Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Jewish Experience

The Jacob Burns Film Center's 10th annual Jewish Film Festival features more than 30 movies that explore Jewish culture, history, and life. This year's flicks include Nora's Will, a dark comedy from Mexico, The Klezmaics, a look at the music group, and Einsatzgruppen, a documentary about Nazi death squads. Some famous members of the tribe are the subject of biopics, such as Grace Paley, Norman Mailer, Amoz Oz, and Vidal Sassoon. The festival runs through April 14.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Eclectic (and Expensive) Mix

If you're looking for interesting items—and are willing to splurge a lot—check out Blithewold Home in Mt. Kisco. The store has such goodies as a brass lamp (left, for $725), a set of Wormley chairs (top center, six for $21,000), and a mid-century Italian desk (bottom right, for $14,000). The eclectic range of items is also available on 1st dibs, the online marketplace for design goods.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A “Comedy of Murders”

Considered one of his best works, 
Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux 
(1948) was plagued with censorship
problems and temporarily pulled from
distribution in America at the height 
of the Cold War. Monday, 8:00 pm.
Paramount Center for the Arts

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

The Ain't Nobody's Business Women's Concert Mezzo-soprano Nicole Phifer and sultry contralto Tyrha Lindsey join forces to provide an evening of jazz that will not soon be forgotten. Friday, 7:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

Draw On! Enjoy hands-on drawing projects for all ages as part of the annual celebration of drawing. Saturday,  12:00 to 5:00 pm. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum,

Vernal Pool Trip Visit the hidden treasures deep in the forest and learn about the vital importance of these seasonal wetlands as spawning areas for salamanders and other amphibians. Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Bedford Audubon

Soap Making Workshop Adults can make bars of soap using herbs, colorants, and essential oils.  Saturday, 12:30 to 3:30 pm. Muscoot Farm 

Backyard Beekeeping Join a local bee expert to learn what equipment you need, where and when to buy it, and some of the legalities of backyard beekeeping in Westchester towns. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm 

Finding Your Way Getting lost is not an option in this program which combines basic compass and map reading skills to help you better navigate in the woods. Sunday, 10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Singing Harp Storytelling Theater Join workshops for kids in grade 1 and up and teen/adult workshops at 1:30 pm, and a presentation of The Frog Prince at 2:30 pm. Sunday, John C. Hart Memorial Library

Kids' Hike Take a guided hike to explore the forest ecosystem and search for signs of animal life and the return of spring. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary 

Sweet Honey In The Rock The Grammy Award winning female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock celebrates their latest release. Sunday, 7:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Village Victorian

Year Built: 1900
Square Feet: 2,775
Bedrooms: 3
Property: 0.6 of an acre
Location: Bedford Hills, on Main Street just up from the train and shops.
Best features: Bursting with old fashioned goodness, this sweet house has gracious rooms and lovely details. The exterior is near perfect, and the interior rooms all look nice. The attic space has great potential. If you want to be able to walk to amenities, the location is great.
Downside: The house is on a main road, right across from the library, so there may be a little more bustle than some want.
Taxes: $13,328
Asking Price: $639,000

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inside the Artists' Mind

The series "The Creative Mind" continues with Ani and Ida Kavafian, world-renown classical violinists who have performed for many years with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The sisters discuss their own artistic process, and give a brief performance. Thursday,  7:30 pm. Katonah Museum of Art

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Stage

Brian Friel's “Dancing at Lughnasa,” at the Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls, which runs through April 3. According to the review in the New York Times, the production is a "haunting, touching revival." 
Image: The New York Times

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sounds of Spring

Ah, the snow has melted and spring is in the air. (Which doesn't mean that it won't snow again!) Check out the video posted on Westmoreland Sanctuary's Nature Notes of the Wood Frogs who like to hang out in woodland pools— and make quite a racket!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

Romeo and Juliet Enjoy the filmed performance of Dominic Dromgoole’s production of Romeo and Juliet on stage at London's Globe Theatre. Friday, 3:00 and 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Spring Equinox Hike Welcome spring and hike the farm's beautiful 3.5 miles of woodland trails. Saturday, 10:00 am. Hilltop Hanover Farm

Pancake Breakfast Start your day off with stacks of hotcakes smothered in maple syrup. Then stop by the sugarhouse to see how syrup is produced. Digest your meal as you walk around the lake looking for spring migrants. Saturday, multiple times. Teatown Lake Reservation

Music for Families Enjoy traditional Irish music and dance. Saturday, 4:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm. 

