Friday, July 08, 2005

Lively Days Ahead

FLASH. Prospect of sale of Catskill’s Community Theater--long on the market; often ‘almost’ sold--is hotter than ever. Proprietor Tom Thornton denies that a contract has been inked for the movie house (and quondam Vaudeville venue, with adjacent storefronts), but confirms that an offer has been made and rates it “the best we’ve ever had.” Prospective buyer is rumored (vs. reported, known, confirmed, etc.) to be a young New York businessman who is more than solvent. Meanwhile, and separately, we hear that Sundance Film organization could be interested in the place as a venue for screening independent films. Details to follow when/as/if ascertained.

IMMINENT MOUNTAINWARD: Mountain Culture Festival, at Catskill Mountain Foundation grounds in Hunter. Music, films, crafts, hikes, food, farm work displays, performers…. Both days from 10am.

  • Amati Music Festival, devoted to “European Romantics,” at Windham Performing Arts Center, from 8 pm.
  • Alps Festival, with yodeler, puppets, Schulplatter dancers, German food…, at Bavarian Manor in Purling, this weekend and next weekend. or (518)622-3385.
  • Windham Chamber Music Festival, next Saturday night (7/16). Excellent program, including new composition by conductor Robert Manno. Reservations: 518-734-6378 or or

IMMINENT RIVERWARD: Athens Street Festival. 95 booths+ parade+fireworks+classic cars+music+cruises+shows. Saturday (7/9) from 10am. Check

  • Fishing Tournament off Catskill Point. Sunday Qualifying event for New Jersey and Pennsylvania members of ABA (=American Bass Anglers, not American Bar Association).
  • Sunday Salon at Thomas Cole’s Cedar Grove, in Catskill, with Robert M. Toole dilating on history of the grounds of the artist’s studio and home. From 2pm.
  • Auction of tax-foreclosed GreeneLand properties, at Elks Lodge, 45 North Jefferson Ave, Catskill. Some land, some buildings, some wrecks. Info at Printed catalogue mentions 42 properties, a shrinkage (via last-minute payments) from 76, but further shrinkage has cut actual choices to 30. Check out numbers 41 (Cairo) and 63 (Tannersville) for haunted house-style quaintness. Auctioneer gets a commission from seller and from buyer. Latter is speciously called “buyer’s premium.”

MID-WAY: Irish Arts Week, July 10-15, 60 classes daily devoted to traditional Celtic music and other arts, culminating Saturday (7/16) in Irish Music Festival, at Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre, E. Durham. Info at 634-2286 and/or

VERSO is the name bestowed by Harold Hanson on downtown Catskill’s fourth art gallery. This one is distinctive—apart from stench of tobacco--for emphasis not only on pictures and sculptures but also on well-designed modern objects for use: glasses, pitchers, chairs, ware. It’s right next door, at 388 Main Street, to office of Northeast Journal of Arts and Antiques from which Harold has just retired as publisher (and founder). Verso means back of a printed page, and/or left-hand page at back of an elegantly printed book.

OPENING next Saturday (7/16), with “collaborative installation” (all hands on materials), under title “Breaking the Vicious Cycle, and Other Invocations” (I inserted the comma), featuring work of five artists, is new show at Open Studio, just up from Verso at 402 Main Street.

NEXT UP on Catskill gallery scene is festive opening July 29th of Brick (or maybe Brik) gallery, Frank Cuthbert’s gem. And Patrick Milbourn vows that his new Main Street gallery, having been relieved of effects of buckled floorboards, will open—“certain sure”— September 10th. Thespian duties will not daunt him. TOUTED: GreeneLander Elizabeth Stevens who, says Paul Smart in Ulster Times, “knows how to make an art scene happen.” She learned her craft by running several contemporary art galleries in New York City, applied it locally when she curated the Blakelock and Inness exhibits here at Thomas Cole’s Cedar Grove, and now is directing the “hothothot Yellow Bird Gallery…complete with hiphiphip store and roof terrace” in Newburgh. She felicitously blends technical knowledge with “the same quirky sensibility that draws us all into the Hudson Valley.”

MARTHA CHRONICLES. Her trial on multiple fraud charges (discussed earlier in Seeing Greene) evidently will take place later this year in U.S. District Court in Syracuse. Meanwhile, GreeneLand’s Martha Ivery is free on $50,000 bond and has achieved national scam celebrity. An Associated Press report on Thursday (7/7) appeared in nearly all big U.S. newspapers, as well as in smaller papers and broadcast news organs. Reporter Michael Hill’s story leads with the case of an Ohio woman who allegedly encountered all sorts of grief, and substantial expense, in the expectation of getting her story Frumpy’s Grumpy Day published by Martha. “Ivery not only ran Press-TIGE out of the sleepy [sic.]town of Catskill, N.Y.,” Hill goes on to say, “but posed as a literary agent named Kelly O'Donnell, federal prosecutors say. “Clients worked with both O'Donnell and Ivery without being told they were the same person. After the Sept. 11 attacks, Ivery told writers that O'Donnell died in the World Trade Center and O'Donnell said Ivery died in the attacks, according to A.C. Crispin, a science fiction writer who co-founded the scam-busting Writer Beware Web site....” Conducting Martha’s defense will be the formidable Richard Mott, who is better known around the Mid-Hudson for representing clients who are charged with crimes of violence. Mott succeeded here back in 1998, against tough odds, in getting “T J” Hall acquitted of a murder rap. He is currently defending Tina Brandt in a Hudson trial for burglary and murder in connection with death of Livingston fruit farmer Henry Gropp. (Also appearing for other defendants in that case are ace GreeneLand defense lawyers Dennis Schlenker and Greg Lubow). HISTORICAL SOCIETY may expand territorially so as to achieve frontage, hence greater visibility, on Route 9W in Coxsackie. It will happen if terms of deal to acquire Pet & Chow facilities are worked out.

VENDING. While regularly selling vintage hickory-shafted mashie-niblicks on eBay, GreeneLander Wayne Marquoit occasionally hawks other items, such as classic intact baseball bats (a Rogers Hornsby signature model Louisville Slugger…), a left-handed catcher’s mitt, or a model Minuteman missile (level 6; a few bucks at yard sale; $100-plus to determined collector). He did not peddle the new bicycle whose packaging included instructions concerning the bell: "The structure of this bell is not able to dismantle. Improper use of disable the bell will cause eternal damage."

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