September 18th, 2011
Got kids? Grandkids? Know kids? How about just young and heart? Make plans to be at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside next Sunday, September 25th for Celebrate Children’s Book Day.
From noon to 6 pm the grounds of historic, romantic Sunnyside estate will host over 60 children’s book authors and illustrators, many of whom reside in our own backyard.
There will be readings, demonstrations, signings, magic, and even music-provided by Irvington’s own Carole Demas and Paula Janis-co-creators and stars of the beloved TV series, The Magic Garden.
A day spent celebrating children’s books would not be complete without some very special guest appearances, so also look to meet up with Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bunnicula, Franklin the Turtle, and Biscuit!
As the cool aunt and uncle, Doug and I are familiar with some, but be sure to check out two of my new favorites, the husband and wife team of Susanna Reich and Gary Golio. Each is multi-talented and award-winning in their own right, they also just happen to be married.
Susanna’s unique set of life experiences and her love of dance, music and history all come together her books. For example, in Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin, the story is told of the 19th century painter whose art both chronicled and championed the rights of Native Americans during a difficult time in our nation’s history. Then, Penelope Baily Takes the Stage the reader journeys right along with a 9 year old who dreams of being an actress, in a time and place when it was not the proper thing to do.
Gary’s books take a more modern, but still decidedly unique approach. Fascinated by art in almost any form-the artist and the finished product, as well as the process, his love of 60′s music comes through loud and clear: His inaugural When Bob Met Woody, was followed by JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow and tell the stories of our musical heroes in their younger years, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. (Watch for Spirit Seeker: The Musical Journey of John Coltrane next spring).
Books, by their very presence bring heart and soul into your life, and your space. They bring you places you could not have imagined on your own, how cool is it for someone you love to have that awareness so early on?
Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 seniors, $6.00 children 5-17, and free to children under 5, and includes a tour of the the historic home as well. The day is divided into segments, and last admission is at 5pm.
Click here for schedule, list of authors and illustrators, or to buy tickets. Hope to see you there!
July 8th, 2011
Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra: Summer Series at Lasdon Park, Somers NY
One of the best memories I have of being a child are outdoor entertainment, on beautiful summer nights.
Although I hated the John Wayne-Walt Disney double headers my parents insisted we see, LOVED going to the Starlight and Elmsford Drive-Ins (sadly, now Croton Stop and Shop, and Sam’s Club) …watching movies, in the car, in our pajamas was quite a novelty!!
Then there were the Ossining Firemen’s Parades. They ended in Nelson Park, and again, music under the stars, on a blanket…it was bliss. For the next 4 Saturday evenings (July 9-16-23-30) bliss returns. The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra begins another magical season at Lasdon Park, titled Midsummer Night Music.
You lie on your back, bare feet in the grass, as the sunset streaks across the sky, watching another day end, as delightful music is created.
You bring whatever you want-chairs or blankies, food or beverages of your choice. Some people come very, very prepared; there is also food for sale there.
Gates open at 5pm, music is 6-8, with one intermission.
Parking is free on the great front lawn. It’s a haul up the hill, but shuttle buses run continously.
Parents with young children-this might be a good night to book a sitter: there are no special facilities to entertain children; in fact, quiet in the audience is rule. Adult tickets are $17.00, seniors are $12.00, kids 6-12 $5.00, 5 and under are free.
Bring a blanket, and someone you love.
February 13th, 2011
Grab your calendars, and your address book: your best justification for catching up with friends, having a new dining experience, while pumping up the local economy is coming!
The 5th Annual Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is returning, running March 14th thru the 27th…
OK, I know< technically, that’s 2 weeks, but all the more opportunities for yum-a-licious adventures, at great savings.
Simply, participating restaurants offer complete lunches for $20.00, dinners for $28.00. REALLY.
Many offer prix fix menus, along with the regular fare, and some may exclude certain days… to have your choice of destinations, go to the site now for listing of restaurants. Listed by county, in alphabetical order, so scroll all the way down for Westchester-easy to see menus, hours, locations, etc. Check it out, and make your reservations today!
