Friday, March 14, 2008

Wearin' o' the Greene

IT’S A WRAP is the name chosen by Denise and Steven Pliego for their healthy-diet-leaning delicatessen and daytime restaurant in Catskill, in the Brando’s Alley site recently vacated by Michael La Rosa. Opening day is set for April 1. That’s the same day that Tina Gagliardy has chosen to open Mahalo, her Hawaiian-accented gift shop on Main Street. And it’s Daniel Murtaugh’s and Josh O’Brien’s target date for opening Café Panini at 26 West Bridge.

ALREADY OPERATING on Main Street (#352; Stan Raven’s refurbished building) of March 1, as of March 1st, is the Satya Yoga Center directed by Jessie Lee Montague and Sondra Loring. According to their web site (, Ms Montague, after being schooled at an ashram in fetid Kerala, India, teaches T. Krishnamachary-shaped “vinyasa flow” drawn from the Iyangar, Anusara and Ashtanga traditions. Ms Loring too favors the Ashtanga and Iyengar ways; her classes exemplify “vinyasa style infused with her somatic knowledge of yoga texts.”

CANCELED: the Cole All-Star Circus that for the past 17 years has been brought by the Catskill Kiwanis Club to the High School gymnasium. The show had been scheduled for this Sunday but, in the words of the club’s directors, was canceled “because we were not able to come to an accommodation with the school administration for the use of the… gymnasium.” That is a polite way of saying that the school administration balked at terms of accommodation that for all the previous years had been acceptable. The annual show had entertained, gratis, hundreds of Firemen’s Home residents and thousands of area children. Ticket sales to adults yielded modest sums which made up a fraction of what the Kiwanians dispensed to school-related causes.

CELEBRATED at an open house Wednesday evening (3/12) in Coxsackie’s Heermance Memorial Library: that institution’s 100th birthday (the 100th year, to the day, when the library was chartered by the State of New York). An elaborate exhibition devised by Lynn Drees Breslin and many contributors--Andrew Berlin, Bill Johns, Mark Margalin, Janet Atkins, Marilyn Rausch, Tom Nelson-- was unveiled, and is now on show.

STUDIO-C is the name of a “creative arts networking coalition” that GreeneLanders Brian Branigan and Allison Culbertson have instigated. “The idea,” says Brian, “is to create a network so that area artists and creative types get themselves known and draw attention to their individual businesses.” To launch the project and to warm up for the 2009 Hudson River quadricentennial celebration, Brian and Allison will screen classic films in riverside parks between New York City and Troy on weekends this summer. Along with collaborators, (members and sponsors), they aim “to sprinkle art culture in various communities and have fun.” The successive events also are “open to area poets, filmmakers, musicians, artists and craftspeople.” Read all about it as

RECOVERING at St Peter’s hospital in Albany, from the acquisition last week of two new surgically implanted knees, is GreeneLand elections commissioner Frank de Benedictus. He’s doing the rehabilitation, at age 82. Meanwhile, his fellow commissioner, Tom Burke, has been back at work for several weeks, although he has not recovered fully from effects of a stroke and a quadruple bypass. In addition, Hilary Manning-Lundy, the Greene-tinged Briton who has run the Wilder Gallery in downtown Catskill, is recuperating from an apparently successful bone marrow transplant that was aimed at battling leukemia. She was the beneficiary, to the tune of more than $1000, of a benefit on March 1 in the Doubles II party rooms.

FORTIFIED by a $4 capital infusion, according to a Multiple-Housing News report (2/27) is Tower Management Co., developers of the up-scale Catskill Creek Condominiums (fronting on—would you believe?—Catskill Creek in Catskill). The project is comprised of 24 creek-side dwellings (three bedrooms or four), with ten more units planned. The new money may account for the recent renewal of advertising for the project, with Weichert Realty doing the marketing and prices quoted as “from $279,900.” That figure price is higher than what is being asked, in an adjacent display ad, for a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom place at Sleepy Hollow Lake: $249,500.

