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Hunger, Reducing Waste
FeedHV is The Hudson Valley’s food rescue and harvesting network dedicated to meeting the needs of neighbors while mitigating the impacts of food waste. Covering Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties, the FeedHV community network aims to reduce food insecurity and food waste throughout the region. FeedHV facilitates the harvesting, processing and distribution of locally grown or produced agricultural products, shelf-stable food donations and prepared nutritious food and directs it to agencies serving those in need. Feed HV links food donors, volunteers and agencies providing food assistance programs.
Learn more at www.feedhv.org or @FeedHV firstname.lastname@example.org 518-432-5360 507 Warren Street, 2nd floor Hudson, NY 12534 A program administered by
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YOUR C ANNAB I S LIFEST YLE . E L E VAT E D . P l e a s e c o n s u m e r e s p o n s i b l y. T h i s p r o d u c t m ay c a u s e i m p a i r m e n t a n d m ay b e h a b i t f o r m i n g. T h e r e m ay b e h e a l t h r i s k s a s s o ci ate d w i t h c o n s u m p t i o n o f t h i s d r u g. T h i s p r o d u c t h a s n o t b e e n a n a l y ze d o r a p p r o v e d by t h e Fo o d a n d D r u g A d m i n i s t r a t i o n (F DA ). T h e r e i s l i m i te d i n f o r m at i o n o n t h e s i d e e f f e c t s o f u s i n g t h i s p r o d u c t , a n d t h e r e m ay b e a s s o c i a te d h e a l t h r i s k s . M a r i j u a n a u s e d u r i n g p r e g n a n c y a n d b r e a s t-f e e d i n g m ay p o s e p o te n t i a l h a r m s . I t i s a g a i n s t t h e l aw to d r i v e o r o p e r a te m a c h i n e r y w h e n u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h i s p r o d u c t . K EEP T H I S P RO D U C T AWAY F RO M C H I L D R EN . T h e r e m ay b e h e a l t h r i s k s a s s o ci ate d w i t h c o n s u m p t i o n o f t h i s p r o d u c t M a r i j u a n a c a n i m p a i r c o n c e n t r a t i o n, c o o r d i n a t i o n, a n d j u d g m e n t . T h e i m p a i r m e n t e f f e c t s o f Ed i b l e M a r i j u a n a P r o d u c t s m ay b e d el ay e d by t w o h o u r s o r m o r e. I n c a s e o f a c c i d e n t a l i n g e s t i o n, c o n t a c t p o i s o n c o n t r o l h o t l i n e 1- 8 0 0 -222-1222 o r 9 -1-1. T h i s p r o d u c t m ay b e i l l e g a l o u t s i d e o f M A . 2 CHRONOGRAM 1/21
Cherie Davis and Heather Kunkel at their wedding, held in their backyard, in late September. Photo by Christine Ashburn WEDDINGS, PAGE 34
DEPARTMENTS 6 On the Cover: Dustin Yellin The creator of the Pyschogeographies series talks art and community.
8 Esteemed Reader At the darkest time of year, Jason Stern seeks the light within the light.
9 Editor’s Note January is the month for self-reinvention—and self-delusion.
11 COVID Watch with The River A monthly update from the The River on COVID-19 in the region.
FOOD & DRINK 12 Some Bread: Breadfolks Bread tourists travel from as far as Boston and New York City for Norman Jean Roy’s artisanal, naturally fermented, organic breads and pastries.
17 Sips & Bites Food and beverage notes on Barb’s FryWorks, Dirty Bacchus Wine Shop, Honey Hollow Brewing Co., Half Moon Rondout Cafe, and Handsome Devil BBQ.
HOME 20 Rock Solid Rebirth Chris Mottalini and Nepal Assathawasi have turned a decaying stone cottage in Staatsburg into a cozy, country chic home for their family.
28 Kingston Design Showhouse The third iteration of the showhousehighlighted the work of dozens of creatives in a historic home in the Ponchockie neighborhood.
HEALTH & WELLNESS 30 A Voice for Choice Deeply stigmatized and regularly reduced to a political rallying cry, later abortion is in fact a complex predicament—profoundly human, sometimes heartbreaking, and sometimes, surprisingly, hopeful. Often, it’s exacerbated by misconceptions and bureaucracy.
WEDDINGS 34 Love Won’t Wait We talk to couples who tied the knot mid-pandemic—those who decided not to wait, swapping intricate feasts and elaborate parties for slimmed-down nuptials.
18 The Kids Are Online
44 Great Barrington: Holding Fast
Jennifer Strodl, founder of Hudson’s Liberi School, explains her decision to take her school to an all-virtual educational environment.
The challenges COVID brought down upon this Berkshire town are not unique, but the community’s response can best be charcterized by optimistic resolve.
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CMH IS OPEN
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We are encouraging all of our patients to contact their primary care providers to schedule their annual wellness visit. And most importantly receive a flu shot! Receiving the flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent infection with influenza, a virus that can cause fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you are new to our community and looking for a primary care provider, we have offices in multiple locations throughout Columbia and Greene Counties. For a referral please call: 518-828-8216
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Jon Piasecki and Greg “Chemdog” Krzanowski trim fresh Golden Bough, Piasecki’s proprietary strain grown in the Berkshires and sold exclusively at Canna Provisions. THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES, PAGE 38
THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES
58 Poetry Poems by Natalli Amato, Eileen Bailey, Ryan Brennan, Leah Brickley, C. K. Boyle, Paula Dutcher, Lydia Frevert, Kevin Freeman, Linda Gojcaj, Cliff Henderson, Addison Jeffries, Mike Jurkovic, Emma Elisabeth Murphy, George Payne, Amanda Russell, Greer Frances Rychcik, George J. Searles, Matthew J. Spireng, Dana Weidman, and Lyla Yastion. Edited by Philip X Levine.
38 The Green Rush Cannabis is increasingly available nationwide for both medical and recreational use. New York, where the plant is currently decriminalized, is likely to be among the next states to join one of the least understood, and, at times controversial, socioeconomic booms of the century to date—legal cannabis. Part one in a two-part series.
CHRONICLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM 51 Future Forward: 12 Local Changemakers As 2020 recedes in the rearview—a year that brought us a global health crisis, record wildfires and hurricanes, and a new understanding of the interlinked and systemic inequities in American society—we ask a diverse group of environmental advocates what they envision in their areas over the next decade, and just as importantly, how do we get there.
ARTS 56 Music Album reviews of Keep the Blender Going by Rootbrew; Suicide Mission by Christopher Peifer; Circuline: New View by Circuline; and The Art of the Quartet and The Ultimate Soul and Jazz Review by Benjamin Koppel.
57 Books Jane Kinney Denning reviews Eleanor, David Michaelis’s sprawling new biography of one of the most influential and admired women of the 20th century. Plus short reviews of Nick Lyons’s Fire in the Straw; Michael F. Schein’s Hype Handbook; John Foley’s The Dancing Beast; Matthew J. Spireng’s Good Work; and Michael Ruby’s The Star-Spangled Banner.
THE GUIDE 60
Mixed Media: Cultural news from around the region, including a Columbia County connection to Taylor Swift’s latest albums and concert film; venerable Poughkeepise concert venue The Chance goes up for sale; a reimagined “Nutcracker” at Wethersfield in Amenia; a fire destroys the Doris Duke Theater at Jacob’s Pillow; a call for field recordings for crowdsourced audiowork “Resonant Echoes”; expansion plans at Magazzino.
62 64 65 66
A virtual exhibition of the wood carvings of Ruth Geneslaw. Dean Jones and his band, Dog on Fleas, decline a Grammy Award nomination. Macon Reed’s latest mural is unveiled at Stoneleaf Retreat in Eddyville. Gallery listings plus highlights from standout exhibitions around the region.
HOROSCOPES 68 In Search of a New Normal January is the time to emancipate yourself from outworn expectations.
PARTING SHOT 72 Departure Lounge As people flood into the Hudson Valley, Jennifer May and family are leaving.
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on the cover
Dustin Yellin, The Theia Hypothesis, 2020 (detail on right).
ustin Yellin is a madman. Quite literally. In 1999, the artist had a psychotic episode that led to Yellin’s incarceration and hospitalization. The craziest bit of it is that Yellin filmed it as it was happening, documenting his travels across Manhattan over the course of a weekend before the NYPD arrested him. You can watch the film, The CrackUp, on his website (Dustinyellin.com). Twenty years on, Yellin is clearly still mad, but in the boundary-obliterating way that creative geniuses are. A restless youth and a high school dropout, Yellin was drawn to art for its lack of constraints. “Art felt like the thing that had no walls around it,” Yellin says. “Even before I read or learned about art history, and had any references really, I was like, well, this is infinite. This is fucking endless. And that felt very safe.” Something that was not safe was Yellin’s early work, a series of resin-based pieces that saw him encasing plants and found objects in resin, which is toxic. “I was going to die,” he says. This led Yellin to glass-based works, like this month’s cover, The Theia Hypothesis, part of his Psychogeography series, which will eventually consist of 120 pieces (about 100 have been fabricated already). “Frozen cinema” is how Yellin refers to these pieces, in which he embeds
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hundreds of images clipped from magazines and art books in between anywhere from 12 to 50 layers of glass. (The Theia Hypothesis consists of 28 layers.) These works, crammed as they are with the detritus of civilization, are not only maps of human consciousness, but also a societal archive. “I like the idea that if there’s a fallout, and this thing, you discover this thing, and you unbury it, you could learn so much about our civilization from the last 1,000 years,” says Yellin. His latest twist on telling a meta-narrative about humanity via hundreds of mini stories is a nine-foot-tall bronze sculpture he’s in the process of designing. “I’m thinking about it as the last human,” Yellin says. “It’ll be made of many, many objects, and made of landscapes and dreamscapes, and volcanoes, and animals, and disparate pieces of clocks, and bottles, and frogs, and coins, and architectural details and cosmological fucking charts, and real gay poems that are hidden, and fucking maybe I’ll get Nelson Mandela’s shoe.” Another ambitious project Yellin is working involves tipping a 1,000-foot-long oil tanker vertically into a harbor. Visitors would be able to go up and down the tanker in elevators, and then visit the observation deck. Yellin says all
proceeds from the exhibition—which would total an estimated $50 million a year—would go toward funding conservation projects. It would be called The Bridge, to represent the bridge from the past to the future of how we use energy. When asked how close the project is to completion, Yellin says, “It was amazing how close we got before COVID, and then COVID just froze everything.” He’s coy about when and where The Bridge will happen, but Yellin says he has the engineering and financing sorted out. When Yellin and I spoke in mid-December, he was at his Brooklyn studio, though he was eager to get back up to his property in Putnam County, where he’s making a series of earthworks inspired by Japanese Zen gardens. When asked if there’s any difference between working in the studio or out in the woods, Yellin demurs. “It’s all the same. I don’t know how it’ll ever be not the same, but writing a poem, or moving a rock, or making a drawing, or fucking with the landscape feels all very much the same,” he says. “That act of changing things around you is very much akin to the process of being in the studio and painting on a piece of glass. Do you know what I mean?”
—Brian K. Mahoney
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esteemed reader by Jason Stern
The Unknown surrounds us at any given moment. That is where we seek knowledge. —Frank Herbert, Children of Dune
Esteemed Reader of Our Magazine: Though in no wise orthodox, I strive for a certain kind of religiosity. For me, this means inquiring into the potential significance of traditions that have come down through time in the way that old architecture survives the erosion of renovations and weather. It means walking into the space of tradition in the way one might enter an ancient hypostyle hall. At the time of this writing, it is almost midnight on the fifth night of Chanukah. The holiday’s mythology commemorates a sacred lamp with enough oil to last a day yet continues burning for eight days. One becomes eight, evoking the musical octave, implying that one note, sounding with full resonance, contains an entire cycle of vibrations, the fulfillment of a journey from beginning through completion to a new beginning. The light of the festive candles is not ordinary, though the beauty of the flickering candelabra is striking in this darkest of seasons. Rather, it points to a radiance that is invisible to optical sight, a light one beholds with presence of being, with the eye of the heart. Tradition suggests that this light is in everything, inasmuch as it is beyond everything. It is the illumination of consciousness that shines through and between all beings and things. It is, I suspect, what Reb Cohen referred to when he sang “there is a crack in everything / that’s how the light gets in.” This gentle brightness shines always and in everything. I receive its impression when I am more fully present in my own person, in Being. I experience it as a subtle force of energy in my chest and solar plexus. It invites my attention. I am drawn to it like a moth to a candle. At first it singes, challenging my accustomed sense of self, but with relaxation I feel myself become the warmth of the flame. In these rare moments, everything is luminous. The inner light suggested by the festive light in a time of darkness hearkens to another passage of poetry from the Hebrew tradition.
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Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me. You set a table before me in the presence of my adversaries; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Allowing some leniency, rather than holding tightly to conventional religious tropes, one can inquire into the identity of “you” in the passage. In one reading it is precisely that light of presence in our being. Here the brightness of inner presence is more truly oneself than the accustomed identity with its incessant reactions to stimuli, defense, self-aggrandizement, and self-dramatization. The deeper “I” is so hard to experience because she exists in the medium of silence, her voice so easily drowned out by even a whisper of self-involvement. The passage further suggests that this deeper “I” (called You) is the source of courage and guidance. Her rod and staff are available to guide our lower nature, to afford courage in the face of danger. She nourishes us even as we are assailed by the adversaries of anger and doubt. She gives us clarity to be liberated from suggestibility, to see what is true, and trust what we see. She opens us to blessing, Baraka, and fills us with the abundant satisfaction of presence. This light within the light, what the Sufis call nour ala nour, is within all and within the heart. This is the motherland, the nation deserving of genuine patriotism. This destination is both where we are and where we are going. As the Quran states, “We are closer to you than your jugular vein.” In the darkness, there is light. It shines from each person and object, plant, and animal. The light of the light shines in each heart as presence, as peace. Today, now the sixth day of Chanukah, I have the aim of inhabiting that light in the silence of my heart and relating to the light in the luminous world.
by Brian K. Mahoney
Happy New Year! Happy New Year. Happy New Year?
anuary, like God, is one of those things that, if it didn’t exist, we’d need to invent it. It’s a magical month for ambitious goalsetting, ludicrous resolution-making, and plotting the route to being our best selves! But if we’re honest with ourselves—with our best selves—January is also the month for self-delusion. (Spoiler alert!) But before launching headlong into 2021, with its gooey center of possibility and optimism, I want to take one look back, like Lot’s wife1, on this year that elevated the phrase Dumpster fire to such great heights. Thinking back to the beginning of 2020 is like watching the first reel of a disaster movie. The sky is blue, the birds are singing, winner-take-all capitalism is continuing to concentrate wealth in
the hands of fewer and fewer people, everyone is going about their daily lives blissfully unaware of their unfortunate fate. You want to shout out some helpful bit of augury like, “Look out! The zombies are shuffling across the lawn!” Or: “That volcano looks awfully angry.” Or: “Hey, Wahlberg and Clooney: Maybe today’s not the best day for a fishing trip.” Or: “I know they say the boat’s unsinkable Kate Winslet, but sometimes marketing is just hype.” Or: “Told you so: That failed real estatetycoon-turned-reality TV-star is going to try and overturn an election and in doing so delegitimize the foundations of democracy itself !”2 But hindsight about 2020 is 20/20. If we knew then what we know now, we all would have bought Peloton stock.
This past year has felt like a nonstop goodbye—to hugs, social gatherings, 300,000 of our fellow Americans we’ve lost due to the pandemic, countless businesses, and many people’s homes and livelihoods, not to mention “Schitt’s Creek.” While the time for mourning is hardly over—thanks COVID—we do need to move on: 2020, you were certainly the most exciting year ever, but we’re breaking up with you. January is the time of year for looking forward, for putting the past, with the albatross-like weight3 of its bad decisions, thwarted hopes, and dead dreams, behind us, lest we start liking wallowing in the Slough of Despond4. Here’s to a boring 2021. May we be cursed to live in uninteresting times.
1. So, this fella named Lot lives with his wife and two daughters in a town called Sodom. One day, a couple of angels stop by to hang out with the fam and end up spending the night. While his houseguests are sleeping, some naughty neighbors come by and try to get Lot to “offer up” the angels to them. (The meaning of “offer up” in Genesis is unclear, but it definitely doesn’t mean “take them out for ice cream.”) Lot, being a good host, offers up his two daughters instead, but is refused. Dawn breaks, the angels hear about the naughty neighbors, and they decide to lay waste to the town, an early instance of collective punishment. Tipped off, Lot and his family flee, but are told not to look back. Well, Lot’s Wife is the kind of person who opens her Christmas gifts early and clumsily rewraps them. Girl can’t help it. She looks back. And she’s turned into a pillar of salt. The end. It should be noted that the Bible never mentions Lot’s wife by name; she’s just Lot’s wife. That kind of sexist storytelling would never fly today. I’m surprised the Bible hasn’t been canceled by now.
2. For the three people who keep writing me nasty notes excoriating me for the continuing unfair treatment of the current occupant of the Oval Office in this column: Yes, I am referring to Donald Trump here; not sure you got that.
ner’s neck. Even a Shy albatross (average weight 8.6 pounds) would have been manageable. But if it was a Southern royal albatross (average weight 19 pounds), I fear the mariner might have needed long-term chiropractic care to straighten out the crook in his neck.
3. In Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” an albatross guides a ship out of an Antarctic ice jam. (The folks on the Titanic could have used a friend like that.) The albatross, for its trouble, is then killed with a crossbow by one of the sailors. Clearly, the guy’s a real jerk. His prank-loving coworkers on the ship force him to wear the dead bird around his neck. This is kind of a really mean prank when you think about it, not a victimless crime like encasing someone’s stapler in molded Jell-O. Because the albatross— an aquatic sea bird that probably didn’t smell all that great to begin with—must have been giving off considerable and ongoing olfactory waves of putrefaction once it started to rot. My point is about the weight, however, not the ripeness of the decaying bird. Coleridge does not specify what type of albatross it is. If it was an Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross (average weight 4.7 lbs.), that would not have been too hard on the mari-
4. The Slough of Despond is a metaphor in The Pilgrim’s Progress, a 17th-century comedy by Paul Bunyan starring a guy named Christian who goes out walking one day from his hometown, the City of Destruction, and meets folks like Obstinate, Pliable, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, and Mr. Despondency on his way to the Celestial City. The slough is a bog into which Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his feelings of guilt about them. (If you were raised Catholic, you get it.) Helpfully, Wikipedia has an idea about the bog’s origin: “The Slough of Despond may have been inspired by Squitch Fen, a wet and marshy area near his cottage in Harrowden, Bedfordshire, which Bunyan had to cross on his way to church in Elstow, or ‘The Souls’ Slough’ on the Great North Road between Tempsford and Biggleswade.” My takeaway: Look out for Squitch Fen on the way to Biggleswade.
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I’m a science writer by training and a local disaster reporter by choice. Since March, I’ve been covering the pandemic’s impacts on the Hudson Valley and Catskills for The River, Chronogram’s more newsoriented online sibling, with thrice-weekly updates on local and state numbers, news, and public policy. It’s fast-paced work, and it has been accelerating as New York’s second wave has picked up in earnest. This month, we’re trying something new: Taking a moment to slow down to the pace of print, look at where we are as a region, and think about what might lie ahead.
Where Are We Now?
As I write this, it’s almost the winter solstice. It seems fitting that we’ve reached this point in the pandemic so close to the longest night of the year: New York State, and the nation at large, is in a very dark place, but we are also approaching the point at which the suffering and death inflicted by COVID-19 will begin to turn around. On December 14, Queens critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the US to be vaccinated outside of a clinical trial. The same day, hospitals across New York State mobilized quickly to begin vaccinating healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic: not only the people who are treating the sickest ICU patients and working in emergency rooms, but also custodial staff and other workers who are frequently exposed to COVID-19 patients. Also in the first phase of vaccine rollout in New York State are nursing home staff and residents. The pandemic has taken a brutal toll on nursing homes, the true extent of which we still haven’t fully seen in New York: The state has refused to release data on how many nursing home residents died in hospitals early in the pandemic, when a controversial (and short-lived) state policy forced nursing homes to take in COVID-19positive residents. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the first of dozens of vaccines to make it through clinical trials and move on to the process of getting an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, performed better in trials than even their own makers expected. The beginning of vaccination of people on the front lines of risk in New York is the first glimpse of a more hopeful future, in which COVID-19 is under control and many of us can resume our lives and our livelihoods. But there’s a long way to go: With only enough of Pfizer’s vaccine to inoculate 170,000 people in the first round, and just enough of Moderna’s for 346,000 people, most of New York’s 19.45 million residents will be waiting awhile. Meanwhile, a second wave of COVID-19 infection across New York State is surging fast.
COVID WATCH A collaboration with
FIND A TEST SITE NEAR YOU Go to Coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-sitenear-you to find the nearest COVID-19 testing location. Or call the NYS COVID-19 hotline: (888) 364-3065.
Hospitals Under Threat
The middle of December looks a lot like the spring in New York. As COVID-19 cases have resurged, increased hospitalizations have followed in their wake, and later on, a rise in deaths. But so far in the fall surge, New York has not yet reached the grimmest situation: overwhelmed hospitals, in which a flood of COVID-19 infection breaks the system’s capacity to treat patients, and doctors are forced to make brutal decisions about who will receive care. Elmhurst Hospital in Queens was such a place in the spring. Many hospitals around the nation are facing those conditions now. This is the situation that Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state officials fear most, and as the winter has set in, preventing hospitals from becoming swamped has been the focus of the state’s shifting pandemic policy. In the fall, New York State developed a system of “microcluster focus zones” to stamp out outbreaks in tightly focused areas, based on rising positivity rates. But the strategy has failed to prevent a statewide surge in cases, and few focus zones have recovered enough to be removed from the state list. Positivity rates and infection rates have continued on a relentless rise across New York, prompting a change in state strategy: The state will now use hospital capacity as a main data metric to drive the creation of focus zones. Hospitals have also been tasked with increasing capacity and preparing plans to transfer patients if they become overwhelmed. The shift away from efforts to control positivity rate and infections on a hyperlocal level, and toward efforts to preserve space in hospitals, is pushing pandemic
By Lissa Harris policy to be less neighborhood-focused and more regional. Shutdowns enacted by the state this winter may apply across entire regions, or even statewide. If a region’s hospitalization rate is growing fast enough that state officials predict it will take up 90 percent of hospital capacity in the region within three weeks, Cuomo has said he will enact a “red zone” shutdown of all nonessential business across the region. IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD A FOCUS ZONE? The state’s color-coded maps of focus zones in microclusters can change fast, don’t follow zip codes or town borders, and are often announced by state officials with little warning. A tool on the NY Forward site at Ny.forward.gov lets you to check to see if an address is in a microcluster focus zone.
Counties On The Verge
Very little federal aid has made it to the front lines of COVID-19 response: the county and city health departments who will bear the brunt of the work of an intensely challenging vaccination effort, along with state health officials. The pleas of both Democratic and Republican local county leaders for an end to the impasse in Congress over local and state aid have increased in urgency recently, as vaccine efforts have begun to get underway and the state’s budget crisis deepens. A new presidential administration will take over on January 20, but local officials are hoping for help from Congress before then. In the meantime, the work of local disaster response goes on, with no immediate end in sight. Follow us at Therivernewsroom.com to keep up with COVID-19 news and policy across the Hudson Valley and Catskills region, or sign up for our email newsletter.
