Monday, February 21, 2005
FEEDBACK. Anonymous commentator asks caustically, on basis of last blog, if “Dick May” is nom de plume of Greg Lubow. No. But readers should be alert to possibility that our account of Public Defender controversy was incomplete and gave short shrift to anti-Lubow case. NO TAKERS. Catskill’s town supervisors solicited proposals to convert former Irving Elementary School building (17,600 square feet, 3 stories, brick, with abundant off-street parking, one block above Main Street) into public offices (Town, Village, Library) but did not get any nibbles. Nor did anybody propose, within recent deadline, an alternate use that would be compatible with leaving Irving’s 8500 square foot annex intact for use as senior citizen center. Perhaps adaptation problems (handicap access; elevator; heating) are insurmountable. Meantime, Village trustees’ interest in three-cornered arrangement must be dampened by enlargement of present Main Street quarters, what with space left by departure of firefighter company. But Irving building is abundantly attractive, as well as being rich with history. Pray for a brainstorm (well capitalized). FOR SALE: Dionysos Restaurant at 11 Water Street in Athens; by owner Nicholas Patestas, via champion realtor Ronnie McCue; after little more than a year of operation; for (ahem) $2.39 million. Well, it’s newly built on .78-acre site; has outside tables; can seat 100 diners inside; offers 225 feet of Hudson River frontage; and boasts many NP’s carved in woodwork. An ultra-ambitious effort, over-capitalized, ill suited to surroundings. But hey, vendor can advertise “Tom Cruise slept here”--in trailer, during shooting of Spielberg movie “War of the Worlds.” REINCARNATED, on Route 23A in Tannersville: restaurant that in former lives was Elka Inn, Beowulf’s and China Wok (according to Daily Mail’s Jim Planck). If all requisite permits eventuate, it will now be Black Diamonds Grill. Owned by Bernie Zahn and Kris Gilly. Managed by Angelo Agosto, with head chef Richard Siderholt imported from Manhattan. NOT CIA. New owners of Bells Café in Catskill, Keith McMorrow and Yael Manor , did not train at Culinary Institute of America. Instead, they are graduates of Peter Kump and French culinary institutes in New York City. Which means that their talents go far beyond regular lunch counter fare—as consumers of their Sunday brunch selections (among others) can attest. The food’s way ahead of the décor. SNOW CADDIES await visitors to Ski Windham. Drive up, drop off skis or snowboards, then park, walk back up unencumbered. Caddies lug gear up slope to place where you can mount and go. It’s a free service, says marketing director Kurt Zimmer. (Who would fail to tip a caddie?). LEARNING CHANCE. “Birds in Your Backyard”=topic of program offered this Thursday (Feb. 24th) by GreeneLand’s Cornell Cooperative Extension, at Agroforestry Resource Center on Route 23 in Acra, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more info ring (518) 622-9820. SUMMITRY. During Christmas season at Summit Hill Athletic Club, according to manager Paul Mademann, sales of Gift of Health certificates, costing $49 and entitling recipient to a month’s membership and a T-shirt, have in the past numbered around 55. But for 2004, Paul promised that if sales reached 100, he’d spring for dinner for everybody on staff. Certificate sales vaulted to 124. Nice dinner party at Creekside restaurant. AWARDED: $5000 grant; to musicians Vladimir Pleshakov and wife Elena Winther; by Nakamichi Foundation of Anaheim Hills CA; for quality of performance and originality of content in public concerts presented in 2004 in Hudson, Hunter, Albany, Saugerties, Newburgh and Pittsfield. This signal honor was reported in Register-Star and Daily Mail of December 31 as Hudson story. But Pleshakovs had moved their extraordinary musical operation, including major collection of pianos, months before that to GreeneLand, under umbrella of Catskill Mountain Foundation. UP FROM GENERALISSIMO: Robert A. Porter, of Coxsackie. No longer is he Very Eminent Grand Generalissimo of Knights Templar of New York State (with sword, epaulettes, medals…). He has ascended to rank of Right Eminent Deputy Grand Commander. And for 2006 he’s in line to be Most Eminent Grand Commander of that Masonic order—as well as, incidentally, to be president of Catskill Kiwanis Club. The REDGC also currently holds office, in Prince Hall Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters branch of Knights Templar, of Right Illustrious Grand Principal Conductor of Works. No, we did not make this up. TRAVEL NOTES from our Caribbean correspondent (and seasonal GreeneLander), Ricardo Marlin, cruising in his vessel Frayed-ee-Cat: DIRTY DANCING. In Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, masqueraders covered selves in mud and motor oil for traditional dance opening Carnival. They were honoring predecessors who in 1881 had fought against British soldiers seeking to suppress that “primitive” romp. Then they showered and slipped into delicate jeweled bikinis, feathered headdresses and similar costumes for more festivities. Days later, King of Calypso title was bestowed on performer known as Chalkdust. IN MOGUL-RICH MUSTIQUE, new Environment Committee chairmale Mick Jagger has endorsed island-wide ban on use of phosphate laundry detergents. Seepage of phosphate-dosed wastewater into the sea evidently stimulates growth of coral-choking algae. Yes, that Mick. POLICE RAID in St Vincent fizzled. Night spot called Black Forest (snicker snicker) was not a front for illicit sex. Customers were enjoying a legitimate jump up. PRAEDIAL LARCENY is crippling economy of Barbados, says minister of agriculture and rural development. That problem, however, did not engage participants in week-long discussions, at Blue Horizon Hotel, of whether to revise Inter-American Metrology System in line with recommendations of the International Organisation of Legal Metrology. Neither did it manifestly trouble Bajan dignitary who bemoaned paucity of local pride, in contrast to Jamaicans’ manifest pride even in their “ackee, salt fish, mannish water, jerk pork and sorrel.” Meanwhile, Bishop Marcus Hinds opines, in a letter to Barbados Advocate, that “the only reformation that is needed” is “righteousness in the land. Therefore, we cannot get milk from air or iron.” Q.E.D.