Phyllis Tarlow Fine Art - Hudson From Bear Mt
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Archive for January, 2010

Supporting the Verplanck Fire Department

Verplanck Fire Department

As a lifelong resident of the tiny hamlet of Verplanck, I am proud that my great grandfather was among the founding members of the Verplanck Fire Department  (VFD) now on 8th Street in Verplanck, NY, and my father also served in the department. 

The VFD celebrated 80th birthday last year!  The VFD is a volunteer fire department located in Westchester County, NY. They primarily serve and protect the residential hamlet of Verplanck within the Town of Cortlandt. In addition to this residential area, the Verplanck Fire District includes several commercial sites including the Indian Point nuclear power station located in the neighboring town of Buchanan.

The Department answers approximately 200 alarms per year, consisting of Fire Alarms, EMS, Auto Accidents, Boating Incidents on the Hudson River, and other emergencies. We provide mutual aid to our neighboring departments of Montrose and Buchanan as well as the City of Peekskill.

Besides the obvious reason of supporting my local fire department, I’m excited to have the chance of winning a 52″ Samsung HDTV & Samsung Home Theater System w/Blu-ray player! $5 a ticket or 5 for $20! 

Verplanck Fire Dept Raffle

The drawing will be Sunday July 18, 2010 *** THE WINNER MUST PICK UP THE PRIZE AT THE VERPLANCK FIREHOUSE IN VER…PLANCK NY OR PAY ALL SHIPPING COSTS*** If you would like to purchase tickets please send an email to verplanckfire@gmail.com with your order. Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number along with how.many tickets you want. 

You will receive your tickets along with a self- addressed stamped envelope. When you get the tickets, just return the ticket stubs along with your payment. If you plan to pay by check, please make check payable to the Verplanck Fire Protective Association.

 Follow the Verplanck Fire Department is on Facebook

 As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!

Learning about the Ice Industry in the Hudson Valley

Growing up with the Lake Meahagh and Hudson River in my backyard, I’ve heard my father tell stories of how this area once served as the Hudson Valley’s major ice industry.  Yesterday we went to the 4th Annual Knickerbocker Ice Festival at Rockland Lake State Park in Rockland County.  

Knickerbocker Ice Festival 2010 @ Rockland Lake

We attended the lecture The Rise & Demise of the Hudson River Ice Industry: Urban Needs & Rural Responses presented by Speaker: Wendy Harris, Principal Archeologist, Craigsmoor Consulting.  There where two points that stood out to me; the very same factors that were responsible for the rise of the ice industry were the very same factors that were responsible for its demise.  Two of these factors were the demand and technical advances.  The demand for ice became more and more important; first enabling the growth of the industry, later, unable to keep up with the advances with electricity (ice boxes, then refrigerators), lead to the demise.  It is also amazing to me that the life cycle of such an important era of time only lasted approximately 30 years from start to finish (approximately 1835- 1865).  Read more about the Story of Knickerbocker Ice Company and Rockland Lake and visit The Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain, Inc. or one of the many local historical groups.      

 Additional resources:

Palisades Parks Conservancy
Parks and Trails New York
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York – New Jersey Trail Conference

Hudson River Valley Greenway
Hudson River Valley Heritage. Type “Rockland Lake” in the search box for great photo archives of Rockland Lake 

 Then it was on to see the ice sculptures.  This year, four competing Ice Sculptors (Dan Bergin, Earl Covington, John Hedbavny, and Rob Patalano) were scheduled to participate.  Unfortunately when we were there only three sculptors were sculpting and we were only able to see two of them.  By the time we walked to the third sculptor, the sun (while making for a nice day) was too warm, making it dangerous for the ice sculptor to work unless wrapped in a covered tented area….darn.  But, we did enjoy seeing two sculptors and their works of ice.

Drawing of Woolly Mammoth Ice Sculpture

Woolly Mammoth In the Making

Woolly Mammoth being attacked by Saber Tooth Tiger in the Making

Woolly Mammoth being Attacked by Saber Tooth Tiger in the Making-

As an added pleasure, we were delighted to see and meet so many local artists as they set up their easels and painted the beautiful landscapes surrounding the lake!  We enjoyed meeting Phyllis Tarlow of Phyllis Tarlow Fine Art / Portraits from Hartsdale.  We watched and listened as Phyllis shared with us her love of painting landscapes and discovering new areas around the Hudson Valley to inspire her next painting!  Thank you Phyllis for sharing your love of the Hudson Valley with so many of us through your paintings!