LOWER HUDSON VALLEY
Amount cases grew between early October and mid-December: 6.48x Active cases per 10,000 residents 12/15: 79
Amount cases grew between early October and mid-December: 8.6x Active cases per 10,000 residents 12/15: 59
Amount cases grew between early October and mid-December: 7.45x Active cases per 10,000 residents 12/15: 21
The lower Hudson Valley has been the focus of intense state concern since the beginning of the pandemic, and it remains a hotspot now, with more than half a dozen focus zones declared in the area. The Rockland County area that was among the first of the state’s focus zones in October is still in yellow territory, and was expanded in mid-November to include neighboring areas where cases were steeply on the rise. So far, hospitals in the region have not been overwhelmed, even as cases have surged to levels not seen since the spring. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Westchester County in mid-December, with active cases in the county well over 8,000, was roughly a third of April’s hospitalization numbers, even with similar levels of known infection. Something to bear in mind when comparing spring and fall numbers in New York: Testing has increased dramatically since the first few months of the pandemic, and we are probably now detecting many more of the milder cases that do not end up hospitalized.
A rise in active case counts has accelerated in the Mid-Hudson counties since November, and cases have recently been growing faster in the area than in the Catskills and lower Hudson Valley. Ulster County has seen a particularly steep growth in new infections, and the county has rolled out increased rapid testing to cope with the fall surge. The Mid-Hudson region is also home to one of the few focus zones in the state to improve enough to be removed from the list: Orange County’s Kiryas Joel, a Satmar Hasidic community that was an early hotspot in the fall. But the area’s dramatic improvement may be a data mirage: Local health officials fear that deliberate efforts to discourage testing of sick people in the community were behind a rapid drop in the positivity rate. In late November, the state also declared focus zones in Newburgh, Middletown, and Highland Falls, all still in effect as of mid-December.
For much of the Catskills, the fall surge has far outpaced the spring peak. Infection rates in the rural Catskills remain much lower than those in the Hudson Valley, but the gap has been closing, and the rapid rise in cases throughout the fall has brought the sober reality of the pandemic home to many rural communities. As of mid-December, no focus zones have yet been declared in the region. A major challenge for the rural Catskills is access to healthcare: The region has just a handful of critical-access hospitals. COVID-19 testing sites are few, and often restricted to those with symptoms or known exposure. The tiny county health departments that will soon play a major role in the broader rollout of vaccines have been stretched thin by pandemic response and contact tracing.
Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties
Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, and Columbia counties
Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie counties
1/21 CHRONOGRAM 11
food & drink
RISING ACTION Breadfolks in Hudson By Marie Doyon
ome folks just seem to be good at everything they set their mind to. Norman Jean Roy is one of those people. One of the iconic portrait photographers of our generation, Roy got his start doing test shoots at the behest of his aspiring-model girlfriend with a Minolta X-370 when he was 21. As the New York Times’ Nick Marino writes, “Three years later, he moved to Paris with $400 in his pocket and a dream of becoming the next Richard Avedon.” After a long, illustrious career shooting everyone from Joni Mitchell to Serena Williams to Adam Driver for publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair, Roy hung up his camera bag and moved upstate to Columbia County with his wife Joanna Jean Roy in 2014. “We spent a bit of time unpacking the last 20 to 30 years of our lives—both emotionally and physically,” Roy says. “We wanted to hit the pause button and ask ourselves, ‘Do we want to re-engage in the way we have been, or plant something else?’ Every time I tried to re-engage, I felt this longing to do something else.” In November 2018, the couple was sitting on the couch of their Tagkhanic home when Roy refloated their longtime back-burner, retirement 12 FOOD & DRINK CHRONOGRAM 1/21
pipe dream of opening a bakery together. “I was 49 and still had plenty of gas left in my tank, so I said, ‘What about the bakery?’” he recalls. “We just couldn’t come up with any cons except: What if it doesn’t work?” Not one for being deterred by the fear of failure, nor for wasting time, Roy began looking for real estate and researching programs to take his skills from hobby baker to pro. “It was decided literally in one evening,” he says. “I knew nothing about baking. That was a year of learning, training, building, and construction, and a lot of pain and ‘what-have-we-done?’ kind of thing, marching toward the cliff, but also making the cliff move with us.” Ultimately, he enrolled at the prestigious San Francisco Baking Institute, whose artisanal bread program is renowned worldwide. “It broke me down to: Here’s what I know and what I don’t know,” Roy says. “I was really interested in flour dynamics—in the science of it, in how it behaves, so that I can move it in the direction I want. Having that sort of professional proximity to information is so much of what makes someone really good baker—the tiny connectors of information that connect the big blocks of understanding.”
Educational Knead After ground-up professional training and a yearlong build-out, Breadfolks soft-launched on Warren Street in Hudson in June, out of a kiosk that was originally meant to be a smaller to-go retail operation to their larger, sit-down cafe—an “afterthought,” Roy calls it. With the risk of COVID still looming large, Roy doesn’t know if that larger location will ever open. “The whole bakery was built around this cafe, which is located in the park between Warren and Prison Alley,” he says. “To us, the cafe-bakery became a destination rather than just a place you dropped in and dropped out, it was very intimate. Now there are a lot of tables with chairs and no one to sit there, because we decided that even 50-percent capacity exposed us too much. We have an open bakery; it felt vulnerable. Now we may never open it. Who knows how long this will be?” But don’t fret: Even the small Breadfolks kiosk has garnered meteoric praise in the few months it’s been open, and has a nearconstant line around the block. According to Roy, every weekend they have bread tourists who travel from as far as Boston, New
Above: Customers waiting outside Breadfolks this summer. Every weekend, bread tourists travel from as far as Boston, New York City, and the rest of New York for Norman Jean Roy’s artisanal, naturally fermented, organic breads and pastries. Opposite: Bryony Walker behind the counter at Breadfolks. Photos by David McIntyre
York City, and the rest of New York for his artisanal, naturally fermented, organic breads and pastries. After a five-week test run in June, the operation shut down temporarily to regroup with a bigger team and better systems before formally launching to the public on August 3. Since then, they are barely keeping up with demand. “It’s been overwhelming and humbling,” he says. “It’s just really really amazing to watch this thing unfold. We work really hard to make a world-class quality product that many people may not have access to. We’ve had people contact us from Texas, San Francisco, Europe, asking if we’ll ship. We’ve had so many requests from restaurants in New York City, we’ve been approached by many investors.” It’s not Roy’s household name, which he hasn’t actively leveraged for attention (though the recent New York Times headline “The Fashion Photographer Who Traded Film for Flour” certainly won’t hurt.) He’s a damn good baker and a savvy businessman too. In conversation, he talks about return on investment and economies of scale; he evaluates the coming round of lockdown with the grim practicality of a seasoned entrepreneur.
Proof of Concept Even though the pandemic has meant that his flagship location has never been able to open, Roy is still positive overall. “For us, COVID has been a weird blessing in the sense that we’re what I call an ‘affordable luxury.’ A croissant is not a staple, but you still feel like you’re treating yourself,” he says. “People are seeking some semblance of normalcy. So we hit the right product at the right time.” In addition to their country loaf, which is a traditional sourdough made with whole wheat and rye, Breadfolks bakes everything from baguettes and fougasse to Danish rugbrød, ciabatta, focaccia, rugala, turnovers, caneles, and croissants. “The model is to get bread out on shelves as close to straight out of the oven as possible,” Roy says. “Sometimes there’s a tiny bit of heat left in them.” While the organic flour for the bread bases is sourced from Utah-based Central Milling, Roy is selectively using local ingredients in his inclusion breads (no this isn’t hippy for unity, it’s baker-ese for bread with added ingredients, like seeds and nuts). “New York State has a lot of really good flour, but for us at this point, it’s more important to establish a consistency, to find an organic
grower that has a very non-volatile grain,” he says. The rye berries are sourced from Sparrowbush Farm and Bakery in Livingston, and Breadfolks will soon use local spelt as part of an inclusion. “Every time we think, ‘Oh, it would be fun to try this,’ we come back to: No, no, no, no. Let’s do this really well,” Roy says. “That’s the number one rule in business: Do what you know, do it well, and don’t do anything else.” Not Your Average Joe That yeasty, fresh-baked smell and the crackle of a warm loaf is an intoxicating sense experience. Add to it Breadfolks’ custom-roasted coffees, blended weekly in house, and you have a winning combination. As if having a bakery that people cross state lines to visit wasn’t enough, the Breadfolks staff are also pushing the envelope of modern coffee roasting techniques. While traditionally you blend coffee beans before you roast them, Roy’s team is helping to pioneer a shift toward roasting each single-origin bean individually and blending them afterward, i.e. post-roast blending. “We were roasting all these things, blending them, and finding all these beautiful combos. 1/21 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 13
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A country loaf from Breadfolks in Hudson.
Then when we sent them out to be batch-roasted in that combination, we got them back and they were just terrible,” Roy says. Every bean has a different extraction rate, so roasting them separately allows for maximum efficiency. The bakery has several base roasts, which they combine in different blends every week. “We’re having a lot of fun developing that program, with the intention to eventually roast in-house,” Roy says of the forthcoming coffee program they will call Roastfolks. “None of us here are roastmasters, but we have very curated palates. There is only so much coffee you can drink in a week, so it’s a very slow, laborious process.” People’s coffee-drinking habits at the bakery have proved a useful barometer for the seasonal menu shifts. “Once cold brews start fading and the lattes cuadruple, it’s time to start introducing heavier notes of flavor: custard, creams, caramel,” Roy says. “In summer, it’s a lot brighter, more citrusy, and acidic. We’ve dropped our lemon bars now; no one wants to eat that in the cold.” This winter, Breadfolks is open Thursday through Sunday, serving up their seasonally appropriate selection of pastries, breads, and coffee. Get it while it’s hot. Breadfolks 322 Warren Street, Hudson (518) 660-3093 Thursday: 9am-3pm; Friday-Sunday: 9am-4pm
Fresh Fish Market & Eatery Fresh Fish Market & Eatery Indoor Seating Available Indoor Seating Available 246 main street, new paltz 246 main street, new paltz 845.255.1717 | www.gadaletos.com 845.255.1717 | www.gadaletos.com 1/21 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 15
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Celebrate Local Business Now more than ever, we need to celebrate the diversity of our locally owned business community. Chronogram Media is supporting BIPOC-and-women owned organizations by donating services and advertising. Each month, weâ€™ll be highlighting some of our partners in our pages and we invite you to join us in supporting them.
BODY BE WELL PILATES With two fully equipped studios in Catskill and Red Hook, certified trainers offer a range of in-person and virtual Pilates instruction to suit all abilities and ages plus nutritional guidance and advice. Bodybewellpilates.com
CREATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS Supporting and advancing the arts and cultural community by broadening and enriching creative resources and economic growth in the region. Greenearts.org
BARBARA NEIMAN Using somatic movement, mindfulness, trauma informed, and sensory strategies to help children and adults transform and become more productive. Barbaraneiman.com
RAMAPO FOR CHILDREN, INC. Keeping young people from being relegated to the margins of their schools, programs, families, or communities because of challenging behaviors, cognitive disabilities, or other differences. Ramapoforchildren.org
SUSAN ELEY FINE ART Susan Eley Fine Art Hudson is a pop-up gallery in downtown Hudson, situated in a beautiful ground floor space on Warren Street, that will feature original works from SEFAâ€™s dynamic roster of American and international artists. Susaneleyfineart.com
UNSHATTERED We pave the road between sobriety and longterm success for women overcoming addiction by providing pathways toward economic independence and sustained sobriety. Unshattered.org
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR UPDATES ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS. 16 FOOD & DRINK CHRONOGRAM 1/21
sips & bites Barb’s Fry Works
Potatoes heaped with toppings like seared ribeye, sausage gravy, burrata, and truffle salt? Yes, please. These are the offerings you’ll find at Barb’s Fry Works, the newest addition to Beacon’s Hudson Valley Food Hall. The eatery is the brainchild of Barb’s Butchery owner Barbara Fisher, who’s on a mission to bring us the comfort food we really need right now. From wedge-cut and hand-cut fries to potato planks and smashed baby taters, here you’ll find every tasty spud iteration you can think of, plus a handful of salads to balance out your meal. Hudson Valley Food Hall, 288 Main Street, Beacon; Barbsfryworks.com
Creme de cassis, that sweet, blood-red blackcurrant liqueur, is a classic aperitif and cocktail mixer, featuring in drinks like the elegant French favorite Kir Royale and the vermouth cassis. In December, Catskill-based Rachel Petach debuted her twist on the classic liqueur. Current Cassis is made a partial fermentation of local, Hudson Valley blackcurrants that are then blended with New York rosé and distillate, wild honey, and botanical infusions including whole green cardamom, bay leaf, citrus rind, and lemon verbena. The botanicals give the wine a more herbal character, similar to red bitter aperitifs like Aperol. A 375mL bottle retails for about $28 and is for sale at several local stockists or online. Currentcassis.com
Honey Hollow Brewing Co.
A self-described “sub-nano brewery,” Honey Hollow serves up truly small-batch, handcrafted brews. Located on a farm in rural Greene County, the brewery, under the direction of brewmaster Matty Taormina, uses New York State ingredients as well as hops from the onsite garden to create a changing roster of beers that span from their Fresh Hop Ale, made with chinook and cascade hops grown on-farm, to Arabella Nut Brown Ale, Ruby Red Ale, Empire Honey Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Black Jack Porter. Their tasting room is open for al fresco pints and growler fills Thursdays and Fridays, 4-7pm, and Saturdays, 1-7pm, when they also serve wood-fired pizza.
Coffee and cinnamon sugar doughnut from Half Moon Rondout Cafe. Photo @uppastryplate via Instagram
376 E Honey Hollow Road, Earlton; Honeyhollowbrewery.com
Dirty Bacchus: Natural Wine Shop
Opened in June, Beacon newcomer Dirty Bacchus focuses on low-intervention, organic or biodynamic, sustainably farmed, vegan wines, a well as a selection of organic ciders, meads and sake. The shop carries a wide range of wines from around the world, including Western Europe, the US, Australia, and a slew of under-explored winemaking countries like Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Canada, and Mexico. The shop is designed to be accessible to both new and seasoned natty wine drinks, and includes a section of skin-contact wines under $20 and another entitled “You’d Never Know,” of low and no-intervention wines that taste like their conventional counterparts. 380 Main Street, Suite 100, Beacon; Dirtybacchus.com
Handsome Devil BBQ
Half Moon Rondout Cafe
3 Corwin Court, Newburgh; Handsomedevilllc.com
36 Broadway, Kingston; Instagram.com/half_moon_rondout_cafe
For years, pitmaster Ed Randolph and the Handsome Devil BBQ team have been a regular fixture of the New York City barbeque event circuit. This summer, against the odds, Randolph finally achieved his longtime dream of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The Newburgh location is massive, with a whopping 5,400 square feet of dining space, which allows plenty of room for socially distanced tables and, in future, big events. Randolph, who has authored two books on barbecue, pulls from different traditions and techniques for a twist on barbeque that is all his own. Using locally sourced wood, the Handsome Devil team smokes the meat for hours before dishing up melt-in-your mouth pulled pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, and more.
In November, Kingston got a new pastry haven in the Half Moon Rondout Cafe, where Kaira Grundig and John Pinna are turning out fresh, hot doughnuts and chocolate babka daily, along with rotating family recipes like Danish and coffee cake. The doughnuts, which come in cinnamon sugar, plain, and powdered sugar, are made to order, so they’re always hot. Half Moon also has a full espresso bar, fitting for Grundig’s Seattle roots, serving up coffee from Broadway mainstay Monkey Joe’s and Manhattan favorite Gotham Coffee Roasters. Take your pick of drip, cold brew, espresso, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or any number of seasonal and specialty lattes like matcha and eggnog.
1/21 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 17
At Hawthorne Valley, we aim to give our students a sense that there is beauty, truth and goodness in the world. Engagement in practical arts—handwork, farming, forging, weaving, building and orienteering, supports a sense that their choices and actions matter.
Believe in the child. DR. MARIA MONTESSORI
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18 EDUCATION CHRONOGRAM 1/21
THE KIDS ARE ONLINE
One School Transitions to All-Virtual Learning By Jennifer Strodl
n 2015, I founded the Liberi School in Hudson, a vibrant independent school encompassing students from Pre-K through Grade Eight. Last winter, the Liberi School was a bustling hive of integrated, hands-on activity—an idyllic space where children and educators could enter and immediately feel liberated to teach and learn—located in an inspired conversion of a former gourmet grocery store, with a spacious central room and smaller classrooms connected by glass walls. As the pandemic wave reshapes the educational landscape of this country, school leaders are being challenged to forge new pathways into uncharted waters. In an era of masks and social distancing, I realized that the relaxed openness, freedom of movement, and dynamic exchange of ideas that drove Liberi’s vibrancy could not be sustained. Yet, I also understood that, in having built the school, I needed to embrace the way of thinking that we instill in our students—a comfort with the unknown and a willingness to take risks in problem solving. Rather than operate in a prolonged state of limbo, waiting for a return to “normal” (a reference that has since lost its metric), we took a giant leap forward in the spirit of innovation. Liberi’s mission to liberate children and teachers through creative education guided us to imagine new possibilities for how we educate. In pivoting to remote learning last spring, I had been confident that Liberi’s educational values would be invaluable to an online model. When the results exceeded my expectations, I decided to transform Liberi’s vision into a 100 percent virtual model beginning September 2020 in order to bring freedom, creativity, joy, and stability to educators and learners at home. Now, collaborative learning, deep inquiry, and student agency are facilitated in the comfort of children’s own spaces. Relationships and community are built as teachers and students get to know each other through their live online classes. We are able to create the optimal conditions for virtual learning: Children are seen and heard in small, discussion-driven classes; project-based emergent curriculum evolves with students’ interests; community is woven across age groups with opportunities for social time, whole school projects, and guest visits into each other’s virtual classrooms.
“We’ve been surprised how quickly we’re gaining skills and moving through curriculum that in an in-person setting would take us much longer,” says Aly Kantor, a core curriculum teacher. “There’s no squabbling over who is sitting next to me or who took my pencils. The focus allows you to concentrate on school, tasks, learning, and collaboration. It’s a responsive teaching and learning experience. To see the moment of mastery and act on it immediately, to see a moment of struggle and quickly change course and find the tools to help address it—it’s individualized in a way that is exciting. There is no reason to wait. They will never be bored because we will always be able to challenge them and they will always rise to the occasion.” A virtual learning community is a unique modality that successfully fosters highly engaged teachers and learners in authentic human connection. It nurtures more independent yet connected lives. This is some of the value our new model creates: • Virtual
learning is highly personalized. Teachers can easily tailor instruction to each child and customize their content.
learning is more focused. The learning process is decoupled from the distractions of group social pressures. Students and teachers can engage and optimize class time together without bringing in unhealthy social dynamics that can become obstacles to student success. It takes half the time to accomplish the same work.
learning allows flexibility. There is no need for commuting. The student’s life is freed up to pursue other passions, interests, sports, apprenticeships, and socializing.
learning provides stability and continuity. You can live, move, or travel anywhere and continue to participate in classes.
learning supports family culture. Children learn at home and parents are more involved in their education and socialization.
learning lends itself to real-world problem solving and connects to students’ lives and interests. Student agency and
independence is built into the experience. Project-based collaboration, free flow of ideas, emergent curriculum (much like what we see in start-up cultures) allows intellectual and creative pursuits to go deep.
learning has no geographical limitations. We can build a global, intercultural network. Students make connections with people living all over the world. Amazing teachers, diverse, and highly curated offerings can be delivered to typically under-resourced communities or locations.
Ken Robinson, a renowned educator who championed creativity, said, “One of the most distinctive features of human intelligence is the capacity to imagine, to project out of our own immediate circumstances and to bring to mind things that aren’t present here and now.” We envision a global community of learners all connected online. Partnerships and onthe-ground networks can support in-person opportunities including internships, fieldwork, makerspaces, nature education, sports, and play-based social groups. The paradigm for education has shifted. We are evolving a model to meet the future needs of families and students who have experienced newfound flexibility and freedom in learning at home. A recent poll by the National Parents Union, a majority of parents want better remote learning options now, online options even after COVID, and more engagement in their child’s education. Homeschooling families are estimated to grow by 10 percent. Disruptions help us solve problems. They help us become more creative—but only if we allow ourselves to end up somewhere different from where we started. Children should be spending more time with their families and living their life outside of a classroom. As educators and parents, we are faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for deepening learning. It is crucial that we take the time to ask ourselves: Where do we want to end up as a culture? Our children will thank us. Jennifer Strodl is the director and founder of Hudson-based Liberi School. 1/21 CHRONOGRAM EDUCATION 19
ROCK SOLID REBIRTH A PHOTOGRAPHER AND HIS WIFE REHAB A STONE COTTAGE IN STAATSBURG By Mary Angeles Armstrong Photos by Chris Mottalini
20 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 1/21
Chris Mottalini, his wife Nepal Asatthawasi, and their son Nino on a stone outcropping near their house. The 1950 home was originally handbuilt from bluestone harvested from the surrounding land by an Irish stonemason. “There are stone walls running all through the woods here,” says Mottalini.
Left: Nino at the side of the house. When they bought the home at auction in 2015, it had fallen into near-ruin. The couple undertook the massive renovation themselves, sometimes relying on friends for help, and other times relying on the internet for advice. (Nino came later.) Right: The front door was painted bright yellow when the couple bought the cottage—the couple just gave it a touchup. “I can tell that the guy who built this place had good taste and a great aesthetic,” says Mottalini. “The house has a nice feel.”
ven though he has an eye for interiors, it was Chris Mottalini’s wife, Nepal Asatthawasi, who first spied the half-buried stone treasure at an online auction site. “It was a total mess,” says Mottalini of the 1,800-square-foot cottage in Staatsburg. “The previous couple had lived here for 50 years and toward the end of their lives they weren’t able to do much upkeep on the property. The whole place fell into disrepair.” In 2015, after those previous owners passed on, relatives put the entire estate up for auction. Along with the stone cottage, the estate included almost two acres of surrounding land and the remnants—including furniture, pottery, firewood, newspapers, empty bottles and cans—of lives seemingly well lived. At first glance, Mottalini wasn’t convinced. “Even though I’m an architectural and interiors photographer and into interesting houses, I just didn’t see what this place could be. But my wife saw its potential—she just had a feeling—I was really only along for the ride.”
