Chronogram April 2024

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The Newburgh Armory Unity Center runs dozens of free programs for children on Saturdays, from sports to science


6 On the Cover: Archil Pichkhadze

The dream-like imagery of the New Paltz-based painter.

8 Esteemed Reader

Jason Stern wonders what a human being is for

11 Editor’s Note

Brian K. Mahoney looks out over Newburgh.


12 Nirvana: Farm-to-Table Indian in Woodstock

Nirvana is the second Indian restaurant opened by Chaminda and Shiwanti Widyarathna, the couple behind beloved Cinnamon in Rhinebeck.

15 Sips & Bites

Recent openings include the Hereafter in Hudson, Buns Burgers in Poughkeepsie, Braised Pies in Wappingers Falls, All for One One for All Distillery in Goshen, and Mighty Donuts & Coffee in Red Hook.


18 Honeycomb Heritage

Agnes Devereux recounts her chaotic journey from catering her own wedding (complete with an allergic reaction) to restoring a fire-damaged 18th-century farmhouse in Staatsburg to its former glory.


28 Life in the Fast Lane

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity in recent years on a wave of celebrity endorsements, but is it right for you?


34 A Century of Conservation

Since the creation of the Niagara Reservation in 1885, New York has been conserving land in its state parks.

36 Hiking the Artist’s Trail

The Hudson Valley is home to landscapes that inspired artists from Thomas Cole to Bob Dylan. Here are five hikes that let you follow in the footsteps of the masters.


40 Newburgh: Renaissance and Revitalization

The city may just be on the cusp of a major change.

48 Newburgh Portraits by David McIntyre


54 David Skora: From Scrap to Sculpture

The New Hartford-based artist finds inspiration at the dump.

57 What’s Happening in April

Upcoming events in the Berkshires and NW Connecticut.

Photo by David McIntyre COMMUNITY PAGES, PAGE 40

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58 Music


Seth Rogovoy reviews White Buses: Passage to Freedom by Benjamin Koppel. Jason Broome reviews Universal Preservation by David Greenberger and the Huckleberries. Jeremy Schwartz reviews Wave Files by Guitarmy of One. Plus listening recommendations from Decora, the Newburgh-based rap artist, performance poet, and activist.

59 Books

Richard Kreitner reviews The Audacity, the second novel from Kingston-based author Ryan Chapman. Plus short reviews of Book with No Author by Brent Robison; The Lifer: Rock Climbing Adventures in the Gunks and Beyond by Russ Clune; Mrs. Lowe-Porter by Jo Salas; I Heard Her Call My Name by Lucy Sante; and Half-Lives by Lynn Schmeidler.

60 Poetry

Poems by Ryan Brennan, Daniel Brown, Jo Galante, Amy Caponetto Galloway, Bob Grawi, M. J. Greener, Patrick Hammer, Jr., Dana Iova-Koga, James Croal Jackson, Rebecca Keith, William Keller, Vyacheslav Konoval, Christine Penney, Jim Savio, Liam Watt. Edited by Phillip X Levine.

62 Mountains of Words

In honor of National Poetry month, we put our finger on the poetic pulse that permeates the place we call home.


64 The Short List includes Wanda Sykes at UPAC, Bread & Puppet in Hudson, and Passion Fruit Dance at Kaatsbaan.

65 The Egg in Albany hosts an afterparty for the eclipse

66 Martin Puryear’s new sc ulpture at Storm King Art Center, Lookout, is made up of over 50,000 bricks.

69 Will Hutnick exhibits paintings at Geary Contemporary

70 Ninety-four-year-old cabaret performer Flo Hayle performs for the last time at Bridge Street Theater in Catskill.

71 Here are the shows we’ll be attending this month: Joshua Radin and City Winery, Richard Lloyd Group at Park Theater, and Nick Waterhouse at Bearsville Theater.

72 Listings of museum and gallery shows across the region


76 Divine Interruption

Cory Nakasue reveals what the stars have in store for us.


80 The Cruelest Month

The photos of Rollie McKenna at the Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.

Kaaterskill Falls was a beacon for the artists of the Hudson River School. Photo by Sean O’Dwyer

on the cover

Nostalgia and Prophecy

The Mystical Narratives of Archil Pichkhadze

My Grandmother’s Polar Bear immediately catches the eye. Its meticulous, realistic technique has us believing the veracity of the image even as we know the sight of a gray-haired woman nonchalantly leading a humongous polar bear on a leash past an ancient stone wall is nonsensical. “I’m giving viewers something to look at, drawing them in and seducing them,” Archil Pichkhadze says of his dreamlike imagery. Yet in these unstable, anxious times, his surrealistic paintings take on a sense of portent, of ominous foretelling. “Twenty years ago, the idea of combining an Italian hill town and an animal from the Arctic might have seemed odd,” he says, noting that the painting dates from 2004. But given the warming climate, “perhaps those worlds will converge. You can imagine a future in which someone living in the Mediterranean does have a polar bear as a pet.”

Pichkhadze’s images are culled from his photographs and recombined in scenes in which something is amiss: In the panorama-like crowded Californian beach scene of Mariposa Beach, for example, a girl playing in the sand is inexplicably sprouting wings, while the grim, windowless tower rising in the background at the lefthand edge of the panel is at odds with the carefree beachgoers. “The joke is that it’s closed in, like a penal

colony,” the artist says, noting he never literally spells out a narrative but simply suggests. The warm gray light that suffuses his beaches, fields, lawns, and rooms is charged with a sense of expectancy, of time unfolding and anticipation of the future seamlessly woven into the fabric of memory.

A retrospective of Pichkhadze’s work at Kingston’s Lace Mill Gallery in January and February included his portraits, still lifes, wood assemblages and photographs, showcasing not only his capacity for invention but also his exquisite craft. Pichkhadze is a master at capturing the specific tone and hue of the multitudinous shapes that comprise his beautifully drawn, faceted forms. He excels at portraying light in all its nuances, which lends a mystical character to his narratives. He lures us into the illusion, even as the painting plainly reveals itself as a scaffolding of colored shapes, patches of delicately toned hues that in some works are left rough along the bottom edge. The ultimate mystery is this dichotomy of the illusory and abstract within the painting itself.

It’s tempting to attribute his sense of fatalism, his images of abandoned buildings, isolated human figures, and stark, vast spaces, to his early years growing up in the Soviet Union. But, in fact, Pichkhadze has pleasant memories of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where he

was born in 1968. When he was 11, his family immigrated to the US, settling in Queens. He earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts and obtained his MFA from Brooklyn College, where he studied painting with Lennart Anderson. “He taught me how to look closely at what I’m seeing and to get yourself out of it,” says Pichkhadze. “The world is more interesting than you are.”

Based in Park Slope with his wife, Sara DeAngelis, a museum exhibition planner, and young son, Pichkhadze did illustration work and graphic production while showing his paintings at New York galleries. In 2008, the family moved to San Jose, where he painted his first large narrative works. They left California in 2015 and bought a house outside New Paltz with a stunning view of the Shawangunk Ridge, where he paints in a barn-like shed on the property.

“I love looking at art and even find the AI thing interesting,” Pichkhadze says. “Now that there’s a nonhuman entity that can actually make images that are well done and completely believable, I don’t have to work anymore and can retire,” he adds facetiously.

My Grandmother’s Polar Bear, Archil Pichkhadze, oil on wood, 24 by 18 inches, 2004






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esteemed reader

What is a human being for?

When I was young the question was a personal inquiry. Who am I? And what is my purpose? But as I grew older, and particularly after having children, the question became more general.

One formula that struck me as a teenager is a line in Lao Tzu’s 4th century BCE treatise Tao Te Ching. The 1940s translation I read is by Witter Bynner, the gay, Brooklynite poet whose rendition is considered questionable by some scholars. He was a master of pith as exemplified in his version of the title, The Way of Life, when a more accurate gloss is A Treatise on the Principle and Its Action, or some such. Nevertheless, his rendering, which I found instructive, appears in the final line of stanza 47:

There is no need to run outside

For better seeing,

Nor to peer from a window. Rather abide

At the center of your being;

For the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart and see

If he is wise who takes each turn:

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The way to do is to be.

The meaning of this line has morphed as I’ve looked through its lens in many stages of life. It sets up a trichotomy. The way. Doing. Being. The way is a reconciliation of the latter two. But the third term is surprising because we don’t ordinarily think of being as a means of accomplishing anything, let alone the capacity to do.

A practical meaning of the expression came home to me when my children started expressing themselves in words and concepts. Their bodies and minds were still quite malleable but they had begun to articulate meaning. This is when they became interesting to adults who asked questions like “What are you going to be when you grow up?”

This gave the children something to think about. They started perusing the catalog of possibilities for what “to be” in the sense of vocations or specializations—a doctor, a farmer, an astronaut, the president…

Remembering Witter Bynner’s translated line of the Tao Te Ching, I told them “When someone asks you what you are going to be, tell them ‘I am going to be myself.’ That’s all, because, what you are and what you do are very different things.”

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They found my advice strange and obtuse but they tried giving that answer when people asked, at least once. They noticed that the response their answer elicited was awkwardness and bemusement and they were embarrassed, and they became a bit wary of taking my advice. Nevertheless, I think the message sunk in.

Now the children are almost fully crystallized, on the cusp of 20 years, which is to say, almost no longer children. There is the question of what they will study and what they will do. These children still have their being intact, and now, perhaps, the emphasis will naturally shift to doing.

I quote them the advice Gurdjieff’s grandmother gave him on her deathbed: “Eldest of my grandsons! Listen and always remember my strict injunction to you: In life never do as others do. Either do nothing—just go to school—or do something nobody else does.”

Another formulation relating to the question of what a human being is for came as an impression on visiting the campus of the Roycrofters in East Aurora, New York, now a museum. The community’s visionary founder, Elbert Hubbard went down with the RMS Lusitania, among the first American casualties of World War I A sign is carved into the lintel above the entrance to the main workshop in a beautiful script together with a sigil that was evidently the emblem of the community. It reads simply “Head. Heart. Hand.”

The Roycrofters were craftspeople. They were bookbinders, leathersmiths and metalsmiths, furniture makers. They saw their work as a way of fulfilling the unique human function of bringing their entire tripartite being to bear in such a way that they created something within themselves in tandem with creating beautiful objects.

Hubbard was the author of an inspirational pamphlet, which has been on my mind because only today I exacted a promise from one almost-no-longer child to read it, A Message for Garcia. It is about having an intention so strong and unwavering that its fulfillment is inevitable.

Hubbard’s approach brought together the eastern emphasis on being with the American Protestant drive to produce. In this, I think, is a clue. Being and doing can progress together, not for some abstract future result, but here and now in an act of selfcreation and service.

I conclude with this quote from Elbert Hubbard’s scrapbook, another clue, which is, incidentally, identical to the motto of the ancient Zoroastrian religion.  Try these:

A kind thought.

A kind word.

A kind deed.

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The View From Here

ANewburgh rooftop. I am being given a tour of the former Newburgh Savings Bank, built in 1852, by Rosanna Scimeca, an artist who’s been given use of the building by its owner, the Gerald A. Doering Foundation (which owns a number of properties in the city, like the Motorcyclepedia Museum). Scimeca is curating the cavernous lobby as an exhibition space under the moniker Savaggi Gallery, and that is where our Newburgh pop-up portrait shoot (page 48) is taking place amongst the monumental sculptures of Kate Raudenbush, a Burning Man veteran. I’m told that the coffered ceiling depicts scenes from Hudson Valley history, but it’s so high it could be scenes from “Beavis and Butthead.”

The bank housed an outpost of the Karpeles Manuscript Museum until 2021 (did anyone actually go there?), but was mostly vacant since the bank shut down decades ago. The basement vault is still there, its three-foot-thick door open to the safe deposit box room, the boxes all open, gold keys attached and dangling, a mad banker’s art installation. On the third floor, the conference

room—complete with stained glass windows— looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1975, the long wood table and leather chairs covered in dust, just waiting for a forceful application of Pledge before the board meeting starts. The law reference books on the bookshelves are older than I am. It feels like the bankers just got up and never came back—like time stopped and nobody came back around to restart it. Scimeca tells me that there are plans to turn the whole of the bank building into an arts education center.

The highest point in the neighborhood, the roof is an incredible vantage point from which to view the city in all directions from the corner of Liberty Street and Broadway. The afternoon is windy and wet, gray and gloomy. The streetlights reflect off rain-slicked sidewalks. Cars are driving slower than usual. People huddle under a bus shelter. It’s unclear whether or not they’re waiting for a bus. A dog could run all day long in weather like this.

I can see the angel wings painted on the side of the Wherehouse and Dmitri Kasterine’s sepiatoned portraits of Newburghers on the side of the

Ritz Theater to the south. (Kasterine is 92 and still posting photos on Instagram.) The wide and empty expanse of Broadway stretches uphill to the west, past the payday loan shop and toward the casino, way out of sight. To the east, the Tower of Victory at Washington’s Headquarters peeks above the rooftops; across the river, the Hudson Highlands wear a shroud of clouds like a wet sweater. Church spires and the post office are visible as Liberty Street winds north toward the cobblestone streets below Mount Saint Mary College.

It’s a lot to take in. A lot of rainy day Newburgh. And then I notice something. The next block over, on Grand Street, a building with multiple stories of new Andersen windows, the decals still stuck to the glass panes. And then I notice a building with new Andersen windows on Liberty, and one on Chambers, and a couple buildings on Broadway as well. From this great height, it seems that something is shifting in the city. Ryan Keegan tells the tale, “Newburgh: Renaissance and Revitalization” on page 40.

editor’s note
The view east from the top of the Newburgh Savings Bank building on the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street. Photo by David McIntyre


We’re taking classic recipes and adding our own twist,” says Shiwanti Widyarathna, co-owner of Woodstock’s newest restaurant, Nirvana. She also runs the beloved Cinnamon restaurant in Rhinebeck with her husband, chef Chaminda Widyarathna. “We are placing a focus on farm-to-table, so our menu will change seasonally based on farm availability, with at least 90 percent local produce, organic poultry, lamb, and wild-caught seafood.” The result is a contemporary restaurant with an inventive and highly curated menu that doesn’t sacrifice the centuries of wisdom gathered in the flavors and techniques of Indian cuisine.

Those in the know have been anticipating this opening. Cinnamon, located on Rhinebeck’s bustling East Market Street, consistently ranks high in readers’ choice awards (first-place winner in the Chronogrammies four years in a row) and Widyarathna says the restaurant has been popular enough that they hadn’t even considered a second location since opening in 2010. But, they were approached by the Woodstock Chamber of

Commerce when the owners of Mountain Gate Indian Restaurant announced they were planning to retire after 30 years. “The Chamber said they would love to have a restaurant like Cinnamon in Woodstock,” she says. “At first, I said no, but one crazy day I changed my mind. You can say I love a challenge.”

Something New

The challenge she’s chosen is to break through preconceptions about Indian food and show diners the magic that results when a competent and creative chef from Sri Lanka, the island nation in the Indian Ocean just south of India, uses seasonal Hudson Valley ingredients to inspire a fresh take on dishes from across the Indian subcontinent, without sacrificing fragrant aromas, a bold array of colors, flashes of heat, a multitude of spices, and the balancing sweetness that come together in the complex, regionally influenced cuisine that is traditional Indian food.

Prior to opening Cinnamon, Chaminda trained under a South Indian chef who focused

on home-style cooking, before working at Coromandel Indian Cuisine, a popular restaurant in Connecticut that won accolades for authentic cuisine. With the opportunity to start a second new business more than a decade later, the pair is finally able to explore their vision for a smaller, more modern menu focusing the chef’s talent on creative renditions of traditional dishes, and allowing him to be inspired by local farms.

Some fans of chef Widyarathna have been confused that the menus in the two restaurants are not the same, despite some dish names sounding similar to the unfamiliar ear. An example is the eggplant dishes bagara baingan, a specialty of the Hyderabad region, popular at Cinnamon, and baingan bharta, on the Nirvana menu.

Why do they sound similar yet taste different?

“Cinnamon’s traditional South Indian eggplant [bagara baingan] is made with tamarind and about eight or nine different spices. However, this version [baingan bharta] is a North Indian recipe with mashed eggplant, masala [spices], and green peas,” Shiwanti explains.

12 FOOD & DRINK CHRONOGRAM 4/24 food & drink

Malai kofta, a Punjabi dish of vegetable dumplings simmered in a creamy cashew and almond sauce with turmeric and fenugreek leaves is a staple at the Rhinebeck restaurant. At Nirvana, the dumplings have been given a crisptextured quinoa crust, and the sauce features shishito peppers and a little added heat.

Diners will be surprised, yet pleased, in many small ways by the carefully curated menu at Nirvana. Currently on the starter menu are six dishes ($10 to $15), and a sharable dish, “Chaat for the Table” ($25), an assortment of beloved street-food dishes, that includes pani puri—fried, hollow, crispy pockets stuffed with chickpeas, potatoes, and spices—that comes in three flavors: traditional, with tamarind mint-water; dahi-style with sweet and tart yogurt; and with black caviar, the restaurant’s own version, as well as samosa chaat, adapted for fine dining.

In addition to the already mentioned main dishes, baingan bharta and malai kofta, are three other vegetable dishes, each $18 and vegetableforward, perfectly cooked, and well presented.

There are four chicken dishes ($22), including tandoori chicken, a biryani, and additionally a duck vindaloo ($30).

In fact, the dishes and breads grilled in the tandoori oven are some of the surest dishes in the chef’s kitchen, and he blesses lamb chops ($34), jumbo prawns ($28), and sea bass ($30) with its powerful heat. The tandoori oven-baked flatbreads (naan and roti) are everything they should be: steaming, yet light and chewy, and crisp at the tops of the bubbled dough. Truffled onion kulcha is one of the chef’s innovations—a naan topped with fresh chilies and cilantro, drizzled with truffle oil.

Sea bass tandoori is rubbed with mint, cilantro, peppers, garlic, and ginger, then grilled in a tandoor and plated atop a coconut cream sauce, adding a rich base that contrasts the crisp grilled fish. A Keralan simmered coconut milk fish curry (Malabar meen curry $25) is a counterpoint to the other two grilled seafood offerings.

The menu includes three lamb dishes. Laal maas ($22) is a traditional Rajasthani preparation for goat or lamb originally developed for royal

hunting parties, and the spiciest dish on the menu. The lamb is tender with a smoky, deep red sauce of low-heat Mathania chilies subdued further by yogurt and garlic, and finished with a smoky, clove-infused ghee. There is also a delicate lamb korma with fresh curry leaves.

The menu doesn’t neglect the important side dishes. There are two dals ($8), a cucumber raita ($4), and a mango chutney ($4) to complement the main dishes, which can be shared in the traditional Indian style of eating, but could also be eaten on their own, western style.

Small is Beautiful

Explaining the smaller menu, Widyarathna is sorry to disappoint regulars missing their Cinnamon favorites. “The smaller menu is intentional both because the kitchen space in Woodstock is a little smaller, but also because we wanted to do something innovative. At Nirvana, it’s more about making a few things really well,” and taking cues from the seasons.

The same concept applies to their beverage

Making kulcha, Indian flatbread, in a tandoori oven at Nirvana. Opposite: Nirvana is the second restaurant opened by Chaminda and Shiwanti Widyarathna, the couple behind Cinnamon in Rhinebeck.

menu, with a few carefully designed cocktails like Trip to Goa ($17), a Goan triple-distilled cashew feni spirit, chili, and lime juice; or a Lychee Martini ($16) made with vodka, lychee juice, lime juice, and lychee fruit. The English Rose ($16) offers a sour approach to Hendricks gin with lemon and grapefruit juice and cardamom bitters, tempered with rose water. A well-rounded selection of red, white, rose, and sparkling wines is available by the glass ($13 to $15) with bottles around $40 to $60, topping out with a 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape ($112).

Nirvana is currently open for lunch and dinner daily except Tuesday. Widyarathna mentions that they’re rolling out a brunch menu as well. “We’ll offer some traditional egg brunch dishes and some savory options like tandoori chicken and lamb sliders with crispy onion relish on naan,” she says.

Although the menu is inventive and complex, the atmosphere offers a mellow dining experience with softly lit seating for 50 among three rooms. Gone are reminders of the former Mountain Gate restaurant. Nirvana’s design is sleek and contemporary, with seating at delicatelooking wooden bistro tables placed near earth-hued walls. As a nod to India’s tropical climes, an accent wall at the far end of a family-style table features a bold palm tree wallpaper; the motif is replicated throughout the dining areas as hand-painted murals by local artist Richard Prouse, who also painted the stunning Ganesh mural at Cinnamon.

“The dining space in Woodstock is a little larger than Rhinebeck, with a few rooms and a beautiful bar, but truly the menu itself is a new experience,” Widyarathna says. “In our short time open, I’ve had many people ask, ‘Cinnamon has such a great reputation, why not keep the same menu and the same name?’ But I say, ‘Why not do something totally different?’ Even going into opening our first restaurant—I was working in fashion at the time, but my husband always wanted his own place, and so his dream became my dream. I always like to try new things—it makes me happy. Even if others think it’s maybe a little crazy.”

Nirvana serves lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm weekdays; until 3pm on weekends. Dinner is served from 5pm to 9:30pm Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; until 10:30pm Friday and Saturday; and from 4:30pm to 9pm on Sunday. Closed Tuesday.