Phyllis Tarlow at Knickerbocker Ice Festival 2010

We also enjoyed meeting Marylyn Vanderpool local artist from Harriman, NY.  Marylyn’s love of the Hudson Valley, her energetic spirit comes alive through her watercolors as she captures the beauty that surrounds us so eloquently.

Marylyn Vanderpool at Knickerbocker Ice Festival 2010

We briefly stopped to listen to award-winning storyteller Jonathan Kruk  Dressed in costume Jonathan tells colorful tales spun from the lore of historic Hudson Valley! Jonathan’s ability to truly capture his audience is amazing—you get drawn into his story and eagerly await the ending! Together with folk balladeer Rich Bala, they travel around the many villages & communities of the Hudson River and beyond since 1990, performing the region’s tunes, tales, and traditions at schools, museums, libraries, camps and historic sites. Thank you for sharing your storytelling talent with so many of us.  You can also purchase Jonathan’s tales on CD.

Storyteller Jonathan Kruk

Whew, as if the day hadn’t been exciting and different enough, we held true to our love of dining in the Hudson Valley and decided on Henry’s on the Hudson located at 634 Main Street, Peekskill, NY.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner overlooking the Peekskill Bay on the Hudson River all the while listening Mike play his guitar.  Mike’s selection of songs was fabulous!  Mike’s relaxing music combined with the spectacular view made for great evening. 

 I enjoyed shrimp over angel hair pasta and my honey satisfied his taste buds (and stomach LOL) with chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables.  But wait, oh yes, those of you that follow my dinning in the Hudson Valley excursions know that we love dessert!  My honey’s famous line is “there is always room for dessert”!  Tonight being no exception we shared the   Chocolate Explosion which was a dark, dense chocolate decadence in an individual dessert with a rich creamy ganache oozing from the center and served with creamy vanilla ice cream…. oooohhh the most “wonderful” ending to a “wonderful” day!

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!

Eagles on the Hudson

Each time I see a Bald Eagle I stand in amazement and watch as it flys overhead or sits perched in a tree.  While we do not do many of our famous “day-trips” during the winter months, we decided to spend this weekend eagle scouting.  We simply couldn’t resist as our backyard (the lower Hudson Valley) sees more and more eagles each year along the majestic Hudson River.

 

According to a NYTimes.com article “…last year, Bald Eagles were once plentiful in New York. But by 1976, only one pair of eaglets remained. Environmentalists blamed pesticides, particularly DDT (which was banned in 1972), for interfering with the raptors’ ability to reproduce.

 

Today, roughly 500 bald eagles winter in New York (they migrate here when the waters begin to freeze in Canada and Nova Scotia), and 143 pairs remain in the state during the summer. Dr. Koontz said that eight pairs had stayed year-round in the lower Hudson Valley.”

 

With so many places to choose from, we decided to check out the places best known for spotting eagles.  On our list, Croton Point Park in Croton-On-Hudson, NY. While we did not see to many eagles, we did enjoy a great walk (of course we lucked out with Saturday being Spring like with temps nearing 50° F) along the Westchester RiverWalk which is a 51.5 mile pathway paralleling the Hudson River connecting some 14 towns/ villages/municipalities in Westchester.  More details about the Westchester RiverWalk.

 

 

On our way out of Croton Point Park we (and many many others) were shocked to see this hawk (we believe a Red Tail Hawk) just sitting in the field.  So many people were walking around him (at a safe distance but none-the-less) and he didn’t move.  I don’t think that was a good sign that he didn’t move or seem to be bothered by everyone lurking around and taking his picture.  Beautiful as he is, I’m fearful he was sick.

 

 

red-tailed-hawk-croton-point-park

Then Sunday morning we went out early (leaving the house by 8:00am is early for us on a Sunday LOL!).  We headed to Fleischmann Pier in Peekskill, NY.

 

fleischmanns-pier

Here we were successful in our eagle scouting adventure! 