Mottalini’s father lives in nearby Hyde Park and so the couple decided to come up and snoop around a bit. “He was really the main reason for us looking in this area to begin with,” says Mottalini, who was living with Asatthawasi in New York City at the time. Realizing they probably wouldn’t be able to afford a city home in the short term, the two had begun looking throughout the Hudson Valley for something affordable. At first, they’d cast a rather wide net. “That quickly got overwhelming,” remembers Mottalini. With his mother and sister in Chatham, one aunt in Connecticut, and another down the street from his father in Hyde Park, it seemed natural to narrow their search to the eastern bank of the Hudson. “It really helped to zero in on something close to my dad,” he says. “It was just a chance thing that my wife stumbled across the listing.” Although Mottalini remained doubtful, that initial reconnaissance mission did pique his interest. 1/21 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 21
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1 Homestead Farm Lane | Millerton, NY | $6,495,000 | Approx. 348 Acres | Web# 170347801 John Oliveira: O 914.273.1001 M 914.447.2081
82 KATONAH AVENUE, KATONAH, NY 10536. 914.232.3700 © 2021 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE, THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. ALL PROPERTY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO SQUARE FOOTAGE, ROOM COUNT, NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PROPERTY LISTINGS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ARCHITECT OR ZONING EXPERT. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.
22 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 1/21
The dining room is flooded with light from one of the home’s larger windows. The couple matched a new dining room table with chairs they found in the basement and refurbished. The photograph on the back wall is from Mottalini’s book Land of Smiles, documenting time he spent in Thailand from 2013-2015. “The windows are my favorite feature of the entire house,” says Mottalini. “Every window, you look out and see only trees.”
Hand built by an Irish stone mason in 1950, in the traditional cottage style of Ireland, the house has 22-inch thick walls made of stone harvested from the property and mortared together with concrete. The steep, moss-covered roof and walls, inset with windows of varying sizes, only added to the cottage’s charm. “It was unique to the area,” Mottalini remembers. “It was super cool and it wasn’t going to be that expensive. Plus the siting, location, and really everything else was great—aside from it being a wreck.” Seeing Potential The auction house gave a window of five hours one weekend for prospective buyers to check out the inside of the cottage. “A bunch of typical contractor bros showed up, looking to flip it, but Nepal was hell-bent on getting this place,” he says. The couple brought along Mottalini’s aunt from Connecticut and a local home inspector to advise them on the state of the interior. “The home inspector told us, ‘You know, it’s a mess,’ but that also, besides having to replace the mechanicals, the electric, and redo the interiors, it was actually pretty solid,” recalls Mottalini. “He helped us to understand that it wasn’t a terrible idea.” The actual auction took place online on a weekday afternoon. Astthawasi, who works in community development at Pace University, locked herself in her office and told her colleagues, “for the next hour I will be bidding
on something very valuable—so no one knock on my office door.” In the end, she triumphed. That’s when the real work began. Since they bought it outright, “for basically the cost of the land,” explains Astthawasi, they could take their time with the rehab and were under no obligations as to what they should do with the property. “We were able to afford it because it was a wreck,” says Mottalini. However, “it really was a wreck.” Turning it from a house to a home was entirely on them, and, after purchasing the property, they didn’t have a huge bankroll to do anything too fancy. Luckily, they did have the help of friends and family, an innate sense design, dauntless gumption, and a plethora of YouTube videos to help. That summer, the couple began coming up on weekends, tackling the remodel, project by project and crashing at Mottalini’s dad’s house at the end of each day. “We kind of busted it out,” explains Mottalini, of the remodel that felt all consuming for a while. “It took us six or seven months to get to the point where we even wanted to sleep here.” Seeing Red Mottalini began by removing the low-hanging drop ceilings during an August heat wave. “I had to wear a Tyvek suit,” he explains, of his initiation into home renovation. “The ceilings had turned into mice highways, and when I opened them 1/21 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 23
up, asbestos and mice droppings came cascading out. It was gnarly.” He also stripped inches of paint from all the interior walls and removed “dumb, tiny little closets” from the three bedrooms. “The wood framing was so thick, they were just pointless,” he explains. When all the dust had settled, he had exposed rough-hewn beams holding up the attic and the original plaster walls. He painted the beams white to make the rooms seem larger. He left one plaster wall in its original state as a reminder of the home’s history, and then refurbished the remaining walls with a mixture of matching plaster and white paint throughout. “At first, I was worried about how rough it looks,” Mottalini says, of both the ceiling and the walls. “But I didn’t want to make it look too nice or too new. I think making it fancier would have been a mistake.” The floors were an entirely different story. The previous owners had covered half the house with bright red linoleum tiles—in the dining room, kitchen, and in all the bedrooms. “Really why? I don’t know why,” says Mottalini. He pulled up the rotting linoleum tiles, along with some of the subfloor, all the way down to the slatted beam base, leaving gaps wide enough to view the basement. “At one point, there was a stack head-high of four-byeight sheets of subfloor at the top of the driveway,” he recalls. Mottalini then recovered half the floors with whitewashed pine beams. In the living room, he was able to rescue and refinish the original red oak floor boards. Meanwhile, the couple was also sifting through the very full basement. “It was like a murder basement,” he recalls. “There was tons of weird stuff,” agrees Astthawasi. “But some of it was actually very nice quality.” Along with coins and books, the couple salvaged antique glassware, handmade pottery, and wooden furniture that they refinished and made their own. The rest they threw away. The basement castoffs, added with the scrapped ceiling panels and tiling, ended up filling two dumpsters.
From top: Built around a central fireplace, the rooms of the home flow in a circle from one to another. “It was very thoughtfully designed,” says Mottalini. The couple paired Midcentury couches with refurbished wooden cabinets and a colorful handwoven rug from Kazakhstan. A print by celebrated Malian photographer Malick Sidibe sits on the mantel above the original brick fireplace. Another of Mottalini’s photos hangs in Nino’s room. “I learned the ropes in the photo industry by assisting photographers as well as different set designers and prop stylists,” says Mottalini. “That informed the kind of photography I wanted to do. My aesthetic really evolved from set design, interior styling, and prop styling. It’s also how I learned about furniture and design.” 24 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 1/21
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Nino’s paintings form an ad-hoc collage in a corner of the living room. The family has lots of ideas for future renovations, including hopefully refinishing the attic space to become another bedroom or studio space. “Eventually I’d like to put in some skylights and add a second bathroom up there too. That would make the house twice as big,” says Mottalini. Other ideas include a studio somewhere else on the property and maybe a sauna or wood-burning hot tub.
Custom Mix The couple enlisted friend Erik Blinderman, a Los Angeles-based woodworker and the owner of EB Joinery, to design and custom build an entirely new kitchen for the back of the house. Blinderman used a combination of warm maple and white painted plywood to create an interior space to match the home’s simple, rustic aesthetic. Once designed, Blinderman strapped the pieces of the cabinetry to the back of his station wagon, drove them cross-country, and then assembled them on-site himself. Now minimalist, modern cabinets and wooden countertops provide a counterpoint for the gravitas of the exterior stone walls. Blinderman also designed and created a custom built-in wooden bookshelf for the home’s living room. This time he shipped it by post, and Mottalini assembled it in a corner by the front window. “I didn’t touch the bathroom because I just didn’t trust myself,” says Mottalini, who has never worked with tile before. Astthawasi took over the redesign and execution of the bathroom, choosing a monochromatic print of black hexagonal tiles for the floors and white square tiles for the walls. In 2017, a year and a half after the auction, the home was (mostly) finished. Mixed in with the pieces they refurbished from the basement, the couple has decorated the home with an eclectic mix of mid-century furniture, pieces made by local woodworker Scott Tumbletee, carpets from Kazakhstan, and photography—including some of Mottalini’s own. Now living full-time in the house, Mottalini can’t believe how his fortune has changed. “I felt like this house was totally trying to kill me at first,” he says. “I couldn’t ever imagine ever wanting to live here. But now it’s home.” 1/21 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 27
CREATIVE SPACES KINGSTON DESIGN SHOWHOUSE By Marie Doyon Photos by Ariel Camilo
rom Hudson River School painters Thomas Cole and Frederick Church up through the architectural fancies of Calvert Vaux and his 19th-century contemporaries, through the arts colonies and Woodstock’s music recording heyday, and now into modern day, upstate New York has always been a refuge for creatives. And yet, in the shadow of the colossal cultural and aesthetic icon that is New York City, the Hudson Valley has not been thought of as a design destination. But that perception is changing, as talented artisans, architects, and designers—and the clients who work with them—have chosen to move to the region, adding to the base of locally born and bred creatives who choose to stay and work their craft here. But a movement needs a champion, which it has found in designer Maryline Damour of Damour Drake. Damour has spent the last several years pushing for the recognition of the region’s design scene with her annual Kingston Design Showhouse. The showhouse, which changes location every year and celebrated its third anniversary in 2020, has already become a powerful vehicle for coalescing the Hudson Valley’s emerging design scene, bringing professionals together to collaborate and network, and creating a deliciously sensual, immersive experience for homeowners, professionals, and design devotees. Despite the pandemic, the 2020 Kingston Design Showhouse went forward and was possibly 28 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 1/21
even more magnificent than in years past. The setting was a beautiful c.1800 white-painted brick Italianate home in the Ponckhockie neighborhood of Kingston, which was purchased by a family of three last summer. The three-story Victorian sits on a one-acre lot at the end of a dead-end road, with spectacular vistas of the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River beyond. The family gave their property over to a dozen designers for a complete makeover—inside and out—with each creative taking over one space. “I think being shut in and not being able to be creative, we all had a lot of pent up creative energy,” Damour says. “We saw that this year in the level and quality of spaces people produced.” The list of 2020 designers included some KDS alumni like Jennifer Salvemini and Ana Claudia Design, as well as newcomers including Lava Interiors and Krishna Fitzpatrick. The showhouse gives you direct inspiration and a valuable list of local resources, but most importantly: permission to dream. The takeaway? Anything you want to make, design, or build, you can do right here in the Hudson Valley. The showhouse was open for tours the last weekend in November and the first two weekends in December. In case you missed it, Kingston Design Connection collaborated with Coldwell Banker Village Green to create a visual tour of the 2020 Kingston Design Showhouse. Take the tour online at Kingstondesignconnection.com.
Clockwise from top left: Kingston Design Connecton's Maryline Damour gave the house's cream exterior a pop with the blue front door. Stone Ridge Landscaping beautified the yard, while Jen Dragon of Cross Contemporary Partners curated a mini sculpture garden. Jessica Williams of Newburgh-based Hendley & Co. contracted Mark Turner to hand-paint the walls of the dining room with Rothko-esque flair. A twist on the classic dark, masculine library with tasteful pops of pink and plum from Patrick Ryan of Patrick Ryan's Office. The book selection was curated by Jessica DuPont of Half Moon Books. Rondout florist Hops Petunia collaborated with Cross Contemporary Partners to bring an oft-ignored, unfinished part of the basement to life. The floral installation was done with live flowers, chosen for their ability to dry gracefully. KDS founder Maryline Damour, of Damour Drake, tackled a mixed-use work-from-home and classroom space, reflecting our 2020 reality. Also on theme with the year—the seemingly playful, mint-green wallpaper by Sheila Bridges, which lampoons some of the stereotypes deeply woven into the African American experience.
1/21 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 29
INTERIOR DESIGN SPOTLIGHT
Ann Stratton Photography
Eileen Brady Nelson
uch like the spaces she cultivates, Simone Eisold’s journey through the design world has been organic. Born in Germany, her childhood was shaped by the surrounding mountain scenery and a family of architects and furniture designers. After earning her degree in fashion design, she worked for 25 years in Germany, Italy, and New York for luxury menswear brands like Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali, and Paul & Shark. Six years ago, Eisold decided to pivot to interior design—a natural bend in her career path that draws on her varied history with the design world. Her disparate influences make appearances across all her projects, which effortlessly balance new and old, natural and manufactured. “It all ties together,” she says. “For me, design exists in so many different areas. It’s not just one kind of design stops here and another starts there.” As a result of her years in menswear, Eisold’s interiors often emphasize the role that texture can play. It shows up in her choice of highly tactile upholstery; the interplay of color and pattern on the walls (aptly, her partner is also a painter who specializes in high-end interior finishes); and vignettes that highlight contrasts, like a collection of foraged branches in a piece of minimal pottery. “I love that mix of a very beautiful modern element and something found in nature,” Eisold says. Eisold often brings her finely tuned aesthetic to real estate—partnering with Globalpropertysystems.com to stage homes for sale or working with families who have relocated and need help navigating the region’s network of contractors and craftspeople, as she did with a recent whole-house design project in New Paltz. Eisold’s sketchbook is her constant companion, which she uses to illustrate changes for clients in real time. “That has been such a great point of connection,” she says. “Handdrawing in the age of computers is such a powerful tool.” While larger projects give Eisold the space to connect with her clients over a period of months, she also relishes shorter, high-impact jobs, too. Whether it’s an overdue kitchen renovation or meeting for a few hours to discuss paint colors or what size rug you should select for the living room, she simply enjoys helping people craft their nests with thought and care. “COVID has changed the importance and meaning of home,” Eisold says. “Something as simple as sitting on a favorite chair can comfort us and make us feel safe. These past months, being at home more has made a lot of people realize they want to change some things. What better time to find comfort in your own home than now?” Simoneeisold.com
30 CHRONOGRAM 1/21
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A VOICE FOR CHOICE
IT’S TIME FOR WOMEN TO TAKE BACK THE NARRATIVE OF A POLITICALLY CHARGED, YET DEEPLY HUMAN PREDICAMENT. By Mary Angeles Armstrong
t was hard—and it was something I just knew right away,” remembers Jenn Chalifoux. She was 18 and on leave from college, at home in Long Island to receive treatment for anorexia, when she realized she was pregnant. Since a common side effect of anorexia is amenorrhea (a cessation of the menstrual cycle), missed periods didn’t sound the alarm bell. She was surrounded by doctors, having blood work frequently, and on birth control. “It didn’t even occur to me that I might [be pregnant],” she recalls. “My medical team thought my menstrual cycle would return as I progressed in my recovery.” When it didn’t, months into her treatment, Chalifoux took a pregnancy test at a friend’s house. It came back positive and a follow-up appointment with her doctor revealed that she was well into her second trimester. It was a shock. “Before, I didn’t understand how people could overlook their pregnancy,” she says. “It seemed ridiculous to me that you could be pregnant and have no idea; I thought all pregnancies looked the same, felt the same, and were instantly recognizable.” Even so, Chalifoux had no doubt about the right course of action for herself. “I had just started taking antidepressants for the first time—and they were helping,” she explains. “I’d drank a fair amount during my first trimester, before I knew I was pregnant. Alcohol and psychiatric medication are notably bad for fetal development. I’d also been losing weight during
32 HEALTH & WELLNESS CHRONOGRAM 1/21
my pregnancy, which didn’t bode well. Most importantly though, I didn’t want to be pregnant. I needed partial hospitalization for my mental illness; the thought of carrying a pregnancy to term and then giving birth [gave me panic attacks]. I knew I wanted to have an abortion.” A Made-Up Term Deeply stigmatized and regularly reduced to a political rallying cry, later abortion is in fact a complex predicament—profoundly human, sometimes heartbreaking, and sometimes, surprisingly, hopeful. Often, it’s exacerbated by misconceptions and bureaucracy. But when women are able to share the truth of their experiences and own the narrative, the results can be empowering—and often change the hearts and minds of those around them. “A ‘late-term’ abortion is not a scientific or medical term—it’s a made-up, political term,” explains Diana Greene Foster, a professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the author of The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion (Scribner Books, 2020). “A term pregnancy is 37 to 40 weeks—no abortions are happening so late. Very few abortions occur after 20 weeks (around one to two percent) and the number that occurs goes down dramatically each week. The term ‘late-term’ suggests that
people are having abortions at the time of delivery, and that is not true.” Foster also serves as director of research at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a UCSFbased collaborative research group dedicated to better understanding people’s sexual and reproductive lives. “Ninety percent of abortions occur in the first trimester,” she says. “I call anything after that, ‘later.’” Over five years, Foster and her researchers interviewed 1,000 women from 30 medical facilities throughout the US and, whether they were successful in receiving an abortion or not, monitored their subsequent progress. Through personal narrative and data, Foster delves into the varied circumstances that lead women to seek abortion care, their access to it, and the long-term effects of those differing experiences. Foster’s work provides one of the most complete and detailed pictures of abortion in America to date, including women who seek abortions after the first trimester, and why. While later abortions are only a small percentage of overall terminations, understanding their precipitating circumstances, and the interrelated issues, illuminates the reality of abortion in America today. According to a CBS poll in June, 63 percent of Americans support legalized abortion in some cases, and a Marist poll last March found that 77 percent support the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade. However, that support erodes to approximately 27 percent when polling includes
later abortions. The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization, reports that more than one-third of states have implemented 20-week abortion bans, and multiple states limit abortion in the second and third trimester. As of December 2020, 43 states placed limits on women’s access to abortion after a certain gestational period. Fueling such decisions, the misconceptions surrounding later abortions abound, and the resulting stigma keeps many women silent about their experiences, further perpetuating the myths. While Chalifoux’s experience is rare, her reasons are common to women who need a later abortion. “When people have abortions in the second trimester, it’s often because they didn’t realize they were pregnant and then all the logistical, financial, and regulatory barriers to getting an abortion slowed them down,” explains Foster. The masking of pregnancy symptoms, and irregular periods, can happen for a variety of medical reasons, including recent childbirth, polycystic ovary syndrome, certain medications, and even stress. Adolescents and perimenopausal women are especially susceptible. A study conducted by ANSIRH found that late recognition is often compounded by logistical delays in obtaining abortion care, setting off a chain of events that result in later abortions. “Once I realized I was pregnant, everything was a race against the clock,” remembers Chalifoux. “I had to research and call clinics in my area, and then I had to wait for the clinics to get back to me. I waited for the OBGYN, the sonogram, the hospital, the insurance company. The waiting was the worst part. I hadn’t thought about how long it takes to get critical, nonemergency healthcare. Meanwhile, every day I was another day pregnant.”
a Hudson Valley-based consulting organization dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of women and children. “Planned Parenthood of Greater New York has had to expand incredibly because they’ve seen so many people coming from other states as a result of emerging restrictions.” Bans almost always heavily impact younger women with a lower income, and especially women of color. Institutional and systemic inequities abound.
A Widening State Divide Ironically, the need for a later abortion often arises from lack of access to more timely abortion care. “[Some] people seek abortion care later in pregnancy because they learned some new information they couldn’t have known earlier— sudden life events like the death of a partner or loved one,” says Erika Christensen, founder of the website Whonotwhen.com, which provides information and resources for understanding later abortion. “The other path to later care is being pushed by man-made barriers like clinic closures, inability to pay for an earlier procedure, and bans.” Meanwhile, the divide for obtaining access is widening, as geographic bans and gestation limits fall on state lines. Recently, states such as Alabama, Missouri, and Ohio have effectively banned abortions after six weeks’ gestation age, while states such as New York and Vermont have codified reproductive rights into state law. (In 2019, the passage of New York’s Reproductive Health Act decriminalized abortion and lifted many of the existing restrictions on abortion care.) Changes in the Supreme Court, tipping the balance toward conservative justices, indicate that the division between states will grow. “In the US, the number of places that don’t have access to an easy abortion is extraordinary,” says Nejla Lilas, president and founder of Global Health Visions,
As a woman’s pregnancy progresses, the cost of abortion care increases, the access to abortions providers and reproductive services decreases, and restrictions become more common. If a woman is already the primary caregiver to young children, has an abusive partner, or even just has a full-time job, this lack of access can set off a chain of delays that often limits her reproductive access or denies it entirely. “The human body is complicated and doesn’t follow legal timelines,” adds Christensen. “But [man-made barriers] can be changed.” Christensen advocates for abolishing abortion restrictions and repealing the Hyde Amendment (which restricts the use of federal funding for abortions) so that people can use insurance to pay for abortion care. Christensen’s own heart-rending experience of needing an abortion at 32 weeks inspired her to start Whonotwhen.com as well as the patient advocacy site Patientforward.org. It was during her second trimester of pregnancy that she and her husband Garin Marshchall realized that her pregnancy wasn’t viable. The fetus had muscular issues and wasn’t growing or swallowing. In her third trimester, doctors told her she would most likely give birth to a child who would only live a few hours. She and Marschall wanted to alleviate any suffering as best they could and stay true to their morals and values. Yet, because
“A ‘late-term’ abortion is not a scientific or medical term— it’s a made-up, political term.” —Diana Greene Foster, a professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UC-San Francisco
of New York’s previous gestational limits, their options were limited. The couple decided to fly to Colorado so that Christensen could receive an injection to terminate her pregnancy, then flew back to New York to deliver the stillborn. Trusting a Woman’s Decision-Making Deeply personal and specific, the choice to have an abortion is never easy—yet Foster’s study indicates that we should trust a woman’s decision-making in seeking abortion care. “All the reasons women give for wanting an abortion are evident in the experiences of women who are denied,” explains Foster. “If a woman is concerned about financial security, they become poorer when they are denied an abortion. If they say their relationship is not strong enough to support a child, the relationship dissolves whether they receive an abortion or not. When they say they want to take care of the children they already have, we see that their existing children do worse when they are denied an abortion.” Meanwhile, the health risks of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term are not fully understood. “In the study, two women died of pregnancy related complications because they were denied an abortion,” says Foster. “No woman died from receiving one.” When women are given access to abortion care, even during the later stage of their pregnancies, they tend not to regret it. According to the Turnaway Study, 95 percent of women who have abortions feel it was the right decision. Children also benefit from expanded reproductive rights. “When women are able to get a wanted abortion, they are more likely to be able to take care of the children they already have, and to have intended pregnancies in the future,” says Foster. In the end, it’s compassion, and a network of nonjudgmental support, that truly benefits people who seek later abortions. “Most people would be surprised to know how loving and specific the later abortion world is,” says Christensen, who now with Marschall has a daughter. “We’re talking about the incredible, radically empathetic doctors and staff working at last-stop/later clinics, the complicated web of practical support organizations that help patients pay for the care itself, and the travel to get there. Meeting people from all walks of life who have traveled the same path to access care that is both incredibly uncommon and wildly stigmatized is also very healing.” Chalifoux, whose experience with later abortion is now 10 years behind her, recalls the unconditional support from family that carried her through an incredibly difficult time. “I’m so lucky to have parents who immediately wrapped their arms around me and promised to help,” she explains. “Once I involved them, I knew for sure that I’d be okay.” Now engaged and looking forward to starting a family, Chalifoux has no doubt that her access to a later abortion saved her life. “When I see support for gestational limits, I see people who want to prevent other people like me from accessing life-saving healthcare,” she says. “But I believe wholeheartedly that I would not be alive today if I’d given birth. My life today is full of love and joy.” 1/21 CHRONOGRAM HEALTH & WELLNESS 33
LOVE WON'T WAIT PANDEMIC WEDDINGS By Anne Pyburn Craig
eather Kunkel and Cherie Davis had been deep into planning a barn wedding for September 26 of last year when the pandemic hit. “We had spent months making centerpieces and important little decisions, paying close attention to every detail.” says Kunkel. “We wanted shades of slate blue and cornflower, lace, Boho-style flowers and a magical ceremony in the paddock outside, followed by dancing in the barn with a kick-ass DJ.” Soon after the invitations went out, though, the couple found their carefully laid plans thwarted by COVID-19. “The thought of canceling just made us unbearably sad. We cried a lot. We didn’t know what to do,” says Kunkel. “Cherie was torn at the thought of her family not being a part of this special moment. Her brother in Arizona, there was no way he was going to make it. My sister in North Carolina—it just was not what we dreamed.” But Kunkel, a licensed clinical social worker who directs a mental health agency in Wappingers Falls, and Davis, a correctional officer and Air Force reservist, didn’t want to wait. It had been a magical ride from date one, on up through buying a Hudson Valley home together and two romantic proposals (“I proposed at Gillette Castle and she proposed back on a literary walk in the city,” Kunkel says). Now they wanted to get married and start a family. The couple kept their date but trimmed the gathering at their Dutchess County home to 15,
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who gathered for the orchard ceremony, then bussed to Mill House Brewing Company in Poughkeepsie for feasting “and photos we could never have gotten at a bigger reception,” Kunkel notes. “It wasn’t in the numbers, it was in each other’s eyes. Our dreams were still coming true.” The big party, with barn dance (and possibly a gender reveal), has been set for June. Kunkel says she’s still psyched. “We’re still working out how that will go, but after what we’ve been through? With the right person, you can get through anything.” Virtual Vows Alanna Badgley and Rudy Green, two Westchester paramedics, found themselves at the epicenter of the crisis back in March. “We started isolating from friends and family early,” Badgley recalls. “We missed a birthday party, a funeral— we had no idea what we might be carrying. Through April into May, we saw really trying times. I’m president of my union local, so I had to negotiate with management over things like sick time during all of it.” Time magazine reporter Charlotte Alter came and spent a shift with Badgley, leading to a cover story in April. And while most readers probably marveled at her dedication, Badgley found herself struck by something else. “Charlotte was very observant, and Rudy came into the story, how he fixed me fruit to take to work when I could barely eat, how I smiled when I heard his identifier
over the radio,” she says. “It really hit me how important to each other we are, how we’d had conversations lots of people never need to have. We’d planned a trip to Jamaica and cancelled for moral reasons, but it turned out we’d both secretly been planning to propose at this spot called Lover’s Leap. Well, it happened on the couch.” Instead of fretting over what they couldn’t do, the couple “used the pandemic as an excuse to have our absolute dream wedding,” says Badgley. “His family is from Jamaica; beyond that, we’ve worked and volunteered and made friends all over the world, and there was no way we could have afforded to fly everyone we loved in no matter what was going on.” The couple turned to Wedfuly, one of several virtual wedding providers who’ve sprung up during the pandemic. “They coordinated all the cameras and tech; we had a tiny ceremony with five guests from each family in my parents’ front yard in Gardiner, with 200 people watching from 20 states and 13 countries,” says Badgley. “People joined us from Hawaii and Australia and Guatemala—we all danced together, and we had all the kids—aged four months to 16—walk down their own ‘aisles’ at home, spotlighting each of them. It was just the perfect balance of intimacy with the inperson guests and larger group. Last year, I’d never even thought of such a thing as a virtual wedding. Now, having done it, I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Basic Yet Special Talking to couples who tied the knot midpandemic, that’s the theme that emerges: With an intricate feast for dozens off the table, the emergent focus on immediate family and on the relationship itself brought a special sweetness to slimmed-down 2020 nuptials. The pandemic occasioned weddings that might not have happened otherwise. Arts facilitator Cathy James and software engineer Derek Bronston, friends for a quarter century before a 16-year romance, moved from Flatbush to Woodstock with their 11-year-old daughter in December 2019, just before the virus turned the world upside down. “The pandemic pulled us together in new ways,” says James, who’d never thought of marrying again but found herself proposing to Bronston on his birthday. “I just wanted to dig in and make that commitment. When the pandemic shifted all the boundaries, we realized how in sync we really were in terms of safety and values.” Five weeks later, after careful and honest negotiations, three pre-tested households came together to witness the vows. “We sat down two weeks before the day and figured out final details; we hung up some decorations and the rest of the family watched by Zoom,” she says. “It was really basic and yet very special—at the end of the day, it turns out all you need is no rain and the people who bring the vibe that you want. I just wanted to say ‘I love you’ out loud, surrounded by loved ones, and it turned out that the simplification suited us.” Change of Location Heather O’Leary and Kevin Misley were planning to tie the knot at the Ashokan Center in late October. Their guest list was small—just under 100 people, family and close friends only—and they had booked the entire Ashokan campus for the entire weekend. But by late June, it became clear that the couple could not proceed as planned with the wedding, rescheduled for the fall of 2021. “Because we are in our 50s with no children, it didn’t seem like there was any reason to fret about the postponement,” says O’Leary. “It was a first marriage for both of us, so that is pretty unusual I guess, but neither of us felt any pressure to say, ‘I do.’” (The couple live in Olivebridge; O'Leary is a veterinarian and Misley owns a custom-build pool company.)
