Friday, November 10, 2006

But First, the Un-Political Stuff

Before we go to the post with news and blather about the elections, we’ll do some catching up. THE WEEKEND The gala that opens the Fortnightly Club’s annual Festival of Trees is slated for tonight (Friday, 11/10), from 7 pm., at the Catskill Elks Lodge. And the display or artfully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths will be open tomorrow and Sunday, from 10 am. Also of special interest tonight is a session of jazz at Gillie & Macs Waterfront Restaurant. The Jeff Siegel Trio plays and Woodstock’s Pamela Pentony (rich vocal range, plenty of power and feeling) sings. As for tomorrow, it’s Saturday Stroll time in downtown Catskill. This once-a-month street festival has been drawing good crowds in the afternoon and evening. Stores and galleries stay open. Live music. Food vendors. Holiday decorating class at Dream, the place for South Asian carvings. Wine tasting at the Bottle Shop. Three antique shops, seven art galleries, Kate Altman’s newBowerbird homewares shop, the new Catskill + Co sweets shop, and Hood & Co., where visitors can inspect the (house)wares while being serenaded by proprietor Derek Hood, accompanied by pianist David Spring. Alternatively, GreeneLanders and visitors could converge onWindham, where “Luminous Visions,” a show paintings by Paul Abrams and Kevin Cook opens at the Fine Arts gallery, from 5 pm. Also visit-worthy is “Holiday in the Mountains” crafts show at the Arts Council’s Mountaintop Gallery, 5348 Main Street, Windham. Pottery, quilts, toys, clothing, jewelry, ornaments and more, all available for purchase as holiday gifts. Hours: Friday-Sunday 10-5, Monday-Tuesday 1-5 until January. 518-734-3104, www.greenearts.org . The hot spot tomorrow night, we promise you, will be the Catskill Point bar and restaurant. Just booked for return date is brassy, bawdy, bodacious Lex Grey, with the Urban Pioneers. Lex did a show there last Saturday. billed aptly (by her, we understand) as “Wild on the Waterfront and Hot on the Hudson.” It followed recent gigs in Washington D.C.’s “most decadent establishment” (except for the White House?) and at the Down & Dirty Lounge in Manhattan (with burlesque queen Dirty Martin). If you’ve not seen (and heard!) Lex perform, think Janis Joplin + Tina Turner. Admission to the show, starting at 9 pm., is free. And in the previous hour, drinks will be dispensed at half price. Did I mention that Lex is a resident of Catskill? (She’s NOT connected, incidentally, to a business that has lately come, at least in the form of a headquarters office, to Coxsackie. It’s called, ahem, International Grooving and Grinding. As explained by president John Roberts, the name actually has to do with paving).

FURTHERMORE >Inside/Out, the elegant monthly mid-Hudson gay magazine, is now quartered in GreeneLand. Its transplantation from New Paltz, was celebrated last Saturday night at new publisher Owen Lipstein’s hostelry, Stewart House. Of the 120 participants, only one came in full drag. >Conversion of the former Orens warehouse into an elegant array of apartments and studios actually has begun. This ambitious project (under guidance of Jim Cunliffe), together with what the Bank of Queensland {{that should have been GreeneLand! DM, after the first posting}} has almost completed next to the Post Office and what is envisioned for the former Irving Elementary School (and it’s not just a pipedream) will effectively complete the restorative transformation of downtown Catskill. >Lowes Home Improvement will open before Christmas, unless it doesn’t. WalMart will open soon after. >Incoming: Catskill is about to acquire a new firefighters’rescue truck. And a third picture-framing shop. And its third dance/fitness studio. And a second non-surgical face-lifting operation. Plus a textile design and marketing business. Along with some incredible additions to artifacts at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. And, regrettably, its eighth Main Street café. The newest dance + exercise studio, Catskill Health & Art, housed upstairs in the Zwickel Building (Main & William Streets) will be run by Lisa Annice Baldwin. She and husband Joe Nusbaum are coming up here from West Hurley, says Lisa, “to where the action is.” Joe is a chiropractor—available, we trust, to fix people who don’t get in proper shape under Lisa’s tutelage. The eighth cafe will be a Muddy Cup, directly across from the County building, in the most beautifully restored of the Village’s many beautifully restored downtown buildings. Its incipient arrival is cause for regret only because it will join an already-overcrowded café population, causing pain & suffering to already-struggling competitors. >Catskill’s revived, reconstituted Community Center has become the beneficiary of promised support, $100,000 worth, by the Town and Village governing boards. That funding will cover some renovation costs and will enable the hard-working, unpaid directors to get some hired help. Also in the works is a private fund-raising bash, with the aforementioned Lex Grey doing the star turn. Gratis. It’s her special contribution to her new home town. >With Main Street restoration well under way, Catskill’s driving, driven Village President Vincent Seeley now has his sights set on the West Bridge Streeet corridor, from the Uncle Sam bridge up to the new Catskill Commons. Point of departure for that resurrection, so to speak, is the nearly-finished new headquarters of Rich Rappelyea’s Dimensions North construction company. It’s an appropriate start, since Rich and his crew have become specialists in restoration, and the new quarters will itself be a showplace of their craft. Meanwhile, close to the top end of the West Bridge Street corridor, the former Auto Parts Unlimited building will be getting a makeover, thanks to its acquisition by the Catskill Town Board for use as the ambulance service headquarters. By a 3-2 vote, the $425,000 deal was just approved.

CORRECTION We erroneously reported that the sales tax revenue-sharing plan championed by Forest Cotten, among others, was endorsed by all five Trustees of the Village of Catskill. In a signed comment on our “Share the Wealth” installment of Seeing Greene, Trustee Angelo Amato corrects the record and in doing so highlights an important distinction. Mr Amato welcomes the idea of having a portion of sales tax revenue redistributed by the county, but he opposes the idea of putting the 'refunds' in the hands of local governing boards, to be spent as they see fit. He (among others) would connect the ‘refund’ directly to proportional reductions in local property taxes.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Dick,
Thanks for all the political commentary prior to the election. As always, your column is the place to find the best info. I'm so very surprised that the incumbents locally retained their seats, while all statewide offices were replaced with newcomers. Perhaps the CNN exit polling discussed on Election Night truly does represent our Greene County - "Sure there are problems, but not with my elected official!"

I have to disagree with your assessment of the Muddy Cup, having been a patron of their Hudson store. Unlike every other cafe on Main St., (if Muddy Cup follows the pattern of their Hudson store), they will be open every evening, including weekends, so that if I wish to get a cup of (delicious) espresso in the evening, I have somewhere to go. Home baked decadent desserts to go with the coffee and gourmet teas as well.

Great job covering our county news.