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Jobs come and go, physical beauty fades, markets rise and fall. Even close relationships can end. But the benefits of philosophy last a lifetime. As a gift to the community tuition for our Philosophy Works course is being waived for the winter term beginning January 6, with classes in NYC, Hudson Valley, and On-Line. Register now to discover time-tested principles leading to freedom and sustainable happiness. Classes are offered in: HAMLET OF WALLKILL, NY Tuesdays 7–9PM, 10 sessions starting January 14, 2020 BEACON, NY at the Howland Cultural Center, Saturdays 10–12PM, 10 sessions starting January 18, 2020 Register online or in person for this 10–week introductory course. There is no charge for this introductory course. For information and registration go to philosophyworks.org/hudson or call 845-895-9912 What I’m looking for is not out there, it is in me. — Helen Keller
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Making pizza in the 800-degree wood-fired oven at Lola in Kingston. Photo by Lindsay Talley FOOD & DRINK, PAGE 16
HEALTH & WELLNESS
6 On the Cover: Louise Bourgeoisl 10 Esteemed Reader 13 Editor’s Note 14 Excerpt: The Devil’s Dictionary
36 The Next Wave of Mindfulness
FOOD & DRINK
16 Fire & Cool
Editorial Director Brian K. Mahoney assesses The Kinsley and Lola, tandem additions to Kingston’s culinary scene by hoteliers Charles Blaichman and Taavo Somer in conjunction with Zak Pelaccio.
23 The Drink: Recess As the days begin to climb above freezing, sugaring season is upon us and with it comes West Kill Brewing’s annual brew Saphouse, a brown ale brewed with maple syrup and toasted bark.
25 Sips & Bites Five spots where we’ll be dining and drinking.
HOME & GARDEN 26 An Acre of One’s Own Painter Jean Feinberg gives new life to a oneacre compound of dilapidated buildings and forlorn gardens in West Taghkanic, which, in turn, revitalizes her.
Shaun Nanavati has teamed up with colleagues from New York City and Menla retreat center to form Mindwell Labs, a company that’s developing digital tools to bring mindfulness into the 21st century.
With Scenic Hudson Land Trust’s acquisition of 508 acres on the Hudson River just north of Hutton Brickyards, Kingston may just get a new state park.
COMMUNITY PAGES 44 Dutchess County Crown: Poughkeepsie Roughly $1 billion dollars in development is underway in the city of Poughkeepsie, which until now has struggled to find its economic and cultural footing post-recession.
HOROSCOPES 84 Trust Your Gut Instinct
features 54 The Aging of the Valley by Sarah Amandolare With adults 55 and older projected to comprise 35 percent of the Hudson Valley population by 2030, the region is faced with a spate of challenges.
58 Venues for Vows
by Hayley Arsenault
We’ve rounded up 16 of our favorite Hudson Valley wedding destinations for 2020 across four categories: waterfront, historic, working farm, and locally sourced menus.
64 Ukraine in the Membrane
by Peter Aaron
Arts editor Peter Aaron reminisces about the time his punk-blues band, the Chrome Cranks, traveled east to perform in a freshly post-Soviet Ukraine.
Lorelai Kude scans the skies and plots our horoscopes for February.
2/20 CHRONOGRAM 3
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LEAP WEEKEND: UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL Leap into a weekend of experiences to get reacquainted with the gifts inside you, with time for quiet introspection and time to feel the spark of celebration.
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JOURNAL WRITING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: A WEEKEND RETREAT Creating a visual journal is a way to chronicle our lives and express our thoughts and feelings. Using visual elements in the practice of journaling can bring about surprising layers of understanding. When: Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15, 2020 Who: Peg Considine
Spring and Summer Brochure available online now! Visit www.mariandale.org
4 CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Stylist Kiley J. Winn at Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie. Photo by Anna Sirota COMMUNITY PAGES, PAGE 44
72 A multimedia retrospective of Polish artist Jan Sawka’s work at the Dorsky Museum, probes the parallel processors of recollection and dislocation in human consciousness.
Album reviews of Acquanetta by Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman; Hill No Passing by Jeff Wilkinson & The Shutterdogs; Dead Reckoning by The Warp/The Weft; and Comencio by Rob Scheps.