February 11th, 2011
Need a boost? Or maybe the makings of a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner? This weekend there are 4 indoor Farmer’s Markets where you can make your inner foodie very happy:
Community Markets co-ordinates a network of local growers, bakers, and other purveyors year-round. This Saturday, February 12th from 9am to 1 pm there will be 3 markets:
-Briarcliff Congregational Church, North State Road, just off Pleasantville Road
-Mt. Kisco Boys and Girls Club, Main Street, near Northern Westchester Hospital
-Mamaroneck, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 168 Boston Post Road
Great website, click link above for more info, including scheduled vendors and entertainment, recipes, and FAQs about natural and organic foods.
Sunday February 13th is the date of the monthly Westchester-County-sponsored indoor market at the County Center in White Plains, from 10am til 3pm.
This month, my favorite radio station, 107.1 The Peak will be part of the fun. Follow link above for more info-but here’s a tip: use the commuter lot diagonally across the street, just feed the meter.
29 days til Daylight Savings kicks in, and only 36 days til Spring arrives-YAY!!!!
December 14th, 2010
Being in NYC’s backyard, we in Westchester are doubly-blessed. Close to the big blow-out events, closer to that same range of talent, in a more intimate setting, with a lot less hassle.
Be it comedy, drama, music or dance-the gift of entertainment is unexpected, both open-ended and specific, and always the right size. PLUS-because outdoor activities are limited in the winter, theater schedules are usually the fullest, so lots to choose from.
Gift certificates can be purchased in any amount at the box offices, or online; check with theaters for any subscription offers they may have. Wrap a great idea creatively, to surprise that special someone, how about tucking it inside a big box of Good and Plenty, or Jujubes?
Here are a few good local places to start your search…with Christmas 8 days away, don’t delay!
The Emlin Theater in Mamaroneck is in it’s 39th year of providing quality entertainmentof all varieties. One third of their programs are children/family-friendlyl their Family Subscription discounts 20% for 5 or more of the many, many upcoming kids shows.
Jacob Burns Film Center Located in the heart of Pleasantville, I have written about this gem before. Very thoughtfully chosen mix of films, but of special note are their festivals-a chosen topic or star is featured in various works over say two weeks. Also-’An Evening With’ series, where actors/directors view a film with the audience and then Q&A.
Paramount Center for the Arts Debuting in June of 1930, the Paramount has been fully, beautifully and lovingly restored this past decade-just walking in and sitting down is a pleasure.
Great selection of music, theater, dance, and courtesy of Franzoso Contracting, Free Movie Nights, and looking into the future, I have 2 words: Englebert Humperdink. (4/27/11, REALLY).
Tarrytown Music Hall Opened in 1885, this is another historic treasure. Work to historically renovate and green update is on-going, and the craftsmanship is something to behold.
They typically draw 80,000 visitors annually, almost half of them children. Over the years we have seen Dave Brubeck, Dave Bromberg, several classic movies. They are ringing in the New Year big-time with Greg Allman, and have a heck of a schedule in the months to come.
Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase If I had to define a difference, PAC shows are uncommonly good.
Ballet, opera, chamber music and symphonies, make up the bulk of their programming, often hosting artists from around the world. But I also saw the late comedian George Carlin there 2002. And Pilobolus is coming!!
December 12th, 2010
“Astonished” is a good word to describe most people’s reaction when the first super bookstore opened here. BOOKS?? And they want you to sit down, drink coffee and read, even if you don’t buy??
Conventional wisdom had them there not too long. Well, WHO KNEW, these would come to be such hopping places, full of people seeking both knowledge and camaraderie at 10 PM on Saturday nights?
While recent years have not been kind to places like this, our passion for ongoing learning has not abated.
A holiday gift that embraces, enhances and encourages another’s gifts and curiosities could be a most welcome surprise, so here are a few local ones you may not have thought of:
The New York Botanical Gardens -They offer year-round programs/classes for kids and teens; Gardening, Horticulture, Photography, Floral, and Landscape Design are some of the adult ed classes coming up. There is also a dandy of a Winter Lecture Series starting in January.
