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December 25, 2014
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REGION — Just as fine food has the power to exalt any holiday celebration, so do fine alcoholic beverages (in suitable moderation). And just as we in the Upper Delaware River Valley are blessed with a variety of excellent local food sources, we also have quite a few providers of drink, from spirits to wine to beer and ale. We contacted a number of the local distilleries, breweries and wineries and asked them for their recommendations for your holiday parties. Here’s what they came up with.

When I was a child, my parents gave me a small plastic camera. Little did they know they were placing me on a path that continues to illuminate my life today as I shoot digital images throughout...

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One of the nice things about riding the train is the diversity of people you meet as you travel. The Upper Delaware is a resort destination and the weekend home to many who come from the city for...

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Though few would argue with the notion that the holidays can drive you to drink, there are those who make it through them without a single tipple. Pity the poor soul who has to nurse a glass of...

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I’m on the set of “Bleed for This,” the new boxing movie I am cutting. A large ring is set up in the center of the convention center in Providence, RI. There are a thousand extras scattered around...

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Anyone who is a fan of old Disney movies more than likely remembers that tune. Written for the 1940 animated masterpiece “Pinocchio,” the music and lyrics by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington (...

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As I write this, it is a week before Christmas, and as I look out the window at 8 a.m., it is 36 degrees outside and the snow cover can best be described as “scattered to broken” here in Shohola,...

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ARTery hosts PCAC show

MILFORD, PA — The ARTery Gallery will host the 64th annual Pike County Arts and Crafts (PCAC) Exhibit from December 11 to February 8, with a reception on Saturday, December 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. Holiday shopper will find handmade crafts including jewelry, pottery, textiles, wood craft, cards, prints and lots of original paintings and photography.  Read more

Buggy rides at the farmers’ market

CALLICOON, NY — The Callicoon Farmers’ Market this Sunday, December 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include some special holiday features. There will be horse and buggy rides, a local artisan holiday craft market and a jazz brunch with the Kazzrie Jaxen Jazz Quartet. As always, there will be plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as heirloom botanicals, local dairy products and farm-fresh meats, baked goods and jams, local wines and more.

Christmas cookie walk in Narrowsburg

NARROWSBURG, NY — St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will hold a Christmas cookie walk on Saturday, December 13 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. (snow date December 14). The church is located at 31 Erie Ave. Hand-crafted, homemade Christmas cookies will be displayed on tables inside the church parish hall where you can walk around and place your choices in a container. Cookies are available by the pound, so you can mix them up to your liking, or you can select an already gift-wrapped assortment ready to go. Proceeds will go toward the work of St. Paul’s at home and around the world.  Read more

“We Have Our Savior” in Damascus

DAMASCUS, PA — The Damascus United Methodist Charge Cantata Choir will present two performances of “We Have Our Savior” at the Damascus United Methodist Church, located on Route 371 next to the Damascus school. The first performance will be on Sunday, December 14 at 3 p.m. with a snow date of Sunday, January 4 at 3 p.m. A free-will offering will be received in memory of Kristina and Cindy Adams and presented to Victims’ Intervention Program. The second will be a Christmas Eve performance beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Read more

Sharing the feast

NARROWSBURG, NY – At 11:50 a.m., the crowd gathering in the cold rain outside St. Paul’s Church parish hall is talkative, upbeat, and hungry. The doors to Katie’s Café, a free community meal program, open at 12 noon, but the wet weather and the guests’ unbridled enthusiasm guarantee early admission. In they come, trying to guess the menu from the aromas that greet them.  Read more

Wish list

Christmas is a time for connecting with what we truly value, made tangible in our gatherings with family and friends, our nostalgia for holidays past and the renewal of hope for the future. As we enjoy this brief vacation from everyday cynicism, I confess that I am shamelessly susceptible to classic holiday movies, those sentimental cultural touchstones with their timeless themes of family, community, faith and doubt, usually framed in the emotional journeys of beloved characters who desperately need to change their lives.  Read more

Feeder season

On Thanksgiving Day, while most of us in the Upper Delaware River Valley enjoyed feasting in warm homes with family and friends, regional wildlife were suddenly faced with greater challenges than usual in finding adequate food. Thanks to an impressive amount of dense snow that quickly covered much of the available natural food sources, our avian neighbors resorted to pecking their way along the edges of cleared roadways, gathering up bits of seed, gravel and sips of melted snow.  Read more

Wedding Update Part 3: The Blur

It’s four a.m. on the Monday before the wedding and it’s still dark out. We leave the house bound for Mexico with five huge suitcases packed to the brim and a wedding dress in a white garment bag so large it could have housed a body. There are a few members of the wedding party traveling with Emily and me and we are all equally bleary eyed.  Read more

Rising gypsy jazz stars at the Silk Mill

HAWLEY, PA — On Saturday, December 6 at 8 p.m., the gypsy jazz band Rhythm Future Quartet will perform in the underground theater of the Hawley Silk Mill. The quartet features Jason Anick on violin, Olli Soikkeli and Vinny Raniolo on guitars, and Greg Loughman on bass. Over the years, they have individually performed alongside notable musicians like John Jorgenson, Frank Vignola, Tommy Emmanuel, Bucky Pizzarelli, Andreas Öberg and Howard Alden and have finally joined forces to form this special group.  Read more