67 Books Anne Pyburn Craig reviews David Levine’s “mostly chronological and occasionally personal history,” The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years, plus five short book reviews for your February reading.
68 Poetry Poems by Karen Becker, Stefan Bolz, Tiana Bradley, Britt Brundin, Lori Corry, Richard Donnelly, Stuart Freyer, Stephen J. Kudless, Marni Ludwig, Lullaby Rose, Vittoria S. Rubino, Chris Shaw, Arina Soler, Patrick Walsh, and Neal Whitman. Edited by Philip X Levine.
75 Kick up Valentine’s Day weekend with the three-day Hudson Jazz Festival. 76 Valatie Community Theatre stages a new play on Ella Fitzgerald’s tumultuous youth. 77 Artist team Kahn & Selesnick create branching narratives with interrelated portraits at Hotchkiss School’s Tremaine Gallery. 79 A gallery guide for February. 83 Six live shows to pencil in for February.
88 Parting Shot Larry Arvidson captures an unlikely confluence of modern modes of transport on camera.
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Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY Photo by Christopher Burke
on the cover
Couples, second version, lithograph, 2001 LOUISE BOURGEOIS
his month’s cover art is by Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), one of the most important artists of the 20th and early 21st centuries. The first woman ever to have a retrospective at MoMA, Bourgeois is best known for making sculptures of giant spiders. One of her arachnids haunts an upper floor of Dia:Beacon. You have to look for it to find it. It’s very dark and scary—definitely not a spider of the eensy-weenie variety. It’s more like something from a horror movie. Bourgeois said that her spiders were representations of her mother, who ran the workshop in the family’s tapestry-weaving business. The brightly colored image on the cover, though, is a departure for Bourgeois. The couples are very tall and tightly wrapped, the women are wearing ostentatious red high heels—it’s positively jaunty in comparison to most of her work. The original piece can be found easily in the second of three rooms of an exhibition at Vassar’s Lehman Loeb dedicated to the artist’s late prints, most of which were done when she was in her 80s and 90s. The show, titled “Louise Bourgeois: Ode to Forgetting,” is drawn from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and is organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University. But what exactly was Bourgeois trying to forget? Or more precisely, remember and get over? 6 CHRONOGRAM 2/20
It turns out that things were not exactly idyllic in the big house by the Seine back when Bourgeois was growing up. Her father was carrying on a long-term affair with her live-in tutor and her mother didn’t seem to care. This triple betrayal haunted Bourgeois throughout her life and critics have combed her diaries and analyzed her art looking for clues to how it affected her work. Her father also berated Bourgeois about her artistic ambitions (she was a woman, what was she thinking?). The show’s curator, Patricia Phagan, the Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings, notes that “Bourgeois made drawings daily, beginning in childhood and continuing until her death. She made art because she had to, and described her practice as a means of survival, a lifelong managing of emotional vulnerabilities, traumas, and nightmares. As she put it, ‘Art is a guarantee of sanity.’” Comprised of 80-plus works in a variety of print media—including works on fabric and some incorporating crochet and sewing— covering subjects including the female body under psychological siege, spiders, resilience, relationships, memory, and time—the exhibition at Lehman Loeb is a testament to Bourgeois’s ultimate triumph over her inner demons. Though it is easy to get caught up in her personal history,
critic Robert Storr notes, “it is unfair to reduce artists to those who feel and to those who think… most good artists do both.” He goes on to note that Bourgeois was one of the most literate and cultured artists of her time. Bourgeois is not easy to categorize, though undoubtedly influenced by Surrealism, she rejected that label. Her work dealt with actual memories, not dreams; she also found the surrealist’s belittlement of women intolerable, though she did not identify herself as a feminist. Younger women artists like the Guerilla Girls and Tracy Enim see her as one, nevertheless. Bourgeois is beyond labels. That’s her dancing in Couples. You can tell by the long red hair. The spiral that entwines her with her partner(s) is one of her signature motifs. She saw it as a signifier of the complexity of relationships. Toward the center of the spiral can be comfort or a trap, toward the outside can be alienation and fear. To her, red was the color of blood and suffering, but in Couples she is light on her feet in her red shoes. Art is about truth and truth can be complex. “Louise Bourgeois: Ode to Forgetting,” is on display through April 5 at the Lehman Loeb Art Center on the campus of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. Fllac.vassar.edu —Carl Van Brunt