4 Deming Street, Woodstock

Nirvana uses seasonal Hudson Valley ingredients to inspire a fresh take on dishes from across the Indian subcontinent. E Woodstock Wine and Liquor Q @woodstock_wine 63 Tinker St., Woodstock, NY WOODSTOCKWINEANDLIQUOR COM Your village wine shop. Respecting traditions. Defying conventions.
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sips & bites

The Hereafter

721 Columbia Street, Hudson

Opened in mid-February, The Hereafter bills itself as a “cocktail bar for the curious.” To that end they boast over six pages of cocktail offerings, which are broken down into the following categories: fun, classy, eccentric, and deep. The Good Denim typifies the deep category with mezcal, fernet, vermouth, and pear brandy ($18). The eccentric Tiger pairs tequila blanco with roasted pineapple brandy, mango and kaffir lime cordial, lime, and a cilantro salt rim ($15). Beyond the local cheese and charcuterie plates ($20-$22), there are five “small dinner” choices. With guajillo chile, fresh herbs, and the requisite egg yolk, the steak tartare is a standout ($17). There’s also a pork shoulder steak ($22) and a trout in escabeche ($20) as well as a couple of veggie dishes.

Buns Burgers

32 Eastdale Avenue North, Poughkeepsie

The Buns empire continues to expand, bringing their homemade burgers to the people wherever they are—in this case, to the Eastdale Village in Poughkeepsie. The fourth Buns location joins the growing gastronomy circuit of more than a dozen cafes, restaurants, and markets within the multiuse development. Buns’ classic menu is available with a variety of meat and non-meat burgers, hot dogs, and other kid-friendly faves like nuggets and milkshakes.

Braised Pies

2665 East Main Street, Wappingers Falls

At Braised Pies in Wappingers Falls, Sue Wilkinson focuses on her recipes for British savory pies, while her husband Andy and their six children—four of them born here—keep the pies baking. The brand, which began at farmers’ markets throughout the region, opened its brickand-mortar in Wappingers Falls at the beginning of March. There you can order classics like shepherd’s pie, a boozy braised beef pie, and turkey pot pie, or more inventive selections like coq au vin, BBQ pork, and chicken curry with coconut mango masala.

All for One One for All Distillery

221 Craigville Road, Goshen

On April 5, nonprofit farm All for One One for All (AOOA) will reopen its seasonal farm stand as well as debut its new farm distillery. AOOA is a regenerative silvopasture farm, a model that combines grazing animals with edible trees and shrubs to create a multifunctional landscape that improves the soil and ecosystem. Stepping away from the region’s profusion of whiskeys, AOOA’s line of liquors goes in a different direction with spirits and French-inspired liqueurs, like walnut, cherry, and blackberry, made with nuts, herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the property. Their take on Chartreuse packs more than 17 herbs picked fresh on the farm and macerated for months.

Mighty Donuts & Coffee

7265 South Broadway, Red Hook

There are donuts and then there are donuts. Red Hook’s new Mighty Donuts & Coffee joins a growing cadre of pastry shops in the Hudson Valley serving gourmet, elevated offerings that leave the simple glazed donut in the dust. Think flavors like matcha with honey, orange blossom, lemon lavender thyme, and strawberry lemonade. With the redesign of the former Bottini Oil garage headed up by local firm KDA, the interior of Mighty Donuts is retro-sleek with tons of natural light, green accents, and a fan-like, marble counter where you can drool over the donuts on display.  @mightydonutsandcoffee

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Dining Guide

It’s no secret that dining in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires is one of our favorite pursuits—and yours, too! With so many new establishments opening all the time it can be easy to make a full editorial meal of the latest and greatest, but we know that there are plenty of well-loved spots that deserve notice, too. Our new monthly dining guide provides a space for the voices of our diverse restaurant community, from the red sauce joint that’s been in the same family for generations to the topnotch sushi spot that opened last year.

If you want to know what’s happening in the region’s dining scene every week, make sure you sign up for the Eat edition of our email newsletter. Every Friday, we deliver the latest updates and indepth stories on food and craft beverage that you’ve been craving.

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Hudson Roastery

4 Park Place, Hudson (518) 697-5633

This spring, Hudson Roastery is expanding to the corner, introducing additional indoor and outdoor seating. The new space will house their coffee roaster, allowing visitors to observe the roasting process firsthand. Plans include a tasting/cupping room, featuring the latest coffees sourced from hand-selected fair trade and organic farms. The chef-inspired menu will continue to evolve, with additions of salads, sandwiches, and an updated wine list. Open seven days a week starting at 7am.

Pamela’s on the Hudson

1 Park Place, Newburgh (845) 562-4505

If you’re looking for a secret gem on the waterfront with unbelievable views, delicious food, and proper cocktails, Pamela’s is where you should be eating tonight! Pamela’s on the Hudson is open Thursday 5pm–10pm, Friday 12pm–10pm (Happy Hour 3pm-6pm), Saturday 3pm–10pm. Sunday Brunch is from 10:30am–3pm.


121 Main Street, New Paltz (845) 419-2744

Apizza! offers perfectly crispy-bottomed, coal-fired pies and lovable ItalianAmerican mainstays like the baked clams oreganata, arancini, meatballs, and house Caesar salad. The list of weekly rotating specials features elevated takes on rustic regional Italian dishes like polenta with local mushrooms, chickpeas with fresh trofie pasta and prosciutto, and roasted shrimp salmoriglio, a classic Southern Italian sauce of lemon juice and garlic, as well as Italian bread, olive loaves, ciabatta, and focaccia that are baked fresh daily.


Agnew Devereux in her rehabbed farmhouse kitchen. “I like a kitchen that looks like a real, used kitchen,” says Devereux, a former restaurateur and caterer. “Nothing silly or decorative—when I see that I can tell the owner never really cooks. As a chef, I don’t have anything that doesn’t have a function in my space. I have to be reaching for it all the time. “

One of Devereux’s signature recipes, the honey bee cake, is perfect for tea or more dressed-up occasions. Devereux is a passionate locavore who is committed to using fresh, in-season ingredients for her recipes. This cake has an orange chiffon base layered with apricot preserves. After assembling the cake, she covered it with a French honey butter cream frosting and tops it with chocolate truffle bees, almond wings, and white chocolate stripes. The apricot glaze finish mimics the look of honey on top.


Built in 1773 by John DeWitt, the home was part of the DeWitt family’s 200-acre farm and timber mill. DeWitt, a captain in the Revolutionary Army and a Member of the Congenital Congress, also served as sheriff of Dutchess County. The home was added onto by a succession of families in the subsequent 250 years and now sits on nine acres that include protected wetlands and a section Crum Elbow creek.

Honeycomb Heritage

Caterer Agnes Devereux’s restored Colonial in Staatsburg

One of Agnes Devereux’s first catering experiences might have sent a lesser woman flying.

“I catered my own wedding,” explains Devereux of the party in her former Boerum Hill loft. “It was stressful, especially because I got stung by a bee early in the day and didn’t realize I was allergic.” Devereux went into anaphylactic shock, promptly passed out, and then came to—blind. “ The EMTs insisted on taking me to the emergency room,” says Devereux.

“I told them, ‘Are you kidding? I have 100 people coming over, I can’t go to the hospital!’ So I just waited for my vision to return and got married with a very swollen thumb.”

the house

Devereux’s ability to remain unflappable—along with her humor and the ability to turn wildly askew circumstances into a great yarn—came in handy when she and her husband Daniel Sheehy found an 18th-century farmhouse seriously damaged by an electrical fire. The couple were living in New Paltz, where they ’d raised two children and Devereux ran the Village Tea Room and Bake Shop, but had ventured north to Staatsburg to begin a new chapter. With their children grown and the restaurant recently sold, they were on the hunt for a challenge. In the middle of the 2019 polar vortex, the couple struck DIY gold with the 2,800-square-foot Colonial.

Originally built in 1773 by Revolutionary War captain and Continental Congress member John DeWitt, the home certainly had juicy bones. However, a fire, which started in the basement, had burned up through the firstfloor pantry and bathroom, and destroyed one exterior wall and several other rooms. Smoke and water had ruined walls and ceilings, and the fire department had broken down the Dutch front door and cut through the wide plank wood floorboards to put out the flames. “ There was no water, no heat, no electric, and all the windows were gone,” says Devereux of that fateful first encounter

with the condemned home. “And even with the polar vortex, it was colder inside than out—we had to keep running outside into the sun to warm up.” Despite the damage, Devereux saw the home’s potential. “It looked terrible but I loved the scale of the rooms and the quirky layout,” says Devereux, who was an interior designer before becoming a chef.

Once the center of Dewitt ’s 200-acre working farm and timber mill, families added to the original home over the ensuing decades. The three-story home rambled through three centuries of history, with remnants of each distinct period still evident under the ravages of time and fire. “I loved the big entryway with rooms on either side. And I could see the original wooden floorboards were still there and still level,” says Devereux. Like finding an abandoned hive in the woods—only this one chock full of history and design—Devereux could sense sweetness lay just beneath the decay. “Every house I’ve ever lived in, the floors were a little bit wonky,” she says. “But this house was so solid and even 251 years later, the floors were still level and flat.” Rehabilitating the home was exactly the kind of project Devereux was looking for, so the couple bought it and began rehabbing it that spring.

The home’s kitchen is part of an early 19th-century addition. When Devereux bought the house, fire had ravaged much of the first floor, including parts of the kitchen. She was able to save the butcher block counters and tiled center island, but added new cabinets and appliances. She also converted the former sitting area into an informal dining room with an eight-seat table and plenty of extra storage. “I like to sit down to eat,” she explains. “Meals are important, so I don’t like sitting at a counter.”

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The home’s formal dining room was part of the original 1773 structure. Seriously damaged in the fire, Devereux restored the walls and original wide-plank floorboards, removed damaged wallpaper, and painted the room indigo. She recycled bookshelves from her previous home in New Paltz and then added auction finds to the rest of the room. A painting by her daughter Elizabeth Sheehy hangs in the corner.

It’s a Long, Long Way to Go

Devereux was born and raised in Tippererary, Ireland, and hospitality has been a major part of her life since childhood. “My parents had a guest house,” she says. “Some guests stayed for a night, and some stayed for months or even years. We had a veterinarian who lived with us for 15 years and a local doctor lived with us as well. They ended up getting married.”

Devereux’s mother cooked three meals a day for guests and Devereux and her sisters served the food, but she also gravitated to the kitchen, where she loved baking traditional Irish desserts and more exotic fare gleaned from magazines.

After finishing school, Devereux worked in France for two years as an au pair and then made her way to New York City, where she studied interior design. She met Sheehy, and the couple eventually moved to New Paltz so their children could attend Mountain Laurel Waldorf School.

They bought a home in the village with an adjacent 1833 tailor ’s shop. After restoring the shop, they converted it into a restaurant, where Devereux used local ingredients to create Irish favorites and international recipes. She ran the popular restaurant for 15 years. “I loved it, and loved raising my kids there, but it was hard work,” she says.

First Love, Lasting Love

By 2019 her children had left for college and she and Sheehy were ready for a change. “ While working at the restaurant someone came to me and asked me to cater their wedding,” says Devereux. “I enjoyed it because weddings are basically the same, but there are a handful of things that are particular to the couple. It ’s those small things that make the wedding special. Also, baking was my first love.” Devereux and Sheehy had already restored the historic tailor ’s shop in New Paltz. They realized that along with a change of business they needed a new home design challenge. So, Devereux decided to keep the catering business going and fill the rest of her time restoring a new historic home.

Besides her desire to sink her teeth into a remodel, Devereux needed a second kitchen to run her home-based catering business. The Staatsburg Colonial fit the bill with multiple food preparation areas added over the centuries. The 1773 footprint includes the first-floor dining room, a classic Colonial entryway and the adjacent butler ’s pantry. A giant stone fireplace runs from the home’s basement through the dining room to the second floor where two large bedrooms once housed Dewitt ’s 14 children. The central hearth was

Devereux raised the ceilings in the second-floor bedroom to expose the original ceiling tiles and then continued shiplap the along the recovered walls. “Because we’d spent so much money on repairing the home after the fire we didn’t have much left over for furnishing,” she explains. “I bought most of the furniture at auctions or online second hand. My trick with auctions is to not get attached. I put in the lowest bid, then walk away and forget about it. I’ve gotten lots of great pieces this way.” Devereux left restoration of the home’s original summer kitchen for last. With a massive hearth and direct access to the back gardens it was once a working kitchen. Devereux left the original lime plaster walls but added wainscoting to the room and now uses it as an office. Above the fireplace is a mix of art and historic artifacts, including a Harlem Toile plate by Sheila Bridges, a small Henri Fantin-Latour print, and prints by Elizabeth Sheehy and Caitlin Stellato.
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Devereux, her husband Daniel Sheehy, and their dog Lucy in one of the home’s foyers.

Through the door, the home’s main living room was part of an 19th-century addition to the home and features the original mantle and ornate plastering detailing on the walls and ceilings. It’s one of the best-preserved rooms in the house. “Since the doors were shut at the time of the fire there was very little smoke or water damage,” says Devereux. Adjacent to the door are artworks by Gary Barsumian and Israel Feldman.

the home’s main food preparation area until an early 19thcentury addition was tacked onto the back.

The area most damaged by the fire, this original section of the house, also proved to be the most resilient. Before they could begin renovating, the couple needed to make sure the home was still structurally sound. A town engineer came out to inspect the fire damage, but discovered only the surface of the beams had burned. “ The wood was probably 200 years old when it was felled,” says Devereux. “It ’s still strong three centuries later. Dewitt knew the best timber to build with.”

Two Kitchens, One Stone

The couple hired local contractor Ariel Rodriguez to help repair damage and restore the home. A few steps down from the dining area, the 19th-century addition contains the home’s main kitchen with enough space left over for an eight-seat dining table. Damaged by smoke, the team replaced the kitchen cabinetry and appliances, but were able to salvage the kitchen sink and butcher-block counters as well as the tiled center island. With Rodriguez’s help, Devereux gutted both the butler ’s pantry and an adjacent bathroom. They rebuilt the pantry with ample shelving and a salvaged sink, and finished the bathroom with a combination of white tiles and a glass shower wall.

Wallpaper throughout the dining room and entryway was ruined by a combination of smoke, water, and ice. Devereux

removed it all herself and, after Rodriguez repaired damage to the walls, floors, and ceiling, she painted the dining room indigo. She finished the entryway and staircase walls with wallpaper by Nina Campbell. They also raised second-floor ceilings in the bedroom to expose the original ceiling tiles and then added shiplap along the walls.

The Summer Kitchen

Devereux almost forgot about the home’s Colonial summer kitchen while she was busy with the rest of the house. Tucked away along the basement level, the room is dominated by an ancient stone hearth and has access to the surrounding gardens. A 1930s kitchen addition sports vintage appliances and forest green finishes. Devereux tackled the room’s built-in hutch and original lime plaster walls herself. After adding insulation and repairing the stone floors, she realized the original lime plaster was largely undamaged. “I was going to paint it,” says Devereux. “But then I realized I loved the mottled walls.” She did add wainscoting along the bottom and repainted the hutch. Decorated with an eclectic mix of art and artifacts, the room now serves as Devereux’s office. However, while she’s planning a menu, she can’t help but get a little distracted by the historic design. “I loved doing all the work on this house,” she says. “I love old houses. If I had the money I’d buy another one and do the whole thing again.”


Life in the Fast Lane


Searches for #intermittentfasting on TikTok yield nearly 200,000 posts and over two billion views. On Instagram, the #intermittentfasting hashtag has over five million posts. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel, and Nicole Kidman do it to stay camera-ready, and Chris Pratt reportedly lost 60 pounds using this weight loss strategy. Plenty of nonfamous people are also choosing intermittent fasting (IF), from the busy mom with three kids to the guy at the climbing gym to the busy executive, and it’s not just a fad—IF is wellresearched and rooted in science. (The Harvard School of Public Health reviewed 40 studies and found that intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss, with a typical loss of 7-11 pounds over 10 weeks.)

Fasting is nothing new. Fasting is intentionally not eating—which sets it apart from starvation—

and people fast for a variety of reasons that may be health-related but can also be cultural or religious Intermittent fasting (IF) as a health strategy differs from religious fasting and has gained traction over the past few years, whether people are seeking to lose weight, increase longevity, or improve a variety of health conditions.

IF is a form of diet, but it’s less focused on what you eat and more on when you eat. Instead of eating around the clock, people choose a time window for eating and drinking. Historically, people didn’t eat the way we eat now, and our hunting and gathering ancestors went long periods—sometimes days at a time—without food. Now, with full refrigerators and pantries, people are always eating. Then there’s DoorDash to fulfill your cravings, and you don’t even have to shop, cook, clean, or leave the house.

The Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention reports that obesity is on the rise

“Just 10 years ago, no state had an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35 percent,” the report says, but now there are 22 states with an adult obesity prevalence at or above 35 percent. The data suggests that most of us could ingest fewer calories. One way to do this is to limit the number of hours in a day that we eat.

Research also shows that stabilizing blood sugar before bed leads to less disrupted sleep, but the proverbial scale can tip in the other direction when high-calorie meals with large amounts of fat or carbohydrates are eaten too close to bedtime.

IF is beneficial for more than just reducing calories and losing weight.

How It’s Done

The way you incorporate IF into your life depends on a few factors, but all experts suggest figuring

health & wellness

Intermittent fasting can help those with higher ghrelin hormone levels as it subverts normal meal times, when people often eat whether or not they’re actually hungry.

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out what works best for your schedule, which will set you up for the most success. IF is similar to time-restricted eating (TRE), and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, although there are some differences. According to the National Library of Medicine, TRE “focuses on the timing of meals and their relation to circadian rhythm, hormonal, and metabolite profile within 24-hour period,” while IF only focuses on eating during certain hours of the day or days of the week.

A popular IF option is the 16:8 schedule, which means you fast for 16 hours and choose an eight-hour eating window, though many people limit their eating to a four-hour window. “The 16:8 schedule ends up being the easier to incorporate into daily life, and so would be easier to stick to,” says Sequoia Kristal, CNC, of Tannersville, founder of Purslane Nutrition and Pathome Meal Delivery. “One of the biggest struggles clients have in our work together is turning ideas into habits,” Kristal says. “You can still go about a fast-paced life, as long as you make sure you’re getting nutrient-dense foods in during the eating window.”

Elizabeth W. Boham, MD, MS, RD, Physician and Medical Director of the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, recommends a 12-hour fast for everyone. “Everyone can handle this, and this is good for everyone,” she says. “Many people like the 16:8, and that can be helpful, but we focus on not having people eat too late at night,” Dr. Boham says, adding that it’s better to eat between 8 am and 4 pm or 10 am and 6 pm, because people need fuel for their day and eating too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep.

Another option is the 5:2, where people eat normally five days a week and restrict calories to 500 to 600 on two non-consecutive days. “The 5:2 method requires a bit more time to plan—because you are restricting calories, you may feel an energy zap on those days—and it could be harder to take care of kids, work, run errands, rigorous exercise or do whatever you need to do,” Dr. Bohan explains. “People might want to schedule less on the fasting days,” she says.

It Isn’t for Everyone

Intermittent fasting is beneficial for many people, but it’s not for everyone, and for people with a history of disordered eating, restricted eating may be a slippery slope. Ilyse Simon, RDN, CDN, is a Kingston-based nutrition therapist specializing in eating disorders, and she says that intermittent fasting isn’t intuitive, easy, or sustainable and that if we want to address issues like obesity, fatigue, or insulin resistance, we need to address the root cause and the behaviors that feed into it. “Intermittent fasting is just another rule or restriction and is extremely harmful,” Simon says, adding that IF has been linked to higher incidences of eating disorders and eating disorder behaviors, including compulsive exercise, vomiting, fasting, laxative use, and binging.

Sustainable Weight Loss?

“IF can be a sustainable way to lose weight and help keep weight off,” Kristal says. “The more manageable the task, the more sustainable, and TRE seems more sustainable than calorierestricted eating.” Kristal thinks TRE’s longterm success is because people stop grazing or overeating foods they don’t need since they’re not eating the traditional three mega-portioned meals daily with many additional trips to the fridge or the deli for snacks.

Kristal had a client who got a bacon, egg, and cheese every morning, grabbed some sort of deli meat sandwich with chips and a soda for lunch, and had pizza or a hamburger and fries for dinner. “Before we discussed TRE, we discussed the lack of vegetables and fiber in his diet and the need to incorporate way more servings of vegetables, needing some fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, where to find better quality protein sources, and the lack of quality, antiinflammatory fats,” she says. “When this client moved to a TRE window of about four hours in the late afternoon, he stopped eating a few hours before bed, and also started eating more nutrientdense foods in that window, and lost a ton of weight.” People are more likely to stick with IF when they see sustainable results and feel better when doing it.

because their bodies are seeking fuel. Boham likes the 5:2 plan for people who are stuck and not losing weight, because longer fasting periods have been shown to improve metabolic function and shift how the body uses glucose

Other Health Benefits

People are more likely to stick with intermittent fasting when they see sustainable results and feel better when doing it.

In addition to weight loss, Dr. Boham says that IF may help with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, plus it may improve blood sugar control, lower insulin, lower HgA1C, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. “Increased autophagy [cleaning up damaged old cells], decreased inflammation, lowered oxidative stress, lowered insulin, activating adaptive cellular stress response, improving mitochondria and energy production, and supporting DNA repair are additional benefits,” Dr. Boham says.

Studies show that IF may also be beneficial for regulating reproductive hormones like testosterone and estrogen in both males and females.

