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August 30, 2016
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Making a community: Hurleyville Maker’s Lab next step in Main Street Initiative

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Hurleyville Maker’s Lab had a soft opening on Monday night, becoming another part of The Center for Discovery’s Main Street Initiative. The initiative, according to John Conway, director of development at the center, aims to “bring back the community, so there is a place for the residents and visitors to interact, recreate, and to carry on their lives.”  Read more

I’m hooked on social media—are you?

I think I might have a problem, and it’s called the Internet. While the World Wide Web has come to offer so much to so many, it is not without drawbacks, and I find myself having issues with social media. Oh, sure, it started out innocently enough. My pals who had dabbled in it back in the days of MySpace encouraged me to check it out, but that site was clearly targeted for a younger group and didn’t really interest me.  Read more

Things to do when ‘there’s nothing to do’

The wintertime is when things slow down, and it’s easy to get bogged down in the feeling that “there’s nothing to do.” But winter brings its own set of activities. Some people enjoy this time to settle down, relax and stay at home. Others like to get out and do as much as possible, daring to brave the cold and snow. Here’s a guide for what to do, both indoors and outdoors.

If you want to stay inside

Watch Netflix  Read more

Only in the country; A tree, Diane Wiest and a gun

I moved to New York City in the fall of 1975. My first apartment (on West 85th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue) cost a whopping $165 a month. It was a studio apartment with a bathtub in the kitchen and a toilet in what once was a closet. Speaking of closets, there were none. As a full-time foot messenger for Media Sound Recording Studio, (after taxes) I cleared precisely $88 a week. Two weeks’ salary paid the rent. The leftover money went to food and an occasional Woody Allen movie. I certainly couldn’t afford a Christmas tree.  Read more

Homemade gifts in a jar

From cookies to soup, homemade gifts in a jar are perfect for the budget-minded holiday giver and it makes for a fun project. Be sure to include the baking or cooking instructions, as the receiver will have to add a few perishable ingredients to complete these gifts.  Read more

The first Christmas tree

REGION — I don’t really like sentences that start with “did you know,” but, did you know that the first Christmas trees for sale originated from the Catskills? It’s true. Mark Carr transported the trees from the Catskills to New York City, where he sold them at the Washington Market, or present-day Tribeca (which, did you know, is a portmanteau from Triangle Below Canal Street), in 1851. This was the country’s first Christmas tree lot.  Read more

Hanukkah in the Catskills—then and now

As the years pass, memories accrue, and I enjoy strolling down that lane from time to time—but sometimes… there are gaps. More often than not, I blame it on my deteriorating brain cells, but when it comes to Hanukkah and the Catskills, the gaps are more like a chasm.  Read more

Gamwing: A Lenape feast of thanksgiving and renewal

Long before the Plymouth brethren sat down with the Wampanoag Tribe at the 1621 feast generally considered to be the first Thanksgiving, the Lenni Lenape occupied the Upper Delaware area, enjoying the bounty yielded by the land and the water, and holding ceremonies to thank the gods and spirits for it and to participate in its renewal. Unfortunately, the surviving information about many of these ceremonies is sparse. But we do know something about “Gamwing,” or the Big House Ceremony, a post-harvest festival that has some features similar to our own Thanksgiving.  Read more

Eye of the river valley

NARROWSBURG, NY — If people keep requesting your photographs, it’s only due time until you start your own business. Narrowsburg resident of 30 years Charlie Hoffman did just that. He was supplying CBS News New York Weather with nature photographs for their segments, and people took note. They started to ask him for specific photos to buy from him, and from there he acquired a roster of clients. He calls his new one-year-old venture Catskills Photography.  Read more

Angel ‘Ohana: Lifting the burden; nurturing the spirit

“...I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.”

It was with those final words that an ailing, aging friend took his own life. And another friend did the same, soon after, no doubt for the same reason. Unassisted suicide.

Assisted or not, I believe that the taking of one’s life can be motivated, in great part, by the concern for loved ones—that we not burden them with the weight of our sick bodies. It is a courageous act.  Read more