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EDITORIAL EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Brian K. Mahoney firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR David C. Perry email@example.com DIGITAL EDITOR Marie Doyon firstname.lastname@example.org ARTS EDITOR Peter Aaron email@example.com HEALTH & WELLNESS EDITOR Wendy Kagan firstname.lastname@example.org HOME EDITOR Mary Angeles Armstrong email@example.com POETRY EDITOR Phillip X Levine firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Anne Pyburn Craig email@example.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Phillip Pantuso firstname.lastname@example.org
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esteemed reader by Jason Stern
#FARMFORLIFE • ROOTED IN THE HUDSON VALLEY FARMING & GARDENING • LOCAL FOOD, CIDER, BEER & WINE WEEKLY: MUSIC • ENTERTAINMENT • FARM ACTIVITIES
Esteemed Reader of Our Magazine: Just about 2,500 years ago there were great changes in the life of humanity. This epoch, which has come to be called the Axial Age, was characterized by a common message in disparate societies around the world. The message, coming from teachers and leaders and expressed in the linguistic and cultural syntax of each society, has come to be called The Golden Rule. We have reference to some of the myriad formulations that appeared simultaneously from various teachers between the 8th and 2nd century BCE. A small selection from innumerable others follows. I wish to acknowledge the Golden Rule Project (Goldenruleproject.org) for their valuable work. Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, India (563-483 BCE) “All beings love life. All beings fear death. Knowing this hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” —Dhammapadha “Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I,” he should neither kill nor cause others to kill.” —Sutra Nipata v. 705
“…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?” —Samyutta Nikaya v. 353 Confucianism, Confucius, China (551–479 BCE) “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.” —Analects 12:2
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“One word which sums up the basis for all good conduct…loving-kindness. Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” —Analects 15.23 “Tse-kung asked, ‘Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?’ Confucius replied, ‘It is the word shu—reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.’” —Doctrine of the Mean 13.3 Early Greek, Greece “We should behave to friends as we would wish friends to behave to us.” — Aristotle (470-386 BCE)
“Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.” — Socrates (384-322 BCE)
Hindu, India “This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what which would cause you pain if done to you.” —Mahabharata (circa 400 BCE)
“Wound not others, do no one injury by thought or deed, utter no word to pain thy fellow creatures.” —The Ordinances of Manu (circa 300 BCE)
“One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.” — Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8 (circa 400 BCE) Jainism, Mahavira, India (599-527 BCE) “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.” —Lord Mahavir 24th Tirthankara “One should treat all beings as he himself would be treated.” —Agamas Sutrakritanga 1.10.13
“A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.” —Agamas Sutrakritanga 1.11.33
Judaism, Palestine, Babylon “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” —Leviticus 19:18 (circa 538-332 BCE) “Take heed to thyself, my child, in all thy works; and be discreet in all thy behavior. And what thou thyself hatest, do to no man.” —Tobit 4.14-15
“What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah [Law]; all the rest is commentary.” —Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a (300 BCE)
Taoism, Lao Tzu, China (circa 6th century BCE) “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” —Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien “Recompense injury with kindness.” —Tao Te Ching 845.687.7589 Stone Ridge, NY StoneRidgeHealingArts.com
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““To those who are good to me, I am good; to those who are not good to me, I am also good. Thus all get to be good. To those who are sincere with me, I am sincere; to those who are not sincere with me, I am also sincere. Thus all get to be sincere.”—Tao Te Ching, Chapter 49
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by Brian K. Mahoney
That Cursed Thing
n 1987, psychologist Daniel Wegner conducted an experiment inspired by a quote from an 1863 travel essay by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.” (One senses Dostoyevsky worried about being mauled by bears and obsessed about it, like he did most everything.) Wegner put the quote’s assumption to the test: He asked participants in the experiment to verbalize their stream of consciousness for five minutes, while trying not to think of a white bear. If a white bear came to mind, they should ring a bell. Suffice to say, bells were ringing. On average, participants thought of a white bear more than once per minute. Wegner termed this phenomenon ironic process theory: deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts actually make them more likely to surface. (This effect is more pronounced in times of stress, and can cause profound anxiety.) This phenomenon is also known as ironic rebound, which makes me think of Dennis Rodman playing basketball with Kim Jong