AND SPEAKING of real estate ads, Red Apple Realty, in touting a certain dilapidated dwelling, invites prospective buyers to “clean your clock and this house while your [sic.] at it.”

HONORED? According to a story in The Daily Mail (3/12), “the nation’s leading independent bank rating research firm” has bestowed an “Exceptional Performance” crown on The Bank of Greene County, which for 66 consecutive quarters won the firm’s “5-Star Superior” rating. The story’s opening sentence recounts what that rating firm “proudly announces” but does not disclose when or where the announcement was made. Also, while ostensibly quoting what “Karen L. Dorway, president of the research firm,” said about the award, the report does not say where or when the lady spoke. And at no point does the report supply that firm’s name.

TODAY (Friday, 3/14/08) is the 157th anniversary of a devastating Catskill fire that destroyed many buildings, and killed many horses, between Broad Street and the Creek. Severely damaged were the Greene County Hotel, Franklin House, Beach’s Livery Stables, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Baptist church. A Greene County Whig reporter opined (maniacally? and redundantly) that “The leaping waves of flame, as they swept up the tall spires of the Churches, with snake-like rapidity, conspired to render the scene sublimely grand and magnificent.”

TOMORROW (Saturday, 3/15) is a Too Much day, with tempting, competing attractions all over GreeneLand. In Tannersville, at 1pm, an almost-St Patrick’s Day parade will head west up Main Street from the Village Hall, culminating at O’Neill’s Public House with appropriate Irish festivities. (589-0208 or 589-5658).

In Acra, at the Agroforestry Resource Center, from 10am, Cornell Co-Operative Extension mavens will teach and show all about utilizing maple trees, for syrup and other purposes.

In Athens, from 5:30pm, a fund-raiser for the Cultural Center’s façade project has been organized by John McInerney on the model of “an Irish Siamsa (pronounced seem-shu) where people sing, dance and tell stories to sustain and redefine traditional culture in their own style.” For this occasion “satire is welcome, though not obligatory, as are silly hats and costumes. Be as serious, as profound or as ridiculous as you wish. The more contributions there are the more fun it will be.”

In East Durham a cabaret, “It’s a Great Day for the Irish!” will be performed at Weldon House (Route 145; telephone 6342286). It’s a kickoff production led by Mary Ellen Petti with support of the new Performing Arts committee of Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre. Another performance will be given on Sunday.

In Catskill, the firefighters are serving a corned beef & cabbage dinner ($9 for adults) between 3 and 7pm at the Central Avenue firehouse, and on Main Street’s it’s Saturday Studios time. Gallery Association president David Griffin invites strollers to “join us for a glass of art history,” saluting “two landmarks…: the one-year anniversary of the founding of the Catskill Gallery Association, and the lifting of the century-old ban on absinthe! This potent liquor, made of distillate of wormwood, has long been associated with various art movements in France and America, including the Impressionists, the Symbolists and the Decadents, who considered the drink a source of inspiration and referred to its effects as ‘dancing with the green fairy’.” Included in the studio events (from 6pm) will be an M Gallery unveiling of “The Piano Player,” a new Patrick Milbourn creation, first in a contemplated series of giclee-process pictures that evoke, while also transcending, the cherished posters he created in past years for the Arts Council’s Beaux Arts Ball. Moreover, from 9pm on, the rocking and/or rolling Digits will serenade Creekside Restaurant patrons.

SUNDAY’S activities could begin with a big breakfast at the Kiskatom Firehouse, starting at 8am. The cost is $6 for adults, except for the superannuated, who get a $1 discount. In Catskill, 2pm, at the Catskill Bookshop (347 Main St), Tony de Vito offers a Writers’ Read-In (prose or verse). or (518)966-0438. In the evening, at the Athens Cultural Center, Jerry Miller will illuminate “Strategies in Street Photography.” (945-2866;; ). milbourn_cropprint2.jpg


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