Above: Alanna Badgley and Rudy Green receiving well wishes via Zoom at their frontyard wedding in Gardiner this summer. Photo by Joshua Brown Top left: Cathy James and Derek Bronston had an intimate wedding for just three households. Opposite: Heather Kunkel and Cherie Davis at their backyard wedding in Dutchess County in late September. Photo by Christine Ashburn 1/21 CHRONOGRAM WEDDINGS 35
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Kevin Misely and Heather O'Leary on the beach in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where they had an impromptu wedding in late October. Photo by Holly Misley
But then O’Leary started thinking about her father, who has dementia. “As anyone familiar with this disease knows, it doesn’t follow any rules, or obey any predictions. In another year, Dad may not be aware of what is going on.” The couple decided to proceed with a small ceremony for immediate family only. It was held on Long Beach Island in New Jersey, where O’Leary and Misley go each summer. “We both love the beach,” says O’Leary. “We got married on the dune, our little terriers as ring bearers, the annual kite festival in the background. O’Leary’s father walked her up the dune to give her away to Misley. “It was perfect,” she says. Fond Memories Demitra and Brandon Romero, another couple whose love blossomed in lockdown, got engaged in July and wanted a Hudson Valley wedding. “Growing up in the city, I had fond memories of weekends upstate, and when we started talking seriously about a future, that’s where we want to settle,” says Brandon. “Marrying there felt right.” “We knew planning the logistics would be a challenge with the pandemic on, so we approached everything very consciously,” says Demitra. “We kept the guest list small and chose our venue with safety in mind.” They found an Airbnb rental near Hunter Mountain with two acres of yard, and gathered 18 pre-quarantined family members from near and far for a Catskills weekend. “Demi’s family came all the way from California two weeks early to quarantine,” says Brandon. “Talk about feeling loved!” Guests pitched in to make it work. “Brandon’s father is a carpenter and he built our custom arch; his brothers set up the chairs, one videotaped, and another did the sound,” Demitra says. “Everyone helped decorate. The only people who weren’t guests were the photographer, the caterer, and the officiant.” Had times been normal, the couple might have made fancier plans. “I had a little pang of remorse at first, but it really was the most exciting day of our lives,” says Demitra. “Now I can’t imagine having done it any other way, having to rush around hosting 200. Everyone in that room knew us intimately and had genuine love for us; everyone who was in our pictures is going to be in our lives forever.”
Bottom: Demitra and Brandon Romero rented an Airbnb house near Hunter with two acres of lawn for their wedding this summer. Photo by Jean Kalina 1/21 CHRONOGRAM WEDDINGS 37
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THE GREEN RUSH CANNABIS ON THE RISE
The greenhouse at The Pass in Sheffield, Massachussets, a vertically integrated growhouse and dispensary.
By Amadeus Finlay
s cannabis increasingly becomes available nationwide for both medical and recreational use, New York State, where the plant is currently decriminalized, is likely to be among the next states to join one of the least understood, and at times controversial, socioeconomic booms of the century to date— legal cannabis. But how this landscape will appear, and what New Yorkers can come to expect from legalized cannabis should it occur, is difficult to predict. Each state has its own set of regulations, few of which are universally consistent. However, with nationwide legalization entering the second half of its first decade, and the recent passing of New York Senate Bill S6184A, defining the growth and distribution of industrial hemp in the state, patterns and expectations are beginning to emerge that New Yorkers can learn from. Understanding the Cannabis Plant Cannabis is complex, multidimensional, and has seen myriad applications across multiple cultures for millennia. It’s known for its rendering consumers “high,” a psychoactive reaction to ingesting certain parts of the plant, but that is only one of its many uses.
Cannabis, in the purest scientific sense, is a genus of plants in the Cannabaceae family, of which there are three main species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabaceae plants contain more than 80 chemical compounds, including THC, the one which creates the euphoric effects, and CBD, a nonpsychoactive compound that is used as pain and anti-inflammatory medication. THC, the compound that recreational bills are concerned with, is primarily found in cannabis flowers, while CBD is found everywhere in the plant, bar the seeds. The third characteristic or general application of Cannabaceae plants is hemp, which is not a chemical compound, rather cannabis that contains 0.3 percent or less THC content when dried. The stalks of this product are also used to make ropes and threads. While finicky, these distinctions are crucial when understanding the regulations around cannabis production, distribution, possession, and consumption. At time of print, recreational cannabis is legal in 15 states, as well as the District of Columbia, with all but two states, Nebraska and Idaho, permitting some form of medical program. Cannabis is also considered legal on
Indigenous land due to the hazy laws relating to tribal sovereignty, but substantial programs are not commonplace, with federal overreach often difficult to overcome. To date, only three dispensaries exist on tribal land, all of which are in Washington State. Cannabis Case Study: Massachusetts In Massachusetts, where medical cannabis became legal in 2013 and recreational in 2016, there are 40 dispensaries across the commonwealth. The financial impact of recreational cannabis has been significant, with the state’s dispensaries grossing over $420 million in sales in 2019. Since the first dispensaries opened a little over two years ago, the commonwealth and local municipalities have collected $122 million in tax revenue from recreational cannabis sales. Cannabis dispensaries are carefully branded lifestyle outlets designed to educate customers as much as to sling product. Their wares, of which there is an ever-increasing diversity, range from THC-infused edibles, including gummy bears and chocolate, to cannabis-derived tinctures, soft drinks, and salves. Cannabis flower—the actual plant that generations of college student 1/21 CHRONOGRAM THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES 39
Recreational marijuana dispensary Canna Provisions in Lee, Massachusetts. Photo by Melissa Ostrow
Michael Hart, Hempire State Growers' cannabis specialist, overseeing the hemp harvest on Hempire's farm in Ulster County. 40 THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES CHRONOGRAM 1/21
have smoked—is just one of many products. Discretion and security are maintained throughout a dispensary visit. IDs are checked at the door, and all purchases leave sealed within tamper-proof bags for transport. Tucked within the hills and valleys of the Berkshires, just over the New York border from Taconic State Park, is the town of Sheffield. One of several rural municipalities experiencing a revitalization of its historic farming communities, Sheffield is home to The Pass, a family-run cannabis firm and dispensary that has built a vertically integrated model that keeps everything under one roof. Having taken inspiration from the Berkshires’ farm-to-table ethos, The Pass, opened in July 2020, describes itself as a “seed-to-sale, farm-tolabel” purveyor that tracks and quality controls from the moment the first seedlings sprout in the farm’s greenhouse, to the multiple consumer grade products available at the on-site store. “If you think of us like a winery versus a package store, you’ll start to get an idea of what we are doing here,” explains Ally Brown, marketing manager at The Pass. “We have a multilevel indoor facility and a greenhouse. Everything is done on-site—drying, curing, trimming. Our extracts and edibles are also created on site, all of which are then third-party tested. As soon as they pass, we can bring the product right through the doors.” The town of Sheffield’s motto is, “He Who Plants a Tree Plants Hope,” and it is a sentiment that is reflected in all the cannabisrelated activities going on in Sheffield and the Berkshires. As Ally Brown puts it: “I like to call certain people cannaesuris [cannabis connoisseurs], and that’s exactly what we’re doing here in Sheffield.” The deep affection that Brown and her colleagues at The Pass hold for cannabis is evident, their motivations driven by a love for the plant rather than commodification. This sentiment is echoed by Colorado native and industry legend Meg Sanders. Sanders has been in the
cannabis space since 2009, and her latest venture, Canna Provisions, has seen the former CEO of multimillion dollar grow and dispensary firm MiNDFUL, also make her way to the Bay State. With three locations—Lee, Holyoke, and Easthampton—Canna Provisions is a group of cannabis professionals that source, evaluate, and distribute commercial grade cannabis products from a network of approved vendors. Focusing their attentions on craft cultivators and manufacturers, Canna Provisions is another example of a local enterprise with its heart on its sleeve. “I am a big fan of small and profitable,” explains Sanders. “I believe in sharing the wealth, ensuring employees are paid well. And we have a commitment to working with anyone, so long as their ethos and culture fits with ours.” Sanders’s mission is evident throughout the Canna Provisions enterprise. The firm’s head of cultivation, Ken Dogg, is a former cannabis felon, but what matters is Dogg’s knowledge of the plant, not his criminal record. “Doing the right thing is rarely a negative,” continues Sanders, “There’s a lot of magic you don’t see on a spreadsheet. We want to ensure that the vision and the heart and soul supports that, and people buy because of what you’re doing. You better have an authentic story, and you better live it and breathe it every damn day.” Authentic stories define the cannabis industry in Massachusetts, and in the quiet mill town of Uxbridge, innovative thinking is merging with the needs of a COVID-scarred world. Billed as the world’s first drive-thru dispensary, Green N’ Go, set to open in March 2021, was conceived as a solution to customers being required to wait in lines outside conventional dispensaries as a prerequisite of social distancing. “People should have access to medicine without feeling uncomfortable,” explains Green N’ Go COO Jason Delamater, “whether standing in line in the freezing New England winter, or lacking the privacy some would prefer when acquiring cannabis.” “With the needs of the patient and consumer in mind,” continues Delamater, “we developed a contact-free solution that enables the customer to place an order online and pick it up without leaving their vehicle or coming into direct contact with our staff.” Cannabis in New York: Recreational on the Horizon? New York might not have recreational cannabis, but its hemp and medical cannabis industries are booming. The state’s combined market was valued at $1.8 billion in 2018, and with Governor Cuomo and the Legislature pushing for the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2021’s legislative session, New York would see an estimated $300 million in additional annual tax revenue. The Hepworth family of Ulster County has been farming the Hudson Valley since the early 1800s. With deep roots in local agriculture, the family’s latest enterprise sees the Hepworths taking to the soil once again in the shape of a woman-founded and run cooperative, Hempire State Growers. Structured as an opportunity for local farms to benefit from a cash crop, the cooperative aims to rejuvenate the region’s
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Yanna Sunshine James at Shinnecok Hemp Growers, a sovereign, indigenous-owned-and-operated farm on Long Island. Photo by Nasha Hill
Hillary Peckham, COO of the medical marijuana firm Etain Health, at the extraction, curing, processing, separating and lab site in Chestertown, New York. 42 THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES CHRONOGRAM 1/21
farming economic fortunes through wholesale and consumer hemp sales both online and in their store in Milton. “The mission is to incorporate regenerative agriculture, to support the local economy, and help with human wellness,” comments Vanessa Park, communications director, “and CBD hemp is the perfect crop for the family to invest in.” Like their contemporaries at The Pass, Hempire State Growers is another vertically integrated model, practicing what the Hepworths refer to as, “soil-to-oil, seed-tosale.” Together, the cooperative owns 200 acres of hemp fields intended for use in medicinal CBD products, but with the FDA having only approved one CBD-derived drug to date, Epidiolex, product integrity remains a moving target. “Despite there being no cohesive nationwide regulations behind CBD, we want to ensure traceability and quality in our products,” continues Park, “and both the consumer and the plant deserve a relationship that works.” Another vertically integrated firm focused on medicinal cannabis is Etain. Founded in 2015, Etain is not only a venerable figure in the New York market, but it is also the only womanowned medical cannabis dispensary in the state. Unlike recreational dispensaries such as The Pass, Etain’s THC-based products are only available to patients in possession of an approved New York medical cannabis card, which can only be prescribed by a primary care physician. Under current legislation, medical cannabis can be used to treat cancer, AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder, but the patient must also display, to quote Health NY, “one or more complicating conditions to qualify.” And it is a popular
prescription. Etain’s annual revenue was $1.47 million in 2020, coming from just four locations in Manhattan, Kingston, Syracuse, and Yonkers. Cannabis products are also being used as a medicine by the Shinnecock tribe of Long Island, and Shinnecock Hemp Growers, launched in 2019, has fused traditional healing and agricultural practices to produce sovereign, Indigenous hemp. The brainchild of Rainbow Chavis and her daughter Nasha, the operation is a community endeavor, with the tribe awarding the family a lifetime, no-cost lease on the land on which they grow their hemp plants. “We are mothers, both of us, and we both want to help heal the people with natural medicines,” explains Chavis, “to be able to put our knowledge of cannabis, hemp, and natural medicines out there in the world, and get people educated as part of the process.” Chavis has many reasons for her involvement with the plant, and on Shinnecock land, it is an interconnected, symbiotic relationship with the Earth: “As a Native American people, we grow with Mother Earth in mind all the time. We remember to not overly plant, overly harvest, to help the land, and that’s what hemp does, it helps the soil.” Whether a fully fledged cannabis industry can take root in New York still very much remains to be seen, but the signs are there. The second part of this two-part series will examine the current New York landscape in greater detail, including existing legislation and proposed changes in Albany, as well as what social and economic changes the state might face. Next month, we’ll also dig deeper into those shaping the industry to understand what motivates their push toward legalization, and identify who might ultimately benefit.
A HAVEN FOR HEMP LOVERS AT THE LEAF IN BEACON, THE FOCUS IS ON QUALITY CBD FROM SEED TO SALE
fter the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hempderived CBD, THC’s little sibling had a major glow-up. Walk into a natural foods market or even a well-stocked home goods store today and you’ll find a dizzying array of CBD tinctures, oils, gummies, softgels, lotions, and salves. Since CBD (short for cannabidiol) isn’t psychoactive like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the Farm Bill made growing cannabis legal as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent of THC (which then classifies the plant as hemp). But with almost no other regulations in place, the CBD market has become a bit like the Wild West. “CBD is really confusing for people. There’s a million brands on the market and it’s not onesize-fits-all,” says Grant McCabe, owner of The Leaf in Beacon, a CBD specialty boutique that opened in 2019. According to him, the CBD market has become saturated by companies looking to make a profit by creating low-quality, inconsistent products. The “wild swings” in quality frustrated McCabe, who had been selling CBD since its earliest days at his Beacon vape and smoke shop, Smokers Mecca. After
the Farm Bill passed, he decided to jump headon into the CBD world himself. McCabe applied for a growers’ license as part of the Department of Agriculture’s industrial hemp research program—allowing him to control the supply chain start to finish. He then began working with trained formulists to create CBD products from his New York-grown hemp that he could sell at The Leaf. Unlike many other CBD brands, The Leaf provides a space where McCabe and his team can educate customers about how to select and use the products they’ve created. “We put a lot of time, thought, and energy into research and development,” he says. “We look at what people generally want to accomplish with CBD, like treating anxiety, stress, pain, or sleep then reverse engineer products that do what we need them to do.” To do so, the team isolates and extracts many other compounds found in the hemp plant, not just CBD. The tinctures, for instance, pair CBD with terpenes (the same plant compounds that give cannabis its pungent aroma and taste) that produce indica or sativa effects, and the Nighttime Gummies are formulated with an
additional compound called CBN (cannabinol) to help you stay asleep. When the team develops new products, they often show up in the shop for customers to try and provide real-time feedback. In fact, customers can sample many of the over 100 products at The Leaf—from tinctures to gummies, softgels, raw hemp flower, pre-roll joints, teas, salves, and bath and body products made with hemp seed oil. “We sample our products because they’re good and we believe that much in them,” says McCabe. In October 2020, Governor Cuomo announced proposed state regulations for CBD products aimed at establishing quality controls for manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and laboratory testing. Except for a few labeling changes, the standards are already in line with what McCabe and his team have been doing to bring their products to market. “For a lot of companies it’s going to be a huge compliance issue, but for us it’s not a big deal,” he says. “If you start from the beginning with quality products, the end result will be quality, too.” Theleafny.com 1/21 CHRONOGRAM THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES 43
Holding Fast GREAT BARRINGTON By Jamie Larson Photos by Bill Wright
his year—here, there, and everywhere— was really, really bad, but in Great Barrington a surprising sentiment endures: optimism. “We want the Berkshires to remain the Berkshires,” says Betsy Andrus, executive director of the Southern Berkshires Chamber of Commerce. “The key thing now is getting people to understand that shopping local isn’t just a phrase. It’s hugely important. You need to invest, eat, shop, and donate if you want to keep the character of your community intact.” While every business sector has been impacted in Great Barrington, Andrus points to some areas of the local economy that have been able to grow during the crisis. Farms and farm stands saw increased patronage throughout their seasons and the recreational marijuana industry continues to flourish. But the biggest indicator that the town and surrounding area may be well positioned to recover gracefully after the pandemic is the current real estate boom.