Un. Wegner’s experiment came to mind recently as I decided to stop fixating on the president’s impeachment trial. I’ve been following the ramp-up to this circus for months, and like a cook who’s no longer hungry at dinner because he’s been eating all day while preparing the meal, I’m full to bursting and want no more. Either the president will be acquitted or much less likely, convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors. History will be the judge of the sad farce our republic has become. For as delightful as the trial is—Adam Schiff ’s quaint orations mixing political philosophy with sweeping declarations about Trump undermining the rule of law; senators forced to drink milk on the floor of the Senate (I’m sensing Big Dairy is behind this); Chief Justice Roberts’s use of the archaic term pettifogging (not the same as frottage, unfortunately)—by Day 2 I was as tired and bored of the affair as a sleepy senator. I made a decision to disengage. Turn my back on my duties as a citizen and not think about the political carnival for a while. I stopped updating my news feed every 10 minutes. I unsubscribed from the six daily impeachment podcasts I’d been listening to. I tuned the car radio to a classic rock station—and was reminded that Foghat was once a (revered) thing. I avoided TVs and newspapers, and politically engaged friends. I took on an attitude of Anything but Impeachment, but found that the impeachment was stalking me, like a white bear across my
mental tundra. The more I tried to stop thinking about it, the more I found myself thinking about it. Every mental road led back to where I begged it not to go. Allow me to share one example from recent days. I finally got around to reading a piece by Peter Schjeldahl from the December 23 issue of the New Yorker that a number of friends had recommended. Schjeldahl, the magazine’s art critic, is dying of lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking. “Doing the math,” he writes, “I reckon that I have smoked about a million cigarettes—and enjoyed every one of them, not that you care.” The article, “77 Sunset Me,” is a book-length memoir compressed down into a diamond of a few thousand words. I’ve always loved Schjeldahl’s incisive and accessible art criticism—he’s my North Star when I try to write about art—but this personal writing of his is the first that I’ve read. It’s filled with seemingly throwaway lines—“Swatted a fly the other day and thought, Outlived you.”—that are deep coming from a man facing death. Maybe everything is. Schjeldahl also drops some real knowledge here, the type of existential revelation only available to the dying. Apropos of nothing in the piece, except trying to make sense of life so close to death, I suppose, Schjeldahl writes: “Meaning is a scrap among other scraps, though stickier. Meaning is so much better than nothing, in that it defines ‘nothing’ as everything that meaning is not. Meaning prevents nothing from being only nothing. The ‘nothing that is not there and the nothing that is,’ Wallace Stevens noticed. The same nothing, but a difference of attitude.” Meaning prevents nothing from being only nothing. The emotional force of this simple statement is shattering, despite the fact that we know it’s true in our heart of hearts: We make it all up as we go along and call that meaning. At first blush, this seems like a statement of profound despair, but Schjeldahl manages to turn it into a light in the darkness, a way out of despair and into a positive quality called meaning, which references a greater unnamed thing that for lack of a better phrase I’ll call our shared humanity. It connects us to each other with understanding and empathy. And then comes the ironic rebound. I read Meaning prevents nothing from being only nothing and I think of the impeachment. For I don’t know how to make meaning from this scrap of nothing, this meaning-denying nothing. This political theater is a black hole that sucks in meaning, truth, and hope. Better one essay on death by the likes of Peter Schjeldahl than a thousand crummy impeachment trials.
2/20 CHRONOGRAM 13
The Devil’s Dictionary by Keith Bendis
A physician’s name for the rheumatism of a rich patient.
A sentiment lying midway between a benefit received and a benefit expected.
A machine which makes a Frenchman shrug his shoulders with good reason. It is argued from the prevalence of this gesture — the shrug — among Frenchmen, that they are descended from turtles and it is simply a survival of the habit of retracting the head inside the shell.
The condition of one who is known to have committed an indiscretion, as distinguished from the state of him who has covered his tracks.
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Disarmed Classic The so-called god of love. This bastard creation of a barbarous fancy was no doubt inflicted upon mythology for the sins of its deities. Of all unbeautiful and inappropriate conceptions this is the most reasonless and offensive. The notion of symbolizing sexual love by a semi-sexless babe, and comparing the pains of passion to the wounds of an arrow — of introducing this pudgy homunculus into art grossly to materialize the subtle spirit and suggestion of the work — this is eminently worthy of an age that, giving it birth, laid it on the doorstep of posterity.