Gift certificates are available for classes or lectures, they can also be separately purchased for the gift shop; additionally gift memberships are $75.00. How cool would it be to find one of those folded up inside a new pair of garden gloves, or in an emptied seed envelope, in the toe of your stocking?
Know someone who’s had the interest, but perhaps not the time for music lessons? No time like the present (!!) to start.
The Westchester School of Guitar works one on one with any age or experience level, on every facet from traditional lessons for the beginner, to composing and techniques for the more advanced students.
Owner and founder Jeff Brown (left) has s been teaching guitar for 30 years, and feels it is the intuition he has developed on how each different student can be best taught that has accounted for the success and growth of the business.
Very conveniently located in Briarcliff, they offer a complimentary intro lesson, and a 4-lesson ‘try-out package’, as well as 12 week tri-mester.
Any drummer wanna-bes in your life? Simply, John Arrucci is the one you want to know.
As a percussionist, John has composed, performed, taught, recorded and traveled extensively for nearly 3 decades. He works with percussion instruments from many different cultures, all around the world, and offers private classes in composition, drumsets, percussion and piano.
Westchester Skating Academy in Elmsford, and theIce Casino at Playland both offer ice-skating classes for all ages and levels, both figure skating and hockey instruction.
Don’t overlook WCC! A SUNY school, their Spring schedule (starting mid-January) is chock-full of things include lessons in 9 different languages; plus courses in Writing, Dance, Film, Art History, Cooking, Politics, Wine Appreciation, Tai Chi, Area Rug Making, Boxing and …well, you get the picture.
It’s close, and quite affordable: while costs vary, but many 5 or 6 session courses are in the $60.00-100.00 range. While the student would have to register themselves, you can still surprise them with an appropriate small gift-like a book, or accessopry on the topic, with the course description tucked away inside…
Like the idea, but none of these exactly right? Or maybe you’re not so local? Just look around, chances are the perfect gift is right there, in your own backyard.
August 9th, 2010
Quotes inspire me. Several years ago Ellyn Spragins put together her first book of letters famous and semi-famous women wrote to their younger selves, What I Know Now.
Reflecting on what was a dark and stressful time in her 30′s, full of work, family obligation and illness, Olympia Dukakis counseled her younger self, observing that “‘You will come to understand that by purposefully capturing happy moments, you expand the soul.”
On a daily basis I misplace keys, glasses, and the like; and torture myself with-did I lock the door/leave water for the dog/flush?-but I remember this quote, it always centers me.
Sunday I not only purposefully captured a bunch of happy moments on my own, I witnessed others doing the same.
Two wonderful, funny and very smart friends-Deb Swee and Patrice Costa-after both jumping ship from their corporate backgrounds- launched a new venture; Doug and I-along with Bruce and Ginny* attended the inaugural event. (*Regular readers will know that Bruce and Ginny are Dougs’ and my partners in crime fairly often; always up for a new adventure, or checking out a new place, they are voracious foodies, and this was definitely up their alley.)
Culinary Collaborations www.culinarycollaboration.com looks to their fan base for feedback in creating all types of interactive food events. Upcoming events include an organic farm tasting/tour, making gnocchi with Hannah Hopkins of TV’s Chopped! , Seafood 101 and a more casual Burgers and Sides event.
Our event Sunday was Sunday Supper at Cutillo’s Restaurant in Carmel. The house Chef Patrick Cutillo was raised in has now been open as a restaurant since the early 90′s, an running it really is a family affair.
The first event was making fresh mozzarella-right in front of us! Cheese curd, hot water and salt, who knew?? I just assumed you needed to be in proximity to dairy animals to make cheese…something I was pretty sure the co op board would not be pleased with.
Said mozzarella quickly became a delicious Caprese salad; and was followed by pork tenderloin with peach brandy sauce, Giombotto (a diced and simmered vegetable dish) and Aborino rice.
Not only a great meal enjoyed in a charming setting with a very social group, but a unique and-seriously-very reasonably priced experience: this event-cooking lessons, and 3 course meal with glass of wine, coffee, tax and gratuity was $67.00 per person.