Barriers to Entry

Can people just start fasting or do they need towork with a doctor? The short answer is yes. “I think basic IF or TRE, such as the 16:8 plan, is fine without a doctor or nutritionist on board,” Dr. Boham says. But I think people are more successful when they work with someone who has experience in this area.”

Anyone with a medical condition or a history of disordered eating should consult a medical professional before starting a fast to investigate how fasting may affect them, especially because fasting may affect medications. “Working with a nutritional professional can be extremely helpful in any sustainable weight loss program, including fasting, to make sure you are still getting all the nutrients you need to sustain the body’s basic functioning,” Kristal says.

Fasting is not a quick fix, and it’s not for everyone. In addition to people who have a history of disordered eating, Dr. Boham says fasting is contraindicated for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under 18 years old. “People with type 1 diabetes should work with a nutritionist or doctor with experience in this arena,” Dr. Boham advises.

Last Word on Intermittent Fasting

“Some people have lower ghrelin and insulin, and IF helps some of our patients lose weight and become more metabolically flexible,” Dr. Boham says. Ghrelin is a hormone produced in the stomach that signals to the brain that the stomach is empty and it’s time to eat. People with higher ghrelin generally eat more whether they’re hungry or not, and tend to eat because it’s mealtime, not

“Fasts have been used across cultures for centuries, and not just for the physical benefits,” Kristal says, and for many people, IF is a game changer. While it’s undisputed that we need food for our bodies to have fuel to burn, most of us are eating too much too often. If you’ve ever felt an energy slump in the afternoon after eating a big lunch, you’ve experienced the amount of energy it takes to digest that burger or bowl of pasta. By limiting our eating hours—while also being mindful of what we eat—research shows we’ll have more energy, not less, and we’ll also be less prone to chronic disease.


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Anyone who has encountered joint pain as they have aged knows how valuable freedom of movement truly is. From the grandparent who wants to keep up with rambunctious little ones to the avid runner who isn’t ready to put away their sneakers, joint pain and stiffness can quickly begin to chip away at the enjoyment of the day-to-day. For some people, the most viable path toward regaining quality of life is joint replacement surgery, a procedure that has jumped lightyears ahead in the last decade thanks to state-of-the-art medical technology.

At Columbia Memorial Health (CMH), for instance, the use of the Stryker Mako—a robotic arm programmed for precision-based assistance in the operating room—allows surgeons to perform highly personalized procedures that meet a patient’s individual needs. Dr. Christopher Gorczynski, MD, an orthopedic surgeon who has been in practice at CMH for 18 years, recently performed his 1,000th robot-assisted joint replacement surgery with the help of this cutting-edge tool and has seen firsthand the difference the technology makes in improving his patients’ lives.

“When it comes to total knee, hip, or shoulder replacements, the instruments and alignment techniques haven’t changed much in 20 to 30 years,” Dr. Gorczynski explains. “But when robotics and computerized programs came along, it allowed us to highly customize operations for every individual patient. The Stryker Mako Robot is a sophisticated planning tool in the operating room that allows us to make sure that every surgery is matched exactly to that patient’s unique anatomy.”

The increased precision of the robotic arm allows CMH surgeons to preserve healthy bone and optimally balance soft tissues, resulting in easier recovery and rehabilitation, and a more normal feeling, longer-lasting prosthesis. This type of individualized care has become even more important as the number of surgeries has increased in recent years, largely due to the aging Baby Boomer generation. “We’re seeing an increase in joint replacement needs and that number is only expected to continue growing. My practice is focused on meeting this need to make life easier for a growing number of people,” Dr. Gorczynski says.

For those who are considering joint replacement surgery, Dr. Gorczynski suggests speaking with their healthcare provider about the best option. ”The decision to undergo surgery is a big deal for patients, and it’s normal to have questions,” he says. “It is important to find a surgeon who not only does a high volume of these procedures, but who also will follow up with them after the operation. It’s important that our patients feel supported from the initial decision for surgery until they are fully rehabilitated.”

“Individualized care is fundamental. Some patients tolerate non-operative treatment for years, while others prefer to proceed more rapidly to surgery, feeling that if it is inevitable they would prefer to just get it done. I enjoy working with patients as we make these decisions together,” Gorczynski adds. “After surgery, it is very rewarding as a surgeon to see patients rapidly progress from using a walker to resuming activities they stopped because of their diseased joint. We continue to follow-up with patients at five year intervals. It is great to hear how their new joint has improved their quality of life—they’re playing with grandkids, going on trips, exercising. We’re seeing results like this day after day.”

High-Tech Surgery with a Human Touch

A Columbia Memorial Health Surgeon Performs His 1,000th Robot-Assisted Surgery

Produced by Chronogram Media Branded Content Studio.

A Century of Conservation

The Legacy of New York State Parks

Acentury means very little to nature. The path for Niagara Falls’ rushing waters was carved by a glacier more than 10,000 years ago. The Hudson has snaked through its river valley since as long as 20,000 years ago. The Palisades were formed by magma and sandstone, cooled and eroded to sheer cliff faces, over 200 million years.

But a century in politics means a lot. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), which maintains, creates, and expands the state’s 180 parks, including those natural sites. “We’re celebrating the structure of a group of advisors who have the best interest of this open land at heart,” says Randy Simons, the Commissioner Pro Tempore and Chief of Staff of OPRHP. “It’s a recognition that it was our predecessors who said, ‘We have to organize this. We have to ensure that these lands are managed properly.’”

The milestone is a chance to reflect on the history of the modern state parks system, which arose out of a patchwork of purchased and donated natural preserves and historic sites. But some of the lands that make up the most iconic parks in the state came under government protection before Governor Alfred E. Smith signed the 1924 law that created the New York State Council of Parks.

Niagara Falls, for example, was one of the most important early conservationist projects in

the United States. It came under government management in 1885 with the creation of the Niagara Reservation—New York’s first state park and one of the first state parks in the country.

The Legacy of Niagara

Much of the motivation to create the reservation came from public advocacy, as industrial development crept closer to the falls, which were a valuable source of hydroelectric power. The desire to block this and preserve the falls’ appeal for residents and tourists was driven by cultural fascination with the falls, demonstrated by the popularity of Niagara (1857), the painting by Hudson River School artist Frederic Church.

The work at Niagara set off an explosion of public-driven preservation efforts, championed by some of New York’s richest families, like the Rockefellers and the Letchworths. Industrialist William Pryor Letchworth personally purchased and preserved much of the land that makes up today’s Letchworth State Park in western New York, which was voted the nation’s best state park in 2015.

Today, OPRHP’s 180-park network includes many locations in the Hudson Valley, like the iconic Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, where Washington commanded the Continental Army in the last year of the Revolutionary War. New York State took control of the property in 1850, making it the first property of any kind purchased by any arm of the US government for

historic preservation.

Other OPRHP properties in the Hudson Valley include the Lake Taghkanic State Park, Minnewaska State Park, Harriman State Park, the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, and the Walkway Over the Hudson.

In some sense, their creation all stemmed from early conservation efforts, such as the establishment of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, founded in 1900 by then-New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, providing a model for the administration of open spaces.

Similar to the Niagara Falls, quarrying threatened the Palisades. So officials from New York and New Jersey purchased over 14 miles of river shoreline to create 30,000 acres of parks like Harriman and Bear Mountain to improve the lives of city dwellers through an accessible slice of nature.

“When you look at New York state parks and historic sites, we really were the template for what the federal structure is today,” says Simons. That template saw millions of dollars of public funds directed to the purchasing and expansion of public lands, following Progressive Era political ideals, like the public spending push of FDR’s New Deal.

Robert Moses, a towering figure in state parks’ legacy, controlled much of this spending as he took leadership roles in the early parks agency. After helping draft the law to establish the state parks council, Moses ran the Long Island parks council, where he put the beaches in the Robert




A family day trip to Putnam County is sure to satisfy parents who are craving culture and excited kids who need room to roam.

Moses State Park under its stewardship.

Moses ascended to higher ranks in New York State government, growing powerful as he expanded the reach of the parks council to construct parkways, such as the Taconic Parkway, some of the region’s earliest highways.

But as officials turned away from car-centric infrastructure out of environmental concerns and attempts to make parks accessible to people without cars, Moses’ legacy remains a reminder of how government priorities change. For instance, at Niagara Falls, the Niagara Scenic Parkway, known as Robert Moses State Parkway until 2016, has been significantly downsized.

“Our system as it was built is not necessarily the way it should be maintained today,” says Simons. “I like to think that our predecessors are sort of proud of what we’re doing today.”

That change is exemplified in the Hudson Valley, where the Sojourner Truth State Park in the City of Kingston opened on Earth Day in 2022. It provides a model for how officials are bringing a new set of public priorities into OPRHP’s work.

To make the park a reality, OPRHP worked with Hudson Valley environmental nonprofit Scenic Hudson, which maintains 60 parks and nature preserves in the region. The group had been trying to preserve the area where Sojourner Truth State Park now stands since the 1990s, when a developer first proposed to build 2,500 luxury housing units on the site of an old quarry

that had been abandoned since the 1980s. “It would’ve been out of keeping with the natural grandeur of the Hudson Valley,” says Seth McKee, the executive director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust.

After plans for the development were scrapped following the 2008 financial crisis, Scenic Hudson was able to purchase the site in 2019 with the goal of turning it into a park. Since the nonprofit has worked with OPRHP for over 40 years, the two partnered to renovate the park, constructing a new parking lot and trails to a lookout, removing crumbling concrete silos, and fleshing out a waterfront area with seating and a shaded pavilion. “These public-private partnerships are really vital,” says McKee. “If the nonprofit sector can step in and help, that is ultimately really good.”

The partnership that created Sojourner Truth State Park echoes many of the early goals of the state parks program—improving the lives of city residents, preserving open spaces, and preventing excessive development. And with the new Empire State Trail, a trail stretching from New York City to Buffalo opened in 2020, running through the park, it presents a vision of a future for OPRHP, which according to Simons, aims to create a “necklace of parks” that are accessible for residents across the state.

“Parks are the great unifier,” says Simons. “They have a little something for everybody. They’re an extension of everybody’s backyard.”

Magazzino in Cold Spring is a museum exclusively dedicated to Italian art. Learn about art movements like Arte Povera of the 1960s, then pay a visit to the pack of adorable Sardinian donkeys who call the museum home.

The natural world defines Manitoga, the 75-acre former Garrison home of prominent American industrial designer Russel Wright. Dragon Rock, his experimental home and studio, stuns with stone and boulder floors, a massive tree trunk at its center, and views of a 35-foot waterfall.

Boscobel House and Gardens is known for its expansive views of the Hudson River, Constitution Marsh, and the US Military Academy at West Point. Take in the sights of the historic Federal-style home, then explore the property’s gardens, orchard, sculpture garden, and hiking trails.

By car or by train, take a day trip to Putnam County, where there’s always another reason to say “I Love New York.” Check out for more information about what to do and see in Putnam County.

This project is supported by a grant awarded to Putnam County Tourism by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism.

From left: Minnewaska State Park in Kerhonkson. Photo by Ronald Greenberg. Sam’s Point in Cragsmoor. FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights. Photos courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
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The Artist’s Trail

Hikes That Inspired Famous Paintings & Literature

The Hudson Valley is a crucible of American artistry and imagination, so densely layered with the footprints of literary giants, master painters, and even cinematic visionaries that no single list could ever capture its full spectrum. From Walt Whitman’s reflective pauses along the lower Hudson Valley to the cinematic landscapes of Orange County that framed scenes of Michael Clayton, the region is a living mosaic of inspiration.

Consider the locomotive rhythm of Croton tied to Whitman’s Specimen Days, or the autumnal vibrancy captured in Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Autumn on the Hudson River. Venture further, and you encounter Olana, Frederic Edwin Church’s hilltop muse, and the dramatic vistas of Kaaterskill High Peak, immortalized by Thomas Cole.

James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking peered out from the Catskills Escarpment, envisioning “all creation” along the Hudson’s glittering dawn line. Washington Irving spun tales of Rip Van Winkle’s enchanted slumber in these very woods. The naturalist musings of John Burroughs echo around Slide Mountain and Slabsides, blending seamlessly with the rebellious spirit of Hunter S. Thompson in the Orange County hamlet of Huguenot, and the musical lore of Bob Dylan and Levon Helm in Woodstock.

And yet, this is merely scratching the surface. The Hudson Valley’s landscapes are not just backdrops but active participants in a dialogue between the environment and the creative minds it nurtures. In tracing the “Artist’s Trail,” we embark on a journey through terrain that inspired

masterpieces across the arts. Our list may never be complete, but it can be something of a testament to the enduring muse that is the Hudson Valley.

Rockefeller Park Preserve Loop

Trailhead Location: Pleasantville

Hike Length: 6.6 miles

Total Ascent: 550 feet

Time: 2.5 hours

Intensity: Moderate hike

Nestled close to the legendary Sleepy Hollow, the Rockefeller State Park Preserve offers more than 1,400 acres of varied landscapes. The Preserve Loop, with its gentle trails winding through wetlands, woods, meadows, and alongside the picturesque Swan Lake, invites hikers into a world that feels as though it’s stepped out of Washington Irving’s haunting tales. The proximity to Sleepy Hollow connects hikers to the lore of the Headless Horseman, weaving through a landscape that blurs the lines between the natural world and the supernatural narratives that have captivated readers for centuries. This serene yet storied trail offers a peaceful hike that whispers tales of yore, inviting contemplation of the area’s lasting influence on American literature.

Kaaterskill Falls

Trailhead Location: Palenville

Hike Length: 2.6 miles

Total Ascent: 630 feet

Time: 1.5 hours

Intensity: Moderate hike

A beacon for artists of the Hudson River School, Kaaterskill Falls cascades dramatically over two

tiers, creating one of New York’s most stunning natural spectacles. The trail to the falls is steeped in the same sublime beauty that inspired Thomas Cole and his contemporaries, offering a glimpse into the raw, untamed splendor that defined early American landscape art. As you hike, you traverse paths that have been trod by those seeking the sublime, the extraordinary interplay of light, water, and stone that transcends mere scenery to become something almost spiritual. The falls themselves, especially in the full flow of spring or framed by the fiery palette of autumn, are a live canvas, displaying the awe-inspiring power and beauty that fueled the imaginations of some of America’s most renowned artists.

Artist’s Rock & Sunset Rock Loop

Trailhead Location: Haines Falls

Hike Length: 6.2 miles

Total Ascent: 800 feet

Time: 3-4 hours

Intensity: Moderate hike

This North-South Lake Loop transcends a mere hike; it’s a pilgrimage through the heart of America’s first artistic movement. Cradling the serene North-South Lake, ascends to iconic vistas like Artist’s Rock and Sunset Rock, places where the canvas of the Hudson River School came to life under the watchful eyes of Thomas Cole, Cropsey, and their contemporaries. These vantage points offer more than breathtaking views—they are the spots where artists once stood, interpreting the sublime interplay of light, land, and sky into works that would define a nation’s identity.



Trailhead Location: West Park

Hike Length: 3.4 miles

Total Ascent: 370 feet

Time: 1.5-2 hours

Intensity: Easy hike

In the heart of the Hudson Valley lies Slabsides, the hand-built cabin retreat of John Burroughs, one of the most influential naturalists in American history. This simple sanctuary, constructed in 1895 amidst a natural amphitheater of rock and forest, provided the backdrop for many of Burroughs’ insightful writings on nature and humanity’s place within it. The trails around Slabsides, now part of the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary, meander through landscapes that remain much as they were in Burroughs’s time, offering a direct connection to the wilds that inspired his essays.

Through Slabsides and its surrounding environs, John Burroughs immortalized the Catskills not merely as a geographical feature but as a beacon of the intrinsic value of the natural world, advocating for its appreciation and preservation. His writings continue to inspire those who seek to understand and protect the natural beauty that defines not only the Catskills but all wild places.

Rip Van Winkle’s Resting Place

Trailhead Location: Winter Clove Inn, Round Top Hike Length: 4.8 miles

Total Ascent: 1,125 feet

Time: 3.5 hours

Intensity: Moderate

Want to follow in Rip Van Winkle’s footsteps and lie down in the very spot where he slept through 20 historic years of American history? Well, do I have the hike for you…

Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” tells the story of a lazy farmer who avoids his nagging wife by escaping to the Catskill Mountains. There, he encounters the ghosts of Henry Hudson’s crew, joins their game of ninepins, and after consuming their liquor, falls into a deep slumber. Upon waking up, he finds a drastically changed world: his wife is dead, his daughter is an adult, his neighbors are unfamiliar, and now, instead of living under British rule, he slowly discovers that America has become an independent nation.

Rip’s Rock, on the eastern ridge of North Mountain, overlooks Stony Brook as it flows down through, and ever deepens, Rip Van Winkle Hollow. The view here, at the climax of this moderate hike, is one of the Catskills greats.

There are a lot of intersecting trails in the area so a navigational aid like AllTrails or GaiaGPS on your phone (with a full battery!) will serve you well here.

This hike begins and ends on private property, at the very lovely Winter Clove Inn in Round Top. Ninety-five percent of this route is on public lands owned by New York State but, before you begin your hike, please stop by the reception area of the Winter Clove Inn to ask permission to use their trails. The staff are very friendly and the owners are keen for respectful hikers to enjoy the trails which surround the Inn.

Sean O’Dwyer hikes and photographs the Hudson Valley every week. He also produces, a hyper-detailed trail guide resource for Hudson Valley hikers.

Looking for open spaces, fresh air, and adventure? Discover the picturesque region of the Sullivan Catskills. This scenic area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature.

The vast expanse of forests provides countless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife observation. Trails wind through dense woodlands, leading hikers to hidden waterfalls, tranquil lakes, and breathtaking viewpoints.

It will be summer soon enough, when visitors can take an excursion down the Delaware River, whether on a raft, canoe, or kayak while searching for bald eagles flying high above.

Dotted throughout the region are charming towns and villages where visitors can explore historic sites, browse local art galleries, and sample delicious farm-to-table cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

After a day of adventure, relax and recharge at a charming inn, bed and breakfast, resort, or lodge and experience the Sullivan Catskills’ historic hospitality.

Slabsides, located in West Park, is the hand-built cabin of 19th-century writer andnaturalist John Burroughs. Photo by Sean O’Dwyer. Opposite: Autumn - On the Hudson River, Jasper Francis Cropsey, 1860. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington. The painting created a sensation among British viewers who had never seen such a colorful panorama of fall foliage.



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Four Wonderful, Walkable Delaware County Towns To Visit

With a rich history as a center of industry, agriculture, and recreation, Delaware County in the Great Western Catskills is home to many towns with charming Main streets that have access to everything visitors could want within walking distance. Add to that the fact that many towns are also accessible by the popular Trailways bus line, so even visitors without a car can enjoy a day- or weekend-long Catskills adventure.

Here are four Delaware County towns with cozy hotels, farm-to-table restaurants, independent shops, arts and cultural events, and quick access to the great outdoors all within a few minutes’ walk.


Tucked inside a quiet valley, Andes is a hidden gem along Route 28, its Main Street chock-full of shops, restaurants, galleries, and event spaces to enjoy.

Stay at the Andes Hotel, a reimagined inn at the hamlet’s center with a restaurant that serves up crave-worthy spins on comfort food. For a stellar welcome drink, head to Wayside Cider, which has been sourcing wild and abandoned homestead apple trees to make its cider since 2014. Just across Main Street is Dana’s Place, a streamside bar with eclectic decor offering up homey pub fare.

Ready to explore? At Diamond Hollow Books, shoppers will find a curated list of book titles, a reiki practitioner, and the occasional book reading by a literary world giant. Just five minutes from the hamlet’s center is the Andes Rail Trail, a scenic

3.9-mile trail that takes hikers through breezy meadow and soaring pine barren.


A lively hub located along the West Branch of the Delaware River, Delhi has attracted a diversity of independent business owners, restaurateurs, and cultural movers and shakers to its Main Street.

Spend the night at the West Branch House, a quaint B&B tucked away on Franklin Street. On Main Street, The Blue Bee Cafe is a mustvisit for breakfast or lunch, and just a few doors down is Hollow, an elegant little spot with an internationally inflected menu.

In search of souvenirs? Head over to The Stonehouse, a shop filled with handcrafted wares ranging from Moroccan rugs to ceramics, candles, and jewelry. Get a feel for the cultural scene at Bushel Collective, an experimental, collectively run space that hosts everything from art exhibitions to yoga workshops to film screenings. Want to get into nature? Take a short walk to the Delhi Trails at Mt. Crawford, 4.5 miles of trails that take hikers up the mountain ridge above the village.


Looking for a place to truly get away from it all? Just over the Delaware County line from Ulster is Fleischmanns, a small community dotted with historic homes tucked into the forested mountainside.

Book a stay at the Arts Inn, a colorful B&B on Main Street where guests can enjoy homemade

dinners, yoga, and regular live music and theater events. In the morning, pop over to The Village East for pastries, coffee, and tea. Grab a cocktail and hearty bistro bites at The Print House and enjoy live music and an always-spinning vinyl record collection. Pop into Two Stones Farm Store and Creamery to load up on the farm’s own cheeses, plus alpaca knitwear and goat milk soaps. For a dose of cosmopolitan culture, take in an art exhibition at 1053 Gallery.


Located in the northeast corner of Delaware County, Stamford has been a Catskills destination since the 1870s, when the “Queen of the Catskills” would welcome city dwellers traveling north by train.