A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic’s eyes to improve his vision.
First published in 1911, Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary is collected from 30 years of newspapers columns by the contemporary of Mark Twain whom H. L. Mencken called “the one genuine wit These States have ever seen.” This edition of the classic of American satire, illustrated by Keith Bendis, was published last fall by Fantagraphics Books. As Bendis notes in the book’s foreword, “For a cartoonist and illustrator, there is nothing more satisfying and fun than to try to match wits with this brilliant humorist.” Though Bierce was known (and admired) for his mean streak, Bendis’s takes on the writer soften his angry edges, disarming the loaded weapon of Bierce’s prose. Keith Bendis’s illustrations have appeared in America’s leading publications, including Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Time, and Sports Illustrated. He’s also illustrated 10 books, in collaboration with authors like Joe Queenan and William Kotzwinkle. Bendis lives in Columbia County.
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food & drink
16 FOOD & DRINK CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Above: Server Ian Ellis and chef Gabe Ross in the dining room of the Kinsley. Opposite: Lola Pizza is taking Hudson Valley pizza to the next level with its wood-fired creations.
Fire & Cool
THE KINSLEY AND LOLA PIZZA OPEN IN KINGSTON By Brian K. Mahoney Photos by Lindsay Talley
espite being a couple years in the making, the opening in recent months of the Kinsley and Lola Pizza in Uptown Kingston is a sudden, seismic jolt to the city’s restaurant scene. Whatever else they are—proof that Kingston is soon to be annexed by Brooklyn, highly anticipated high-end eateries, or one’s worst fears of gentrification realized—these restaurants deserve serious attention. Conceptualized by former New York City tastemakers Zak Pelaccio (Fatty Crab, Fish and Game) and Taavo Somer (Freemans, and the man dubbed “the patron saint of hipsters” a decade ago), along with developer Charles Blaichman, the restaurants are part of a larger hospitality group operating the Kinsley boutique hotel. Also in the works is Fare & Main, located next door to Lola, which will operate as a grab-and-go market, serving breakfast, lunch, and prepared food to go. It’s slated to open in April. In Accord, Somer and Blaichman are redeveloping the former Rondout Golf Club into a destination resort with 48 rooms on 140 acres just a short drive from other rural bastions of hipster culture Arrowood Farm Brewery and Westwind Orchard. Look for that to come online in spring 2021. The influence of these gentlemen on the local culinary and economic landscape will not be miniscule. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 17
The Hudson Valley’s Premier Restaurant & Event Space
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Locations 20 Garden St., Rhinebeck, NY (845) 516-5197 338 Route 212, Saugerties, NY (845) 247-3665
w w w. b u n s b u r g e r s n y. c o m 18 FOOD & DRINK CHRONOGRAM 2/20
The dining room at the Kinsley is paradoxically large and intimate.
The Kinsley Located on the first floor of the stately New York National Bank Building on the corner of Wall and John Streets, the Kinsley is one of the most elegant spaces to eat in the region. (There are 10 hotel rooms upstairs, with a couple dozen more to come in three other uptown buildings close by that are under renovation.) Studio Robert McKinley (Felice at the Chambers Hotel, the Surf Lodge) designed the restaurant, emphasizing the innate cavernous nature of the room, with its 25-foot ceilings and massive bank of windows. It’s minimalist and pretty, with Barry Feinstein’s black-and-white portrait of a brooding George Harrison, which appeared on the cover of All Things Must Pass, dominating the room above the fireplace. Kudos to McKinley for the warm and intimate feel of the room despite its scale. Even when all 50 seats are full, the restaurant never feels crowded. Gabe Ross (Savoy, Gramercy Tavern), runs the restaurant’s kitchen. “The idea behind a hotel restaurant has always been to feature dishes that are elevated but also comforting and familiar,” Ross told Chronogram’s Alex Marvar last year when the Kinsley opened. This sounds like a call for playing it safe, but while Ross’s food is not innovative (by design), it is well executed, tasty, and fairly priced. Appetizers include a light but rich housemade chicken liver pate ($15) served with a thin layer of port gelee, pickled onion, and toast. Chickpea fries ($10), stacked like lumber