44 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 1/21
A Metro Migration Floods the Mass Market “The Southern Berkshires is red hot,” says real estate agent George Kane of William Pitt Sotheby’s. “Anything that comes on the market that’s halfway decent goes in a minute, and everyone’s got three buyers.” According to Kane, three years ago there might be 150 houses over $1 million sitting on the market at any given time. Now there’s so much buying that inventory is down 40 percent, making it an unparalleled time to sell. Homes are selling the day they list, often without the buyers even seeing the property in person. Kane says the self-evident cause for all this is New Yorkers who are coming from small, expensive apartments in the city. “When they see what they can get up here for the same, or often less money, it becomes an easy decision,” says Kane. Kane estimated the metropolitan migration to the Berkshires is a 70/30 split between New York City and Boston respectively, adding that
Above: Railroad Street is a neat thoroughfare off Main Street that houses a number of restaurants and retail businesses like Baba Louie’s Sourdough Pizza and Karen Allen Fiber Arts. Opposite: Looking east on Main Street in Great Barrington. The town continues to cultivate a thriving independent retail sector, but the pandemic has taken its toll.
it will likely be much more significant than the movement seen out of the city after 9/11, as working remotely allows new residents to live farther from cities than before. “I think it will take at least five years for Manhattan to claw back to where it was before COVID,” Kane speculates. “But I’m worried about the Berkshires too. The cultural attractions, the restaurant and bar business, which has been so affected, are a driver for the region, and all the retailers feed off that. Yes, it’s been a banner year for real estate, but I’m worried about 2021. Ultimately the Berkshires will come back.” The Box Office Is Closed The historic Mahaiwe Theater brought on a new executive director in 2020. Janis Martin assumed her post on January 1 of last year and has since had to navigate the closing of the theater and how to provide programming to patrons remotely. Despite the suboptimal timing of her appointment, Martin doesn’t complain—in fact, she’s stirringly positive about the lessons learned and the new skills the organization has picked up during lockdown. “There’s no question this is a challenging time for organizations that are about gathering,” Martin says. “We are fortunate to be in the Berkshires, surrounded by cultural institutions that are brilliantly led
“The key thing now is getting people to understand that shopping local isn’t just a phrase. You need to invest, eat, shop, and donate if you want to keep the character of your community intact.” —Betsy Andrus, executive director of the Southern Berkshires Chamber of Commerce
and a community that cares deeply for the arts. I have great optimism that we will survive this challenge, but we are going to be in recovery for a while.” There is a lot of local concern about the vitality of not just the Mahaiwe but all the arts institutions in Great Barrington and throughout the Southern Berkshires. Not far from here, in neighboring Becket, world renowned dance center Jacobs Pillow canceled their entire season then, in November, one of their two barn theaters burned to the ground, salting a wounded year. “We all didn’t just lose a season,” Martin says. “We lost art. Art, especially performance, exists in a moment in time and this time has been lost.” Resolute through setbacks, Martin says COVID has presented an opportunity to strengthen the Mahaiwe on a number of fronts, from infrastructure to outreach. Fifty percent of the Mahaiwe’s operating costs are paid for by ticket sales, and they lost 90 percent of that income in 2020. Thankfully, their donor community has been generous. One new quarantine program run by the theater this season was erecting a drive-in movie theater on the Simon’s Rock campus. The series of screenings attracted about 2,000 people, Martin says. They aimed to appeal 1/21 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY PAGES 45
Prepared foods emporium Marjoram + Roux opened in summer 2020 on Railroad Street.
to all members of the stir-crazy community, projecting blockbusters as well as documentaries in collaboration with the Berkshire Film Festival, and even screened Spanish language films in partnership with Volunteers in Medicine. Martin says they are thinking about keeping the drivein program going next summer, whether or not there’s a global catastrophe. The Mahaiwe has also been curating an impressive amount of online content, filming concerts in the hall and broadcasting them on the website, along with additional content like Metropolitan Opera performances, preceded by informative and enlightening lectures by composer Scott Eyerly. Great Barrington’s Pot Future is Female With the stress caused by the pandemic, all can be forgiven for needing a responsible amount of self medication. Theory Wellness has been selling legal weed in Great Barrington for a few years now on the outskirts of town, but a new shop, Calyx Berkshire, that’s been bushwhacking red tape for nearly as long, opened in November right in the heart of Main Street. Owner Donna Norman wants you to know that her 46 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 1/21
Manager Jay Elling at the Great Barrington location of Berkshire Bike and Board.
female-focused approach toward selling and recommending marijuana makes Calyx a relaxing and inviting experience. “It’s not your typical flower shop. We are trying to shake up the industry and show that women can do it better,” says Norman, adding that the industry is largely monopolized by men with deep pockets. “I’m in the store every day, and I don’t think you see that with a lot of these companies that are run by major investment boards. We also overcame so many obstacles, and I think that perseverance sets us apart too.” Norman has been paying rent on her storefront for three years but couldn’t open until now because of a prolonged jaunt through a bureaucratic obstacle course. COVID also impacted her construction timeline. Onboarding cannabis industry workers takes a long time as well, as certification is required. “Because our windows were covered for so many years, people were really surprised when they saw how beautiful it is inside,” Norman says. “I wanted to be on Main Street to legitimize and normalize cannabis. The stigma has to be broken. Great Barrington is a really special place. We just love everything about the vibe.”
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry (At Home) Calyx isn’t the only new business to open in Great Barrington in 2020. Agave, a Mexican restaurant with a contemporary edge, opened over the summer and made for great, safe outdoor dining, and Moon Cloud, a trendsetting cocktail bar and lounge, started service just a few months before the first lockdown. “We had the patio going on but have reeled it back,” says Billy Jack Paul, Moon Cloud’s co-owner and masterful mixologist. “We actually closed before the mandate. I’m trying to encourage everyone to stay safe and stay home so that eventually we can get back to throwing that great cocktail party we’ve been looking forward to.” Throughout the summer and fall, Paul played around with different approaches, including outdoor BBQs and collaborations with other businesses. Now they are functioning exclusively as a take-out operation, catering your home cocktail party with libations you won’t find anywhere else along with prepared charcuterie board, tapas options, and sandwiches. “It’s tough, because one of my favorite things to do is bring the garnish game to the next level and use juices that are great fresh but
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Interior Design • Landscape Architecture • Design/Build Jenifer House Commons, Great Barrington, MA • wingateltd.com 413-644-9960 • Open daily 10 - 5
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Waldorf Education in the Berkshires
In-person learning. Outdoor classrooms. Love school! Virtual visits start January berkshirewaldorfschool.org Toddler-Grade 8 | Great Barrington, MA
Billy Jack Paul, co-owner and mixologist at Mooncloud, which opened on Railroad Street in December 2019.
DESIGN AND PLANNING
Re s i d e n t i a l D e s i g n K i t ch e n / B a t h D e s i g n Construction Management P ro j e c t Re p r e s e n t at i o n
623 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
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not bottled,” says Paul. “I’ve been leaning into making infusions that maintain flavor profile.” The milk punch, for example, is a labor of love that takes a couple days to make. Paul uses citrus to break Blue Hill raw milk that is steeped overnight with aromatics and then strained through fine screens and filters until it’s clear as chardonnay and then mixed with the appropriate liquor. He alters ingredients depending on the season and weather to make it a truly ephemeral cocktail. Strange as it may sound to the uninitiated, it’s become a soothing and sultry favorite. Paul has also been collaborating with the Berkshire Botanical Garden, leading Zoom classes on the history of botanical use in cocktails, complete with drink demos. For Great Barrington, it feels like the end of the pandemic is on the horizon. No one will say it was easy, but the town’s sense of optimism, implies that better days are ahead (with a lot of new neighbors), and is enough for now. It will be a good day when Great Barrington is back in business and when everyone is just back in Great Barrington. “A lot of our businesses have been really challenged—keeping employees safe, deciding what is and isn’t okay, is challenging,” says Andrus at the Chamber. “This community has really supported each other. We are all ready to get back to normal.” The challenges COVID brought down upon Great Barrington are not unique, but what feels important about the way the community has responded is within its optimistic resolve. There’s no complaining, no lamentation, just a stiff upper lip and an understanding that everyone’s going to have to work a lot harder for a while to get back to even footing. Great Barrington’s optimism isn’t built on hope and prayer. Rather, it’s an informed confidence in the ability, talent, and generosity of its residents.
fter three years of wading through red tape, Donna Norman finally opened the doors of Calyx Berkshire Dispensary in Great Barrington this November. As a small business owner entering the recreational cannabis space without outside investors or an existing medical license, she had been caught unexpectedly in an endless bureaucratic loop with Massachusetts’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). Since Calyx is a woman-owned business, Norman’s path to a recreational license was supposed to be expedited. To prove to the CCC that Calyx was woman-owned however, it had to be third-party certified through an on-site visit to the store—made impossible without the license to open from the CCC. Norman eventually brought the unrealistic hurdle to CCC Commissioner Shaleen Title, which prompted the CCC to change its requirements. “For three years, I’ve had paper on my windows, and I honestly couldn’t blame the people who doubted that we’d ever open,” Norman says. The runaround might have quelled the ambitions of other small business owners. But as a woman with a 26-year-long career in New York City finance, Norman was used to navigating spaces that weren’t designed for her. Making space for women in the world of cannabis was actually one of the reasons Norman wanted to open Calyx in the first place. After visiting dispensaries on a trip to Colorado, she instantly saw the potential for one back in the Berkshires when recreational cannabis was legalized. “But it was intimidating walking into those dispensaries and seeing that it was all men working there,” Norman says. “I wasn’t going to walk up to the counter and ask how to find products that were specific to women.” At Calyx—a name Norman chose as a reference to the resindense female part of the cannabis flower that she says “holds all the good stuff ”—women are front and center. Staffed by a majority of women (including Norman herself ), the space on Main Street is decked out in a trendy pastel color palette that fits in with the warm vibe of a curated clothing or home goods shop. On one wall, an artful display case highlights a line of glassware inspired by Keith Haring’s artwork as well as hand-carved soapstone pipes by New England artist Terry Harlow. “We really focused on making it a shopping experience,” Norman says. “Right now we’re only letting six customers in the showroom at a time. It’s very much an intimate experience where we can spend more time getting to know customers and sharing our cannabis knowledge while maintaining social distance. Customers are pleasantly surprised to find us located in the heart of downtown Great Barrington. Many people are ‘canna-curious’ since they have never stepped foot in a dispensary before and leave our shop enlightened from the visit.” Over the last five years, Norman has also established relationships with other small cannabis cultivators and manufacturers in the region. She’s partnering with a chef to do lower sugar infused edibles and ice cream and is working to add products from several cultivators who were right behind her in the licensing process. Last year, Calyx was also chosen as one of only four woman-owned companies to receive products from Bostonbased Beantown Greentown. “We were thoughtful in designing our menu to provide our customers with plenty of options. We opened with 17 different strains of flower, which I think is as many if not more than anyone around here,” Norman says. “We’re definitely already feeling the love.” In just the few weeks since the dispensary opened, it has already established itself as a neighborhood spot with a following of repeat customers—all drawn to the fact that Calyx is anything but your typical flower shop.
FLOWER POWER GREAT BARRINGTON’S CALYX BERKSHIRE DISPENSARY IS FORGING A PATH FOR WOMEN IN CANNABIS
Calyxberkshire.com Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of Edible Marijuana Products may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline (800) 222-1222 or 911. This product may be illegal outside of MA.
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The first days of the COVID-19 Hotline, in the Ulster County Department of Health conference room. Hillary Harvey is standing background right. Photo by Dan Torres
Going Viral Behind the Scenes at Ulster County’s COVID-19 Call Center By Hillary Harvey
t was Friday, March 6, 2020 when a group of government employees gathered in the Commissioner of Health’s conference room to discuss the symptoms of an Ulster County resident. The Department of Health’s (DOH) nurses had long nasal swabs and were collecting a sample to be tested. After calling the state lab to see how late they would be open, then considering courier service, Deputy County Executive Marc Rider stood up—he’d drive the sample to Albany himself. On Sunday morning in the lobby of the county office building, County Executive Pat Ryan delivered the somber news to an audience of local media that Ulster County had confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The next day, inside the DOH, through a hallway accessible only by key code, the nurses’ conference room had become a small situation room with 12 telephones arranged on the table: the communicable diseases line. A public health nurse turned to me; she needed to go make calls to symptomatic people who required daily check-ins. I took her place while the rest of the Innovation Team worked with Information Services to set up a dedicated COVID hotline in a larger conference room in the opposite wing. We were anticipating an unprecedented amount of calls coming in for the nurses. The Ulster County COVID-19 Hotline went live on March 11, just three days after the first COVID case was announced. Approximately 60 county employees and over 100 Ulster Corps volunteers streamed in and out of the conference room over the next two weeks, answering at its height about 300 calls in a 12-hour day. I updated scripts for the hotline operators almost hourly with new state guidance, as we tackled the public’s questions and identified the most critical cases—people reporting symptoms or recent international travel—for transfer to public health nurses in the back of the room and to the data team across the hall. As public health officials grappled with messaging about the pandemic and we learned more about COVID-19, fears about workplace exposure made it clear that it was no longer safe to work in one room, touching the same equipment, sharing pizza. DOH staff who had them began answering phones in their N95 masks.
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For a week, every night after hours, thenDirector of Innovation Timothy Weidemann and Deputy Director Jeff Kalpakis video conferenced late into the evening with local consultants on the redesign of the COVID-19 Hotline’s underlying tech stack, so we could take a team of 16 county employees to 100 percent remote operations by March 26. The Lines Are Open When the county launched three mobile test sites over the course of four weeks between March 23 and April 27, the hotline lit up with calls for help in accessing and understanding the evolving universe of COVID testing. When the county launched the Project Resilience program on March 17 to provide food delivery to constituents who were cooperating with the Governor’s NY on Pause orders or selfquarantining, we answered questions, entered status updates, and provided tech support for enrollment. This summer, when New York phased its reopening, we saw increasing need for business guidance, housing and tenant-landlord support, and economic resources. County Executive Ryan asked us to reimagine the hotline and evolve it into a long-term COVID recovery contact center. Responsible Responses One of Ryan’s priorities coming into office was to make county government more responsive and responsible. In March and April, we were just doing our best to pick up the phone and be there for people who were terrified about what was unfolding in their communities. Over time, we found that a key strategic value of the hotline was as a window into constituents’ needs. We designed the Recovery Service Center (RSC) to serve as a friendly and helpful “front door” to Ulster County government. Over the course of 10 months, we’ve built a knowledge base of COVID guidance and county services related to COVID recovery. Since July’s Get Tested Week, the RSC does weekly check-ins with COVID test providers, maintaining a database of information on each. The RSC works closely with the contact tracing and data teams and plays a key role in NY on
Pause enforcement by conducting regular courtesy calls with businesses and individuals who have received complaints, to discuss best practices for compliance with state mandates. Our team members are nominated by their various departments for this fellowship— the RSC, a lab for cross-departmental coordination, remote work, and professional development. In December, we onboarded a new cohort to work with those who have been on the phones since March, giving our team both institutional knowledge and a fresh perspective. By December, the county’s call center had received over 33,000 inbound calls–that’s over 17,000 conversations with constituents. Darn Curve, Still Not Flat The day after Thanksgiving was a county holiday, and an RSC skeleton crew started the day with a thread on Microsoft Teams guessing the day’s call volume: Would it be slow, or would it be bananas? Then the cellphones in our home offices began to ring with reports of exposure and positive tests, business owners wondering about closures, and teachers advocating for remote schooling through the holidays. In mid-December, it feels like April 2020 again. We’re watching the positivity rate and hospital capacity for indications of potential state-designated restrictions; by December 1, the data line tracking active COVID cases on the county’s dashboard surpassed April’s. The anticipated second wave has arrived. Contact tracers and DOH nurses are working tirelessly to protect and support the exponential ripples of people impacted by a single positive case. As a community, we need to refocus on flattening the curve: avoiding gatherings and travel, washing our hands, helping our neighbors. Come January, as we await vaccination, ideally we’ll hunker down for a quiet winter, enjoying the outdoors, socially distanced, and always wearing a mask. Hillary Harvey is on the Ulster County’s Innovation Team and Knowledge Management Specialist for the Recovery Service Center. Harvey is a former Chronogram editor.
future forward 12 local changemakers ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHANNA GOODMAN
ometimes we’re told change will take decades, even generations. Then world-shaking events like the COVID-19 pandemic show us it really can happen in a hurry. Such is the case with climate change—too often, we’ve been told that altering our approach to energy, agriculture, and everything else associated with making our world more sustainable will have to be incremental. Suddenly, this year we saw that rapid shifting really is possible when we all feel the global urgency. And urgency is exactly what climate change calls for. As 2020 recedes in the rearview—a year that brought us a global health crisis, record wildfires and hurricanes, and a new understanding of the interlinked and systemic inequities in American society—we wanted to ask a diverse group of local environmental advocates what they envision in their areas over the next decade, and just as importantly, how do we get there. This series is enriched by collages depicting each subject and their vision, illustrated by the artist Johanna Goodman. Read on and dream what really is possible for the Hudson Valley—and within short order. —Lynn Freehill-Maye and Phillip Pantuso
This series is published in partnership with Scenic Hudson’s HV Viewfinder. 1/21 CHRONOGRAM FUTURE FORWARD 51
HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION Interviews by Dalvin Aboagye
Electric Vehicle Advocate, Sustainable Hudson Valley
Founder, River Architects
Ambassador and board member, Newburgh Transportation Advisory Committee
Contributor, La Voz What I envision: It would be great to see a car dealer say, “For the first time, our monthly sales of electric vehicles have surpassed those of gaspowered vehicles.” It’d be like a dream come true. The conversations we’re having need to keep happening every day, every week, until one more person buys another one, and so on. Then the 65,000 registered EVs [on New York’s roads now] become 100,000, and 100,000 becomes 200,000. Breaking 100,000 registered EVs by next year would be a very good sign for early adopters. How we get there: The magic of networking. I began in EV advocacy in the Hudson Valley in 2016. I was talking to a person and they were still asking, “Where do you put the gas in?” Since people knew I was doing EV advocacy, I would have conversations with people also interested in clean transportation. For example, the former president of the Passive House Alliance Hudson Valley wanted to go electric but wasn’t ready at the time. He knew I was always doing something with electric vehicles, so eventually that led to one-on-one conversations where I would answer his questions. That would lead to more people asking important questions: “Where do I plug it in? How many miles can I go? I hear there are rebates, what’s that about?” I tell them everything I know; that would lead them to believe in the technology enough that they feel comfortable purchasing or leasing one.
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What I envision: To be able to express our creativity beyond vernacular and “safe” architecture by designing projects that are resilient to climate change, durable, and provide comfort and clean air quality. At River Architects, we do quite a bit of work with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority [NYSERDA], educating the public. For example, we had a winning entry in the Buildings of Excellence competition. The whole purpose of that program was to educate developers on building more sustainable, multifamily housing. One of our many goals is to get on with the Living Building Challenge. I’m aware that people get latched onto names and standards and checklists. I hope we go beyond that, but these standards are very tough. It’s a lot of work just meeting Passive House standards. It’s grueling to balance aesthetics and performance with building science. To bring all of that into our small boutique firm is a great undertaking, but we’re very proud of that. How we get there: We execute new assignments more efficiently by using past knowledge and experience. We’ve offered local-resident discounts, volunteered, and donated part of our billable hours to local public and nonprofit organizations despite being limited in how much low-budget and pro-bono work we take on. What’s really impressive to me is that builders and developers want to go above code. Right now, the New York State energy code is not asking for net-zero performance, but builders and developers feel motivated to do that because of their concern for the environment. The builders who built our office building with us said once they got a taste of this, they didn’t want to go back to conventional construction. There’s a deeper meaning in pursuing net-zero healthy buildings.
What I envision: My hope is to get more work done in the “less desirable” sections of Newburgh that are often overlooked. My vision includes more walkable sidewalks, safer and more clearly marked crosswalks, more colors in our sidewalks—we have the ability to dye and stamp patterns into our paving projects—more trees to provide shade in warmer months, and generally an environment that invites our community to get out and explore. Outside of our city limits, I would like to see a network of buses that could reach destinations where just one bus line can’t. I would like to see our people getting to Montgomery reliably [where a lot of warehouse workers are employed], to be able to work and improve their quality of life. How we get there: By raising awareness and getting people to utilize their voices. Also by coordinating with employers to partner with projects like METS [Major Employer Transportation System], so they see how it benefits them to have more employees able to get to their jobs. One strength of our city is the block layout. Newburgh is very walkable, theoretically. In actuality, a good portion of our sidewalks are in disrepair. Those of us with baby strollers or wheelchairs have an extremely difficult time navigating. Years ago, there was a program designed to help property owners fund sidewalk repair and add trees. I have raised the option of revisiting this idea now. Repairing our sidewalks not only makes it easier to navigate our city, but also beautifies it.
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE Interviews by Lynn Freehill-Maye
Food Security Community Liaison, Orange County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Executive Director, Hudson Valley Farm Hub
Cofounder, Sweet Freedom
Co-facilitator, Hudson Valley Food System Coalition What I envision: A regional processing effort could create components for take-home frozen meals. In the greater Hudson Valley, we have 150,000 people who are food insecure. Right now, we have the GleanMobile, where we find excess food from local farms, harvest or repackage it, and distribute it to soup kitchens and food pantries. In Orange County, we rescue an average of 200,000 pounds a year. With access to fresh fruit and vegetables, there are a lot of barriers. People are working two jobs and don’t have time to cook, or they’re unfamiliar with certain foods. And we talk about how we break those down. Often the conversation has turned to processing food into actual meals. There are agencies doing it out there in other states, even in New York. But we’ve never really looked at it from a regional perspective. There are food rescue agencies that do simple processing here—apples into applesauce, tomatoes into tomato sauce. Let’s take it a step further. What if, during the height of the season, we set aside some donated food for meal components? You could have a recipe like two zucchini packets, one corn packet, and you’ve created succotash. You could send a bunch of these to soup kitchens, or even to schools. How we get there: There’s a working group of us talking about this. Even if we lean on volunteers to do all the processing, flash-freezing, labeling, and creating recipes, we still need funding for a paid staffer. The interest is definitely there. There are community resources in each county—we might have the space, the volunteers, the food—we just need to coordinate everything. It’s really achievable 10 years out. It’ll be one step closer to people consuming fresh fruits and vegetables in ways they’re comfortable with.
What I envision: A more resilient food system that includes reviving the growing of small grains in the Hudson Valley, which has been lost. We want to encourage infrastructure development so that wheat, for example, can be milled in the Hudson Valley, and farmers who want to grow these products have an outlet for them. Why can’t we see our kids in the local schools every day eating local bread? We’ve all become dependent on products that are traveling a great distance, and that has an environmental impact. To the extent we can produce food locally, we should—that is part of our obligation, and good for food security. It also gives regional farmers something else to produce on their farms. It would take a market, adding small grains in the rotation, and being part of the revival of a crop that can produce food for people locally. How we get there: It would take infrastructure for graincleaning and milling, which might require philanthropy, government, and entrepreneurship—the classic public-private partnership. It’s challenging here—it’s a very wet climate for growing grains. We would need more research on production practices, and variety trials happening on multiple farms. And education, information-sharing, and technical support for the farmers—everybody working together.
Cofounder, Wildseed Community Farm & Healing Garden What I envision: Abolishing prisons and using land as an economic alternative. The Hudson Valley has 16 prisons, and most are on land that used to be a farm. How do we use those spaces for agriculture and get back to a Hudson Valley, not a prison valley that puts people in cages? Sweet Freedom is a worker-owned cooperative space that’s part of training the next generation. It’s kind of like a pancake or a breakfast farm, and we have a lot of events we call Abolition & Waffles. We serve maple syrup, apple syrup, wheat, sorghum, millet—all the things we have cultural references to—and connect that to the history of the abolition of slavery. During the abolition movement in New Lebanon, they would boycott sugar—which was produced with slave labor—and use maple syrup and apple syrup instead, supporting local products at the same time. When we’re doing it now, we’re talking about abolition and local jobs and economic alternatives. Abolishing prisons may seem far-fetched, but abolishing slavery seemed far-fetched, too. It’s something people worked at for hundreds of years. How we get there: There’s a movement that needs to happen. We would try to secure more land and build agricultural infrastructure. We’d work with people interested in helping to develop more land-based projects that can be a space for restorative justice. It’s a longer process, with political power and community building around it.
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LAND & WATER Interviews by Phillip Pantuso
Dr. Barbara Han
Disease ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Representative, Newburgh Clean Water Project
Executive Director, Kite’s Nest
What I envision: Two-thirds of emerging diseases in humans today are zoonotic [caused by pathogens that jump from nonhuman animals]. We are encroaching upon and changing our environments to an unprecedented degree, and the disease consequences are not surprising. A key challenge with emerging diseases is predicting where new ones will come from. We are training AI to learn from system-level data, to recognize the differences between species carrying disease-causing pathogens versus those that don’t, and to suggest hypotheses about why certain species are better disease carriers. There is real danger if we continue to persist as if we are immune to the consequences of our actions. The current pandemic is evidence of that. Rather than waiting to respond to new outbreaks, I envision a world where we are able to make proactive predictions that will help keep zoonotic diseases at bay, and find win-wins between humans and nature.