Stay at The Vine on Main, a modern motel with views of the mountains. Fuel up at T.P.’s Cafe, a sunny spot offering homestyle breakfasts and comfort food. Ready to shop? Find stylish mountain-themed merch at Catskill Outpost or pop into The Shop at Catskills Junction for original jewelry, apothecary goods, and a curated selection of vintage items. When it’s time to enjoy some fresh mountain air, get a rental from Big Lug Bicycle Outfitter and wheel over to the Catskill Scenic Trail, 26 miles of a former railroad track now used for recreation of all kinds.

For more inspiration on where to go and what to do during a trip to Delaware County, visit Produced

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Renaissance and Revitalization


On December 18, Newburgh’s City Council declared a housing emergency. The decision came after a study revealed that the city’s rental vacancy rate fell below a five percent threshold. As part of the declaration, the Council activated the Emergency Tenant Protection Act to regulate rent in certain buildings—those with six or more units built before 1974. According to Mayor Torrance Harvey, the issue wasn’t entirely unexpected.

“We had already paid for a housing study in 2019 with the Leviticus Fund,” says Harvey. “I had already looked at human migration charts and data with the Hudson Valley Regional Council, and we knew that human migration was going to happen exponentially. Add Covid to that, and then the migrant workers being bused, and we knew that people would be moving here. We had anticipated it, but we didn’t know that the housing study did not come with a vacancy study. Once we did that, we found out we were below the threshold.”

Housing Developments

Despite the declaration, Mayor Harvey believes that the city is equipped to deal with its housing concerns. “We’ve been ahead of the curve on a lot of issues,” says Harvey. “Because we have this information, we have six or possibly seven new housing developments already through the land use boards.”

Many new developments are already in progress. The Kearney Group is currently engaged in constructing 66 affordable units at 15 South Colden Street, and Safe Harbors of the Hudson has secured a $15 million grant and subsidy to renovate all 128 apartment units at the Cornerstone Residence on 111 Broadway—along with a new roof, windows, and elevators. The Washington Street School, inactive for several years, is undergoing conversion into a mixed-use commercial and residential site, with an estimated 100 to 120 units. And Mana Tree Properties has recently repurposed an old factory to add 59 marketrate rental units to the city at Lofts at the Foundry

40 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 4/24 community pages
The Smiths Tribute NYC performing at the Silk Factory on March 8. They closed their set with "Big Mouth Strikes Again." Opposite, top: A Newburgh Habitat for Humanity house under construction on Third Street. Opposite, bottom: Mayor Torrance Harvey chairs a Newburgh City Council meeting.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, a nonprofit that builds affordable homes for middle and low-income individuals, has also increased their efforts. “Before Covid, we were building three or four houses a year,” says executive director Jill Marie. “We now have 14 under construction. That’s indicative of the housing crisis that everyone is talking about.”

In response to the housing emergency, Habitat Newburgh worked with their national affiliate to host a series of small group workshops as part of a safety initiative. “We get some pushback from people wondering what Habitat has to do with community safety,” says Marie. “But it makes sense for us to invest our resources to make sure our homes maintain their value and that the community can stay in them. On a holistic level, the long-term of that is safety.”

Marie notes that the workshops involved discussions with diverse groups, including educators from various fields, to collaboratively identify and assess the resources available in the city. “For example, we work closely with the Newburgh Hook Elite Boxing Club, a very small nonprofit here,” says Marie. “They have an up-and-coming young boxer going professional, but they don’t have the resources to really invest in that program. [Club director Leonard Lee] is training kids, getting them off the streets, and showing them a different way of operating. If we have a community invested in its youth and resources, there will be less violence.”

Community Building and Activism

Several groups and organizations share Marie’s perspective on empowering the younger generation. At the Newburgh Armory Unity Center—which runs 34 free programs for children on Saturdays—kids can take up to five classes per day in subjects ranging from science, math, swimming, acting, coding, art, aviation, and dance.

Most recently, the armory officially launched a new Lego-themed classroom, designed in collaboration with Legoland and the Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation. “It’s really meant to teach kids about engineering and math through the fun of playing with Legos,” says Max Cuacuas, director of operations. “We always try to do new innovative things to keep the kids interested; it’s not a forced thing like, ‘You have to go to school.’”

As for the armory’s other offerings, Cuacuas highlights their All City-Wide Basketball League, led by Coach Harold Rayford. “Back in the day, when there was a lot of violence in the city, it was very ‘this side’ versus ‘that side,’ explains Cuacuas. “The league is meant to bring kids from different sides of Broadway together to play basketball.”

Top: Owner Robert Fontaine behind the bar at the newly opened District Ramen on Lander Street. The mural was created by Pat Nunnari of King Street Sign Co. Middle: North Plank Road Tavern owner Tom Costa next to artifacts from the restaurant's long history, which includes operating as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Bottom: Reggie Young recently moved his salvage business, Hudson Valley House Parts, from Broadway to 201 Ann Street. Opposite, top: Councilmember Anusha Mehar is spearhaeding an effort to create a park at Crystal Lake in Ward 3. Opposite bottom: Chef/owner Miguel Perez-Valencia in the kitchen with Daniel Yescas at El Gran Toro Mexican Brasserie on Broadway.

The Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh—which offers programs in the arts, academics, and athletics for kids in kindergarten through late teens—has also expanded. For the past few years, the club has worked to build a new 20,000-square-foot facility called the Center for Arts and Education, which will house its Early Literacy Program and the Newburgh Performing Arts Academy. “After Covid, there was a series of starts and stops,” says Kevin D. White, executive director. “But the project is on tap, and we expect to do a ribbon cutting this summer.”

The club also offers a workforce development program for high school students. The program provides paid internships for 12 weeks, helps place students in part time jobs while in school and during the summer, and then directs them toward careers after they graduate. Additionally, its Diplomas2Degrees program assists high school students, especially first-generation college goers, in enrolling in higher education.

Alongside these efforts is the LYNC Community Foundation, founded by Melanie Collins. In 2021, the foundation advised on the design and planning of Newburgh YouthBuild, a pre-apprenticeship program that trains youth aged 16 to 24 for careers in carpentry, construction trades, the culinary arts, and nursing. Now, YouthBuild has a new home: Highpoint, the campus LYNC built out of a restored black Methodist church building and parish house.

LYNC aims for Highpoint to not only serve as the base for YouthBuild but also to expand educational and cultural opportunities for black women. The campus will house various community organizations, a coworking space, a Black bookstore and cafe, a wellness center, and a commercial training kitchen. Already, businesses at Highpoint include Hudson Valley Cheesecake and Wellness Shines On.

There’s also been activism in the form of the “Newburgh Wants a Park” campaign, a coalition of 30 organizations seeking to designate 109 acres of Crystal Lake and Snake Hill as a public park. Besides purely environmental concerns, the movement aims to address equity in Ward 3, a predominantly low income and 71 percent BIPOC neighborhood. “It’s the only ward in the city that does not have a designated park, despite having the largest green space in the entire city,” says Anusha Mehar, a Newburgh City Councilmember who helped spearhead the campaign and started the online petition to protect the space

A Growing Art Scene

Since 2011, Umbra Sound Stages has been hosting film and television productions ranging from small indie projects to large-scale TV productions. As part of New York State incentives, projects filmed at Umbra are eligible for a 40 percent film tax credit. “When a project comes in, it’ll employ anywhere from 100 to 200 union employees— highly skilled craftspeople,” says Summer Crockett Moore, managing partner. “And the shows have a 50 to 60 percent local-hire ratio. We hear over and over that people living in the region, who had to commute to the city for years, are now so happy to work in their own backyard.”

In a former coat factory filled with antique printing equipment, Thornwillow Press publishes handcrafted, limited-edition books. They’re now producing a free music series called Concerts at Calvary, which takes place at the Calvary Presbyterian Church and features a newly restored Skinner Pipe Organ. “It’s unclear if there are any other Skinner instruments like it anywhere in the country,” says Luke Ives Pontifell, Thornwillow founder. “Newburgh now has this million-dollar organ, and we needed to do

Savaggi Gallery founder Rosanna Scimeca with Luna inside the Bank Arts Center in the former Newburgh Savings Bank. The sculptures, by Kate Raudenbush, will be exhibited through August 10.

Meet your General Legal Services Team

Meet your General Legal Services Team

Meet your General Legal Services Team

Meet your General Legal Services Team

Individuals or families often come to us in need of trusted legal representation for sensitive or complicated issues.

Individuals or families often come to us in need of trusted legal representation for sensitive or complicated issues.

We can help with: Real Estate, Wills, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Estate Administration & Matrimonial and Family Law

Individuals or families often come to us in need of trusted legal representation for sensitive or complicated issues. We can help with: Real Estate, Wills, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Estate Administration & Matrimonial and Family Law

Individuals or families often come to us in need of trusted legal representation for sensitive or complicated issues. We can help with: Real Estate, Wills, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Estate Administration & Matrimonial and Family Law



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46 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 4/24 Creative New American Cuisine using Classic French Techniques Serious Food in a Relaxed, Historic Setting Available for Private Parties and Special Events Fine Dining in a Historic Tavern and Former Speakeasy N ORTH P LANK ROAD TAVERN 30 Plank Rd, Newburgh, NY (Just off of 9W at I-84) 845-562-5031 · Open Wednesday–Saturday, 4:30–9pm for dinner. Happy Hour 4:30–6 pm 845-563-3600 ESL & Technology Classes Newburgh Free Library Concerts & Community Events Activities & Classes for Children, Teens, Adults & Families Books, ebooks, audiobooks & more Computer Access & Printing Services OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 8AM-3PM NEWBURGH, NY Add Your Event for Free! The Hudson Valley’s most comprehensive calendar. EVENTS CALENDAR

something with it.” On April 27, Brandon Patrick George and Lowell Liebermann will perform pieces for flute and piano at 5pm.

Meanwhile, in a similar historic setting, artist Daniel Giordano transforms industrial remnants and natural elements into sculptures within his grandfather’s former garment factory. His materials range from clinker bricks collected along the shoreline to organic matter like deer skulls or water caltrops. “The work is reflective of Newburgh,” says Giordano. “I feel like I’m working in the wake of the Hudson River painters—everything they omitted, from train tracks and industry, to the destruction of natural grandeur and beauty.” He’s currently prepping for “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” an exhibition at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls that opens on June 22.

Finally, adding onto the scene is the Bank Arts Center. Located in the former Newburgh Savings Bank—a roughly 100-year-old building owned by the Gerald A. Doering Foundation—the recently opened center hosts Rosanna Scimeca’s Savaggi Gallery, which exhibits large-scale, immersive sculpture installations incorporating light and sound. The gallery’s current exhibition is “Inner Landscapes” by Burning Man artist Kate Raudenbush, which runs through August 10 and includes improvised ambient music as part of the New Music Program at various multisensory events scheduled during the show's tenure.

Looking Ahead

Newburgh’s historical spots aren’t confined solely to the arts; they also encompass food and drink. Owned and operated by a father and son, John and Gus Courtsunis, Commodore Chocolatier has occupied the same building since 1935. In the town of Newburgh, the North Plank Road Tavern offers fine dining in a circa 1801 building. Originally constructed as a hotel, North Plank transformed into a tavern and boarding house, and eventually a speakeasy during Prohibition.

Still, along with these longstanding businesses, there have been a slew of new spots popping up. At 96 Broadway, Bar Brava is serving Spanish tapas and curated wine in the former Mama Roux space. Once a food truck for many years, La Mexicana has recently opened a brick-and-mortar taqueria at 109 Liberty Street. Leo’s Hotdogs, which existed for decades as a cart, a food truck, and a trailer, has also opened its own standalone spot at 169 Broadway. And at 47 Lander Street, both District Ramen and the Downstate Kitchen & Coffee have opened in the past year. In the midst of all the changes and activism in Newburgh, Mayor Harvey sums up its growth simply: “There’s a renaissance happening in this historic city.”

Thornwillow Press founder Luke Ives Pontifell at the Thornwillow campus on Spring Street. Thornwillow is one of the leading fine press publishers in the world, specializing in letterpress printing, engraving, and custom bookbinding.
TICKETS AVAILABLE: Balcony: $75 | Reserved: $60 | General: $50 Students Free (with current Student ID) | Senior (62+) : $30 Tickets available at the door, online at or reserve by calling 845.913.7157 | 845.913.7157 | @ NewburghSymphony Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra presents: Aquinas Hall, Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, NY LATE TWILIGHT Saturday, May 11, 2024 | 7:30 pm Ravel La Valse Strauss Four Last Songs Elisabeth Rosenberg, Soprano Brahms Symphony No. 4



Despite wet and windy conditions, Newburghers turned up in force to our pop-up portrait shoot on March 9 at the Savaggi Gallery at the Bank Art Center. The sumptuous space inside the former Newburgh Savings Bank—currently exhibiting monumental sculptures by Kate Raudenbush—was a magical spot. Much love to Rosanna Scimeca and Bank Art Center for hosting us. Thanks to Hudson Taco for lunch and the quite potent flagon of margaritas.

Join us for the April issue launch party on April 4 at Toasted, 43 Liberty Street from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

Food by Cafe Little Treasure.

community pages
First row: Sean Brennan, Savaggi music director; Callie Brennan, Savaggi project manager; Chuck Bivona, Bivona’s Simply Pasta; Naomi Hersson-Ringskog, founder Awesome Newburgh; Michael Gabor, Newburgh Art Supply. Second row: Mike Hartley, web designer; Brandon Grimila, Downstate; Khalidah Carrington, photographer/designer; Marcus Franklin, resident tap dancer and board member, NUFFI; Michelle Corporan, artist. Third row: Manda Martin, director of development, Safe Harbors of the Hudson; Melvin Hales, Hales Hardware and Home Supplies; DeeDee Pickering, resident service coordinator, Safe Harbors of the Hudson; Sael Varela, musician, organizer; Rich Fracasse, owner of the Silk Factory. Fourth row: Laura Garcia Balbuena, Awesome Newburgh, Ken Martinez, director of performing arts programming at Safe Harbors of the Hudson, Janet Rossbach, Awesome Newburgh, and Daniel Georges, Awesome Newburgh. Opposite, top row: Neil “Nail” Alexander, composer and musician; Paige Tooker, New York Art Foundry; Chris Walklet, bartender, the Wherehouse; Julie Lindell, artist; Dale Velazquez, retired. Middle row: Daniel Gustina of Red Goose Studio; David Ackman, physician; Doree Duncan Seligmann, computer scientist/sommelier; Edwin Soto, independent photojournalist; Michele Basch, coowner of the Wherehouse. Bottom row: Carlos Navarro, owner Palate Wines and Spirits; Elliott Brown, editor; Brian Denniston, social worker; Hearn Gadbois, musician; Paul Peglar, vocal director/music director.
Top row: Jessica Kuhn, museum collections manager and Gary Quiggly, fabricator, with Taiko; Jim Savage, artist and Mary Wong, gallerist at House of Savage; Johanna Guevara, herbalist with Mars and Joi Smiley; Aaron Bernstein, teacher and Elliot Brown, editor. Middle row: Allison Cannarsa-Barr, owner of Sub Rosa and Lucy Barr; Ramona Monteverde, Ward 2 Councilperson with Naomi Lippin; Mindy Fradkin, aka Princess Wow, performer; Eileen Corrales and Fredy Sierra of Lodger. Bottom row: Newburgh Farmers’ Market crew: Lynn Maslatzides, Corina Franks, Brian Fairfield, Liz Amerman, Ryan Wentzel, Ilyana Campos, Peter Oates; Newburgh Free Library crew: Chris Morgan, Stephanie Montesanto, Ben Gocker, Kate Clarke, Karla Quiroz, Cathy Gilligan, Joseph Oliansky, Patty Sussmann, Lynn Vance, Karen Cissel, Eligia Zacharias, Layla Quiroz.
Top row: Chris Hajek and Erica Forneret of Cafe Little Treasure; Z. German, beekeeper and Onilee Wilson, Awesome Newburgh. Middle row: Shirley Noto, cultural strategist, Bank Arts Center, Ted Doering, cultural strategist, Bank Arts Center and Rosanna Scimeca, Savaggi Gallery; Carolina Wheat and Liz Nielsen, cofounders Elijah Wheat Showroom. Bottom row: Nicholas and Penelope Guccione of Orchard Valley Crossfit with Gray and Marcy Guccione; Alice Vaughan, bookbinder, Markus Hartel, owner/printer at Raghaus, and Phil Sigunick, artist. Right: Paulien Lethen, artist.

Middle and front row: Marianne Marichal, Conservation Advisory Council; Amari McFarlane, Justine Schulyer, Newburgh Cares, Gabrielle Hill, Newburgh Clean Water Project, Karen McCarthy, Downing Park, Kathy Lawrence, Greater Newburgh Parks Conservancy and Environmental Justice Fellow, Eileen Corrales, Environmental Justice Fellow, John McLaughlin, the River Pool at Beacon, Genie Abrams, Newburgh Poet Laureate, Carol Lawrence, Weed Warrior, Jennifer Rawlison and

Top row: Al Mizrahi, owner/operator/founder of The Ellis; Angela Paul Gaito, owner of APG Pilates; Archie Broady, retired; Fernando Cordova, Downstate; J. J. Reddington of Red Goose Studio. Second row: Candyce Young, board member, Safe Harbors of the Hudson; Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, artist-researcher in residence at Ann Street Gallery. Third row: Richard Bruce, artist; Lisa Silverstone, executive director, Safe Harbors of the Hudson. Fourth row: Alison McNulty, artist and director of Ann Street Gallery; Roy R. Spells, retired military. Right, Newburgh Environmental Advocates: Back row: Kwai McFarlane, Environmental Justice Fellow, Sammy Polycarpe, Matthew Schulyer, Greater Newburgh Parks Conservancy, Tyrese Billups, Environmental Justice Fellow, Bob Sklarz, Newburgh City Council, Bill Fetter, Quassaick Creek Watershed Association, Elisabeth Balakova, Beacon Climate Action. Nicole Vazquez, Newburgh Clean Water Project, Betty Bastidas, Sanctuary Healing Gardens.

Montgomery Mercantile

18 Bridge Street, Montgomery (845) 769-7094

Welcome to the Montgomery Mercantile! Owned and curated by a mother-daughter duo, the Mercantile opened in November 2022 to fill the gifting needs of the local community. Nestled in the quaint village of Montgomery the Mercantile houses local artists, chocolates and sweets, baby gifts, a handpicked selection of antiques, handmade and vintage jewelry, and an amazing variety of seasonal décor. The building itself was built in the 1790s and boasts the original wood floors and tin ceiling. Please stop by, take a step back in time, and see what wonderful treasures await!

New Windsor Country Inn

450 Temple Hill Road, New Windsor (845) 565-8110

Celebrating 40 years. Providing the best senior care since 1983. Same location, same compassionate care, same reasonable rates, same delicious meals. A full range of services and amenities are all included in the affordable monthly rate. Three delicious home-cooked meals are provided daily, as well as medication management, personal care service, activities, 24-hour supervision, assistance with ADLs, daily housekeeping, weekly laundry service, and emergency call system in each room. Salon services are on site with reasonable rates. Physical therapy can be provided.

Orange County Spotlight


Orange County earns plenty of attention thanks to renowned destinations near the Hudson River such as the West Point Military Academy, Storm King Art Center, and Bear Mountain State Park. It’s the character of small towns and villages like Cornwall, Goshen, Montgomery, and New Windsor, however, that have made the county one of the Hudson Valley’s most popular places to live and visit.

Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame

240 Main Street, Goshen (845) 294-6330

Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the American-born sport of harness racing and the American Standardbred horse. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame welcomes visitors from around the world to share in an exploration of history and current sporting events through presentations of art, artifacts, and exciting interactive exhibitry.

Children’s House

Montessori of Cornwall

265 Main Street, Cornwall (845) 820-5750

Programs offered for children 18 months through First Grade. A learning community where children are inspired to realize their academic, personal, and social potential to become global citizens. The historically proven Montessori education model supports the whole child in a classroom environment that inspires self-paced, individualized discovery and a love of learning.

The Borland House

Inn & Restaurant

130 Clinton Street, Montgomery (845) 457-1513

Uncover the charm of The Borland House Inn and Restaurant, a rare Hudson Valley gem. Indulge in garden-to-table cuisine, five historically designed rooms, and a garden event space. Just want good comfort food? Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday, 9am-2pm. Only 90 minutes from Manhattan in Montgomery Village. Book a table or stay today. Sponsored


rural intelligence

From Scrap to Sculpture


Text and photos by

The idiom “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” aptly describes how New Hartford, Connecticut, artist David Skora often finds inspiration for his work. The discarded scraps of steel that Skora discovers at his local dump and transforms into sculptures have more than paid for his yearly $140 dump pass.

His artistic process is a testament to the transformative power of imagination and resourcefulness. The acclaimed Litchfield County artist uses these bits of reclaimed metal, joined sometimes with new pieces of metal, to create welded, polychromed sculptures that evoke the spirit of modernist innovation.

Skora views his work as a dynamic dialogue between form and motion, capturing a frozen moment in time, teetering on the brink of collapse. “They are often off balance to suggest motion,” he explains.

He navigates the creative process, employing CAD (computer-aided design) as well as maquettes, cardboard full-scale models, or sketches to see how the sculpture will resolve itself.

An Unfussy Approach

Once he has an idea, Skora begins to weld the different pieces together in his large, three-bay garage home studio. He admits that it’s hard for him to stop once he gets started. Once the piece comes together, Skora paints it with brightly colored, weather-resistant tractor paint and sets it outside to dry. His bold constructions are placed throughout his rural, three-acre property.