and served with spicy tomato sauce, are a crunchy treat. There’s also a bowl of marinated olives ($6). I mention them only to note that they are served warm—a small thing, but a deft touch that speaks to the care and professionalism at work. Other small dishes worth a try are the rich and creamy brandade croquettes ($11) served with Romesco sauce and chili oil. The lamb meatballs ($12) served with yogurt and preserved lemon are Middle Eastern comfort food. Mains include a roast half chicken ($26), cut into three parts, and served on red wine flavored farro with grapes and thin-sliced hakurei turnips. The chicken’s skin was expertly crisped and the meat moist and rich in flavor. The arctic char ($27) is also served with crispy skin, its light, sweet flavor complemented well by the cultured cream and horseradish. There’s a couple of pasta dishes, a veggie curry, and a steak, as well as a burger. About that burger: It’s $17, and served with aged Cheddar, caramelized onions, and pickled aioli on a cutting board with a copper cup of French fries on the side. It’s not flashy, it’s not groundbreaking, it’s not cheap, but it’s wellexecuted and tasty. I wish I could have ordered it at many hotels I’ve stayed in over the years. There’s a small bar in the back of the restaurant, tucked under the upstairs lounge where the bank manager once reigned. Being close to the drinks is always a plus, but if you’re claustrophobic, it should be noted that the bar can be a bit cramped on weekends. Recommended cocktails include
the Kinsley Martini ($14), a mix of vodka, gin, and Vermouth that is batched with olive oil and chilled. Once sufficiently cold, the olive oil rises to the top and is whisked off. The heat of the booze is mysteriously tempered by this treatment. If you’re looking for a spicy kick, try the Big Pink ($13) tequila with Genepy herbal liqueur, a hint lime, strawberry, and a rabbit punch of jalapeño. The wine list is capacious, French-heavy (nothing wrong with that), and fairly expensive, with only eight bottles under $50. Wines by the glass range from $12-$16. Lola Pizza Lola, located on Fair Street directly across from the gleaming cube of brutalist Modernism that is the Ulster County office building, opened on New Year’s Day. Zach Wade is the dude (look for the lanky fellow in baseball cap and Hawaiian shirt) in charge of the food at Lola. A veteran of a number of local restaurant kitchens—Mill House Brewing Company, Gusto, and Schatzi’s among them—Wade ran the pizza oven at Gianni Scappin’s Market Street in Rhinebeck. “After 15 years [in the restaurant industry], all I want to do is work with my hands,” Wade told me. Good thing, as all the pizza dough and pastas are made in-house at Lola. Let’s talk pricing first: Lola is not cheap. It’s not necessarily expensive either, measured on the current spectrum of Hudson Valley restaurant menu pricing, but you’re paying for 2/20 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 19
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The focal point of Lola’s dining room is a neon fixture from Lite Brite Neon.
premium pizza, pasta, and antipasti in a swank and swinging joint. This isn’t Louie’s Pizza down the block where you pick up a couple slices while running errands. Make no mistake: This is thoughtful, complex food executed at a high level. It’s just served in an unfussy way. A good place to start a Lola meal would be with a salad. Arthur Avenue ($15) is a heaping bowl of antipasti—artichoke hearts, cappicolla, caciocavallo cheese, olives, and onion—tossed with radicchio and sturdy green lettuce. This is what an antipasto salad from Louie’s down the block dreams of being. Another recommended starter is Uncle Rico ($10): potato croquettes served with salmoriglio, an Italian green sauce made from garlic, lemon, oregano, and lemon. The 10-inch pizzas, enough to slightly overfeed one person, range from $15 to $19 dollars. The tapas-portion bowls of pasta are $16 to $17. The antipasti caused the most sticker shock for folks, especially the Bonita Applebaum, a wispy layer of tuna carpaccio for $16. Caveat emptor: If you’re put off by small portions, stick to the (inventive and delicious) pizzas. If you’re looking for suggestions, however, I would advise that you go in a group, order multiple options from each part of the menu, and go with it. Forget that you’re in a “pizza place”—there’s no other pizza place like it in the Hudson Valley. There are six pizzas on the menu at Lola, with two additional pizza specials a night. The wood-fired oven, imported from Naples, cooks