New events are always being planned, check it out, your soul will thank you!!
June 28th, 2010
Growing up, some of my fondest summer memories were the Ossining Fire Dept parade, outdoor concerts on blankets at Nelson Park, and occasional trips to Playland, or to one of the two Drive-Ins, Starlight in Croton (now the Shop Rite Shopping Plaza) or Elmsford Drive-In, now the Sams Club compound.
Time marches on, but happy to share easy connections to some of the classics, and some newer finds.
62nd Annual Mamaroneck Carnival and Fireman’s Parade Carnival June 29-July 5 7 PM-Midnight at Harbor Island Park, parade 7PM on the 30th, FIREWORKS on the 4th, Rain Date on the 5th.
Cool Jazz in the Summertime Mark Morganelli, Founder of Jazz Forum Arts, is in his 31st year of making great music accessible to us all.
He plays year-round with his group, the Jazz Forum All-Stars, but has also he has orchestrated another summer of free music, 30 concerts in all.-different acts, all thru Westchester, all summer. http://www.jazzforumarts.org/Summer-2010.pdf
Westchester County sponsors a ton of events, but their site can be dicey to navigate., so here is link you want to keep handy all season long: .http://parks.westchestergov.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1824&Itemid=4033
It’s your pass to free movies, fairs and different ethnic festivals, more concerts, (DO NOT miss the ones at Lasdon) Playland, fireworks, golf-well, you get the point.
Buying and eating food grown locally is good for us all. Farmers Markets Community Markets has been developing and managing local Farmers Markets since 1991, and while I typically only include links to non-profit and community events, there is just so much good here-locations, schedules, recipes, and-foodies take note-even profiles of the growers and other food artisans http://www.communitymarkets.biz/index.php
Walter’s Hot Dogs in Mamaroneck Since 1928, 937 Palmer Avenue. Just go, ‘nuf said.
Milt Gerver’s Big Band Orchestra Come as you are, whatever your skill level, and dance to the classics under the stars on the Boardwalk, on the water, at Playland. Fridays, 7-10:30, 7/16 through 8/6. And when you’re in the tent, look up.
While not in Westchester, these last two are close enough, reasonable enough and cool enough to be included. The Hudson Valley Renegades is a farm team of Tampa Bay.
I love baseball: the history, the rituals, and the consistency it brings to summer. I root for the Yankees, but all costs conservatively considered, it’s a big night out. Do yourself a favor , check out the Hudson Valley Renegades at least once this summer.
Tickets run from $6.00-15.00, $2.00 more on fireworks nights, which there are plenty. They have enough goofy fan events and giveaways to keep everyone entertained and engaged, and who knows, you may just see a future star! http://www.hvrenegades.com/
30 minutes across the TZ bridge will transport you to a different time an place. The Warwick Drive-In is where a family of 5 could see 2 first-run movies for less than $30.00 ($8.00 adults, $5.00 for kids 4-11, and under 4 is free).
They even have that cool cartoon clip they run in-between features to promote the snack bar-where hot dogs are doing tricks, and cups of popcorn and soda dance!http://webusers.warwick.net/~u1006131/driveinmovie/ for features, directions and times.
June 12th, 2010
at 8:19 PM!!
Kingsland Point Park, Sleepy Hollow
May 31st, 2010
Staying local is a great choice, not a default.
It’s summertime, and the local fair/festival season is off to a great start. Here is my husband doing his ‘Kilroy was here’ interpretation in honor of Memorial Day for the annual White Plains gala, next weekend.
Also next weekend is the Tarrytown Street Fair, which will occupy much of Main Street. www.sleepyhollowchamber.com
Have your Wheaties and slather on the sunscreen, you will need it for the next weekend, where Ossining, Katonah Fire Department and the Armonk Lions are all having soirees.
The Armonk event is called a Fol de Rol. Various web definitions confirm it is a day of family fun, and apparently successful, this being it’s 36th year. www.armonklions.org.
Local artists and craftspeople, good food, and cool vendors will be in good supply at each. Bring your friends, meet new ones and support your community, it doesn’t get better than this.