While his award-winning, colorful sculptures can be found all over the country in many public settings as well as private collections, Skora maintains a refreshingly unfussy and practical approach to describing his process and his inspiration. “I’m interested in making stuff,” he says matter-of-factly. “My work isn’t cutting edge or avant-garde. I’m not making any political statements. Of course, I hope people will enjoy my work, but the real joy is in the process for me.”

That practical, pragmatic, and accessible approach to art comes from Skora’s humble, blue-collar beginnings, growing up in Southwestern Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. His father actually worked as a welder, but Skora says his father wasn’t the type to spend time showing him the process.

Opposite: The sculptor at work and showing off

Sculptures by Davd Skora at his home in New Hartford, Connecticut. He uses bits of reclaimed metal, joined sometimes with new pieces of metal, to create welded, polychromed sculptures that evoke the spirit of modernist innovation. an early welded piece.

An Artist Emerges

There were no artists in his family except for his aunt who lived in Chicago and worked as an au pair for a wealthy family and traveled all over the world. She would spend time with Skora making crafts and was a big influence on his life. When he was 12, she took him and his brother on a life-changing trip to San Francisco, where they visited museums. “That’s obviously when I started to really want to be an artist,” Skora says. “I wanted to draw. I always did it as a kid, but I never thought of it as a profession.”

“In my teen years, I started to try to paint a loaf of bread,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe when I finished how much it really looked like a loaf of bread. No one taught me.”

Then he began learning everything he could about art. “I went to the library in my small hometown and took out every book they had about art.”

After receiving his Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Western Michigan University, Skora worked as a graphic designer in Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. In South Bend, Skora began his professional career as a painter and sculptor and his artwork was shown throughout the Midwest.

In the 1980s, he moved to Connecticut and worked as a graphic designer and a fine artist. Then he decamped to New York City, where he received his MFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts. He returned to Connecticut again in the early 1990s and accepted a teaching position at the University of New Haven while pursuing his fine art career. (Skora currently teaches graphic design at Western Connecticut State University.)

In the late 1990s, Skora took a welding class at Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan and was hooked. He continued to take more classes and then decided to buy his own welder and try it on his own.

At first, Skora did small sculptures before trying his hand at large pieces. “They just kept getting bigger and bigger,” he says. Then Skora realized that cities and organizations all around the country were not buying sculptures but leasing them from the artists, so he submitted his work to different group exhibitions and just kept going. He estimates that he has created thousands of pieces since he first started.

Skora put 250,000 miles on his first pickup truck as he drove the sculptures back and forth to cities and towns all over the country. Now, he’s got a newer truck and even more sculptures to deliver for upcoming shows.

In spite of the many miles he’s driven, Skora’s creativity, inspiration, and enthusiasm seem endless. “There are so many things I still want to do,” Skora says. “I’m not changing the world, but it definitely changes my world. I really enjoy doing this.”

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rural intelligence events

River of Dreams: A Tribute to Billy Joel

April 5 at the Colonial Theatre

Guided by the remarkable lead singer and classically trained pianist John Cozolino, the band brings to life the iconic sound and emotion of Billy Joel’s beloved hits, including “Piano Man,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Pressure,” “Only the Good Die Young” and “Allentown.” You can’t hear these tunes enough, and the extraordinary band makes it even more worthwhile. 7:30pm. $30. Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

“Miracle Island” Opening Reception

April 6 at Kenise Barnes Fine Art

K. K. Kozik’s realistic paintings depict prosaic scenes—swans gliding across a pond, a country lane, a hedgerow of forsythia—made extraordinary through the artist’s bold use of color and offbeat perspectives. The world that Kozik inhabits is the same one the rest of us inhabit; hers is just a fiercely focused edit, removing the extraneous details and enlivening what remains with the hot fire of idiosyncratic consciousness. The exhibit continues through May 12. Free. 4-6pm. Kent, Connecticut.

Berkshire Art Center “Rococo Raku Revelry”

April 6 at the Colonial Theatre

We’ve got to hand it to the Berkshire Art Center for coming up with crazy, compelling themes each year for its annual fundraiser and dance party. The evening includes performances with local drag queen Bella Santarella, music by DJ BFG, and an early-bird cocktail party for the first look at the silent auction. As always, costumes are encouraged. Think ornate French Baroque meets Japanese minimalism. Tickets from $32. 5:30pm. Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Fundraising Screening of Freud’s Last Session

April 11 at the Triplex Cinema

Triplex Cinema and Great Barrington Public Theater will present a special screening of the recent film Freud’s Last Session, starring Anthony Hopkins, based on the Mark St. Germain play that premiered in 2009 at the Barrington Stage Company. The event includes a screening of the film, a talkback with Mark St. Germain, and a food and drink reception to follow in the Triplex lobby. $100. 5pm. Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Hollister House Garden Opening Day and Watercolor Workshop

April 19 at Hollister House Garden

Spring has sprung, at least at Hollister House Garden, which has an earlyin-the-calendar opening day. The American interpretation of a classic English garden is a rambling wonderland with hedges that create “rooms,” a winding brook, and a large pond. The garden starts off the new season with a watercolor workshop on opening day conducted by artist Betsy Rogers-Knox. Learn to mix and layer light washes of color to achieve the brilliance of the muchloved tulip flower. All levels are welcome at this one-day workshop, which requires reservations. The gardens are open 1-4pm, workshop 10am-3:30pm. Washington, Connecticut.


April 26-28 at Ventfort Hall

Every spring, the pop-up boutique BerkChique! sells clothes and accessories collected from some of the most fashionable and stylish closets in the Berkshires. All proceeds go to local nonprofits. For its ninth year, BerkChique! is presented by, and in support of, the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, but will continue its long-held tradition of supporting other important area nonprofits through the donation of clothing and/or funds. The event begins on Friday, April 26 with a First Dibs Shopping Party and then opens for general shopping (free admission) throughout the weekend. Lenox, Massachusetts.

Pittsfield City Jazz Festival

April 18-28 at various locations

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and Pittsfield knows how to celebrate. Berkshires Jazz presents its annual jazz festival with activities that include a Gershwin Extravaganza, a festival concert with some of the biggest names in the jazz world (Emmet Cohen, Avery Sharpe, Don Braden), a jazz prodigy concert, jam sessions, and the annual Jazz Crawl. The festival concludes with “From Rags to Rhythm to Duke,” featuring The Marcus Roberts Trio. Ticket prices vary. Pittsfield, Massachusetts.


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Benjamin Koppel White Buses: Passage to Freedom (Cowbell Records)

Any artist who takes on the Holocaust as the subject of their work is either a brave soul or a fool. The enormity of the industrial destruction of six million Jews by the Nazis presents a near-impossible challenge, most famously summarized in Theodor Adorno’s statement, “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” One approach that composers have favored is to focus on very specific elements of the horror, in pieces like Mikos Theodorakis’s Ballad of Mauthausen, John Zorn’s Kristallnacht, and Gary Lucas’s Verklarte Kristallnacht. Add to this list Danish composer and saxophonist Benjamin Koppel’s awesome White Buses, inspired by the liberation of some 425 Danish Jews who were rescued from the Theresienstadt concentration camp by Danish volunteers and the Swedish Red Cross driving white buses. Koppel’s song cycle successfully interpolates brief, 20-second snippets of testimony by some of those survivors (in Danish with English translations) within Koppel’s expressionist jazz-classical fusion. Eschewing didacticism, Koppel found a way to make it cohere brilliantly over 47 minutes, building to a dramatic, U2-like climax powered by his triumphant saxophone and the collective power of his world-class ensemble, featuring Hudson Valley bassist Scott Colley, pianist Uri Caine, and drummer Antonio Sanchez. The group is rounded out by vocalist Thana Alexa, cellist Henrik Dam Thomsen, and keyboardist Soren Moller. The piece ends with a poignant denouement inspired by the testimony, “To us, it wasn’t a filthy bus; to us, it was a golden carriage.”

David Greenberger and the Huckleberries Universal Preservation (PelPel Recordings)

David Greenberger is a radio commentator, artist, writer, musician, and producer who is perhaps best known as publisher of the Duplex Planet zine and multimedia series. His latest pursuit is a spoken-word double CD consisting of 110 minutes of music and conversation. A decadeslong labor of love, the melodic pairing of song and story is derived from countless interactions with people in a retirement community in Saratoga Springs. A Capitol Region resident, Greenberger captures tales from the haunting and melancholic to the delightfully and eccentrically ludicrous. The music mimics the vernacular and mines the genres of jazz, rock, and blues, encompassing motifs of sultry New Orleans funk, Appalachian Americana, and rootsy R&B. The impeccable playing and production curates an expansive base for Greenberger to voice the memories of anything and everything from everyday people. Not only does Universal Preservation chronicle a simpler time; it concedes, more importantly, that with an open ear and mind, interconnection is never far behind.

Guitarmy of One Wave Files (Independent)

The second offering by Guitarmy of One conjures a bouillabaisse of sound, by turns kitschy, exotic, and clandestine. The all-instrumental project is the nom de rock of Scott Helland, whose career stretches back to the early 1980s as a founding member of Deep Wound, the hardcore band that also launched the careers of Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and Lou Barlow. Helland’s journey has included numerous solo and collaborative projects, notably the New Paltz-based cabaret/postpunk duo Frenchy and the Punk. This set is built on a watery foundation of reverb-soaked surf music, incorporating the droning sounds of Krautrock, Eastern modal music, and the sinister sound of film noir jazz. Particular inspiration is drawn from the dystopian, supernatural, and espionage-tinged side of early ’70s film and television, as evidenced by titles such as “Jack Lord of the Sea,” “Soylent Seafoam,” and “Seance for the Saint.”


—Jason Broome Each month here we visit with a member of the community to find out what music they’ve been digging.

Daniel Villegas stands out as a uniquely talented artist in the music scene, blending rap, poetry, and rock with a touch of Latin influence, a fusion not commonly seen. Beyond his distinct style, Daniel’s dedication to supporting fellow artists while mastering performances in both English and Spanish showcases his versatility and community spirit. His latest track, “Lion Rhythms,” is a testament to his lyrical depth and musical prowess. Watching his journey unfold promises to be an exciting adventure. Equally noteworthy is Tony E, whose latest offering, “Ice Cold,” has not only captured the hearts of thousands but also underscores his consistent pursuit of musical excellence. Originally from Beacon and now a New York City resident, Tony has made a journey that is a testament to unwavering dedication and the relentless pursuit of a dream.

Last, but certainly not least, Neil Alexander stands out not only for his exceptional talent but also for his extraordinary generosity. A beacon for the dance community through his extensive work at SUNY Purchase, Neil has an influence that extends beyond teaching. His dedication to his craft and his unwavering support for fellow artists demonstrate a rare blend of talent and altruism. Together, these artists represent the essence of creativity and camaraderie in the music industry. Each brings a unique voice to the table, yet their shared commitment to artistry and community shines brightly, offering inspiration and excitement to those who follow their journeys.

Decora is a rap artist, performance poet, and activist based in Newburgh. His sixth album, the self-released Sex Music Justice, is out now.


Book with No Author

Woodstock surrealist Robison begins this tale with the arrival of a manuscript sent by someone, from somewhere, that may or may not have some connection to his own life and invites us into tales of interlocking events that may or may not have happened, but to whom, exactly? Who is it that remembers these moments, and who wrote about them? Robison’s gift for a well-paced, vivid narrative makes these telescopic layers of mystery into an outrageously enjoyable romp through the meaning of story and authorship and the nature of reality itself.

The Lifer: Rock Climbing Adventures in the Gunks and Beyond

Russ Clune


People come from across the world to climb in the Shawangunk Ridge (aka the Gunks). Russ Clune began climbing in the Gunks and then took his remarkable skillset everywhere, adventuring all over the planet among the early aficionados of what was considered a decidedly odd “dirtbag” obsession that became an Olympic sport in 2020. The destinations and characters make for an epic, insightful, and action-packed memoir that anyone who’s been or loved a climber will devour with relish, and help nonclimbers fully comprehend what the obsession’s all about.

Mrs. Lowe-Porter

Jo Salas

JACKLEG PRESS, 2024, $17

Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter was a multilingual wordsmith who helped her scholarly husband make it through Oxford before becoming, as H. T. Lowe-Porter, English translator to German novelist Thomas Mann as he rose in stature to win his Nobel Prize for Literature. Salas, co-founder of Hudson River Playback Theater, was introduced to Porter through the translator’s grandson, whom she married. Salas reads between the lines of early 20th century history and family archives to breathe life into Lowe-Porter’s reality as a woman who bent her formidable gifts to the service of others in this deeply researched, vividly imagined novelization.

I Heard Her Call My Name

Lucy Sante


What is it like to begin living as one’s true gender in the seventh decade of life? Bard professor Sante did just that in 2021, and this scrupulously honest record of her experience sheds enormous light on one human being growing into gender authenticity and on much else as well. An immigrant child, a creative immersed in the fiery firmament of downtown Manhattan through punk and AIDS to commodification, and a human being struggling desperately for decades to remain in denial of her core, Sante’s got perfect pitch in this scrupulously sincere memoir.


Lynn Schmeidler

AUTUMN HOUSE PRESS, 2024, $19.95

The terrain of marriage, motherhood, aging and other core female experiences is revealed afresh in this short story collection from Hudson Valley resident Schmeidler, whose gift for bending the constraints of reality into pretzels is matched only by the precision-tuned prose that transports us into her premise. She ups the ante with strings of surprises, taking us to entirely new destinations dripping with hilarity and horror. “InventEd,” in which a woman believes she’s imagining her husband, won the 2023 BOMB Fiction Prize.

The Audacity

Guy Sarvananthan has grown used to the material benefits of life in the literal stratosphere—his penthouse apartment atop one of Manhattan’s tallest buildings has a special feature that creates a cloud to block the view. He cannot fathom living otherwise. His wife, Victoria, is a supposedly visionary tech executive whose company claims that it has discovered a cure for cancer. But one night after attending an Oxfam benefit, thereby fulfilling what has become his chief marital duty and, really, sole existential purpose—representing his spouse at cocktail parties and museum galas—Guy is told that Victoria has gone missing, her kayak found afloat in San Francisco Bay.

A loyal underling reveals to Guy that Victoria’s entire cancer-curing enterprise is a gigantic fraud. Terrified, fully expecting to be “pilloried in the commons” or even hauled off to jail, Guy panics. Instead of flying to California to join the search for Victoria’s body, he redirects the corporate jet to a top-secret, private-island gathering where the richest people in America will try to figure out which cause to benefit with the substantial sums they have agreed to donate to charity. His goal, he tells a fellow attendee, isn’t to “solve global problems,” as the organizer grandiosely hopes. It’s “ruinous intake”—self-obliteration, billionaire-style.

This self-consciously ridiculous plot ends up being only a pretext for Kingston novelist Ryan Chapman to engage in merciless satire of the super-rich, especially disruption-obsessed tech moguls. Yet for much of The Audacity, his second novel, Chapman’s evident talent for jaunty wordplay seems ill-spent on a story that, like Victoria’s once-promising company (inspired by Elizabeth Holmes’s Theranos), never manages to get off the ground. These are shallow, soulless people, and it’s difficult to care what happens to them. In any event, nothing much does.

The Audacity has a lot in common with HBO’s “Succession”—the rapid-fire chatter, knowing allusions, nihilistic detachment—but without the high stakes. The only potential for dramatic tension is whether Victoria killed herself or faked her disappearance to avoid the coming exposure. Yet Chapman dispels the mystery instantly, interspersing longer chapters about Guy at the island forum with brief excerpts from the diary Victoria keeps while hiding out in Joshua Tree, arranging daily cunnilingus sessions with a local hireling and embarking on increasingly punishing runs in the desert, all while trying to force “eureka”—a breakthrough that will get her (and her company, and maybe Guy) out of the jam. We are given from the first to suspect that such an epiphany will elude her.

Guy doesn’t change much either. A former student of musical composition who graduated at the bottom of his conservatory class, Guy recalls his early discovery that “he’d peaked young and at modest elevation.” He sleepwalked through the decades as the twice-a-month lover of a married former fellow music student, without ambition or even will, then wedded the high-octane Victoria, agreeing to become her “placid helpmeet,” a silent, submissive stand-in on the gala circuit, after a “courtship [that] felt more like recruitment.” The Sri Lankan-born Guy is too pathetic not to be flattered. “[H]e could love someone who didn’t love him in the same fashion,” Chapman writes. “America had prepared him well for that.”

It’s one of the best lines in the book, yet, as with other nods toward matters of greater profundity (such as climate change), the novel never quite gets around to giving us anything more than a gesture. After two hundred pages of ruinous intake, Guy gets the dramatic finale he went looking for. “Let everyone else have their deathbed grasps at moral clarity, those too-late attempts to make amends,” Chapman writes. “Not him. There must be a little honor in staying true to one’s fixed self, as dishonorable as that self might be.”

The only surprising thing about what happens to our protagonist is the sheer zaniness of the details. Let’s just say it involves, among much else, him taking a shit off a roof, then fondly reminiscing about teenage handjobs from a chubby punk cowgirl, before finally getting chased up a tree by a feral pack of shipwrecked boars. It’s all pretty absurd, and not exactly in the Camusian sense.

59 4/24 CHRONOGRAM BOOKS books


Calm with Age

I know you are not who you used to be, But I do not yet know who you are now. The geese crowd the yard leading down to the lake and you make a joke that is not exactly funny, but I laugh because you’re my father and I want to believe that, these days, you’re good. I’m not sure. I keep my distance and stay away so I can’t see the bad parts of you. They must be there, though.

It’s hard to accept that you have changed because I resent that it came so late. I want a time machine that brings me to 1997 so I can take you by the shoulders and shake you, violently, tell you, “it’s okay.

You won’t always be this way. But be different now, please. Be different now.”

The day is going somewhere noticeably The day flies somewhere, noticeably, cool evenings refresh the body, the final weeks of August will be selected we have another military summer, autumn is peeking into cities and villages.

Sometimes the fog plays in the mornings, and he joyfully greets the tiny rains, and the land is empty, harvest relics replenish the barn.

And as if you breathe every day, and as if you hear, see and chew, youth meanwhile is in a hurry. Unfortunately, you will not catch up to her. —Vyacheslav Konoval

August 29, 2020

the love of animals only goes so far both ways ear against the pink wall the neighbors pounding such is the morning a sock full of rocks sharp my feet they make me taller I am my own construction with love of animals my FitBit vibrates to remind me of my heart on rainy isolated Saturdays you used to sit across from me eating macaroni after the bookstore our Wednesday ritual attempts to meet each other partially you in my arms against the washing machine the cycles shifted silently all seasons could have passed sooner than they did

Fire Tower

We know this mountain route from your running days, not so long ago, and as I steer us up the hairpin turn, I marvel at your gray-haired men, training so hard. The fire tower is hidden by the trees, the ruts in the access road too deep, so we have only our memories of the open, zigzag steps, a test I passed by silence and Mom by grit. We roll down the other side, gravel popping like a pine campfire, past cabins that we recognize as your widower’s quiet, wilderness dream we’re both relieved you thought better of. I think about the half-walled box, roof perched like a cap on top, an ocean of green all around, and the hope of spotting a far-off plume. At the dam, benched near buttery sand, you tell me about driving there, swimming young and free to the opposite shore, until rules and ropes brought that to an end, which reminds me that I read somewhere some official removed the bottom stairs to discourage lookout volunteers like us. I don’t regret what we gave up. Today we travel low, down in, reminded we were once ourselves, surrounded by the evidence.


When my old buddy smiles at me

I can see through the gauze of booze

the boy he was still there just less.

—Ryan Brennan

Country Road

The old red barn peels and slouches tilting as it departs winter settling into it’s birthplace

pulsing spring green hillside.

Don’t Blink

In the blink of its eye cat pounces on mouse swats, snubs, bats —odd amusement.

Ancient feline impulses snap the neck; dead treasure lays at my feet.

In the blink of his eye

my lover won’t come home. He chose the quiet car; he will be struck first train on car, neck snapped twisted steel and fire. No one to warm my feet.

In the blink of an eye my child is a man.

Tense chords define his neck, Rock stares across silences until rage and weeping snaps us to our feet.

In the blink of my eye

there is a toddler howling another suckling attached to daughter-momma with puffy aching feet.

Blink and I will twist my neck over my shoulder to look away.

Chemical infusions, fire and ice, endless drip, drip.

At my feet lie memories.

Born Again

Once a week these days…maybe every other

We tumble and tangle

Awash in a pleasure, quietly packing its bags

Then sleep the deep sleep, the “little death”

But every other night we are born again

With legs intertwined

Your breath on my neck

My hand on your hills

There is no expectation Or longing

Nothing more miraculous

More filled with light

Than warm skin touching warm skin

In the dark

EDITED BY Phillip X Levine

The Green Chevy

I was sixteen, he was twenty-one. His summer job was selling hot dogs and hamburgers from a truck parked on the edge of the beach. I wore an orange and yellow bikini he had the bluest eyes I’d ever seen.

We tripped down the dunes held hands by a driftwood fire, sparks flying into the night sky. He and his brother sang Beach Boys songs in perfect harmony.

I rolled a bottle of cold beer on my cheeks, drank it down. He handed me another.

Sand scratched my sunburned legs. His mouth tasted of salt and beer.

On the way back to town, the sea pounding in my ears, I stuck my head out the window and puked all over his green Chevy.

He made me clean it up the next day as he watched, a smile spread across his face like a leftover eaten watermelon rind.


AI, you’ve caught my eye.

I hear you’re special and real advanced.

You can compose anything: a poem, a fiction.

Quicker than I can collect my thoughts and pen.