Sugaring-Off Party Celebrate the end of another sugaring season with tasting, music, and more.  Saturday, 1:00 pm. Ward Pound Ridge Reservation 

Vernal Pools Learn about these temporary ecosystems and their ecological value as you explore what a vernal pool is and who lives there. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary

Evening Howl! Visit the wolves during their favorite hour. Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families and discover why spring is a magical time for packs in North America. Saturday, 5:00 pm. Wolf Conservation Center

Daisy Jopling Internationally acclaimed violinist Daisy Jopling performs rock arrangements of great classical pieces. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Arts

Spring Hike Enjoy the first day of spring walking along the trail in search of telltale signs of the season’s change. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Westmoreland Sanctuary 

Pancake Breakfast Join the farm staff and the New York Maple Sugar Association in enjoying pancakes with real maple syrup. Sunday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Muscoot Farm

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On the Forum

"Looking for a summer camp in the area with full day programs. Ideally looking for a mix of activities (not just sports, not just arts). We've always done the town camp, but we need something with longer hours. Any suggestions?"

Got an answer? Check out the Forum.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lebowitz, Live and on Screen

Fran Lebowitz answers questions after the screening of Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese's portrait of the controversial author. Scorsese captures Lebowitz’s unique worldview and trademark acerbic wit as she speaks on just about every topic. Tuesday, 7:30 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Monday, March 14, 2011

Foodies Rejoice!

It's every food fanatics favorite time of the year. The annual Hudson Valley Restaurant Week runs from Monday through Sunday the 27th and includes oodles of restaurants. Lunch can be had for just $20 and dinner for a mere $28. Some local participants include Birdsall House, Thyme Restaurant, Division Street Grill, Peekskill Brewery, Via Vanti!, and Lexington Square Cafe. Check restaurants for details since many are opting out on weekend nights. Enjoy!

Holy Grail, in High Def

The comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail comes to the big screen in high-definition for the first time ever. Monday at 8:00 pm at the Paramount Center for the Arts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

Poetry Reading Poets Peggy Ellsberg and Pamela Hart read from their works. Friday, 7:30 pm. Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Cajun Zydeco Celebrate Mardi Gras with Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners who mix traditional Zydeco with their own innovative, funky, hard-driving sound. Friday, 9:30 pm. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar

Wildlife Rehabilitator's Workshop Licensed wildlife rehabilitators lead this workshop on the different aspects of working with wildlife and becoming a wildlife rehabilitator in New York State. Saturday, 10:00 am. Teatown Lake Reservation

Boomerangs Build them and throw them! A workshop for kids in grades 3 to 6. Saturday, 2:00 pm. John C. Hart Memorial Library

Princess Monoke This animated adventure by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Ponyo) tells the epic story of a young warrior who becomes entangled in a fierce battle between a proud clan of humans and the forces of nature. Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center

Sugaring Sunday Stoke up the fire, it’s sugaring time! From tapping to collecting, boiling to bottling, Teatown’s naturalists will be in the sugarhouse sharing facts and folklore. Sunday, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation 

Blue Angel With Live Music Considered one of the most important films in German cinema history, Blue Angel comes to life with music performed by The BQE Project. Sunday, 3:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Performing Arts

Composting Basics Learn how to recycle yard and food waste to produce compost, a valuable soil amendment for the garden and landscape. Sunday, 2:00 pm. Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

Vocal Rising Stars Songs of the Iberian Peninsula, sung by Corinne Winters, soprano, and Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano. Sunday, 4:00. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

Thursday, March 10, 2011

High and Huge

Year Built: 1987
Square Feet: 7,644
Bedrooms: 6
Property: 3 acres
Location: Croton, in the hills just north of the village, bordering the Hudson National Golf Course.
Best features: It's all about the setting, the space, and the views and openness. Located on a lovely, rocky hill high above the Hudson, the home has great vistas. There's lots of decking and patio from which to enjoy the outdoors, not to mention a pool. Inside, there's almost as much space as outside—over 7,000 square feet of big open rooms with walls of glass. The ash and maple kitchen is quite nice, and I love the free-standing fireplace.
Downside: Well, do you really want over 7,000 square feet of interior space? A ballet studio just seems like overkill. And while it's clearly been recently updated, the house still has a definite late 80's contempo feel.
Taxes: $45,355
Asking Price: $2,499,000

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coming Soon: New Restaurants

Early word on two new eateries:

Peekskill: Lohud's Small Bites blog reports that Arne Paglia (right), the owner of Division Street Grill in Peekskill, is planning a new restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Hugo’s, directly across the street from the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts. The menu is undecided and the place won't open for "about six months."

