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Hudson River Eaglefest The 7th annual clebration of our local eagles includes birds of prey shows, exhibits, interactive games, and crafts. The fun happens at Croton Point Part. Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation 

Collaging Memories What do your memories look like? Discover how artists used painting and collage to share their memories of the past. Then children can create images of their own favorite memories. Saturday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Neuberger Museum 

The Illusionist Based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati, director Sylvain Chomet employs gorgeous water-color-inspired animation to tell the story of a struggling magician and the ingenuous girl he takes under his wings in the new release "The Illusionist." Saturday and Sunday, multiple showings. Jacob Burns Film Center
Sneetches On Beaches Seuss comes to the stage in this dramatic adaptation. Saturday and Sunday, 3:00 pm. Children's Theatre Company of Peekskill

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January Sales and Deals

2011 got off to a very slow start, with far fewer homes going to contract in the towns this blog covers than in previous months. Was it simply too cold to house hunt, or is this a sign of things to come? On the other hand, a number of previously featured Hot Properties saw some love—including a few long-suffering ones. The Croton house that just went to contract was on (and off, and on, and off, and then on) the market for well over 2 years, during which time the asking price dropped over $400,000. The Croton home that sold was also on the market for over two years—and sold for $950,000 under the original asking. Meanwhile, the Peekskill house that went to contract was listed (for the first time, as far as I know) on January 3, and found a would-be buyer just 19 days later.

Contracts signed on single-family homes

December: 52
January: 32

Hot Properties That Went to Contract

Location: Peekskill
Featured:  January 13, 2011
Asking Price When Featured: $315,000
Last Asking Price: $315,000

Location: Beford Hills
Featured: February 18, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $575,000
Last Asking Price: $499,000

Location: Croton
Featured: June 3, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $1,179,000
Last Asking Price: $765,000

Hot Properties That Sold

Location: Peekskill
Featured:  July 27, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $375,000
Last Asking Price: $350,000
Sold for: $335,000

Location: Croton
Featured: April 22, 2008
Asking Price When Featured: $2,095,000
Last Asking Price: $1,895,000
Sold for: $1,180,000

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paper Play

The new exhibition "Drawn/Taped/Burned: Abstraction on Paper" features 74 works by 66 artists. The art includes examples of Modern, Minimal, Conceptual, and Process Art, using a range of materials such as ash, wax, string, smoke, tape, tea, and tar. Works include those by (above, clockwise from top left) Dove Bradshaw, Mark di Suvero, Christine Hiebert, and So LeWitt. Check out the online catalog for details and photos. Through May 31, at the Katonah Museum of Art.