Some say you’re death to real school essays, non-fiction.

Some say you’ll save lives too, but I keep hearing you’re a trickster:

You add fabrications, lies to others’ work you cut and paste.

AI, you’ve caught my eye. I worry you’ll catch my tongue.

What It Could Be

to feel joy like my daughter’s when she climbs stairs or runs into the next room to keep me from putting on her socks says, What it could be? when she notices any number of sounds I wouldn’t— a plane’s distant howl motorcycle sputter— or sees a plastic bag stuck in a tree. Her work this afternoon— move river rocks from the milk crate Dada is storing them in one by one. Line them up in a raised bed of dirt.

In a few months the same plot might hold baby eggplants we will have to tell her not to pick. Yet.

Last summer she captured one, cradled it in her arms and spoke to it like her own baby or pet all afternoon. When it browned in the fridge I couldn’t let her see. She picked another and did the same. Where did she learn this care?

All her eggs inside her at birth. Already a mother.

Maudlin Poem one by one we fall who’s next whose turn is it we stand looking around in trepidation is it me will i go before oh i just ordered those party hats the noisemakers

the birthday cake (you know the one from Banana Moon) please go on and celebrate even if it’s my turn to fall


The first strike was so sudden, and so close We all jumped in our chairs.

The lights flickered, just like in a horror film, So we turned them off

And sat for the rest of the meal in the dark With our faces pressed against the glass— A line of spectators

Gasping and cheering at every successive bolt. Awed,

Over and over

Each time the world was briefly exposed

As a negative of itself.

Impressed, each and every time

The darkness was peeled for an instant back By a unique crack of relentless line and light.

It happens like that sometimes.

You’re sitting there, being who you are, With your specific contradictions, Your slight distractions, Your vague concerns.

And then a storm comes and reminds you: Put down your fork!

Turn around!

Bring your hands and your eyes as close as you can To the pane that separates you. Never mind the fingerprints!

Never mind your manners!

When illumination comes, unexpectedly. It’s best to push all the plates aside, And simply be rapt.

Resurrection Haiku

My body—covered with a grand dark blue tattoo spelling out your name—

lay in a coma

on the beach where I proposed— long since abandoned a resurrection— waiting for us all in time— awakens me now

Watching the Soaring Hawks, While Waiting for my Son’s Arrival at PBI Airport’s Cell Phone Parking lot on 2/24/24

The sky is full of hungry birds, The ground is full of hungry worms, Me? I got the day off.

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Mountains of Words


It’s with the Hudson Valley’s original inhabitants that the medium’s local lifeline begins. “[W]hatever the tribe or band, poetry was part of the fabric of life,” writes Vassar College professor Paul Kane. “Native Americans would not have thought of poems in the terms we do today; for them, poetry was mainly song, and it occurred in a wide range of circumstances, from religious and ceremonial occasions to secular and recreational events, whether public or private in utterance. It was an oral tradition and much of it is lost to us.” Concurrent with the evolution of the Hudson River School painters were waves of poets who were similarly inspired by the region’s natural beauty, like William Cullen Bryant and his good friend, the visual art movement’s leading figure, Frederic Church, who wrote poetry himself. Later in the 19th century came naturalist John Burroughs, who published the poetry collection Bird and Bough, and his close colleague Walt Whitman, who’d journey from New York to visit and write. In the 1920s, Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first female poet to win the Pulitzer Prize, was ensconced in Columbia County, and by the 1950s the Beat revolution had migrated upriver to Woodstock, luring the likes of Bob Dylan during the following decade to cement a regional poetic lineage that lives on. Today, the amount of poetic activity in the area is truly immense: Poetry surrounds us even though many of us may not know it does. In honor of National Poetry month, we decided to put our finger on the poetic pulse that permeates the place we call home. And, as you’ll see, we found that pulse to be strong.

Creative Channels

As the poetry editor of Chronogram since June 2003, Phillip Levine has been a conduit for the many beginning poets who’ve seen their work published for the first time via our pages. “On average, I get about 80 poems from 40 poets each month,” he says. “About 80 percent are poets from in and around the Hudson Valley. Chronogram’s Poetry section is listed at [literary platform] Duotrope, so poets find us from all over the world. I’ve published a few poets recently from Ukraine.” Given the vast amount of submissions, how does Levine narrow it down to what gets featured in the magazine?

“I, personally, am eclectic and my tastes run so: ‘Prose is prose and poetry is everything else’,” he says. “I’m looking for an authentic, original voice that surprises or delights me. Work that perhaps says something that is familiar in a completely unfamiliar way. I like having a selection that is wildly varied in tone and topic, and the submissions I receive are wildly varied. I would say the same about the [local] poetry I see and hear in general—wildly eclectic.”

Levine also encounters a lot of that poetry via his role as the president of the Woodstock Poetry Society, a position he took over from the group’s cofounder Bob Wright in 2004. The organization has a monthly reading event, typically with two featured readers followed by an open mic, at the Woodstock Public Library. “Many of our attendees (about 30 or so per reading) are from all around the Hudson Valley,” says the organizer. “There are numerous other events up and down the river. Saugerties is rapidly becoming a frequent center

of events. Also, Kingston, Beacon, Orange County, and Albany have a number of ongoing reading series. Centered around Bard College is a strong language-poet bent; out of Beacon, some number of hip hop voices. It would be hard to say there is such a thing as a ‘Hudson Valley voice.’ That’s a good thing I think.”

Microphone and Micro-Press

Mike Jurkovic hosts the 25-years-and-still-going Calling All Poets, the Hudson Valley’s longest-running open-mic poetry series. “I had been running my own poetry series, Voices of the Valley, from the mid ’90s through the early ’00s in numerous venues throughout the Ulster/Dutchess area,” Jurkovic recalls. “Jim Eve, who had started CAPS, and I were forever crossing paths. In 2003, we joined forces and staked our ground at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon. We were at Howland for 15 years, doing our first Friday readings and open mics, staying at street level and building community. Soon, we made connections to the thriving poetry scenes in Woodstock, Albany, and New York City, and poets and patrons were coming from all over. When CAPS moved from Beacon to the Roost Gallery in New Paltz in 2016, the energy was electric. Close proximity to SUNY New Paltz attracted students and faculty. It all comes back to the idea of community. In a fractured society people need a place to commune. Many have told us CAPS has become that nourishing place free of judgement and criticism.” Last month, the series returned to first Friday in-person readings at its current home, the new Unison Arts

arts profile

Center in New Paltz. The organization publishes local wordsmiths via its CAPS Press imprint.

Also putting poets into print is Kingston’s 1080 Press. “1080 Press was founded in 2020 as a publishing project dedicated to producing small books and chapbooks of poetry and distributing them through the mail for free [plus postage] to a small list of subscribers,” says owner Vladimir Nahitchevansky. “Printing physical books, chapbooks, pamphlets, and zines is in essence a community-building activity, which is why I have always been attracted to it. Working alongside others, seeing how ideas bounce off one another, what things will come out of an inclination towards something else, are all fundamental elements to the book-making process.” Recent titles by the publisher include Black Bedouin by Mohammed Zenia and Tennaya Nasser Frederick and The Almond by Theodora Walsh. 1080 also prints a monthly newsletter with a guest essay; the current issue features writer and musician Richard Hell.

Not Resting on Their Laurels

Poughkeepsie’s Stephanie JT Russell is poet laureate of Dutchess County as well as an author, editor, essayist, cultural worker, and visual artist. “There are many multidisciplinary artists in our region,” Russell says. “I’m a lifelong polymath. My work frequently integrates one or more disciplines in a given work or series. My earliest root origins in painting imbued in me an inherent principle of creating something from nothing, whether on canvas, in sculpture, in film, in clay, in performance, or in words. In my case, ideation usually comes first, and the medium follows. But the inverse has occurred too, as an outcome of just horsing around with paint, encaustic, digital process, or written language.” Russell’s poems have appeared in Metropolitan Review, Friends Journal, Rabbit & Rose,, Nature Writing, Xavier Review, and several anthologies.

Ulster County Poet Laureate Kate Hymes is the founder of Wallkill Valley Writers workshops, which she has led for over 20 years. “I love poetry because

it is accessible to everyone,” Hymes, a New Orleans native and third-generation storyteller, says at Arts Mid-Hudson’s website. “A poem doesn’t require the time commitment of other art forms or writing genres. A five- or ten-minute commitment can give the reader an experience so significant that feeling of reading that poem, specific lines, or images will stay with the reader for a lifetime.” Presently, Hymes’s work focuses on the lives of free and enslaved people of African descent in New Paltz, where she now lives. “I want to be a griot who writes poems and tells the stories that keep the ancestors alive,” she says. Hymes has been featured at “Words Carry Us,” the monthly series hosted by writer Betty McDonald at Green Kill in Kingston.

Nominated for the National Book Award and three times for the Pulitzer Prize, J. R. Solonche is Orange County’s poet laureate. “My wife and I moved to the Hudson Valley from the Bronx in 1972,” he says. “Had we not done so, I would have been writing about rock pigeons and sewer rats and the Bronx River instead of red-tailed hawks and raccoons and the Delaware River all this time. Teaching English at Orange County Community College didn’t hurt either. Of course, because of its natural beauty and historic significance the Hudson Valley is a good place for anyone to live and work in, poet or no.” Solonche is incredibly prolific, having authored over 30 books of poetry. “I write every day,” says the poet. “About lots of things. A few become poems. Red-tailed hawks and raccoons. Mourning doves and muskrats. And memories of growing up playing stickball and hanging out in front of the candy store on the corner of Allerton Avenue and White Plains Road. Also, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered the usefulness of whiskey and red wine. They do grease the wheels.”

Lasting Legacies

The most influential American poet of our age, John Ashbery (1927-2017), lived his last years in Hudson, where the Flow Chart Foundation was established to preserve and promote his work. “John Ashbery and

his husband David Kermani first came to Hudson in the ’70s, following some friends who had already bought places here, like [artist] Elsworth Kelly,” says the foundation’s executive director, Jeffrey Leppendorf. “His legacy serves as a generative, inspirational force. He not only wrote an unbelievably beautiful and influential body of poetry, but was also a translator, arts writer, playwright, and visual artist. One of the things we do is maintain the Ashbery Resource Center, which is a remarkable repository of not just books, but artworks, personal items, recordings, and all manner of wonderful ephemera. We’ll open an exhibition of some treasures from the collections this May at our Flow Chart Space. We have many free online programs, such as our now long-running 'Close Readings in a Virtual Space' series, in which a special guest poet leads a group thinkingthrough of a single poem—anyone can take part, or simply listen and learn.”

Inventing a new poetic Hudson Valley legacy and taking it forward is spoken-word poet, teaching artist, percussionist, and recording artist Daniel A. Villegas. For nearly 15 years, the Warwick resident was a member of the hip hop collective ReadNex Poetry Squad, which also featured his fellow poet Decora (see Sound Check, page 58). “We traveled the country together, performing and teaching,” says Villegas, who leads the “Hip Hop and Poetry Saved My Life” and “Use Your Voice” poetry workshops for ages seven to 21. “With the younger students, I teach the basics of writing, he explains. “The principles of connecting with rap and poetry and the importance of using your voice to express and speak out. I feel poetry helps these students by providing them with life skills, like communication principles. Coping skills, like how to deal with your emotions and creative expression. How to tap into the creative intelligence we all have but sometimes forget how to use. I have had the pleasure to travel the country teaching in over 200 schools nationwide. I have seen shy and non-talkative students transform into outspoken individuals. I know the power of poetry because I am an example of it myself.”

Left: Betty McDonald hosts "Words Carry Us" at Green Kill in Kingston. Right: Kate Hymes is the poet laureate of Ulster County. Photo by Jennifer May. Opposite: Mike Jurkovic reading at The Falcon in Marlboro in October 2019. Photo by G. W. Werner

Bread & Puppet Theater

April 3 at Time and Space Limited in Hudson

Founded by Peter Schumann in 1963, Bread & Puppet gained a national reputation when author and leftist goddess Grace Paley had the group enliven street protests against the Vietnam War. The troupe was soon traveling the world, exhorting people to rebel against false leaders and false ideas. Over 50 years later, Schumann (now 89) and his coconspirators are still at it. They return to Time and Space Limited with their latest production, “The Hope Principle Show: Citizens’ Shame and Hope in the Time of Genocide.” Fundraising dinner at 5:30pm, performance at 7pm. $20-$60.

The 43rd Asbury Short Film Concert

April 6 at the Rosendale Theater

Since 1980, this short film showcase has been presented at venues across the US, Canada, Great Britain, and Germany. Its mission: to screen world renowned, festival award-winning shorts—from all years—in cinemas, art museums, performing arts centers and cool outdoor locations. The program features a fast-paced and entertaining line-up of the best in short film comedy, drama, and animation. Screenings at 4pm and 7:30pm. The 7:30pm screening will be hosted by Chronogram editor Brian K. Mahoney. $14/$10.

Passion Fruit Dance

April 6 at Kaatsbaan in Tivoli

Tatiana Desardouin, artistic director of Passion Fruit Dance, shares excerpts of her latest work, “Dimensions,” which explores the idea of dimensionality through the lens of street dance and club dance. The performance integrates multimedia elements, including body casting, motion capture, projection, animation, live music, and photography. Q&A to follow. 7pm. $5-$10 suggested donation.

10 Films That Changed America

April 12 at the Woodstock Playhouse

Bard film prof Joseph Luzzi leads a multimedia presentation of notable films that have profoundly impacted the nation’s culture, history, and politics from Casablanca to Rebel Without a Cause to Jaws to Barbie. (We’re not sure anyone we’ll be talking about Barbie in 20 years but we’ll leave the deep thinking to the movie scholar.) Proceeds benefit the Woodstock Film Festival. 7pm. $40.

Urinetown: The Musical

April 12-14 at Bard College

April 12-21 at SUNY New Paltz

In one of the stranger bits of coincidence we’ve encountered of late (or is it synchronicity?), the theater departments of both SUNY New Paltz and Bard College are mounting productions of “Urinetown” this month. If you’re not familiar with the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2001, it centers around a water shortage that causes private toilets to be outlawed and satirizes corporate greed and municipal politics. An ambitious theatergoer could take in both productions in a single weekend. Show times and ticket prices vary.

Wanda Sykes

April 13 at UPAC in Kingston

Wanda Sykes is coming off an amazing multi-year run. After being nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Moms Mabley in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” in 2020 the veteran stand-up performer received two Primetime Emmy nods in 2023 for her Netflix special “Wanda Sykes: I’m An Entertainer.” Her sharp wit, keen observational humor, and fearless approach to addressing social and political issues has led Entertainment Weekly to dub her one of the “25 Funniest People in America.”

The Dressing Room Diaries with Hilarie Burton Morgan

April 14

Rhinebeck’s biggest celebrity (Paul Rudd doesn’t count as he’s hardly ever there) appears live for an intimate discussion of her career. Attendees will get a backstage tour and chance for one-on-one meet-and-greet and selfie with Hilarie Burton Morgan in her dressing room before the talk and Q&A. The event is a fundraiser for the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. 1pm. $200.

An Evening with David Sedaris

April 18 at Paramount Hudson Valley in Peekskill

Since his breakout moment in 1992 when he read his essay “Santaland Diaries”—a sendup of his time spent working at Macy’s department store as an elf—on National Public Radio, Sedaris has been skewering himself and his family with a rapier wit. Consider him the patron saint of dysfunctional families and oddball enthusiasm. 8pm. $55-$80.

Paige Turner’s “Drag Me to the ‘80s”

April 19 at City Winery, Montgomery

Known as the love child of Pee Wee Herman and Barbie, Paige Turner is one of New York City’s most recognizable names in drag. Turner’s live show is a bit like being trapped in a music video with a blond bombshell determined to get you to sing along. Presented by Big Gay Hudson Valley. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their totally awesome ‘80s best. 8pm. $35-$45.

Hudson Valley Tango Festival

April 26-28 at the Senate Garage in Kingston

To those who practice the form, tango is more than dance, it is a way of living and moving through the world. As the great tango maestro Carlos Gavito said: “The secret of tango is in this moment of improvisation that happens between step and step. It is to make the impossible thing possible: to dance silence.” Immerse yourself in three days of Argentine music, dance, and culture with performances from tango stars like Celina Rotundo and Hugo Patyn and classes for all levels, from experienced dancers to absolute beginners. $50-$300

Wassail Balkan Dance Party

April 27-28 at Stone Ridge Orchard

The Celts have some great traditions and folklore (looking at you, Sheela na gig). Wassailing is the ancient tradition of drinking and singing to the fruit trees to ensure a bountiful harvest. At Stone Ridge Orchard, this is combined with Romani music and dancing from Zlatne Uste, Seido Salifoski, Cherven Traktor, and Vanaver Caravan, washed down with plenty of cider, for a modern-day bacchanal. 2pm. $30-$35.

Under the Gun

April 30 at Starr Cinema in Rhinebeck

Despite recent setbacks—including the organizations defenestration of its longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre, who misspent millions of dollars—the National Rifle Association remains one of the strongest lobbying groups in the country. Stephanie Soechting’s searing documentary, narrated by Katie Couric details the NRA’s rise to prominence and the maddening challenge of passing gun control legislation. Presented by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. 5pm. Free. —Brian K. Mahoney

short list
A scene from Jaws, one of "10 Films That Changed America" on April 12 at Woodstock Playhouse.

Hatching Plans


April 8, 4-10pm

Diane Eber is the new(ish) executive director of the Egg. On April 8, the Egg will host a multimedia happening after the eclipse in the afternoon.

If you happen to visit or drive by downtown Albany, you can’t miss it. Designed by the renowned architectural firm Harrison and Abromovitz, the Egg is the icon of the Capitol Region skyline. Built between 1966 and 1978, the sleek performing arts venue is part of the Empire State Plaza governmental office complex and regularly presents national and international artists from the worlds of music, dance, comedy, and theater as well as film screenings in its 450-seat Lewis A. Swyer and 982-seat Kitty Carlisle Hart theaters. In 2023, Diane Eber, formerly of Brooklyn cultural organization BRIC, became the Egg’s new executive director, bringing a new vision that includes innovative events like “Eclipse at the Ellipse,” a multimedia happening on April 8 at 4pm with visuals by projectionists B.A. Miele and Alex Allaux; music by Juliana Barwick, Ami Dang, Being-Sound, Connor Armbruster, and DJ Harlan; and screenings of Wall-E, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Trip to the Moon The event is free. Eber answered the questions below by email.

You studied at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie before living in Brooklyn and working for BRIC for 15 years, so starting at the Egg has been a bit of a Hudson Valley homecoming for you. Besides the new job, what is it about the region itself that drew you back? When it comes to new programming at the Egg, what is your approach?

It feels amazing to be back in my old stomping grounds. The Hudson Valley is such an inspiring place to live and we landed specifically in Kingston because of the incredible community of artsy weirdos here. I also love the rail trails, and I love having a garden to grow food my whole family eats—the joy of watching my kids go pick fresh veggies is incredible. I just feel like I have more room for creative energy. In terms of arts programming, I see so much amazingness already happening, and I am humbled to be part of this thriving arts scene. I’m still learning about upstate audiences versus Brooklyn audiences, but I believe strongly that art is for all and needs to be taken off the “shelf.”

One of the first things I did as executive director was to allow drinks into both our theaters. I want people to feel comfortable seeing incredible art while having a drink in their hands. In Brooklyn and New York City, you can see anything and everything almost every night of the week, so it’s hard to program events that cut through the crowded landscape. There is a lot happening in the Hudson Valley and the Capital Region, but I see room for expansive new territory that I hope audiences will be eager to partake in. The Capital Region is incredibly rich and varied and I’m excited to keep learning about how best to serve this area and invite new folks into our incredible space.

The Egg is such a visually striking venue, and there are those who’ve seen it from the outside but have yet to attend a performance or event there. Besides its distinctive design, what are some other elements of the Egg that make it stand out from other large venues?

This is the story of the Egg: as much a sculpture as a building. There are virtually no straight lines or right angles in the building, even the elevators are curved. I want to transport audiences and artists to another dimension in our spaceship, aka the Egg aka the Ellipse.

Although Albany’s not that far up the Thruway from the mid- and lower Hudson Valley, it does sometimes feel like there’s a bit of a disconnect between it and points slightly south; as if the activity in Albany is more isolated than it should be from the goings on in, say, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Hudson, or Catskill. Does your vision include efforts to bridge that divide and lure more visiting arts lovers in those and other parts of the region?

YES! This is such an insightful question and is precisely something I am grappling with. We have plans to do more outreach to the surrounding areas, while also making sure we invite the Capital Region communities who have been here all along but maybe have not always felt there was an opportunity to engage. One idea is to commission artists to create work responding

to the journey to Albany, whether it’s on the train, or in a car, or on a bike—[a concept] inspired by Sufjan Stevens’s amazing [2007 multimedia project] The BQE; something using art to tell the story of the journey to the Egg. Another tactic is to book artists both locally and from the surrounding areas. For example, we have the Kingston-based Clare and the Reasons opening for Rufus Wainwright on April 7. I know for a fact that there is a contingent of Kingston folks making the trek to Albany for that show.

