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April 17, 2014
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Lucy in the sky (with diamonds!)

Rock band American Dreamer accompanied Marc Rubinstein’s live “Pig Light” show at Bethel Woods


As I prepare to write this column each week, I struggle with a title, hoping that I might be clever, while telegraphing information regarding what I’ve seen here in the Catskills. Not wishing to be trite (or corny) is often an exercise in futility, since I’ve been both many times. Usually I have a concept in mind but more often than not, it vanishes as I traipse around the countryside in search of adventure.

Laid up with a lousy cold for a good portion of last week, I was fully prepared to call this column, “Funny, you don’t look flu-ish,” until I Googled those words and discovered that literally hundreds of writers (far more clever than I) have used it to death. Almost sorry that I had checked and slightly demoralized, I decided to see what the weekend held in store in the world of arts and entertainment, praying for inspiration.

The newest exhibit to grace the museum at Bethel Woods (bethelwoodscenter.org/museum.aspx) is yet another fascinating peek into the Woodstock generation and ‘60s experience that helped make Sullivan County famous. Psychedelia “liquid light” pioneer Marc Rubinstein (www.piglightshow.com) was in the house last Friday for the opening of the installation “The Pig Light Show,” which celebrates his innovative contributions to the live overhead projection shows he created with legendary musical performers who rose to fame during the hippie hey day.

Still considering a title, I scribbled the words “Go toward the Light” and sat back to soak up Rubinsteins’ live demonstration of how the undulating, kaleidoscopic images are created in real time as he mixed the show (utilizing water, glycerin, inks and dyes) accompanied by five-piece rock and roll band American Dreamer (www.myspace.com/americandreamer23) performing a medley of ‘60s chart toppers.

Several of Rubinstein’s (dare I say trippy?) shows have been preserved, including concerts with Peter Gabriel, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Humble Pie and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and many of these full-length videos can be seen (and heard) while one strolls the exhibit, which runs through the end of December. More than a little curious to find out how “The Pig Light Show” became known as such (still thinking about my title... “What’s in a name?”) I discovered (via the internet) only that Rubinstein was nicknamed “pig” during a Mothers of Invention concert under “strange incident” circumstances. ‘Nuff said.

Struggling with the elusive (where are the mothers of invention when you need them?), I set my dilemma aside and made my way to Narrowsburg to drool over gemstones (hmm—“Baubles Bangles and Beads?”) at the grand opening of Boregaard Jeweler (www.boregaard.com) located at 101 Main Street (“Down by the Delaware?” No—far too cutesy.) Although his doors opened during the summer, designer Pedro Boregaard told me that he was encouraged to throw the official champagne launch by friends and fellow business owners whose “encouragement has been invaluable.”

As classier folks mingled and admired, I gasped and gawked, stunned by the gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces that forced me to consider dubbing this issue’s musings “Diamonds Are a Guy’s Best Friend.” Admittedly, I am a fan of all things that sparkle, but the creativity and artistry that goes into Boregaard’s jewelry is (IMHO) amazing. “I love the Upper Delaware valley,” Boregaard said, “and have been here full-time for more than seven years already. It’s very important to me to be a part of this wonderful community, so I’m having a little party as a way of expressing my gratitude for the unwavering support.” A generous portion of sales from November 5 through 26 will benefit the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance.

No stranger to Narrowsburg, Boregaard has been involved with the area on a part-time basis for almost 30 years while running a highly successful showroom in New York City. “I love this region,” he told me, “and it’s very important to be involved on a local level, which is one of the reasons that I’ve opened a business here. Every single piece in the store was made in New York State, unlike some other well known lines, many of which are designed and created in other countries.”

Platinum and gold called out, gleaming in the showcase, but it’s the diamonds (I don’t mean rhinestones) that truly shine for me. “Perfect for the proverbial commitment ceremony” sprang to my (still single) mind, as I perused, admired and dreamed about what Santa might have in store for me this year, Jewish boy or not. In light of the economy and tough times, the mere fact that Boregaard has opened his dream factory now is an inspiration. A part of me still believes what my mother always said: that I’m a “diamond in the rough,” so for the moment I’ll continue to drool and fantasize, rather than accept the fact that in reality... I must be trippin’.

Breaking: Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has booked Lady Antebellum for Saturday, June 02, 2012, on the Pavilion Stage, along with special guests Darius Rucker and Thompson Square.