Eagle on the Hudson @ Fleischmann's Pier

Eagle on the Hudson @ Fleischmann's Pier

 

 

 

 

Eagles @ Fleischmann's Pier

Eagles @ Fleischmann's Pier

 

Then it was off to Charles Point Marina just a short distance down the road from Fleischmann Pier.  There we saw a beautiful eagle perched in the tree! I was so excited! I only wish it wasn’t such an overcast / gray day and the picture was a bit clearer, oh well, it was still a great day!

 

eagle-pirched-in-tree-at-charles-point-marina2

 

Then on to my hometown of Verplanck, NY to steamboat dock.  There we were thrilled to see the most eagles we’d seen so far.  We watched as the eagles (about 4 or 5) enjoyed a ride down the river on the ice! 

It was a wonderful weekend!

 

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today! :)

Winter's sunshine

Winter's sunshine

  

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Returns!

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2010

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2010

Okay so many of your already know that my fiancé (a.k.a. “my honey”) and I enjoy traveling around the Hudson Valley and we enjoy eating at the many delectable restaurants (especially those along the Hudson River providing waterfront dining) we are surrounded by.

 

Lucky for us the 4th Annual Hudson Valley Restaurant Week begins March 15th and goes through March 28th! During these 14 days, your can enjoy three-course prix-fixe lunches for $20 and/or three-course dinners for $28 (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).  With so many “wonderful” farms across the Hudson Valley, many of the chefs include locally grown products to compliment your meal and provide an even greater sense of all the pride and beauty the Hudson Valley has to offer.

 

Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley

 

 

So whether you are in Ulster or Westchester, Columbia or Dutchess or any of the 7 surrounding counties, why not try a few of the nearly 90 restaurants participating in this “wonderful” event.

 

We have had the pleasure of dinning at four of these restaurants and are looking forward to adding as many more as we can to our list of dinning experiences during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.  As always, we look forward to sharing our dinning experiences with you and encourage you to share your dinning experiences with us by leaving a comment below.

 

 

 

2010-hudson-valley-restaurant-week-participating-restaurants3

 

 

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!:)

 

A visit to Olana

As much as I love our famous “day-trips” they are not as frequent during the winter months  as I find it more difficult to deal with the colder temps.  My poor hands and feet get chilled so fast the older I get LOL!

Today was a blustery cold and windy day here in the lower Hudson Valley as we ventured out headed toward the Mid-Hudson Valley Region.  Traveling west on Bear Mt. Road was the most amazing views including massive ice draped along the mountain as if it were a blanket keeping the earth covered over until springs’ thaw.

Ice Draped Mountain along Bear Mt.

Ice Draped Mountain along Bear Mt.

Continuing on our venture we headed toward Hudson, NY to “Olana“, the Persian style home of the famous Hudson River School artist Frederick Church.  This beautiful home sits high on a hill surrounded by the beauty and “wonder” of the Hudson Valley.  “Olana” is a derivative from Arabic, meaning “Our place on high” is located in some 260 acres of valley, woodland and meadows. 

Frederic Church's Olana

Frederic Church's Olana

Artist Frederic Edwin Church was hugely popular during the mid nineteenth century.  He was very well know for his canvases of American and foreign landscapes. Mr. Church and his wife traveled all over the world, all the time collecting furniture, mementos and architectural ideas. When the Churches decided to build a house overlooking the Hudson River they initially hired society architect Richard Morris Hunt, who designed them a French chateau. Mr. Church nixed these plans with his own ideas to create the exotic Persian-style structure. Inside and out Olana, was designed to capture the breathtaking views surrounded by windows that were tinted and/or framed to showcase the beauty of the views. 

 frederic-churchs-olana-state-historic-site olana formal-entrance-of-olana olana3 olana4 olana5 olana6 ombra-balcony-at-olana 

The most beautiful Arabic symbol meaning “Thou Art Welcome” adores the vestibule and welcomes guests.

Thou Art Welcome

Thou Art Welcome

So whether you like the Morris style or the Persian flare, there is no disputing the magnificent architectural design of Olana.  While we were not permitted to take pictures inside Olana, trust me that the inside reflected the same majesty yet with a more welcoming and home feeling welcomed you in each room. 

 view-from-olana2

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today! :)

Winter’s Passionate Sky

Winter’s Passionate Sky

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