What I envision: Public water systems must be protected. Our local water department has acted heroically to preserve and manage our water quality and repair our crumbling water infrastructure. But because we don’t own the land around our water supply, we’re powerless to halt the burgeoning big box stores and their vast blacktop parking lots. Watershed restoration and clean water don’t exist in a vacuum. Without protections for Newburgh similar to the legislation passed in New Jersey recently, which protects environmental justice communities like ours from polluters, corporations do whatever makes money for them, while the long-term residents pay the price in terms of health and life expectancy. We will fight until we have redressed the racism inherent in this extractive economy, which profits from the deaths of Black and brown people.
What I envision: I want to see kids and families, particularly BIPOC and low-income families, feel that they are living and growing in a place where they belong, they are valued, where they can run a business, run for office, organize, and can afford to live with dignity. I’m excited about the way racial justice is being centered across many movements. I hope we make progress on large-scale social welfare policies like UBI and Medicare for All so people don’t have to keep doing GoFundMe’s to pay their damn hospital bills and we no longer have a 10 percent homeless student rate in the Hudson City School District.
How we get there: We need to make a basic societal decision that the science behind these kinds of predictions is worth investing in. This could be a research institute or a government intelligence agency focused on predictive analytics and forecasting for disease emergence. As an analogy, we have a weather forecasting service, which we decided was worthy of investment because of direct economic benefits weather has on day-to-day life. Predicting diseases will be much harder than predicting the weather, but the case is clear that a concerted effort is necessary. And it should not be subjected to the vicissitudes of politics. The potential for science to improve humanity is limitless, but investments into basic research don’t always produce a tangible object. Sometimes what we get is a deeper understanding of these complex systems. But knowledge is fundamentally more important and will almost always be a major factor limiting our repertoire of solutions to disease outbreaks.
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How we get there: I’m encouraged by a shift away from the extractive model to a more holistic framework for humans to live within their landscape, not dominate it. There are promising developments in neutralizing PFAS, including using copolymers to dissolve the molecular chains that bind them. Ultimately though, we have to stop playing environmental whack-a-mole, constantly chasing toxicity. And that takes social change and legislation. Corporations must prove their products are beneficial and safe to produce. Communities which have borne the burden of manufacture and power generation must be given time to recover. Lastly, I’m energized by the amazing light that young people bring to this movement. They are fearless and indomitable.
How we get there: The end of capitalism! To be honest, I anticipate an incredibly difficult decade ahead as we fight to make real gains for Black liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, poor and working-class people, trans and queer folks, young people, undocumented folks, women and femmes, as we forge inroads to undermine fascism and neoliberalism and face the brunt of climate crisis. In the brief popular awakening we witnessed this summer, we recognized our collectiveness, our interdependence, and our fragility. We also started to see how effective grassroots organizing is and how important it is to get resources directly to people on the ground. Most examples of significant acts of reparations have involved changing the actual curriculum kids are being taught. We need this to happen on a nationwide scale, permanently. But while we pressure the government and schools to change their ways of teaching, we can do this work right now from the outside, by expanding community-based educational models.
CLEAN ENERGY Interviews by Dalvin Aboagye
Solar Power Advocate
Climate Coordinator, Climate Smart Philipstown
Climate Activist, Our Children’s Trust
What I envision: We completed a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory this past May with help from the Ecological Citizens Project and ICLEI USA [a nongovernmental organization that promotes sustainability]. This has given us a lot of incredibly detailed and useful information on consumption habits and what the average household’s carbon footprint is in Philipstown. It shocked us, because two of the largest sources of emissions were services (health care, education, auto repair) and goods (clothing, furniture, appliances). It made us rethink our approach to developing solutions. I mention all this because for each community, it helps to have a really good perspective on what is actually going on besides our assumptions. We think other communities can do that as well.
What I envision: A cultural shift where people are willing to do what’s needed to build a better society. We need more electric car charging ports and more intentionally green infrastructure, not just in New York but in every part of the country. People need to see a transformation happening in front of their eyes. New York can lead on that because of the independence we’ve always had to make these changes. A lot of the ideas you see in the Green New Deal are being actively talked about in New York. What if New York built a green corps and invested in green infrastructure? What if we created more jobs around offshore wind and all of the other awesome renewable energy sources we could be using? What’s really special about the New York area is the level of potential it has.
How we get there: In the end, a lot of it will come down to access to resources. Philipstown has some extra income in terms of a wealthier tax base, which makes us able to innovate and hire people like me. A lot of communities don’t have those kinds of funds. Coupled with the need to reduce emissions, I think there also has to be a serious analysis of which communities can move forward on their own and which communities need more support. Also, you need to find out what their needs are as opposed to assuming what’s best for them.
How we get there: People need to be willing to have an imagination and lean into the creative in all of us. Unfortunately, we’re all being held back from imagining a world, or rather a New York, that we want to live in. Imagine the world you want to see around you. One that affirms a culture that cares about the planet and cares about what happens next. To me it’s always been about wanting to be as imaginative as possible because that’s kind of the fun part: letting your brain run wild with the possibilities. If more people are willing to do that, it’ll lead to a culture that’s more willing to act.
Climate Justice Instigator, Citizens for Local Power What I envision: Widespread adoption of solar arrays on the roofs of warehouses and commercial plazas— places with huge, flat surfaces that are rarely seen but easily accessible to the electric grid. And solar parking canopies, which shield you and your parked vehicle from the elements while also generating clean energy on already degraded land and reducing the urban heat island effect. First, heated NIMBY attitudes will need to cool down. The same environmentalists advocating for broader adoption of solar are sometimes the first to stand up at a town meeting to oppose putting solar panels anyplace they might see them. Most people don’t get to decide whether they live beside energy infrastructure. It’s critical to find places that aren’t active farmland or forested areas, but I find it hard to take very seriously the complaints of wealthy landowners up in arms about living near a solar array. How we get there: I think the solar option with the most revolutionary potential right now is community solar. It’s a large centralized array of solar panels, in a field or on a big roof, and individuals link their electric bill to a certain number of those panels. Whatever power the panels make gets credited to their bill and goes onto the grid on their behalf. It’s a way of having 100 percent local, renewable energy without installing anything on your house, so it’s great for renters or folks in forested areas, and it’s usually about 10 percent cheaper than the default “dirty mix” of gas, nuclear, and hydroelectricity from Central Hudson. The biggest challenge for access is that it sometimes requires a credit check, but other states have already removed that burden, and I’m confident New York will follow suit.
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music Benjamin Koppel/Kenny Werner/ Scott Colley/Jack DeJohnette The Art of the Quartet Benjamin Koppel The Ultimate Soul & Jazz Review (Unit Records) Benjaminkoppel.com
To say Danish alto saxophonist Benjamin Koppel is ambitious would be an understatement. In the era of streaming, and in the midst of a pandemic no less, Koppel has released not one, but two albums, both double-disc affairs. This is expansive music in so many ways, each set alive with in-the-moment creativity; positively pulsing with humanity. It’s enough to make one feel connected to the world while being hunkered down at home. The Art of the Quartet, featuring Hudson Valley stalwarts Scott Colley (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums), was tracked in Germantown, with pianist Kenny Werner rounding out the session’s lengthy excursions. Even when filling the room, this combo is all about space. It surrounds every note, even the thunderous ones. “Ballad for Trane” relies on Koppel’s sumptuous sax tone, floating atop Werner’s wide voicings. “Bells of Belief” is a delight for DeJohnette acolytes—the drummer is propulsive but never pushy. True to its title, The Ultimate Soul & Jazz Revue finds Koppel back to his roots, youthfully soaking up gospel-inflected sounds from across the sea. What a lineup! Colley teams here in the rhythm section with keysman Jacob Christoffersen and octogenarian funk master Bernard Purdie, whose stickwork is as thick as DeJohnette’s is lean. Legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker—with his trademark fat, round sound—joins Koppel in the front line, throwing down, live in Copenhagen, on soul classics like “Them Changes,” “Move on Up,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing,” which, it turns out, was a jazz tune all along. —Michael Eck
Christopher Peifer Suicide Mission
Circuline Circulive: New View
Rootbrew Keep the Blender Going
(Garageland NYC) Chrispei.bandcamp.com/track/suicide-mission
(Inner Nova Music) Circulinemusic.com
New York’s Christopher Peifer has gained notoriety in rock ’n’ roll circles with such outfits as the Kowalskis, Frances Farmer My Hero, and, currently, Blockhouses. Peifer (guitar, bass, lead vocals) makes his solo debut with able assistance from Cold Spring’s Todd Giudice (drums, vocals), his collaborator in another band, Pig Iron. The 10 tracks here range from the crunching sunblasted power pop of “Madrid” to the jangling lover’s lament of “Poughkeepsie.” The record has an intimate, bedroom song quality that was engineered and mixed at Giduce’s local Roots Cellar Studio. “This Broken Heart” boasts some fine, understated guitar work in the service of witty couplets such as: “My heart’s been crushed like an empty valentine’s box / Can’t get blood from a stone, but my head’s full of rocks,” recalling the jaundiced pop smarts of Elvis Costello. —Jeremy Schwartz
Red-Hook based Circuline melds new-breed boldness with classic prog rock on this CD/DVD/Blu-Ray digipak. Echoing dynamic masters King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis, this tour de force maintains a flamboyant flavor for the 21st century. Recorded at the first International ProgStock Festival, the gig kicks off with stunning dissonance from bombastic keyboardists/percussionists Andrew Colyer and Darin Brannon, zigzagging between calm and chaos. “Piano Challenge” showcases the two as they duel center stage in a glowing game where everyone wins. Powerhouse Natalie Brown is a refreshing change in a traditionally male-dominated vocal arena. Guitarist/vocalist William “Billy” Spillane, bassist/ drummer Joel Simches, and guitarist/percussionist Alek Darson round things out, with each soloist dazzling listeners in turn. Circulive may be best enjoyed by those familiar with their studio recordings, but in an age devoid of live performances, this weighted release is a clever strategy to welcome fans of cinematic rock and exhilarating soundscapes. —Haviland S Nichols
On Keep the Blender Going, New Paltz-based Rootbrew nail down their self-described “danceable Americana”—plus a whole lot more. The sounds here variously draw upon Jamaican, Caribbean, and African influences, making for a global musical stew—perhaps what they mean by the blender of the album title and the song “Blender.” Snakelike guitar lines out of Afropop sail above roots reggae with a hint of dub; ska-like horns punch through the mix adding punctuation and soul to the socially conscious themes on songs like “Don’t Blame the Immigrant,” and “I Don’t Know,” which nods lyrically to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are aChanging.” Above it all soar Megan Riebesell’s piercing, melismatic vocals; the sum effect often suggesting a blend of 10,000 Maniacs and Graceland-era Paul Simon. Should appeal to fans of fellow upstaters Donna the Buffalo. —Seth Rogovoy
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books Fire in the Straw: Notes on Inventing a Life Nick Lyons ARCADE PUBLISHING, $24.99, 2020
In this enigmatic and witty confessional memoir of constant reinvention from the founder of Lyons Press, the author shape-shifts from confused and reluctant boarding-school student, to professor, to husband of a fiercely committed painter, ghostwriter, famous fly fisher, award-winning author, father and grandfather, and beyond. Lyons covers many chapters of his life, from spending his childhood in the Catskills and then later living in Woodstock (“Some Woodstock Summers”), to a hilarious recounting of an ill-advised game of pick-up basketball at the age of 50 (“The Last Game”).
The Hype Handbook Michael F. Schein MCGRAW-HILL, $28, 2021
With its intriguing subtitle—“12 Indispensable Success Stories from the World’s Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers”—this personal guide offers help to “master the art and science of using shameless propaganda for personal and social good.” Schein, a Beacon-based marketing expert, explores the notion that interpersonal relationships are at the core of all forms of success, providing case studies and practical insights into why people behave the way they do and how to utilize that to benefit oneself and others.
The Dancing Beast John Foley XLIBRIS, $19.99, 2020
Music therapist turned author Foley provides an eerily relatable adventure loosely based on history with coarse humor that one reviewer called “stranger than a zombie attack.” Set against a backdrop of repressive regimes, cults, and the end of the world in 16th-century England, Foley’s novel concerns a dancing plague—a convulsive affliction that may result from consuming bread made with contaminated rye flour. Three protagonist-heroes of questionable reputation embark on journeys of adventure, mystery, and reconciliation.
Good Work Matthew J. Spireng EVENING STREET PRESS, $15, 2020
One of the region’s most prolific and widely read poets, Spireng brings us this collection of poems which arise from the seemingly mundane acts of farming or logging, or writing and reading. Yet in them, he provides strong portrayals of failure and success, danger and safety, doubt and certainty. Spireng is a resident of Lomontville, retired awardwinning journalist, and winner of the 2019 Sinclair Poetry Prize. His previous full-length books of poetry are What Focus Is, and Out of Body, and he also penned several chapbooks: Clear Cut (2010), Young Farmer (2007), Encounters (2005), Just This (2003), and Inspiration Point (2002).
The Star-Spangled Banner Michael Ruby STATION HILL PRESS, $13.99
Dedicated to Jasper Johns and Jimi Hendrix, this collection of 76 poems spans the period from 9/11/2001 to 11/9/2016, concluding with a poem based on voices overheard the night of Donald Trump’s election. Every poem in the book uses the 81 words of the national anthem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814—presented in unexpected ways as an emotional portrait of the last 15 years. Ruby is the author of several full-length poetry books, e-books, and chapbooks, and is an editor of US news at the Wall Street Journal. —Lee Anne Albritton
Eleanor David Michaelis Simon & Schuster, 2020, $35 In the first single-volume, life-spanning biography of Eleanor Roosevelt (18841962) published in six decades, David Michaelis presents a compelling and meticulously researched account of a remarkable life of transformation and service. One of the most influential and admired women of the 20th century, Eleanor Roosevelt’s accomplishments as an activist for social justice and global peace are sweeping and significant and reading about them in this moment in time is an inspirational reminder of the power of living authentically, speaking truth, and advocating for real change in the world. Although her life has been extensively documented in numerous acclaimed biographies, including Blanche Wiesen Cook’s brilliant three-volume work and via Eleanor’s own prolific writings, Michaelis (bestselling author of Schulz and Peanuts), drawing on new research, brings a fresh perspective and nuanced details to the circumstances of her life, complicated relationships, and work. He presents Eleanor in all her humanness, including a discussion of early antiSemitic views that she later disavowed. At the foundation of Roosevelt’s privileged, Gilded Age childhood were extraordinarily dysfunctional parents who left her an orphan at the age of 10. Her father, Elliott, was a philanderer and an alcoholic. Her mother, Anna, engrossed in her standing as a Manhattan socialite, kept her approval of Eleanor at bay; something that contributed to Eleanor’s lifelong feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence. In the autumn of 1892, Anna, seemingly “driven by a demon of time” and “trying to counteract past damage reestablished familiar routines, such as a children’s hour (Anna called it ‘Mother’s hour’), before supper.” There she showered her attention and affection on Eleanor’s brothers, Ellie and Hall, and instructed her daughter to sit on a footstool at her feet. Later in life Eleanor described her mother’s unfathomable meanness as “a curious barrier between myself and these three.” Even so, in spite of her mother’s preference for them, Eleanor loved and was thrilled by her brothers. A few months later, at the age of 30, Anna died of “diphtheria, the neck swelling infection against which there was no cure.” Eleanor’s world disintegrated around her, but at the age of eight, she “discovered that life went on.” Calling it the most important lesson of her life, Eleanor lived with the deep knowledge that no matter what happened to her in the world, she had no choice but to adjust to it. As a young adult, her good and useful work received the attention of mentors, making her education and her many strong female friendships formative in the development of the intelligent, compassionate humanitarian leader she became. In 1905, Eleanor married Franklin, her fifth cousin, and had six children in quick succession (five of whom survived). Her public story began in 1921, when Franklin came down with polio and was robbed of his ability to walk. Eleanor walked in his place and was given the opportunity to use her great intellect and put her passion for public service to good use as first lady and beyond. She worked tirelessly for the Red Cross, the League of Women Voters, the Democratic Party, and the United Nations. At the UN, she was the driving force behind the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The many trials and tribulations of Eleanor’s complicated relationship with Franklin forms the backdrop of the many other important relationships in her life: revealing a woman who loved deeply and lived with strength and integrity. Reading about Eleanor Roosevelt is a wonderful journey to take; a view back in time via the life of a woman who was driven to understand and make a difference in our complicated world. Michaelis’s engaging telling of her life is worth taking the time to read and to savor and enjoy. —Jane Kinney Denning 1/21 CHRONOGRAM BOOKS 57
EDITED BY Phillip X Levine
The Rainforest Poem
How do I know love isn’t just lust and our skins share souls as their missions pass? When does a heartsurge turn to a duo’s dance and fill my whole with you in my head?
When the neighbor boy brings you out to the woods to drink from the plastic vodka bottle he hides beneath a heap of last year’s autumn leaves he has forgotten the rabbit that ran in front of the target he had aimed for with his bow and arrow—how the rabbit hopped hopped around the backyard, arrow in its side. He has forgotten how he cried then.
There’s a rainforest blooming inside of my all I whisper into your chest as you lay in my bed Do you hear the peepers peeping? Do you feel the ferns unfurling? Can you pull the moonlight glowing and scoop it with your palms? Can you prick it with a pinch and squeeze ambrosia out? Can you crouch down on all fours and lap it with your tongue? Your roots wrap around my ribs and dig into the dirt of desire Black cat patters on her paw tips. Owl hoots from branch above. Can you hear their voices chiming You’re the one My chosen one All I love Boas bite the apple blossoms Their chins drip nectared dew. Silky eels swim through the eddies and up chilled streams of blue. The blue bursts forth and gushes out a wave into my veins, and now a sanguine river spurts From my pulsing heart to you. My middle is fertilizing a world for only you to view. Fingers nimble in the darkness Weaving vines into our crowns You, the king of mystery And I, the queen of brown. We dub each other silently as We place the webs upon our hair. Hear ye! Hear ye! In our forest of hope We erect a canopy of care. —Paula Dutcher Mimi the hunter Caught two mice tossed them in bed One alive one dead Was a three-mouse night One was grey, one brown and white third was just vomit If you are a mouse And all around lose their heads remain in basement Dead mice inspire Haiku tribute to Mimi My little hunter Green-eyed Diana In Rainy Elizaville Sleeps on Throne of Skulls No mouse this morning Unless the trickster hid it Thanksgiving surprise —Dana Weidman
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He has forgotten that you saw. —Natalli Amato The Hour Before Odd Tango was an atheist after the war. What choice was there? Electroshock? Brown Crystal? A calming agent every four hours didn’t cease the darkness. Didn’t make his hairpin hold any less shakier than the hour before the flashlight crapped and the jungle cranked to ten. Counting corpses rides hard the minutes. The Wabash shakes he inherited from his father didn’t make rest much easier or peaceful. In fact it agitated the hour. The hour before every four hours. —Mike Jurkovic
Dinner at the Downtown Café for Graziano I doubted the meal would be boring when my first glance at the menu showed “free-rage turkey” among the choices. I suspected I’d have to throttle the bird myself before it was butchered, cooked and served. It would likely be no easy task with a bird so angry. But once the deed was accomplished the taste was probably unique what with every cell of the bird infused with the chemicals of pure rage. I worried, though, whether the staff was prepared to treat injuries I might suffer subduing my meal. No, I thought, perhaps I should try another dish. “Wild shrimp” somehow seemed safer— if they weren’t too big and there weren’t too many on the plate. —Matthew J. Spireng Rusted Nails Our emotions are like rain to a river; Grief the sweeping floods of late fall and Happiness the two day later fly fisherman, boots lodged in cold and clear water, catching nothing. Wind, filled with the coming winter pulls his thoughts toward the mountain; hardly orange, not quite brown, like the nails we would pull from the railroad tracks as boys. —Ryan Brennan Chin Up
Fall 2020 Stumps of cornstalks slate grey sky pumpkins rot in the fields. A normal fall turns abnormal as, masked, we watch the death toll rise: an invisible life form is consuming the human family. The sky darkens, perhaps it will snow. Come snow, cover our grief. —Lyla Yastion
Flenk, blatt, plish, crunk, frang, splut splack blahhhhhhh Sticking fingers down Digging out words for this Reality, a mess, a puking Fountain of uncertainty Flart, blent, rahkha, puchga, pfttt, spha, pfttt Patience pleads Chin up —Eileen Bailey V. Bind your words with care— That which you tend will return. Come breathe. The dark waits. —Emma Elisabeth Murphy
Cross-legged under a garish porchlight, her word was given, his heart was shaken.
Toby the Tram engine cranks along tracks in the carpet. A boy sits atop a table. He wants to be in the middle of it all, to have his play-world move around him, to live at the hinge.
A boy woke early, to catch a fish. His dog barked, and they raced out the door. Footprints followed them down the path, over the fence into sweet grass. A gull called out, and the dog chased the boy to the end of the field, where a stream runs to the sea. They took a cool drink, and walked on the stones in the water. The boy climbed a leaning tree. The gull circled over the fish. “Come on” said the boy to his dog, running to the shore, baiting the hook, and casting into the waves, to catch his fish.
What would we do if we were told it was always so? That’s why the déjà vu— That’s why the smell like home, memory and warm —Addison Jeffries The Sky There is a reason Why We look up To see the night Sky— Black and White Together Comforts. —Alexis Joseph For Lou Meandering Octopus Peeks at the Universe Spreads its Tentacles Embraces the Unknown —C. K. Boyle Lost in America Out of the mother, half mad for wanting the care not forthcoming, and the father, lost in grasping at that which lacked promise, came the daughter losing her bearings and the son at a loss for beginnings. —Cliff Henderson November Resembles The brittle rain of dry brown leaves like ancient broken bamboo chimes. —Greer Frances Rychcik
It’s a hard path, the path out of childhood, out of the self and into a jungle—that larger thicket of living usually called the real world. As his parents, we stand with him—from Lincoln, Nebraska to Grand Central Station— in the whole ham sandwich of his time on this earth so far, always thinking with heart, head and hands, We are the guides he was given. Instead of a guidebook we hold only the crumpled maps of our own lives, fuzzy as they look to us, lines traced/erased/redrawn/replaced, converging here and there, notes pinched in margins, bread crumb trails long displaced by wind and squirrels. And we’re just hoping that we are not lost. —Amanda Russell Lovers in Limbo
Post Mortem Do you remember what it was like, waking up that first morning after the funeral, and suddenly remembering, and wishing that it had all been just a dream, but realizing that it was not, that it was all too real,
not a dream but a nightmare, so to speak? The space between my fingers and rings And the space between my fingers and nails —George J. Searles We meet at an in-between and look at each other and smile But we’re not smiling anymore And I realize I lost my heart somewhere in between alive and dead Somewhere in between the wall and the baseboard heater So, I go here Charon’s Obol And you go there And I say goodbye I wake into a nightmare And you say nothing pink flowers blooming And then we are no longer in limbo Oriental Stargazer a nickel for a pupil, —Lydia Frevert Charon’s obol sewn with tape. December 8th, 2013 I can hear the anesthesiologist say it’s a girl. She took a moment—which felt like forever—to cry. A hammer of inexplicable joy broke me into a million pieces. But she was whole—and pink and delicate and so furious. So my pieces snapped back into place. I was reconfigured And I didn’t know what whole was before her. —Leah Brickley I orbit my love Trajectories determined Soft burning decay —Kevin Freeman
Full submission guidelines: Chronogram.com/submissions
a nickel for an eye replace stamen and pistil Oriental Stargazer into a nightmare blooming, I wake. —Linda Gojcaj Grieving The curved fishing knife was my brother’s. I gave it to him but wish I didn’t. And some nights when Duke is on the turntable I still drop what I am doing. —George Payne
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Taylor Swift at Long Pond, Aaron Dessner's Columbia County studio and residence. In September, Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Dessner assembled there to tape Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions, a documentary about the making of Swift's multiple-Grammynominated lockdown album.