Tell us about “Eclipse at the Ellipse.” How did it come together, and what will the program be like? The idea came up organically through a brainstorming session with some staff of the Egg. We dug up the Egg’s original legislative paperwork and it repeatedly refers to the Egg as the ‘ellipsoidal structure.’ A colleague threw out the idea “Eclipse at the Ellipse” and I loved it. We whipped together the programming and concept incredibly fast. It was so fun to reach out to artists who also shared our enthusiasm. The vision is to experience the Egg in its entirety. Most people only ever come to see a show in one theater and then leave, but we want attendees to wander the various spaces in the Egg. I’m encouraging folks to come and get a drink, enjoy a scifi movie in the smaller Swyer Theater with popcorn in hand, then stroll through the lobby of the Hart Theater with DJ Harlan spinning vinyl to keep the vibes up while you’re transported by atmospheric music and massive projection art entering the larger venue.

You can pop in and out of the three different spaces throughout the night. Bring your kids, they’ll love the halfmoon cookies, movies, and mind-blowing projections. I want to deconstruct the notion that a performing arts center needs to be “buttoned-up”—where you come, buy a ticket, and sit quietly for a passive experience. This event is meant to create more flow and openness as you pick your own art adventure at our cosmic eclipse after party. The best marketing is word of mouth, and I’m hoping that the network of artists talking about this event will start to lay the groundwork for better connecting Albany and the rest of the Hudson Valley region.



It stands 19 feet tall, on a wooded hilltop at Storm King Art Center, overlooking the museum’s rolling meadows below and Schunnemunk Mountain in the distance. Lookout, the latest creation of acclaimed Hudson Valley sculptor Martin Puryear, is a beguilingly curved synthesis of tunnel and dome that first invites the viewer to step inside, and then to—look out. Ninety portholes in the walls and ceiling peek out from a singular focal point creating a constellation of images of sky and tree. It is constructed almost entirely of bricks.

Lookout has been a long time coming. Storm King and Puryear had been talking since the early 1990s, and the museum offered him the hilltop site for a permanent commission in 2013. Once Puryear saw the spot, he felt compelled to create something special for that location. “It almost felt as though such a commanding spot had been reserved for me,” he recalls.

After nine years of thinking and planning, a mountain of structural engineering drawings, and two summers of labor by an elite construction crew, Puryear’s longawaited piece went on display at Storm King last fall. As the museum reopens for the season this month, thousands of visitors will be getting their first look at what

veteran curator John Eldefield told the New York Times, “could be the most amazing thing Martin’s ever done.”

But it almost didn’t happen. “It took a succession of miracles to get it built the way I envisioned it,” says Puryear.

Bricks and Mortar

His basic vision was a shape that transformed from a tunnel at ground level to a dome overhead, continuously curved in all three dimensions, literally without a straight line anywhere. But how to actually engineer and build it?

Although Puryear had never made a sculpture of bricks, the idea of using them for Lookout was always there. He liked the look of bricks, as well as the confounding idea of building an entirely curved structure from rectilinear pieces. And he wanted the bricks to be structural, not just a stick-on veneer.

Puryear sought the advice of specialized engineers and experienced masons, trying to solve the puzzle of how to actually build the tunnel-to-dome structure he envisioned. But none of the experts could figure out how to do it. “We were stymied,” he recalls.

Then came Miracle No. 1: a 2019 chance introduction

to John Ochsendorf, a professor of structural engineering at MIT whose specialty was historical masonry vault and dome technologies. The two men clicked immediately. “Minutes into our first meeting, we’d come up with a plan,” recalls Puryear.

The key that unlocked the puzzle was the ancient Nubian vault technique—developed thousands of years ago along the Upper Nile in Egypt to build vaulted and domed buildings with minimal supporting forms— which they combined with modern reinforced concrete technology. The construction plan: a skeletal cage of curving stainless steel rebar, sandwiched between mortared layers of exterior and interior structural brick.

Although Lookout’s proposed brick geometry was well beyond typical construction methods and conventional engineering calculations, Ochsendorf and Puryear were confident that such a daring masonry structure was technically feasible. But as far as they knew, nothing like it had ever been attempted. Where would they find builders and bricklayers skilled and motivated enough to execute an entirely new construction process?

Miracle No. 2: Ochsendorf knew a guy.

Actually, it was a gal, name of Lara Davis. A former

Lookout, by Martin Puryear, was completed on site at Storm King Art Center last fall. The sculpture, made using the ancient Nubian vault technique, consists of over 50,000 bricks. Photos by Jeffrey Jenkins.

student of Ochsendorf’s, she had an MIT architectural degree and 25 years of hands-on bricklaying experience, specializing in vaults and domes. Living for 10 years in India, she had designed or built 40 masonry vaults and domes all over the world. And, Miracle No. 3, she had just returned from India and moved to the Woodstock area.

Davis signed on as the project’s construction crew chief.  “I was eager and excited about the project,” she recalls, “but a part of me was skeptical that it could actually be done.”

Two gifted bricklayers were added to the team: Puryear’s long-time studio manager and masterof-all-trades, Rob Horton, and Scott Cafarella, owner of Hudson Valley Mason Works in Highland. Assistants Mario Magana and Aaron Getman-Pickering rounded out the team.

Construction Crisis

The Nubian vault bricklaying technique—laying the bricks in sloping courses so that each brick is supported by the previously laid bricks during construction—requires a fast-setting mortar, ideally around five minutes. But most types of Portland cement, today’s commercial standard, take too long. And Portland is also too brittle, typically requiring repointing after a decade or so out in the weather. Lookout needed to stand the test of time.

Only one cement met the twin requirements of fast setting and long life outdoors: Rosendale cement, a long-obsolete type of natural hydraulic cement that had been originally produced in Ulster County and used to build 19th-century icons like the Brooklyn Bridge but is rarely used today. They were able to obtain a supply from Edison Coatings in Plainville, Connecticut. “Without Rosendale cement mortar, the whole thing would have been impossible,” says Davis. Call it Miracle No. 4.

With the mortar question settled, Puryear turned to the bricks. After visiting the factory of Petersen Tegl, a venerable Danish brickmaker that’s been doing business since 1791, he ordered 18,000 handmade custom bricks.

But when they arrived six months later, a test of the Petersen bricks with the Rosendale mortar yielded a shocking result: The brick and mortar were totally incompatible. The bricks were too porous for the mortar, and sucked the water out of it before it could fully set. There was a very poor adhesive bond.

A final lab report confirming the mortar/brick incompatibility came in on a Friday afternoon. With the construction-start deadline looming, the project was suddenly in crisis.

Without A Net

Miracle No. 5: Lara Davis knew a guy, sort of. (They’d been emailing for 15 years on masonry matters, but had never met.) Steve Blankenbeker was a materials engineer at Taylor Clay Products, a specialty brick manufacturer in Salisbury, North Carolina.

Early Sunday morning, Puryear, Davis, and Rob Horton piled into Puryear’s car and, with a load of Rosendale mortar in the trunk, drove 14 hours to North Carolina. Some quick testing on Monday showed that standard Taylor bricks were compatible with the Rosendale mortar. Puryear specified the custom design he wanted, and Blankenbeker fast-tracked the production process to start on Tuesday.

Three weeks later, 18,000 Taylor bricks arrived at Storm King. The project was saved. “We were proud to be part of it,” says Blankenbeker.

Construction began in May of 2022. The basis for the building process was a small scale model of Lookout that Puryear’s studio had handcarved out of pine. That model was laser-scanned into a computer file. A CNC router then cut a series of full-size plywood forms to guide the on-site construction of the intricate steel cage skeleton.

An estimated 2,500 discrete welds held the curving steel framework together. “We were really pushing the boundaries,” says Kurt Wulfmeyer of KC Fabrications in Gardiner, the guy who did those 2,500 welds. The cage itself could have passed for a work of art.

With Lookout’s skeleton in place—“a 3-D drawing in

space,” Davis called it—the brickwork began, in nine sections from bottom to top. The first-section brick courses, around the entrance tunnel arch, were stacked vertically. Section Two and Three were tilted about 11 and 22 degrees.

Those first three sections required a wooden support formwork while the brick was being laid.  But starting at Section Four, tilting about 33 degrees, the magic of Nubian vaulting came into play. With no supporting formwork, the bricklaying team was now performing without a net. “It was the antithesis of typical brick masonry, where everything is plumb and level,” says Davis. “It was constantly curving in all three dimensions.”

Because of all the curves and angle changes, many of the bricks had to be cut into smaller pieces to fit properly. “We must have laid 50,000 individual pieces of brick, and every one of them had to be conscientiously placed,” says Davis.

But the all-star construction crew, working together for the first time, crushed it. “It was a miracle the way we all came together,” she says. (No.6, if you’re counting.) “The perfect gelling of a work crew.”

On August 7, 2023, the last brick—perfectly horizontal at the top of the dome, 19 feet up—was set in place, to celebratory high-fives and hugs. But Davis’s work was not quite done. Staying behind for the next 28 days, living in a Storm King artist-in-residence house, she hosed down the mortar twice a day, keeping it damp as the mortar was curing.

“What felt like a miracle in the end,” says Puryear, “was that we completed the construction on schedule with no mishaps or injuries, and that the finished work is precisely as I’d imagined.”

And now, miraculously, there it stands, looking out into the world from its leafy hilltop, waiting to welcome and envelop us all.

68 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 4/24 Long-term view Beacon and Newburgh residents receive free admission. Dia Beacon Riggio Galleries 3 Beekman Street Beacon, New York Me g Webster JOIN US FOR YEAR 2 Rain or Shine A family-friendly festival of STEM, STEAM and creative innovation of all kinds Presented by GARNER Arts Center 55 W. Railroad Ave., Garnerville, NY 10923 Tel. 845-947-7108 For tickets and more information Hudson Valley Maker Faire is independently organized by GARNER Arts Center and operated under license from Make: Community, LLC May 18th & 19th 12-6pm @garnerartscenter Aaron Douglas, The Judgement Day, 1927, gouache on paper, Courtesy of SCAD Museum of Art Permanent Collection, Gift of Dr. Walter O. Evans and Mrs. Linda J. Evans Global Connections: Miguel Covarrubias, Isami Doi, Aaron Douglas, and Winold Reiss Through July 21, 2024 This exhibition is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM OF ART STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT NEW PALTZ ogra ogra Vote Vote Rollie McKenna, detail of Vassar College, Ferry House–Exterior 1951, Gelatin silver print, Gift of the artist, 1987.53.99 © The Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation, Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation February 17–June 2, 2024 THE FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER | VASSAR EDU / THELOEB MAKING A LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHY ROLLIE McKENNA

Discordant Harmony


Through April 7

The mighty composer Leonard Bernstein once commented that: “A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them.” Given the highly lyrical quality of Will Hutnik’s solo show “Satellite,” through April 7 at Geary Contemporary in Millerton, Bernstein’s statement echoes throughout this sublime exhibition of recent work. Hutnick’s spinning satellite of artistic questioning is a melodically inspired visual thrill, propelling us out of orbit and back again with his purposefully discordant painterly harmonies.

Like most things these days, my introduction to Hutnik’s work was digital. Seeing his art in person was not only a real-time high, but it was also an entirely more-than-meets-the-eye experience. Hutnik’s layering of paint is both intensely exploratory and quasi mysterious—where certain areas of the canvas feel calculatingly perfect, other areas magically unravel. His compositions are spacey, layered worlds, and the backgrounds appear stratified and burned, producing a slightly agitated effect. Familiar objects such as spheres, clouds, leaves, graphically lovely flowers, and dense half rainbows are reconfigured to serve the overall retro look. Hutnik’s command of these elements is coordinated flow

piqued by moments of rugged rupture.

There is also a stitched, jagged gesture that takes place across all Hutnick’s paintings, and some areas of his canvases seem to be sown with a paint-asthreadwork technique. Works such as Late in the Day to Start Asking Now (2024) are wondrously uniform yet also strangely dimensional, and flatter areas are up-ended by realms of magnitude. His careful layering of colors and combinations of shapes yields a distinct visual language, one that reflects his affinity for the rhythmic. In his larger work Photopsia (2024), for example, moments of familiar patterning are proportional with disorientation and quasi hallucinatory pockets of design.

Hutnick’s canvases also capture something bewitching from 1980s analog visual culture and works such as Spooky Action #1 (2024) and Spooky Action #2 (2024) embody the cybernated allure and fantastic atmosphere as seen in movies like Blade Runner and Tron. Hutnick’s hazy horizons and floating world vibe conjure alternative realities, and we willingly flow into this megacosm.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Hutnick to discuss his work during the lively opening in February, and he spoke of his community activities (he is the director of

artistic programming at the Wassaic Project in Amenia), his musical background (he plays cello), and his interest in certain “atonal qualities and purposeful disruption” that plays out in his work (all while wrangling his adorable toddler).

There is a distinct sound-quality to his art, where painterly energies both overlap and collide, mix and re-mix in a symphonic flow. Hutnick also shared with me his candid ideas about “queerness contextualized” in relation to his art as he referenced aspects of contemporary queer literature that inspire him. Hutnick is asking all the right questions of himself as he navigates these interconnected areas of his practice: “how much representational information can I put into a work… and still toggle that nebulous line between abstraction and representation? How much information is enough?” he wrote in our follow-up correspondence. Either way, we willingly jump aboard Hutnick’s “Satellite” on a sensational journey into his pondering cosmos. With Hutnick, questions are not answered—they are brilliantly dispersed across an abundant vista of his infinite investigation.

Golden Hour, Will Hutnick, acrylic, colored pencil, ink, marker, sand, spray paint and wax pastels on canvas, 72 x 120 inches, 2022. Photo by Walker Esner. Courtesy of the artist and Geary Contemporary.

Go with the Flo


April 20 at 2pm

There are still actors and singers and jugglers, but “showbiz” is no more. Showbiz was an insular world of bright lights, late nights, meals cooked on hotplates, secrets, rivalries, dazzling curtain calls… One of the few surviving members of this hermetic cult is Flo Hayle, who will perform her cabaret show “Down Memory Lane” at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill on April 20. This is her farewell performance; Hayle is 94.

She was born in the Bronx, into a musical family: her mother sang opera; her father led a band called the Masqueraders. Clearly, Hayle was destined for life as an entertainer. She first appeared on TV at the age of nine, at the New York World’s Fair of 1939, where the General Electric pavilion had rigged up a prototype television. “My father and uncle put me up on this little platform, and the guy turned on the camera, and there I was,” she recalls. “I didn’t know what the heck to do. The people working the camera, they just said to me, ‘Smile, little girl!’—so I did.”

As a junior in high school, Hayle auditioned for the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which was then inside Carnegie Hall. She was accepted, and soon was studying with showbiz royalty—literally, in the

case of classmate Grace Kelly. In the class above her was Don Rickles, who was not yet an insult comedian. (“At that time, he was a serious actor.”) In the class below her was Anne Bancroft, who was then Ann Italiano.

“Being a child of the Depression, I never wanted to be unemployed, so I took a job as a singing waitress in Greenwich Village,” Hayle recalls. This was at a former speakeasy called Champagne Gallery, on the current site of the NYU Law Library. There she was discovered by two Broadway producers, who took her on as a standby—“which was a fancy name for understudy”—for the lead role in a Broadway play, “Sophie,” with music by Steve Allen.

After being on the road for a month, they debuted at the Winter Garden in New York City, and the show flopped. “We opened on a Monday and closed on a Sunday.” But that’s showbiz.

Hayle was unstoppable. A friend of hers, Budd Friedman, opened the Improvisation in Hell’s Kitchen, a club where performers would sing after hours. She became a staple there—until comedians discovered the place, and the Improv became a comedy club, now with franchises in 25 cities.

Hayle went on to an illustrious career performing cabaret in high-class nightspots like Don’t Tell Mama and Freddy’s Supper Club. She also acted, directed, produced plays. The latter career led to her undoing. “Producers never, never, never use their own money. They always use other people’s money. But my business partner said, ‘Flo, we need a lot of front money,’ and at that time I was loaded.” The show—“Hell of an Angel”— failed, and Hayle went bankrupt.

In 1998, she had to leave her beloved apartment on East 63rd Street and relocate to Catskill. But a showbiz gal always lands on her feet, and Hayle started an interview show, “Arts Alive Etc.,” on Clear Channel Radio, where she spoke to old friends like Dom Delouise and Patty Duke.

“Down Memory Lane” is an autobiography in song, including the stories behind the songs. She’ll perform tunes she sang as a singing waitress, two numbers from “Sophie,” and Depression-era songs she heard as a child.

Two days after this performance, on Earth Day, Hayle turns 95.

MEMORY LANE” AT THE BRIDGE STREET THEATRE IN CATSKILL Cabaret veteran Flo Hayle will be performing for the last time on April 20 at Bridge Street Theater in Catskill Photo by John Sowle

Joshua Radin

April 4 at City Winery Hudson Valley

After the success of his 2021 album The Ghost and the Wall, Cleveland-born Joshua Radin ditched it all, selling his home and possessions and moving to Europe to lead a nomadic lifestyle. Radin, whose hushed, vulnerable style has been likened to those of Elliot Smith and Paul Simon, recorded the release virtually with fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Wilson during the Covid-19 lockdown; supposedly, the two artists have never met in person. A fave of Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres (he played the latter’s wedding), he’s touring the US this month. (Dave Hause visits April 2; Trashy Annie trots in April 13.) 8pm. $40-$60. Montgomery.

Richard Lloyd Group

April 5 at Park Theater

One of the two lethal founding guitarists of the immeasurably influential Television (the other being Tom Verlaine, who passed in early 2023), Richard Lloyd has made plenty of incredible music both inside and outside that band; his 1979 solo debut, Alchemy, and its 1985 followup, Field of Fire, are essential albums, and his early 1990s work with Matthew Sweet is likewise masterful. The punk legend’s incendiary style incorporates threads of psychedelia, jazz exotica, power pop, hard rock, Middle Eastern modalities, and more. He brings his band by for this rare small-room date. (Habbina Habbina returns April 12; Emily Jean Brown emotes April 20.) $20, $35 VIP. Hudson.

Antonio Sanchez: “Birdman Live”

April 6 at Mass MoCA

Mexican drummer and composer Antonio Sanchez won a Grammy Award for his mesmerizing score and soundtrack of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 2014 film Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). The percussionist is also well regarded for his work with Paquito D’Rivera and his ongoing association with Pat Metheny. This special 10th anniversary Birdman celebration will feature Sanchez performing the haunting soundtrack live as accompaniment to a screening of the full movie. (Jacob’s Pillow copresents Siudy Garrido’s Intimate Flamenco April 27.) $32 advance, $45 week of show. North Adams, Massachusetts.

Nick Waterhouse

April 19 at Bearsville Theater

Los Angeles singer, guitarist, and DJ Nick Waterhouse makes a tasty, timeless cocktail of rootsy sounds born of the 1950s and ’60s: R&B, rockabilly, soul, garage rock, doo wop, and torchy jazz. A producer as well (the Allah-Las), the songwriter cites such impeccable influences as Mose Allison, John Lee Hooker, Bert Berns, and Van Morrison’s Them. Waterhouse has waxed a whole crate of singles and EPs as well as six fulllengths, the most recent being 2023’s The Fooler (Get Zep! covers you know who April 12; LaMP lights up April 20.) 8pm. $30-$65. Bearsville.


April 19 at Empire Underground

Slapshot was founded by lead vocalist Jack “Choke” Kelly in 1985 following the dissolutions of his preceding outfits, Negative FX and Last Rites, two short-lived-but-legendary bands that were contemporaries of the better-known first-wave Boston hardcore punk locals SS Decontrol, Gang Green, the FU’s, DYS, and Jerry’s Kids. Younger Bostonians the Dropkick Murphys are such fans that they even organized a Slapshot tribute album. Tattoos and testosterone will be in full effect for this one. With Faded Line, From Within, Remains of Rage, and Apocalypse Tribe. (Neon Trees glow April 21; Queensryche and Armored Saint crusade April 26.) $21.65. Albany.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

May 1 at UPAC

Our second Grammy-winning Mexican act of this column, virtuoso guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela (last names, respectively, Sanchez and Quintero) have a worldwide following thanks to their dazzling acoustic fusion of flamenco neuvo, heavy metal, and classic rock. The duo, who met and began playing together when they were both 15 years old and are now 50, formed in Mexico City and made their name in Ireland, where they played pubs and busked around before being discovered and getting signed. The pair performed at the White House for President Barrack Obama in 2010 and released their latest album, In Between Thoughts…A New World, in 2023. (Old Crow Medicine Show whoops it up April 14.) 7:30pm. $49-$84. Kingston.

Rodrigo y Gabriela play UPAC in Kingston on May 1. Photo by Ebru Yildiz
live music



“The Sky, The Land, The Water.”New works by Marilyn Orner April 4-28.




“Amanda Martinez: Canta Y No Llores.” A series of wall reliefs and freestanding sculptures referencing adobe construction. Through May 5. “Eminem Buddhism, Volume 3.” Elizabeth Englander’s first solo museum exhibition presents sculptures of gods, goddesses, and saints. April 7-October 20.

“Layo Bright: Dawn and Dusk.” New and recent works in glass and pottery. April 7-October 20.



“Spring Mix: Varietals and Vases.” Work by Mary Barringer, Meg Beaudoin, Irja Boden, Amy Rosen, Gene Gort, Lyn Harper, and Patrick Kennedy. Through April 21.



“Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia...” Picturesque portrayals of idyllic pastoral life with glimpses of a retro-futurist urban protopia set within the Hudson Valley. Through June 2.



“The Photographic Abstractions of Deborah Mills Thackrey.” April 6-27.

B|W|R|G III, Michael Hambouz, acrylic gouache on and wood on panel, 20" x 16" x 3", 2023. From "Loves Cats, Hates Catastrophes" at Elijah Wheat Showroom.