Yorktown Heights: The former home of the Heights Bistro is soon to be Don Tammoso's Bistro Italiano. The restaurant's executive chef is listed as Tom Coumo (of Grappolo Locanda in Chappaqua), and the Facebook page promises "a casual restaurant with a tribute to the traditional." There's also a nice website. The restaurant will open on March 21.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bird Talk: Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds' ability to hover and fly backward is quite impressive—as is their ability to raise and lower their heart rate and body temperature to survive cold nights. The lecture "Hummingbirds: Feathered Gems" discusses how these birds survive in habitats that range from tropical jungles to the forests of the Andes Mountains. Gina Beebe Nichol has been a naturalist and birder for more than twenty-five years, working in the Yellowstone Institute and later founding Sunrise Birding. Wednesday, 7:30 pm. Bedford Audubon Society

Monday, March 7, 2011

Art Talk: Leonardo Vs. Michelangelo

In the lecture "High Drama in the High Renaissance: Leonardo and Michelangelo," art historian Marcy B. Freedman reveals the competitive spirit that underlies the achievements of Western masters by examining the interactions between two great artists. Part of the ongoing Gift of Art Lecture Series, the talk will be Tuesday at 7:00 pm at the Katonah Museum of Art.
Image: Katonah Museum of Art

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Picks

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

Lady Got Chops The Women's Music and Arts Festival
kicks off with Rhonda Denet and The Bad Cats, Friday at 7:30 pm, and continues with the hot sounds of guitarist Jane Getter on Saturday at 5:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe

President Andrew Johnson Annette Gordon-Reed—the recipient of a 2010 MacArthur Fellowship, National Humanities Medal, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award—discusses the President who succeeded Lincoln. Friday, 6:30 pm. John Jay Homestead

Hudson River Walk Stroll the shoreline of the park and watch for eagles. Saturday, 10:00 am. Croton Point Park 

Puzzlethon! Benefit the Autism Society of CT by creating and sponsoring your own jigsaw puzzle. Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art 

Starlight Starbright Hike to Hidden Valley Field to view the night sky. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation 

Maple Sugaring Spend an afternoon finding out all there is to know about making maple syrup. Sunday, 11:00 to 2:30 pm. Muscoot Farm 

Elaine Romanilli Singer/songwritier Elaine Romanilli performs her folk-infused tunes. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Peekskill Coffee House 

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood The stars of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy. Sunday, 7:00 pm. Paramount Center for the Performing Arts

Thursday, March 3, 2011

February Sales and Deals

The local market seems to have bounced back from it's January slump, with the number of homes going to contract in the towns this blog covers returning to a more normal level. On the other hand, not a single previously featured Hot Property went to contract in February. But two did close—including the 50's mod in Croton which has been on and off the market since 2008.

Contracts signed on single-family homes

January: 32 
February: 55

Hot Properties That Sold

Location: Katonah
Featured: October 28, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $995,000
Last Asking Price: $965,000
Sold for: $900,000

Location: Croton
Featured: October 2, 2008 
Asking Price When Featured: $759,000 
Last Asking Price: $559,000
Sold for: $540,000

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sounds of South Africa

For more than forty years, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has married the intricate rhythms and harmonies of South African musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of gospel music. Thursday at 8:00 pm. Tarrytown Music Hall

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rent a Bucket

Love maple syrup? Get a bucket of your own. Marked with your name, it will hang from one of the trees being tapped at Teatown Lake Reservation. After it's filled, the sap gets turned into syrup in the sugarhouse. The $40 fee includes two tickets to the Pancake Brunch on March 21, and an eight-oz. bottle of Teatown's award-winning grade A pure maple syrup.

Movie and an Interview

Jonathan Demme interviews director Eric Mendelsohn after a screening of his film 3 Backyards. Premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the film tells the tale of three residents of a quiet suburban town. Elias Koteas, Edie Falco, and Embeth Davidtz star. Thursday, 7:30 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center