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Welcome again to Mixed Media, wherein we showcase cultural news from within and around the Hudson Valley during these times of COVID-19. Although the impact of the virus has necessitated putting in-person events on hold, artists and arts organizations continue to make and present new work online and in other creative new ways. As we all anticipate the re-emergence of more in-person events, here is some of what has been going on recently in the regional arts community. —Peter Aaron
Taylor Swift in Columbia County “Cottagecore” is, apparently, the new thing among Gen Z-ers. According to Wikipedia, “Cottegecore is an aesthetic [that] emphasizes nature, simplicity, and peacefulness; it has been described as a visual and lifestyle movement.” And, to many, Folklore, Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album, is cottegecore incarnate. Over the course of last year’s quarantine, the pop country superstar worked with Columbia County resident Aaron Dessner of the National and Jack Antonoff of Fun and Bleachers on the creation of the album, which was released last July and features a guest appearance by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. (As the January issue went to press, Swift dropped yet another surpirse album, evermore, which also recorded with Dessner and Vernon.) Folklore, hailed as a mature and unexpectedly observant and meditative turn for the youthful songbird, has been nominated for Grammy Awards in five categories including Album of the Year. “Making few references to the conditions that brought about its existence,” says The Guardian, which picked the effort as one of its top albums of 2020, “it inhabits a world of doomed teenage romance, waspy knitted cardigans, and beguiling, glamorous women wearing impossibly high heels.” In September, Swift, Antonoff, and Dessner assembled just outside of Hudson in the rustic quietude of the latter musician’s Long Pond Studio to tape Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions, a documentary about the making of the album featuring intimate, stripped-down, live performances of the its 17 songs. Released in November and currently appearing on the Disney+ streaming service, the 106-minute program includes casual and candid conversations between Swift and her collaborator about the songs themselves and the stories behind them. Taylorswift.com
“The Nutcracker” at Wethersfield While this year the pandemic has necessitated the shelving of every major production of “The Nutcracker,” the dance organization BalletCollective and New York choreographer Troy Schumacher pirouetted around the situation with a live immersive reimagining of the holiday classic at the Wethersfield Estate in Amenia in December. Performances featuring a company of New York City Ballet dancers, took place throughout the house and in the formal garden of the opulent, historic Gilded Age estate, to 25-percent capacity groups. For the performances, attendees arrived at the ballet’s famous party scene and enjoyed a tour of the luxurious mansion, which was the home property of James Stillman, Chairman of the National Bank, now known as CitiBank. The production was created and directed by BalletCollective founder and choreographer Troy Schumacher, whose work has been presented by New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Performa, Danspace Project, Guggenheim Works & Process, Guggenheim Bilbao, Peak Performances, the
Joyce Theater, the Savannah Music Festival, and NYU Skirball Center, among others; additionally, Schumacher has collaborated with a long list of esteemed artists that includes Jeff Koons, Karen Rusell, Zaria Forman, Thom Browne, Ken Liu, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, Maddie Ziegler, David Salle, and many more. Nutcrackeratwethersfield.com
Maggazino Expansion Despite this period of austerity brought on by the pandemic, growth is coming to at least one area arts facility. Art center Magazzino Italian Art recently announced that it will be expanding its Cold Spring campus to accommodate more special exhibitions and public and educational programs. The center plans to break ground this spring on a new 13,000-squarefoot pavilion designed by Spanish architects Alberto Campo Baeza and Miguel Quismondo, the latter of whom designed Magazzino’s main building. With the acquisition of 3.5 acres of additional land and creation of the new pavilion, the expansion will create over 5,000 square feet of flexible exhibition and programming spaces as well as new visitor amenities, including a reading lounge and a cafe. Magazzino, which focuses on Arte Povera and postwar Italian art and commissions new works by contemporary artists, will remain open and accessible to the public in its current building during the construction process. At present, center administrators anticipate an eventual return to hosting film festivals, performing arts programs, and other public events. Through January 11, the complex is exhibiting “Bochner Boetti Fontana,” which showcases the work of artists Mel Bochner, Alighiero Boetti, and Lucio Fontana. The museum is open to the public via reservations, with strict state health safety protocols in place. Magazzino.art
Fire at Jacob’s Pillow In November, the already demoralizing effects of the pandemic on renowned dance center Jacob’s Pillow were compounded with another visitation of tragedy when the site’s beloved 230-seat Doris Duke Theater was demolished by a fire. Since 1990, the wooden, barn-like structure had staged groundbreaking performances created by the likes of Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Trisha Brown, and other leaders in the field of modern dance. Thankfully, no one was injured, but the blaze, which destroyed the structure beyond repair, certainly comes as a devastating blow to the operations at Jacob’s Pillow’s 220-acre campus in Beckett, Massachusetts, which is a National Historic Landmark and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Founded in 1933 by modern dance pioneers Ted Shawn and his wife Ruth St. Denis, Jacob’s Pillow is an internationally recognized non-profit dance center, school, and performance space whose mission is to support dance creation, presentation, education, and preservation; and to engage and deepen public appreciation and support for dance. Among the greats who’ve trained there are Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, Doris Humphrey, and Alvin Ailey. The fire to the Doris Duke Theater, one of only two indoor performance structures, has further crippled the center, which had canceled its income-vital 2020 summer season but was still able to host dancers and choreographers who were able to work in safe pods and stay on campus. As we go to press, the cause of the blaze was still undetermined. The center plans to rebuild the theater.
Resonant Echoes at SUNY New Paltz Last month, SUNY New Paltz music professors Phyllis Chen and Christiana Fortune-Reader began soliciting field recordings from the public for Resonant Echoes, a new work that integrates sounds from within the community using audio samples, visuals, and acoustic instruments. With a December 21, 2020, submissions cutoff date (the arrival of the winter solstice), the aim of the project is to depict the landscapes and environments of disparate indoor or outdoor places around the region while connecting the personal experiences and unique awareness of the participants and the listeners. “People have been recording sounds from their environments for over 100 years, documenting the evolution of our land, wildlife, and culture,” says Chen about the work. “Anyone at any age can participate. Just a curiosity and desire to stop and listen to one’s surroundings will do, along with a smartphone with a recording app on it.” In conjunction with the project, youth sound makers will also be invited to be part of a music box-making workshop to take place in March and April. Depending on current events and weather, Resonant Echoes will be premiered as an outdoor community event or online in May. “As more of our world around us continues to shift between virtual connections and changing political landscapes, we hope to stay rooted and connected to one another,” says Fortune-Reader. “By resisting the loneliness of staying six feet apart or remaining within our own four walls, we aim to celebrate the beauty of our shared landscape and the people around us.” Hawksites.newpaltz.edu/resonantechoes
The Chance Goes Up for Sale The Chance Theater is, without doubt, one of the Hudson Valley’s most storied music venues. It’s been the place of performances by an epic list of artists that includes Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Muddy Waters, R.E.M., the Band, Todd Rundgren, Judas Priest, the Ramones (the group photo on their 1978 album Road to Ruin was taken behind the building), Motörhead, Charles Mingus, the Police (to an audience of four in 1978), Guns ’N Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Jackson, Bon Jovi, Cheap Trick, Duran Duran, and many more. And now, for $1.75 million, it could be yours. Although for the last several years owner Frank Pallett has been open to the idea of selling the entertainment complex, which includes the main theater space as well as the smaller Loft, Platinum Lounge, and Nuddy Bar and Grill, in December he made a more pointed pitch and officially listed the venue on the market while it remains closed due to the pandemic. Built in 1912 as a vaudeville house, it opened in 1926 as the Dutchess Theatre to present live performances and silent films; after several owners and stints as the Carol Players Playhouse and the Playhouse Theatre, it shuttered in 1945. In 1970, new owner Larry Plover reopened it as the Last Chance Saloon, beginning its run as a clublevel rock venue until it closed again in 1977. Peter Francese reopened it as the Chance in 1980, and Pallett acquired the site in 1994. Although the club went black as COVID took hold, at present it has several shows booked for early this year, beginning with Saliva, Powerman 5000, and others on February 20. Thechancetheatre.com
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Weapons of Mass Destruction, a wood carving by Ruth Geneslaw. Photo by George Potanovic, Jr.
Whittle by Whittle RUTH GENESLAW’S SCULPTURES AT ARTS COUNCIL OF ROCKLAND Through January 31 Artscouncilofrockland.org
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“I was asked by the Arts Council of Rockland to give a little talk on activism in art, and I thought: ‘Who, me? I’m not an activist,’” says sculptor Ruth Geneslaw. Nevertheless, two local venues rejected her piece Hands Up (Don’t Shoot!) as being too controversial. The sculpture depicts six unarmed African-American men with targets on their backs being shot by three white police officers. Each of the six is an actual person, his face reproduced through the process of photo transfer. On the front of each victim is the story of the murder, taken from newspaper accounts. Hands Up (Don’t Shoot!) is in a virtual four-person art show, “The Long View,” presented by the Arts Council of Rockland, along with Paula Madawick, Laura Shapiro, and Cassie Strasser. Geneslaw is an outsider artist with two degrees in art, one of them from an Ivy League college (Columbia). For 20 years she was a fiber artist, making abstract wall hangings and larger freestanding sculptures. In 1988, her friends were startled when her art changed direction and she began whittling comical wooden figures. This was similar to Philip Guston’s experience in 1970, when he abandoned abstract expressionism for cartoony paintings with social themes. Geneslaw never studied carving, but she did take a woodworking course, to help with the accessories to her pieces. For example, The Cabinet, a depiction of the 15 faces of Donald Trump’s original cabinet members, is an actual working cabinet, with swiveling doors—purposefully built on a slant, to show how crooked that whole gang was. The structure rests on a swamp, with a prominent golden snake and a discarded copy of the Constitution floating in the muck. “Most artists give titles to their work long after they’re finished,” Geneslaw observes, “but it’s actually the title itself that suggests the piece to me.” Weapons of Mass Destruction (Pick Your Poison) shows four
characters on a bench: a woman with a satchel full of pills, a man drinking two beers at once, a guy with an enormous hamburger—plus French fries, soda, and a cupcake. A fourth figure is smoking three cigarettes. In the body language of the four, Geneslaw captures the depressive comradeship fellow addicts share. Notice that she chooses very common societal vices, rather than heroin or crack. She wants us to recognize ourselves in these selfdestructive figurines. The diorama operates like a joke. Instead of: “A Frenchman, an Englishman, and a Jew walk into a bar,” there’s “an alcoholic, a pill addict, a smoker, and an overeater sat on a bench…” The title suggests an irony: the US went to war over the mythical “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, while millions of Americans were destroying themselves with legal addictions at home. Geneslaw’s art reminds me of protest songs of the 1960s like “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Universal Soldier.” She is carving songs of outrage in wood. While at work, Geneslaw is alert to the needs of a piece. For example, while making Dark Thoughts, a portrait of a woman whose head is literally exploding with anxieties—a crashed airplane, a tombstone, an article on climate change—she decided to add six forbidding crows at the woman’s feet. Each sculpture takes Geneslaw months to complete. The four women in “The Long View” are friends and colleagues who meet monthly; they call themselves the WAGs (Women’s Artists Group). Paula Madawick makes elegant modernist papier-mâché bowls and offbalance filmy drawings. Cassie Hyde Strasser creates stylized images of walking figures, including a Covid19 Fan (an actual hand-operated fan). Laura Shapiro produces absurd naïve paintings-on-paper that suggest garden vegetables. —Sparrow
Mario Merz Long-term view
Dia Beacon 3 Beekman Street Beacon, New York
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AMING ION FR EXHIBIT ICES T S E RV FINE AR eet, rren Str 551 Wa Y ,N Hudson -5614 4 (843) 32
DORSKY SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM OF ART
Kathy Goodell: Infra-Loop, Selections 1994–2020
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT NEW PALTZ
Kathy Goodell, Voyager, 2020, courtesy the artist
February 6 – July 11, 2021 SAMUEL DORSK Y MUSEUM OF ART
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT NEW PALTZ
1/21 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 63
Good Trouble CHILDREN’S MUSIC ARTISTS TAKE A STAND FOR EQUALITY The Grammy Awards, given out with glitzy pomp every year by the Recording Academy since 1959, represent the height of music-industry achievement. The honor of winning one, or even getting nominated for one, implies that an artist is at or near the top of their chosen field, signifying a level of validation that musicians can strive their whole lives for and only dream of attaining. So imagine being tapped as one of the rarified handful of Grammy finalists—and then walking away from the whole thing. That’s what the artists Dog on Fleas, the Okee Dokee Brothers, and Alastair Moock, all white male nominees in the category of Best Children’s Album for their individual 2020 releases, did last month. Why? To call attention, say the three acts, to the fact that this year, the academy, as has been the case for the past decade, has once again disproportionately selected white male artists as finalists in their genre: Of the five 2020 nominees, Joanie Leeds is the lone female; there are no nominees of color. Last month, Dog on Fleas, the Okee Dokee Brothers, and Moock submitted a letter to the Recording Academy asking to be removed from the running as a show of support for their underrepresented, artistically outstanding BIPOC and female peers. “We are deeply grateful to the Recording Academy and its voting members for the honor we’ve received,” reads the statement, “but we can’t in good conscience benefit from a process that has––both this year and historically–– so overlooked women, performers of color, and most especially Black performers.” The organization Family Music Forward has been formed to address these issues. We reached out via email to Rosendale resident and Dog on Fleas member Dean Jones—himself a Grammy winner as a producer for his work on the Okee Dokee Brothers’ 2012 album Can You Canoe?—for further insight about the action. Facebook.com/FamilyMusicForward. —Peter Aaron 64 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 1/21
Dean Jones in his No Parking Studio. Citing a lack of minority nominees in their category, the Rosendale children's musician and his band, Dog on Fleas, asked the Recording Academy to remove them from the list of the 2020 Grammy nominees. Photo by Fionn Reilly
In a time when musicians, especially independent artists in a “niche” market like children’s music, could benefit greatly from the endorsement of a Grammy Award, the decision to deny yourselves a potential Grammy win by resigning from the competition could not have been one you took lightly. How did you arrive at this decision, and why did you feel it would be an effective action? Right away, when I started getting texts telling me that Dog on Fleas [which also includes locals John Hughes and Chris Cullo] was nominated, I thought, “There must be some mistake.” All five nominees are white, and only one is a woman. There were a bunch of really great albums released this year by artists of color and women. It just seemed wrong. Most people in this genre know each other. Everyone was saying that Pierce Freelon would probably win the Grammy. Or SaulPaul. Or Elena Moon Park. [Freelon and SaulPaul are Black; Park is Asian American.] So the five nominees got together and tried to agree on an action, with the guidance of Family Music Forward, a collective of artists of color. We all agreed on the problem but not the solution. The problem is systemic racism and sexism in the nomination process. The three of us artists who declined have already benefited from nominations and Grammy wins. It felt like it was overdue for some major change. What have the responses to the news of the decision been like, not just from the academy, but from your peers and audience in the children’s music community? The lack of diversity in the nominations has been a huge topic in the community. It’s been an ongoing problem, but much more like a slap in the face this year. What a crap year. I think we can all see we’ve got
to address this problem as a genre. The Grammys are just the tip of the iceberg. There have been meetings between Family Music Forward, the nominees and the Grammys, including Recording Academy Chairman Harvey Mason Jr. It seems to me that the intentions are good to fix the problems, but there’s no single simple solution. You cited Family Music Forward in your letter to the Recording Academy as an organization that’s made tangible progress with correcting the inequality found within the children’s music community. What types of work does the organization do? There are now more non-white children under the age of 15 than there are white children. Here is FMF’s vision statement: “Family Music Forward’s vision is that Black artists will have equitable visibility, opportunity, and compensation within the family music industry, and that all children and families will have access to performers and music that welcomes, reflects, and celebrates them. We believe that liberation of Black artists and families is liberation for all.” What else can artists do to help make positive change when it comes to racial and gender equity? I’d say simply to support artists, and especially POC and women. Think about how hard it is to make money as a musician, now more than ever, and consider that U2 probably doesn’t need your money as much as a great local band does. When I look at lineups for festivals and larger venues and listen to a lot of radio stations, I see and hear an overwhelming majority of white male artists. I think we gotta say, “Hey I wanna hear….” And even more boldly say, “We’re not gonna show up unless you give us more diversity.”
Macon Reed in front of her recently completed mural at Stoneleaf Retreat in Eddyville.
Colorful Commentary MACON REED’S NEW MURAL AT STONELEAF RETREAT Maconreed.com Stoneleafretreat.com
“Time feels so wild right now,” says artist Macon Reed. Reed is walking her dog in Kingston as we chat on the phone, a place she “got married to a little bit this year.” She’s always loved the Hudson Valley, having spent time here visiting friends. Reed also spent time here as an artist-in-residence at Stoneleaf Retreat—an artist residency and creative space for women and families in Eddyvillle, founded in 2017 by Helen Toomer and Eric Romano. Reed, who grew up in Richmond, VA, was five months into a 10-month fellowship at London’s Royal Academy of Arts when the pandemic hit in March. As the world went into lockdown, she found herself forced to leave the UK. “I had four days’ notice! I didn’t have anywhere to stay, so I posted online to find temporary housing. Helen saw it and invited me back to Stoneleaf,” Reed says. The artist’s cabin she stayed in soon became the canvas for her latest project. She also ended up signing a year’s lease on an apartment in Kingston, so she could stay in the area after she left the cabin. Reed brings the same vitality to our conversation as to her art, with its arresting palette, reminiscent of an O’Keeffe landscape—opposite colors coming together to complement almost-abstract strokes creating concrete imagery. I’m not the only one captivated by this antithesis of color and content. Toomer mentions it, too. “I love that it draws you in with bright neon colors and childlike paintings or sculptures, but highlights important social issues,” she says.
Reed herself has grown more cognizant of how this palette—originating as a sort of artistic decision to challenge the patriarchy—impacts her art after reading David Batchelor’s Chromophobia. Batchelor’s book is an exploration of the fear of intense, bright color in Western art traditions and culture. “The most fascinating part is the idea that dominant culture was trying to control or dismiss groups, ideas and issues that bright colors were associated with, like queerness, mental illness, people of color,” Reed tells me, adding that the book helped her understand her impulse to use color to challenge traditional ideas. We’re doing a remote walk-through of her new, as yet untitled, mural at Stoneleaf just after its December 6 unveiling, discussing its symbols: the carrot on the stick, tic-tac-toe game, X-marked door, the bonfire, the references to the bubonic plague. The mural captures so much of the tension of trying to find meaning in times of peril that its genesis had to have been the pandemic—but the coronavirus wasn’t the singular catalyst for the imagery that runs through it. Like almost all her other work (notably, her installation Hammer of Witches, Pears of Anguish, which depicts medieval torture chambers), this too draws from Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch. The book is a “contemplation of the bubonic plague’s impact on our understanding of things like early capitalism,” Reed says, adding that this inspires her recurring symbols like the fire, evil eye, and carrot on a stick. There are also images of hope: a horseshoe and
four-leaf clover. A splash of blue paint was inspired by the pond at Stoneleaf. A playful reference to some unfortunate similarity between our times and those past hovers over the bottom left corner, a brown form. “That’s basically a pile of shit,” Reed says. It’s an allusion to the odd things people believed would cure them of the plague. “People thought the plague came from breathing foul odors, and if they breathed other foul odors first, it might fill up their reserves,” she explains with a laugh. Much of Reed’s art is committed to creating space for LGBTQIA communities and, as Toomer says, “to discuss issues and share stories in a safe and welcoming environment,” evident in how weighty imagery blends so well with its bubblegum base. Like the breasts in this mural, alluding to justice, liberty, female bodies, and BDSM and queer culture. Toomer tells me she and Reed first met when she presented Eulogy for the Dyke Bar, her response to the disappearance of lesbian bars, at Pulse Art Fair. The immersive installation was a fully functioning bar, with silkscreened faux-wood paneling that Reed says was a departure from her usual use of materials that are “tactile and fast.” Reed once lived in an old-growth tree to save it from being cut, so it’s no surprise recyclable materials like papier-mâché on cardboard are her preferred medium for installations. Reed’s mural at Stoneleaf Retreat will be on view during the 2021 edition of Upstate Art Weekend, August 29-30, 2021. —Rhea Dhanbhoora 1/21 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 65
View From My Window, Librado Romero
Pillow, Richard Klein
LIBRADO ROMERO AT HUDSON RIVER MUSEUM
RICHARD KLEIN AT HENRY IN HUDSON
After working as a photojournalist for the New York Times for five decades, Librado Romero retired in 2013 and established his full-time painting studio in Yonkers. His childhood memories of his native California and his extensive travels as a photojournalist combine to make Romero deeply appreciative of living and painting along the Hudson, one terminus in his show “From the Desert to the River.” Water still fascinates the artist, and his deep sense of connection to his natural surroundings underlies much of his current work, whether painted glimpses of the Hudson River and the Palisades through stands of trees or meditations on the landscape of his youth. Hrm.org
Richard Klein, director of exhibitions at the Aldrich Contemporary Museum of Art, is the third artist featured in the series Art Among the Goods at Henry, Nancy Shaver's antiques store in Hudson. Pillow is the centerpiece of the show, an assemblage of burntout light bulb fragments and brass screening. Klein's aesthetic is one of anti-fastidiousness: “When I started using found objects it freed me up," he says. "Now, I try not to worry about the details—to not make it perfect. The rough edges contribute.” Nancyshaverartist.com/about-henry
ALDRICH CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
CLARK ART INSTITUTE
“Through the Eye of a Needle.” First major solo museum exhibition of New York-based artist Genesis Belanger. “Frank Stella’s Stars: A Survey.” Outdoor installation. Both shows through May 9.
“Ground/work.” First outdoor exhibition at the Clark featuring work by Kelly Akashi, Nairy Baghramian, Jennie C. Jones, Eva LeWitt, Analia Saban, and Haegue Yang. Through October 2021.
258 MAIN STREET, RIDGEFIELD, CT
ARTS SOCIETY OF KINGSTON (ASK) 97 BROADWAY, KINGSTON
“Renee Zhang: Animals + Plants + Fungi.” Show highlights subjects that are usually supporting “actors” in art. Zhang’s portraits of these often-forgotten elements of nature are represented in various mediums, and range from realistic to stylized. January 2-30.
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"Sky Hopinka: Centers of Somehwere." First solo museum exhibition of artist and filmmaker Sky Hopinka. Through February 14.