World premiere of African drumming and dance in Monticello

MONTICELLO, NY — Master drummer and musician Bernard Woma will perform a world premiere entitled, “Tome Na” at the Eugene D. Nesin Theatre on St. John Street on Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m. “Tome Na” is translated as “our work, our profession.” It says that if it is our work or profession to be farmers, teachers, or musicians, we should be sure to do it well. Woma will be joined by the Saakumu Dance Troupe along with over 90 local Nesin Cultural Arts students as they perform songs and dances from Africa.  Read more

Woodloch Pines and 12 Days of Giving

HAWLEY, PA — The holiday season is always festive at Woodloch Resort, an award-winning family resort in the Pocono Mountains. To its holiday traditions including yule log hunts and carriage rides, the team at Woodloch Pines has added a new one: The 12 Days of Giving. “The goal of the 12 Days of Giving effort is to celebrate the true spirit of the holiday season with the hopes that others will catch the spirit and choose to participate alongside us or create their own ‘giving’ efforts to spread the spirit,” said John Kiesendahl, owner and CEO of Woodloch Pines.  Read more

‘The Wonder in My Youth’

“That Wonder in My Youth,” by Veronica Bassil (Kindle edition at Amazon.com). The Catskill Art Society will present local author Veronica Bassil for a reading of her new book “That Wonder in My Youth” and a talk on self-publishing at the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main St., Livingston Manor, NY on Saturday, December 7 at 2 p.m. In addition to the reading, Bassil will answer questions, and discuss the merits and challenges of self-publishing in the e-book format.  Read more

‘The Hollow Ground’

“The Hollow Ground,” by Natalie Harnett (Thomas Dunne Books; $24.99). Harnett lives in Hawley, PA, and her novel is inspired by the real-life deadly coal mine fires in now-infamous Centralia, PA. It is 1961, and the ground is burning beneath 11-year-old Brigid Howley’s feet. The underground mine fires ravaging Pennsylvania coal country have forced Brigid and her family to seek refuge with her estranged grandparents, the formidable Gram and the Black Lung-stricken Gramp.  Read more

Meet the authors; “Organic: Farmers and Chefs of the Hudson Valley”

“Organic: Farmers and Chefs of the Hudson Valley,” photographs and text by Francesco Mastalia (powerHouse Books, available on Amazon.com). The Depuy Canal House in High Falls, NY, will host an exhibition of photographs from this book, which features commentary and portraits of some of the many people who are part of the Hudson Valley/Catskills local and sustainable food movement starting on Sunday, December 7. One of the farmers covered is Narrowsburg’s John Gorzynski of Gorzynski’s Ornery Farm.  Read more

UpFront holds holiday reception

PORT JERVIS, NY — UpFront Exhibition Space will hold its holiday artist’s reception on Saturday, December 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. This event is open to the public and there is no admission fee. In celebration, at the reception, UpFront will present live music by Walt Edwards, along with complimentary food and refreshments. The show will run through December 28.

UpFront currently has over 40 artists of all mediums in this exhibit. Among them are Sean Addy, Todd Anderson, Adrienne Butvinik, Tamara D’Antoni, Debbie Gioello, Gordon Graff, Teresa Idelowitz and Wendell M. Upchurch.  Read more

Christmas Tea at church

MILFORD, PA — Celebrate Christmas with an authentic Christmas Tea at the Church of the Good Shepherd and St. John the Evangelist, located on the corner of W. Catherine Street, this December 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Last seating will be taken at 2:30 pm.

There will be a classic English-styled tea, including scones and clotted cream, brie and chutney, cucumber sandwiches and biscotti. Vintage tea sets provide hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate with fresh cream and sugar, while calming Christmas music creates the magical atmosphere that belongs exclusively to this season.  Read more

Gift creation classes at the HUB

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Port Jervis Free Library’s HUB will present four classes to help you make holiday creations with your own hands and imagination – and have fun doing it. You decide to whom you will give the creation that you take home. Once you learn how to create these easy to make gifts, you may decide to make more and even keep a couple for yourself.  Read more

WAA holds holiday open house

WURTSBORO, NY — The Wurtsboro Art Alliance (WAA) will host a holiday open house on Saturday, December 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Come enjoy refreshments and view a wide assortment of original works of art made by local area artists, including paintings, watercolors, drawings, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, prints and note cards.  Read more

‘Tis the season!

Boy, is it ever! In the blink of an eye, the weather turned frosty, snow is on the ground and festive lights abound throughout the Upper Delaware River region. I’m just beginning the arduous task of unpacking after the most grueling move I’ve ever endured, but I’m home for the holidays, and thrilled to be here. I managed to unearth my mother’s menorah, and with Hanukkah beginning on the 16th, just in the nick of time. This year, the last night of the “Festival of Lights” is on Christmas Eve, and I always like it when the two holidays coincide.  Read more

Music at the government center

MONTICELLO, NY — The Monticello High School Chamber Ensemble will perform selections from its recital repertoire as well as some additional holiday selections at the Sullivan County Govwernment Center on Wednesday, December 10 at 12 noon. On Wednesday, December 17 at 12 noon, one of the Monticello High School Resident String Quartets will perform classical and traditional holiday repertoire at the government center. The public is welcome to the free performances.

Wed., Nov. 12 Open mic night at The Cooperage
Thu., Nov. 13 Popular Google Apps
Thu., Nov. 13 Fall Foliage Mixer
Sat., Nov. 15 Fall square dance