“In This Moment.” Annual members’ show. Through April 21.



“Silence of the Lamps.” Group show of artists and design studios. Through April 14.



“Art of the Garden.” Traditional and contemporary works by over 20 artists. Through April 7.

“John Fleming Gould (1906–1996).” Work by the renowned artist and illustrator. April 13-June 2.



“Guardians Against Evil Dreams: Sculptures and Works on Paper.” Work by Jebah Baum.

April 13-May 5.

“BAU Gallery Artists Group Exhibition.” Group show. April 13-May 5.



“Painted Pages: Illuminated Manuscripts, 13th–18th Centuries”. Thirty-five works—some with elaborate gold leaf decoration and intricate ornament— from medieval bibles, prayer books, psalters, books of hours, choir books, missals, breviaries, and lectionaries drawn from the collection of the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania. Through May 5.



“ARToons.” Work by Morgan Bulkeley, Phil Knoll, Zohar Lazar, and FAILE. Through April 28.


17 BROAD STREET, KINDERHOOK “Presentational.” Figurative art by Jean-Paul Mallozzi, Donna Moylan, and Kevin Sabo. Through May 4.


622 WARREN STREET, HUDSON “Tangled Up in Blue.” Work by Julia Whitney Barnes, Linda Newman Boughton, Donise English, Owen Mann, and James O’Shea. Through April 21.


48 MAIN STREET, LIVINGSTON MANOR “Hovey Brock, Daniella Dooling,and Valerie Hegarty.” New work. Through April 27.



“Artists From Across The River.” Windham Arts Alliance exhibition. April 6-30.



“Paper Cities.” Group show examining representations of well-known cities, works on paper created between the late 15th and the early 20th century. Through June 23.



“Mandorla in Pieces.” Work by Joan Ffolliott and Charles Purvis. Through May 26.



“Meta”. Work by Karen Dolmanisth and Leslie Alfin. Through April 14.



“Counter Histories.” Work by Tamara Abdul Hadi, Alan Chin, Naomieh Jovin, Billy H.C. Kwok, and Qiana Mestrich. Through May 26.



“Arquimedes Mejia, Liliana Washburn, and Naomi Berkery.” Paintings and mixed media works. Through April 30.



“Mary Heilman: Starry Night.” Long-term view. “Andy Warhol: Shadows.” An installation that surrounds the viewer with a series of canvases presented edge-to-edge around the perimeter of the room.



“A Hidden Quiet.” Abstract paintings by Taj Campman. Through April 6.

“Nico Mazza: Swan Song.” Embroidered textiles. April 13-June 13.


20 CEDAR STREET, KINGSTON “Eureka!” Group show. Through May 6.



“Loves Cats, Hates Catastrophes.” Work by Michael Hambouz. Through May 12.



“Africa Awakening: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia.” Photographs by Nick Zungoli. Through April 30.



“Center Ring.” Wood carvings by sculptor Janice Mauro and mixed media photo collage by Wayne Montecalvo. April 6-May 12.



“if recopying is to author.” New paintings, fabric works, and books by Jill Magi. Through April 27.



“Jackie Fischer.” Large-scale fiber works. Through June 30.



“Hoops.” Photographs of basketball courts around the world by Sean Hemmerle. Through April 7.



“Coming Home.” LongReach Arts group show. Through April 28.



“When the Tropics are Quiet.” Work by Blanka Amezkua, Pyari Azaadi, Iliana Emilia García, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Jessica Lagunas, Rejin Leys, Dianne Smith and Virginia Ines Vergara. Through April 21.



“Will Hutnick.” Large and small-scale works incorporating rubbings of found objects, stencils and monoprinting on paintings. Through April 14.



“Grey Ivor Morris, Shaune McCarthy, Margaret Still.” Paintings. Through April 27.



“The Pull.” Pokemon-inspired paintings and sculpture by David Lionheart. Through April 14.



“Elsewhere.” Paintings by Christopher Gee. Through April 14.

“Breathing Work.” Work by Ariel Bullion Ecklund. April 20-May 19.

art exhibits

Dream a Little Dream, Linda Newman Boughton, ballpoint pen on Arches paper, 48" x 56". From "Tangled Up in Blue" at Carrie Haddad Gallery.



“Becca Lowry and Ashley Lyon.” Painted weavings and ceramics. April 6-28.



“Spillover.”Collection of 11 curatorial projects by CCS Bard’s 2024 graduating class. April 6-May 26.



“Iridescence.” Group show of holographic art. Through April 21.



“E(n)ternal Lighf: The Eternal Ecosystem Exposed.” Curated by Ntangou Badila. Featuring works by Ntangou Badila, Reggie Madison, Tyrone Mitchell, and Tshidi Matale. Through April 14.



“Goddesses, Emperors & Friends.” Paintings by Patricia Di Bella-Kreger. Through April 7.



“Embrace: Cinematic Moments by James Seward.” Seward explores pivotal moments from classic films in paintings. Through May 12. “Rivers / Flow: Artists Connect.” Group show. Through September 1.



“Frozen in Time.” Work by Susan Obrant. Through April 10.

“War.” International juried group exhibition. Through April 10.



“Off the Charts: Medical Art and the Internal Body.” Group show of art that integrates medical themes including the internal body. April 13-May 11.



“Miracle Island.” New Paintings by K. K. Kozik. Through April 6.



“Palm to Poplar: Devotional Labor.” Paintings of Shaker objects by Caitlin McBride. Through April 29.



“Pearl Cowan: Metamorphosis.” New drawings and paintings. April 6-28.

“Susan Still Scott: Arrows in My Quiver.” Constructed paintings. April 6-28.



“Politics.” Group show curated by Freya DeNitto. April 1-30.



“Night.” Group show. Through April 21.



“Out of Exile.” Photographs by Fred Stein. April 11-May 5.



“Welcome to New York!” Work by Michelangelo Pistoletto. Through June 24.

“Germinal.” Paintings by Mario Schifano (19341998). Through August 9.



“Placeholders.” Artwork by Francesco De Prezzo. Through April 14.



“Linda Puiatti, Carolyn H. Edlund, Staats Fasoldt.” Paintings. Through May 18.



“Like Magic.” Simone Bailey, Raven Chacon, Grace Clark, Johanna Hedva, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Cate O’Connell-Richards, Rose Salane, Petra Szilagyi, Tourmaline, and Nate Young use healing earth, witches’ brooms, AI, divination, and more to imagine care-full and joy-full futures into being despite the peril promised by the past and present. Through August 31, 2025.



“Lindsey Guile.” New work. April 10-May 10.



“Mystery and Wonder: Highlights from the Illustration Collection.” Through June 16.


272 WALL STREET, KINGSTON “CIRCLE24 Collective Art Exhibit.” Group show. April 6-May 31.



“In Search of the Goddess.” Group show curated by Kathy Yacoe and Sandra Scheuer. Through May 4.



“Chris Bartlett: 1980s Street and Landscape Photography.” Through April 7.

“Lisa Ivory: The Boss of Parties.” Recent small paintings. Through April 7.

art exhibits

art exhibits

“A Celebration of the Small.” Work by Lothar Osterburg. April 13-June 9.



“Breakfast.” Work by David Becker, Hugh Biber, Jim Denney, Bruce Edelstein, Chris Freeman, Christopher Griffith, George Lawson, Anthony Slayter-Ralph, Frank Tartaglione, and Stephen Whisler. Through April 6.



“David Humphrey and Jennifer Coates.” Through May 5.



“Forgotten Spaces.” Group exhibition. Through April 13.



“Global Connections.” Work by Miguel Covarrubias, Isami Doi, Aaron Douglas, and Winold Reiss. Through July 21.

“Hudson Valley Artists 2024: Bibliography.” Work by Osi Audu, Alta Buden, Shari Diamond, Kerry Downey, Stevenson Estime, eteam, Aki Goto, Adam Henry, Matthew Kirk, Niki Kriese, Melora Kuhn, Catherine Lord, Sean Sullivan, and Audra Wolowiec. Through April 7.



“Kate Raudenbush: Inner Landscapes.” Monumental sculptures from a Burning Man-bred artist. Through August 10.



“In the pale moonlight.” Work by Eve Ackroyd, Maria Korol, Sarah Lee, Melissa Monroe, Sara Alice Moran, Taylor Morgan, Sonia Ruscoe, Allyson Melberg Taylor, and Brittany Tucker. Through April 7.

“Humans of course are animals.” Opening Paintings by Nell Brookfield. Through April 7.



“Perspective: Six Artists.” Painting, photography, and sculpture by Diahann Addison, Jeffrey All, Amy Cheng, Isabel Cotarelo, Takeyce Walter, and Kenneth Young. April 13-May 12.



“Student Showcase Exhibition.” Group show of Center for the Digital Arts students and alumni.

Through April 26.



“Talking Threads.” Work by Ana Maria Farina, Courtney Puckett, Eozen Agopian, Hanna Washburn, Melissa Dadourian, Padma Rajendran, Richard Saja. Curated by Karlyn Benson. April 4-May 12.



“Flowers in Wind.” Paintings by Matthew Izzo. April 6-May 15.



“Fly on the Canvas.” Croup show curated by Harryet Candee. April 13-May 11.

3 Santa Fe Figures, Richard Segalman, watercolor, Collection of Herb and Myra Silander. From "Segalman at 90" at the Woodstock School of Art.



“Small Is Big.” Group members’ show. Through April 21.



“Dialogue: Art in Conversation.” Work by T. Klacsmann and Valerie Hammond. April 2-June 2.


98 GREEN STREET, SUITE 2, HUDSON. “Foregrounds and Horizon Lines.” Work by Joey Parlett. April 6-May 12.



“Making a Life in Photography: Rollie McKenna.” Survey of the prolific career of American photographer Rosalie (Rollie) Thorne McKenna (1918–2003). Through June 2.



“Emily Johnston and Sarah Mitchell-Davison.” Through June 9.



“Portraits Shaping Memories.” Work by Amy Fenton-Shine, Vanessa Osmon, and Julia Santos Solomon. April 6-May 12.



“Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation.” Newly commissioned and recent works by

Sadie Barnette, Alfred Conteh, Maya Freelon, Hugh Hayden, Letitia Huckaby, Jeffrey Meris, and Sable Elyse Smith. Through July 14.



“Guiding by Hand.” Artistic interpretations of puppets. April 5-27.



“Featured Active Members Group Show.” Work by Jenne Currie, Glenn deWitt, Martha Hill, Jean Newburg, Marilynn Rowley, and Carol Struve. Through April 14.

“Geometric Abstraction.” Work by Ilya Bolotowsky, Konrad Cramer, Rollin Crampton, Ernest Frazier, Helen Gerardia, Anne Helioff, Ralph Moseley, Rolph Scarlett, Miron Sokole, Harry Tedlie, Bernard Steffen, and Roman Wachtel. Through April 14.

“Suzy Sureck: Tread Lightly.” Immersive, multidisciplinary installation. Through April 14.

“Focus: Melting Pot.” Group show juried by Eliza Pritzker. April 19-June 2.

“Circa 1969: Selections from the Permanent Collection.” April 19-August 11.



“Convergence.” Annual members' exhibition. Through April 21.



“Segalman at 90.” Oil paintings, watercolors, monotypes, charcoal drawings, and pastel paintings of Richard Segalman from the private collections of his Woodstock circle of friends.

Through May 4.

75 4/24 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE RECEPTION // SATURDAY, APRIL 6 4:00 – 6:00 PM PORTRAITS SHAPING MEMORIES April 6 – May 12, 2024 MEET THE ARTISTS AMY FENTON-SHINE VANESSA OSMON JULIA SANTOS SOLOMON 29 WEST STRAND STREET RONDOUT, HISTORIC DISTRICT KINGSTON, NY 12401 11 Interlaken Road, Lakeville, ct | Tremaine Art Galler y Valerie Hammond, Spectre With Threads NathanielKlacsmann Blue Swa l low s a n d B l kca Mhto2s DIALOGUE: Art in Conversation April 2 – June 2, 2024 Reception: Sat. Apr. 6, 4 – 6 p m ; Artist talk: Thu. Apr. 11, 7 p m Nathaniel (Tate) Klacsmann and Valerie Hammond Food Art Fashion Show Music Films Fun APRIL 18–20 LEARN MORE TROLLEY BARN GALLERY 489 MAIN ST, POUGHKEEPSIE


Divine Interruption

Interruptions of all stripes abound this April. The new moon in Aries on April 8 is a total solar eclipse that sits in an exact conjunction with Chiron, a symbol of wounding and maverick behavior. This represents an inception point and a break in the space-time continuum. Our lives, attitudes, and feelings could take quantum leaps as the world submits to a chiropractic adjustment. With three prominent bodies in Aries at eclipse time, we’re dealing with subjects concerning individuation, force, and the exertion of will. To add to this fiery experience, the month begins with Mercury stationed retrograde in Aries on the first of the month, magnifying our need for immediate, unbridled expression. On April 5, Venus enters Aries and we begin to develop a taste for situations that are more challenging, daring, and reckless.

Aries’s ruler, Mars, might be able to slow things down as it conjoins Saturn in Pisces on the 10th, but instead of creating ease, this might intensify frustration—like agitating a bottle of champagne, without letting the cork pop. Typically, a slowdown would come as planets move into Taurus (the Sun enters Taurus on the 19th), but instead we have one of the most powerful transits of 2024 occurring on the 20th with Jupiter’s conjunction to Uranus in Taurus. Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions have come to symbolize major breakthroughs in science, technology, the arts, and social movements. Due to its location in the sign of Taurus we may see dramatic shifts in the parts of our lives having to do with our basic needs: how we get food, support ourselves financially, care for our bodies, and organize ourselves as a labor force. Even though Mercury stations direct toward the end of the month, along with Venus and Mars entering their home signs, don’t count on business as usual.

ARIES (March 20–April 19)

Among the many misconceptions that Aries natives have projected upon them is the notion that they are always on the go. In fact, the inherent Aries rhythm is staccato: Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Aries works in earth-shaking bursts alternating with dead stops. Lean into the dead stops this month and practice listening. Don’t take the lead, for once, and allow life to point you in a new direction. You’re fierce, but you are no match for nature and cosmic time-keeping. Lay low for a few weeks, and by month’s end you’ll be supported in taking direct, unimpeded action.

TAURUS (April 19–May 20)

The big, bold Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in your sign explodes onto the scene just one day after the Sun enters Taurus on the 19th. Typically, this would be a time to dig into your spring routines and get comfortable, but this is no typical Taurus season. In fact, this could be the weirdest, most surprising birthday month you’ve experienced in a while. Even though you love your stability, you may have felt frustrated with certain aspects of yourself that have resisted change. This upcoming conjunction heralds a breakthrough moment for unlikely scenarios that ultimately set you free!

Cory Nakasue is an astrology counselor, writer, and teacher. Her talk show, “The Cosmic Dispatch,” is broadcast on Radio Kingston (1490AM/107.9FM) Sundays from 4-5pm and available on streaming platforms.


GEMINI (May 20–June 21)

Your ruling planet, Mercury, stations retrograde in Aries this month, and starts backing up into a building solar eclipse. This happens in the 11th house of colleagues, comrades, and benefactors. There’s a reshuffling or reorganizing of connections that needs to happen before you can get support to complete work of great importance. If there are regulations that need to be met or authorities that need to approve your work, there may be a longer than usual processing time. Develop patience as you navigate vague territory. Resist the urge to force something into motion. You’ll probably just have to redirect your actions later.

CANCER (June 21–July 22)

The seeds for change in your work life or reputation are being planted this month. These changes might have a “hurry up and wait” quality to them, but a shift in trajectory is afoot. If you’ve been feeling a need to break from the pack or emerge from the shadows, it’s time to take a first step. Addressing any trepidation around your right to take up more space and step into the unknown will help the process along. These changes might reach far beyond the workplace and may even help you rewrite some personal history.

LEO (July 22–August 23)

If you’ve been doing the equivalent of beating your head against a brick wall in your effort to get something out into the world, your lucky break has arrived! You’ll figure it out, or, some form of genie might swoop in and save the day. As with all tales of genies, remember to craft your request very carefully, do some soul-searching to make sure you’re asking for something you truly want, and listen carefully for terms and conditions. Genies are notorious for being tricksters. If all goes well, the biggest “problem” you’ll have is adjusting to an accelerated change.

VIRGO (August 23–September 23)

There’s still a lot going on in the relationship sectors of your chart. Even if you’re not in a serious partnership with anyone, the way you think about them and your role in them is evolving. If you are involved in any kind of relationships where there are joint holdings (money, physical/intellectual property, children, energetic bonds), expect a reconfiguration or reassessment of how to share these things. Of course, one option would be to not share these things at all. Current transits may awaken a sense of territoriality. Do not make hasty decisions. Investigate any feelings of mistrust and see if they’re warranted.

LIBRA (September 23–October 23)

Sometimes it’s easier to be courageous on behalf of others than it is to be brave for ourselves. We may surprise ourselves with our own pluck and audacity and ask, “Where did that come from?” If such a situation arises for you this month, make note of how that feels in your body, and know that you are capable of more direct action than you might think. Call upon this memory or feeling when it comes time to fight for yourself. You’re just as worthy of advocacy as anyone else. An old pattern of fawning is loosening its grip.


SCORPIO (October 23–November 22)

There’s an intense need to feel your own existence and engage in an act of sacrifice to reach a personal milestone. The Mars-ruled Aries eclipse on the 8th and the Scorpio full Moon on the 23rd both describe surges of energy or emotion that course through the body. These feelings and sensations are meant to be instructive, giving you a clearer picture of what is and is not yours to hold in your physical form. Discharge and burn off all that is no longer yours and offer it as fodder for a daring project that is important to you.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22–December 22)

Sometimes we feel most alive when we’re in the throes of discord, overcoming a daunting challenge, or expressing our unadulterated essence while courting rejection. All of these examples demonstrate the thrill of testing limits— regardless of outcome. You’re finding ways to be in your aliveness through the alignment of belief and action. You’re no longer trying to align with a result. In fact, any pushback you receive about your actions just provides another opportunity to feel alive. This is not about getting off on conflict, it’s about the work of refining your beliefs by holding them to the light.

CAPRICORN (December 22–January 20)

A lust for life is cracking open this month. If you’ve been struggling with writer’s block, ennui, or fear, that’s about to shift—if you’re willing to do something brand new. This could also look like starting something before you feel ready, which is not a Capricorn favorite. This month, the cosmos will take a look at your plans and laugh. It is your job to take orders from time itself. It will give you messages, but you must patiently observe and listen. This is the month to practice giving credence to signs and symbols, especially if you’re a skeptic.

AQUARIUS (January 20–February 19)

I wouldn’t say that you’re spoiling for a fight necessarily, but it does look like there’s a hunger to see more of your values reflected in your surroundings. This could be on the job, in your neighborhood, or in more intimate places like the family home or family circle. Perhaps it’s time to move, make new alliances, or find another work culture, but I think those things are last resorts. On a soul level, it is more important that you try to impact your environment so that it includes your needs. If that doesn’t work, hunt for an atmosphere that appreciates your progressive vision.

PISCES (February 20–March 19)

The first image that came to me when I looked at your chart was a fish swimming through molasses. Your feelings are thick these days, at times it could feel like your body is one thick, heavy emotion that you have to lug around. Keep moving, but go slow. We leave faucets on, just a little bit, when temperatures drop to freezing because flowing water can’t freeze. Go slow to integrate some big mental downloads. Go slow to make a bigger impression on all the places you move through. As the weight lifts, and it will, adjust your speed.

together! Join us at Toasted in Newburgh to celebrate the April issue of Chronogram and the Newburgh community! Enjoy happy hour deals on drinks and food. 5:30-7:30pm at Toasted 43 Liberty Street, Newburgh
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Horoscopes Let’s raise a glass
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parting shot

The Cruelest Month

Rollie McKenna at Vassar College’s Lehman Loeb Art Center

April is the cruelest month / breeding lilacs out of the dead land / mixing Memory and Desire / stirring Dull roots with spring rain.” So begins T. S. Eliot’s all-time poetic banger, “The Waste Land,” which was published in 1922. April’s never been the same.

Vassar alum Rosalie (Rollie) Thorne McKenna (1918-2003) made iconic portraits of artists and writers, including W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Bishop, Alexander Calder, and Sylvia Plath. The exhibition “Making a Life in Photography: Rollie McKenna,” on view through June 2 at the Lehman Loeb Art Center on the Vassar Campus, features over 100 gelatin silver prints made during the artist’s lifetime. Exhibition cocurator Jessica D. Brier provides some context for the Eliot photograph:

“Rollie McKenna described her approach to photographing people as a ‘rebellion against studio photography.’ Rejecting the tradition of making portraits in a blank studio, or adopting her own signature style, McKenna preferred to photograph subjects like T.S. Eliot in their own spaces in an effort to capture the spirit of a creative individual. In 1950, she photographed Eliot at his desk, thumbing through the pages of a book and surrounded by his personal library, looking up at the camera as though by chance. This was one among many assignments photographing writers in the 1950s, McKenna’s bread and butter during those years. During a portrait session, she engaged her subjects in conversation, disarming them with her sense of humor and asking questions to get them talking about their work and passions. This approach produced authentic moments, putting people at ease and making her portraits look effortless.”

On April 4 at 5pm, Brier and fellow curator Mary-Kay Lombino will lead an exhibition tour at the Lehman Loeb Art Center.

T. S. Eliot, London, 1950, Rollie McKenna, gelatin silver print Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, gift of the artist, © the Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation, courtesy Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona Foundation.
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