506 MAIN STREET, BEACON “Eileen Sackman: Reflections”. Ceramics. Through January 3. "Dreams." Group show. January 9-February 7. "Tiny, New (and possible) Worlds." Embroidery and found-object works by Jackie Weinland. January 9-February 7.
BOARDMAN ROAD BRANCH LIBRARY 141 BOARDMAN ROAD, POUGHKEEPSIE
Lynn Schamberger. Needlepoint and fiber art. Through January 3. "Linda Lynton: Seasons." January 5-March 2.
CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY
225 SOUTH STREET, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA
CREATE CATSKILL GALLERY 398 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL
“CREATE Council on the Arts Members Show.” Annual small works show. Through January 23.
3 BEEKMAN STREET, BEACON Works by Lee Ufan, Sam Gilliam, Mel Bochner, Barry Le Va, Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, and others on long-term view.
17 RAILROAD AVENUE, KINGSTON “David Schoichet: Recent Work.” Schoichet’s black and white photographs are exclusively of people of color; his subjects range from brief interactions with strangers at public events such as protests, rallies, and marches, to intimate portraits of family and friends. Ongoing.
GARRISON ART CENTER
23 GARRISON’S LANDING, GARRISON “Jill Enfield: New Americans”. A solo exhibition of collodion portrait photographs. Through January 3. "Blue Like an Orange." Paintings by Elise P. Church. January 23-February 28. "Games, Guns, and Glory." Drawings by Mason Kim. January 23-February 28.
Outerspace Dad’s Old Tattoo Smiley Foot, Richard J. Treitner
RICHARD J. TREITNER AT GREEN KILL “Stolen Gods and Silk Apocalypses” presents new and old work by Richard J. Treitner delving into gods, and goddesses, both real and imaginary, as well as the accumulated apocalypses of a lifetime by the artist, pagan, poet, photographer, and visionary goof. The Pine Hill-based artist wears his weirdness on his metaphorical sleeve—canvases and prints—embracing the erotic, the semiotic, and the psychotic: an outsider artist with an insider's knowledge of the artistic canon and how to subvert its constraints. Greenkill.substack.com
348 WARREN STREET, HUDSON “Richard Klein: Pillow.” Found-object artworks by the director of exhibitions at the Aldrich Museum. Through January 10.
365 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL “Cross Pollination." Works by Julie Chase and Dina Bursztyn. Through January 15.
HUDSON RIVER MUSEUM
511 WARBURTON AVENUE, YONKERS “Librado Romero: From the River to the Desert.” Paintings and sketchbooks that explore the varied landscapes of the artist’s journeys, both internal and external, from his childhood in Calexico, California, to his studio and home overlooking the Hudson River. Through June 27.
2642 ROUTE 23, KINGSTON “Holiday Show.” Group exhibition of small works. Through January 17.
785 MAIN STREET, MARGARETVILLE “Holiday Show.” Group show. Through January 10.
MAGAZZINO ITALIAN ART
2700 ROUTE 9, COLD SPRING “Bochner Boetti Fontana.” Examines the formal, conceptual, and procedural affinites in the work of Mel Bochner, Alighiero Boetti, and Lucio Fontana. Curated by Mel Bochner. Through April 5.
622 WARREN STREET, HUDSON
MARK GRUBER GALLERY
“Memory as Place.” Group show with Richard Britell, Sue Bryan, Shawn Dulaney, Susan Hope Fogel, Ricardo Mulero, Linda Newman Boughton, Eric Lindbloom, and Leigh Palmer. December 2-January 31.
“Stolen Gods and Silk Apocalypses”. Richard Treitner solo exhibition. January 9-30.
“Holiday Salon: A Group Show”. Group show of landscapes. Through January 31.
66 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 1/21
229 GREEN KILL AVENUE, KINGSTON
17 NEW PALTZ PLAZA, NEW PALTZ
Clockwise from left: Bonnet Chair 2, Katie Stout; quilted bonnet and spool holder stand from the Shaker Museum collection
KATIE STOUT AT THE SHAKER MUSEUM Katie Stout is collaborates with New Lebanon’s Shaker Museum for its “Fringe Selects” exhibition, a selection of material chosen by the artist and designer from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition explores the breadth of Shaker objects by taking a closer look at the objects on the “fringe”—colorful, ornamental, and less well-known than the minimalist, iconic Shaker pieces. The show also features two chairs created by Stout that were inspired by the Shaker bonnets and cloaks that were predominantly made by Shaker women. Through February 28. Shakermuseum.us
WINDOW ON HUDSON
"Memory of a Body: Emilie Gossiaux." The New Orleans–born, New York–based artist has relied on the memories and sensory experiences these descriptors call to mind ever since she became blind—after being hit by an 18-wheeler while riding her bike. Through January 31.
“Nostalgia.” Ann Toebbe and Carly Glovinski. Curated by Jennifer Terzian. Through January 10.
“Post Photosynthesis.” Sculpture, drawing, video, and painting by Mimi Czajka Graminski. Through January 4.
SUSAN ELEY FINE ART
WOODSTOCK ARTISTS ASSOCIATION AND MUSEUM
1154 NORTH AVENUE, BEACON
147 MAIN STREET, SHARON, CT
433 WARREN STREET, HUDSON
OLIVE FREE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
"Counterbalance II." Caroline Blum, Lisa Fellerson, Sasha Hallock, and Liz Rundorff Smith. Through January 10.
“Cragsmoor Artists in Olive.” Group show curated by Ed Mues. Through January 9.
THOMAS COLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
PAMELA SALISBURY GALLERY
“Pollinator Pavilion.” A 21½-foot-high, painted wood, architectural confection draped with flowers, plants, and paintings by Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood. Ongoing.
4033 ROUTE 28A, WEST SHOKAN
362 1/2 WARREN STREET, HUDSON “All Small.” Small-scale works by Silas Borsos, Farrell Brickhouse, Tom Burckhardt, Daisy Craddock, Lois Dickson, Diana Horowitz, Elisa Jensen, Kathryn Lynch, Michael Meehan, Elena Sisto. Through January 17.
SHAKER MUSEUM POP UP 17 MAIN STREET, CHATHAM
“Fringe Selects”. Selection of Shaker material chosen by Katie Stout from the Museum’s permanent collection, plus two new chairs by Stout created as a response to her exploration of Shaker material culture. Through February 28.
218 SPRING STREET, CATSKILL
43 SOUTH THIRD STREET, HUDSON
28 TINKER STREET, WOODSTOCK
“C.J. Matherne: Stacked Against You.” Paintings. Through February 1. “Celebrating the Centennial: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Woodstock Artists Association, Part 1.” Through March 28.
WOODSTOCK BYRDCLIFFE GUILD 34 TINKER STREET, WOODSTOCK
“Gamut.” 2021 annual members' show. January 16-February 28.
37 FURNACE BANK ROAD, WASSAIC “All Out/All In.” Group show featuring work by Natalie Baxter, Jen Dwyer, Amanda L. Edwards, Mark Fleuridor, Rose Nestler, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Liz Nielsen, Nyugen Smith, and Aisha Tandiwe Bell. Through March 27.
1/21 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 67
Horoscopes By Lorelai Kude
IN SEARCH OF A NEW NORMAL Ideally, we’d be looking in the rearview mirror at a receding 2020 saying, “Thank G*d that’s over!” while driving off into the sunset toward what we nostalgically refer to as normal life. The trouble is: The old normal died in 2020, and the new normal has yet to be established. While much of 2020’s trauma was rooted in trying to control the uncontrollable, 2021 confronts societal fluctuations between the need for stability and the necessity of revolution. Mercury’s conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn on January 4 brings powerfully influential communications: Practical considerations and enlightened self-interest forge unusual alliances. Mars square Saturn at the New Moon in Capricorn on January 13 pits stubborn ideologues against pragmatic realists; Jupiter’s square to Uranus on January 17 opens a door to a fortuitous discovery with universal impact. Mars conjunct Uranus in Taurus on January 20 empowers revolutionaries and encourages enraged misanthropes. There will be two inaugurations on January 20: One in Washington, DC, and the other at the gates of hell, where denial becomes defiance and the defeated declare it better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. The Sun in Aquarius conjunct Jupiter at the Full Moon in Leo on January 28 lifts spirits as avenues for pragmatic reconciliation open and Venus conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn, sweetening needed compromises so win/lose may look more like a win/win. Mercury stations retrograde on January 30 to ensure no promise is left behind. Reform can occur without destroying security, but only when trust is earned between competing entities. 2021 is the start of a process of refining and defining, of finding new answers to the question: What kind of people are we, really, when push comes to shove? There will be no winners but plenty of losers if we cannot collectively answer that question in a way that engenders hope.
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ARIES (March 20–April 19) Mars has been in Aries for the last six months, an unusually prolonged exposure to your planetary ruler’s bold, assertive energy, which hopefully you have put to good use initiating inspiration around your personal identity and worldview. Mars enters Taurus on January 6, inspiring focus on your material world, values, and valuables through early March. The personal growth you’ve developed will now be like money in the bank as you begin to rebuild your relationship to your personal resources. Mars square Saturn on January 13 asks if you are properly appreciated by your community. Your worth needs to be acknowledged and rewarded.
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68 HOROSCOPES CHRONOGRAM 1/21
Venus enters practical, pragmatic Capricorn on January 8: Shared values, valuables, and resources now need to be reassessed as 2021 will be a year of abrupt changes for you. Think of these inevitable changes as upgrades meant to align with your real-time, relevant priorities. Venus squares wounded healer Chiron on January 12, exposing personal vulnerabilities in a public way. Venus trine rebel/revolutionary Uranus on January 13, revealing where major adjustments need to be made. Venus conjunct Pluto at the Full Leo Moon on January 28 triggers issues of power, control, and personal dignity. Know your own worth and insist others know as well. A practicing, professional astrologer for over 30 years, Lorelai Kude can be reached for questions and personal consultations via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and her Kabbalah-flavored website is Astrolojew.com.
GEMINI (May 20–June 21) The Mercury/Pluto conjunction on January 4 imbues your communicative powers with force and precision. You’ll have to be very aware of exactly how and where to aim that laser-like beam of elevated consciousness. Your words can literally build or destroy worlds. Mercury enters progressive Aquarius on January 8 while squaring Mars and Uranus and making conjunctions to Saturn and Jupiter between the 8th and the 12th. Take note of your priorities this week, as you’ll be revisiting them after Mercury stations retrograde on January 30. Be well armed in your fight for the truth and don’t allow yourself to spar without proper preparation.
CANCER (June 21–July 22)
2ND ANNU A HE
This year really began for you with the Full Moon in Cancer on December 29, a peak emotional consciousness half a year in the making. Last Quarter Moon in harmonious Libra on January 6 prioritizes partnerships; the New Capricorn Moon on January 13 suggests how partnership structure might manifest. The Sun/Saturn conjunction on January 23 tests idealism against security; can you trust you’ll be taken care of when pursuing your highest values instead of taking the safe, sure bet? Heartwarming loyalty displayed during Full Moon in Leo on January 28 bolsters bravery and reassures you that love is always the foundation and the bottom line.
S’ C AW H OICE
LEO (July 22–August 23) The Sun’s sextile to Neptune on January 8 wears rose-colored glasses but the Sun/Pluto conjunction on January 14 pulls no punches: Anything other than verifiable reality will meet with the harshest consequences if attempted to be passed off as factual in your presence. The Sun enters idealistic Aquarius on January 19, conjunct to Saturn on the 23rd and Jupiter at the Full Leo Moon on January 28. This ends the reign of pragmatic expediency over your heart’s desires. Sacrificing personal satisfaction for the sake of communal well-being leaves you in danger of melodramatic martyrdom unless you receive the appreciation you deserve and need.
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VIRGO (August 23–September 23) Mercury conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn on January 4 during Moon in Virgo. You can’t bite your tongue or repress your analytical, perceptive observations one moment longer. Remember your powerful words can never be unsaid and that they have the power to transform both yourself and the listener. Prepare for a seismic shift once you speak your truth. Mercury moves into Aquarius on January 8 and immediately squares Mars and then Uranus in Taurus; your emotional and physical health depend on your ability to be honest with yourself and others, despite what it may cost your relationships. Emancipate yourself from outworn expectations.
LIBRA (September 23–October 23) Last Quarter Moon in Libra on January 6 reassesses relationships begun this past September; adjustments can be made when Venus enters practical Capricorn on January 8 and then trines Mars on January 9. Venus square vulnerable Chiron and trine unstable Uranus January 12–13; what appeared as a sure thing or a done deal now appears nowhere near resolved. The powerful conjunction of Venus and Pluto on the Full Leo Moon on January 28 triggers dramatic revelations: If control/dominance has been mistaken for love/loyalty this is the time true motivations are revealed. Compromise and cooperation bring you better results than a scorched-earth policy.
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1/21 CHRONOGRAM HOROSCOPES 69
SCORPIO (October 23–November 21) Mars squares controlling Saturn on January 13 followed by the Sun’s conjunction to powerful Pluto on January 14. You are confronted by responsibility, confounded by commitment, and resistant to pressure pushing you to compromise your desires in favor of external, superficial obligations. Much of what passes as duty is merely other people’s expectations. It’s your job to discern between what you really feel loyalty towards and what is merely the projection of others, or the vestiges of unresolved guilt used to control you. Now is the time to distinguish who truly deserves your energy, your passion, your time, and your attention.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22–December 22) Jupiter in Aquarius for most of 2021 supersizes idealism, enlarges friendships, emphasizes community, and magnifies your individuality. Mercury conjunct Jupiter on January 11 is a loud declaration of divine revelation; Jupiter square Uranus on January 17 may be your lucky break—an out-of-the-blue opportunity to pull out in front of the race and leapfrog over tedious, tiresome dues-paying and such trivial necessities most mere mortals are obligated to endure, especially if personal freedom and autonomy are within reach. Sun conjunct Jupiter on the Full Leo Moon on January 28 is literally your lucky day. Say yes to everything.
CAPRICORN (December 22–January 20) Capricorn Sun through on January 18 continues his victory laps having survived the crush of 2020, with Venus in Capricorn from January 8 sweetening the pot at every opportunity. Mercury conjunct Saturn on January 9, framing better ways to deal with creative conflict. You’ll test those methods on January 13 at the New Capricorn Moon when confrontational Mars in stubborn Taurus squares Saturn in Aquarius. 2020’s massive wisdom upgrade equips you to rise to the occasion with maturity and humor. Sun conjunct Saturn on January 23, consciousness coalescing around that wisdom and from the fiery furnace you’ve walked through, emerging radiant and unscathed.
AQUARIUS (January 20–February 19) The square of Jupiter and Uranus on January 17 brings positive attention to your visionary ideas and forward-thinking concepts. Manifesting your idealistic dreams is the hard work this year, wrestle with differing ideas on January 12 at Mercury’s square to Uranus, surrender to your own brilliant revelations at the trine of Venus to Uranus on January 13, right before Uranus stations direct on January 14, allowing rapid progress and unimpeded access to resources. Last Quarter Moon in Taurus conjunct combative Mars and unstable Uranus on January 21 with Sun in Aquarius infuriates, inspires, and initiates radical action to bring ideals and reality into parity.
PISCES (February 20-March 19) Mercury sextiles Neptune on January 1, setting the stage for your inner work this year: excavating the contents of your dreams and mining them for precious jewels. Investing your energy into the care and comprehension of your unconscious/ subconscious mind at the Sun’s sextile to Neptune on January 8 brings a beautiful payoff when you find the medium best suited to externalize your fecund internal creativity. Venus’s sextile to Neptune on January 23 lovingly coaxes your hearts desires to the surface; it is now safe to share what you really want with loved ones who have earned and deserve your trust. 70 HOROSCOPES CHRONOGRAM 1/21
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Lambs Hill.........................................36 Larson Architecture Works...............22 The Leaf Brands, LLC......................43 Liza Phillips Design..........................26 Mark Gruber Gallery.........................63 Masa Midtown..................................14 Mohonk Mountain House....................7 Montano’s Shoe Store.......................69
Rise Through Rage, Chimba (Chiarra Hughes), Acrylic on plywood, 96”x48”, 2020
Murray Engineering..........................10 N & S Supply....................................25 The Pass...........................................38 Peter Aaron.......................................68 Rebelle...............................................2 Ridgeline Realty...............................26 Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.........63 Simone Eisold...................................30 Solar Generation...............................25 Sunflower Market................................8 Third Eye Associates Ltd..................69 Two In Love Photo............................36
Activism and Art in the Hudson Valley A discussion with panelists gallerist Jack Shainman; Ama Josephine B. Johnstone, Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism at Bard College; musician and Basilica Hudson co-founder Melissa Auf der Mar; and Matt Dilling of Lite Brite Neon. Moderated by Chronogram editorial director Brian K. Mahoney.
Walnut Hill Fine Art...........................63 WDST 100.1 Radio Woodstock........70 Williams Lumber & Home Center.... Inside Front Cover
Hempire State Growers....................38
Holistic Natural Medicine:
The Homestead School....................18
Taking it to the Streets
Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School....18
Integrative Healing Arts..............31
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YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County......................18
Chronogram January 2021 (ISSN 1940-1280) Chronogram is published monthly. Subscriptions: $36 per year by Chronogram Media, 45 Pine Grove Ave. Suite 303, Kingston, NY 12401. Periodicals postage pending at Kingston, NY, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chronogram, 45 Pine Grove Ave. Suite 303, Kingston, NY 12401.
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Jennifer May and family in the Newark Airport terminal. Photo by Chris Metze
We moved from a place we loved to a place we also love and told very few people we were leaving. There were no goodbye parties. Chris didn’t fire up the pizza oven he built one last time. He didn’t smoke Applestone chickens in the smoker for guests from across town, Mt. Tremper, Montreal, and Brooklyn. We didn’t take all the kids biking and picnicking at Wilson’s State Park. I didn’t roam through Woodstock and say goodbye to James at the Golden Notebook. I did make one last sandwich order at Provisions, but I didn’t say goodbye to Emily. Eve offered to cook for us in her backyard, but the packing took too long; we had more stuff than we had estimated, and we were too tired, so we didn’t do that, either. Chris called some friends and gave away art and sculptures. Abby arrived an hour after Chris emailed her, and I did get to say goodbye to her, outside, on the driveway. I sent a goodbye message to my friend Paul. I would have seen him at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market, but since I didn’t go all season, that didn’t happen, either. We didn’t visit New York City one last time before it would be so far away. Four weekends in a row, I set out a table beside our driveway with a sign: “Free Vintage and Modern: Plates, Platters, Glassware.” I sat in my kitchen photo studio and watched the cars stop and people load up with the props I had collected over the years. I will now grow tomatoes, instead of photograph them. We bought goggles and masks for the airplane. We got our Canadian paperwork in order. Sight unseen, we found a place to live. And then we flew west. —Jennifer May Photographer Jennifer May moved to the Hudson Valley in 1998. In late October, she moved back to her native Canada with her family.
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Stanford White Carriage House $2,500,000
Majestic brick carriage house designed by noted American architect Stanford White for Philip Schuyler’s country seat, The Grove, now a glorious 6 BR/6.5 BA residence on 6 acres with a 200’ x 40’ in-ground pool as the centerpiece of its courtyard. Just 2.5 miles from Rhinebeck Village, the home is a classic conversion retaining many architectural details, Georgian columns, cupola, & barn stable doors—yet offering all of the modern conveniences of a full renovation. Contemporary design w/ a touch of Asian influence (i.e. Chinese Chippendale railings), Great Room, formal dining room, chef’s kitchen, full master suite, office. Coffered ceilings, white paneling, rooms bathed in light, multiple fireplaces, brick feature walls & oversized rooms. Second floor additional master suite. The home wraps around the rear courtyard, and in addition to the pool there is a grilling area, fire pit, dining area and a kid’s play set. The elegantly landscaped acres include a gated entry.
❚ Rachel Hyman-Rouse 917.686.4906
2021. New year. New hopes. New possibilities.
Brand-new 3 BR/2 BA modern home on 3+ acres. Stylish simplicity with energy efficiency & high-quality construction. Sunny Scandi-style minimalist interior with bright white walls, industrial-look windows & stunning polished concrete floors w/ 4 zoned radiant heat. Hearthstone wood-burning stove in open living area, high-speed enterprise grade WiFi & fresh air ventilation system. Chef’s kitchen with Viking stainless steel appliances & quartz-topped counter. Master bedroom with large walk-in closet & luxurious marble bath with dualhead shower. Wall of sliding glass doors brings in the light & view, and opens to the covered patio. Beautiful 3-car garage & 1400 sf walkout basement.
❚ Lillian Lin 917.270.9336 ❚ Juan Villarreal 202.821.7447
Rivertown Manse & Carriage Barn $748,000
Premier 1870s manse on Mansion St. in Coxsackie, 4 BA/2.5 BA w/ Hudson River views & rich original design. Beautifully woodwork, double parlor pocket doors, staircase, banisters & elegant dining room w/ stenciled ceiling & carved fireplace. Living room with second fireplace. Distinct Shingle-style 19th century architecture with Palladian & bay windows, primary bedroom w/ ensuite bath. Third floor staff rooms await repurposing. Widow’s walk offers tree top Hudson River & village views plus a coveted perch for the annual fireworks display. 1.3 acre double lot with stone patio, stacked stone garden walls & slab steps leading to the 2-story carriage barn & workshop. Walk to downtown and riverfront park.
❚ David Ludwig 917.365.1894
Regal 6 BR/5 BA home built in 1806, was an inn from 1922 to 1982. Steeped in history & nestled in picturesque Helderberg Mountains. Rensselaerville has numerous unspoiled examples of grand Federal, Colonial and Greek revival buildings—the entire town is on the National Register of Historic places! Lovingly maintained home on a corner lot, renovated kitchen, formal dining room, living room, & family room. Many original details: floor-to-ceiling windows, double French doors, brass hardware & classic center hallway leading to full length porch.
❚ Martin Salerno 917.734.8161
Tivoli NY • Hudson NY • Catskill NY Rhinebeck NY • Kingston NY
BEACON INSTITUTE FOR RIVERS AND ESTUARIES
THE BEATRICE G. DONOFRIO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION COMPLEX
PROJECT DETAILS: Several portions of this capital project have already been completed, such as the Denning’s Point Road Bridge rehabilitation and Shoreland Trail improvements. Next, a solar array, additional parking capacity for people with limited mobility and a public pavilion will be constructed, along with the renovation of this abandoned twostory, 40,000-square-foot former paper clip factory. The renovation will preserve the building while creating usable space for Clarkson programs and public activities.
Clarkson University’s Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries has partnered with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York Power Authority on the Energy-Efficient Park Project: A New York Power Authority Energy & Environmental Sustainability Project. Made possible through support from the Donofrio family in memory of their mother, the historic brick and steel structure in Denning’s Point State Park will be transformed into the Beatrice G. Donofrio Environmental Education Complex, offering modern classrooms, meeting and administrative spaces, advanced laboratory facilities for water-related research and a new welcome center with hands-on exhibits for park visitors — all overlooking the park and the Hudson River. The Beacon Institute’s robust community programming and K-12 outreach provide opportunities for locals of all ages to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities that connect to real-world experiences.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT AND THE BEACON INSTITUTE, VISIT: discover.clarkson.edu/beacon