the pizzas at 800 degrees, imparting a pleasant blackened cracker note to the sourdough tang of the crust. (The pizzas are cooked for only two to two-and-half minutes.) This is classic thincrust pie, garnished with bespoke ingredients but judiciously so. The Margherita ($15), that simple, timeless confection of tomato sauce, mozz, and basil is well wrought, the sauce especially notable for not being unduly sweet. The Papa Patate ($16) is that odd thing, a pizza with potatoes. It’s damn good though, the creamy, fruity Taleggio playing well with the sausage ($3 more) and soft mounds of potato. I also tried one of the special pizzas, a kale and roasted maitake mushroom pie with aged Vermont Cheddar and abundant chilies. The kale and mushrooms were crispy, the applied heat intensifying the nuttiness of each. Other pies I’ll be back to try include the Salty Sailor ($18): clams, chilies, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and marjoram; the Cheeky Greek ($16): guanciale, Pecorino Romano, and roasted onion; and Jon Bon Chovy ($16): mozzarella, ricotta, anchovies, and chilies. The pastas at Lola are tasty, even if the portions are a bit less than diners might be used to. Bolognese bianco ($18) is a traditional Northern Italian dish, though it might not be familiar to some as it swaps out tomatoes for white wine and cream. Lola’s version, served atop al dente mafaldine, is earthy and creamy without being cloyingly so. Other pastas include takes on
traditional dishes like cacio e pepe ($16) and all’amatriciana ($17). For dessert, there’s soft-serve ice cream ($6, chocolate or vanilla), with more than a dozen unpretentious toppings available, from rainbow sprinkles to Gummy Bears. Lola didn’t have its liquor license by the time we went to press, though that is expected to come through before the end of January with full bar service. In the meantime, Lola has rolled out a handful of painstakingly crafted mocktails (all $9), from the piña colada clone dubbed Rupert Holmes to Sober Jimmy Buffet, with celery, lime, jalapeno, basil, and salt. The dining room at Lola, designed by Somer, is an homage to unstained wood, with the chairs, tables, and walls made of raw lumber. A neon square outline hangs over the center of the room like a chandelier designed by Dan Flavin. There’s also an exterior patio that will be capable of seating 30, which will make Lola a Kingston hot spot for al fresco dining in the summer. In the meantime, we’ll have to content ourselves with the warm glow of the wood-fired oven and the tasty pies. The Kinsley is open for dinner daily, with brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-2:30pm. Hotelkinsley.com. Lola Pizza is open Wednesday to Friday from 5pm to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9pm. Lola.pizza. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 21
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West Kill Brewing
ur ethos is that beer tastes better outdoors,” says West Kill Brewing’s head brewer Patrick Allen—a fitting philosophy for a brewery poised at the edge of 19,250 acres of forever wild forest. Founded in 2017, West Kill has quickly earned notoriety amidst a crowded market for its perfectly balanced mountain beers, thanks to the scrupulous blend of science and poetry that Allen brings to his brewing operation. “It’s about having the palate to set out the nuances of harmony, mouth feel, texture—thinking about these deeper concepts that go beyond, ‘Oh, I taste hops,’” says Allen, who worked at Brooklyn brewpub Keg & Lantern before moving upstate to help launch West Kill. “My wife is a trained chef, and we talk about depth of flavor. As with food, beer can be simple, but it needs to be well done.” West Kill’s offerings, which range from funky sours to crisp lagers to full-bodied stouts, are
brewed with pure Catskills mountain well water for a product that is true to its origin. Add to this the brewery’s remote location and you begin to understand the air of mystique that envelops the place. Located in Spruceton Valley, the brewery stands on a 127-acre former dairy farm, which came down through co-owner Mike Barcone’s family. With dozens of hiking trails and Hunter Mountain Ski Resort nearby, this is a frequent pit stop for daytrippers and outdoor adventurers. The taproom offers stunning views of the surrounding Catskills peaks, with outdoor fire pits and picnic tables that beckon drinkers to head outside. Not only are West Kill beers best enjoyed al fresco, Allen also strives to bring the outdoors into the brewing process with locally grown and foraged ingredients. Past limited-run beers have included chanterelle and reishi mushrooms harvested onsite, the invasive species knotweed, creeping thyme, and spruce tips from the conifer
at the bottom of the hill. And a few years down the road, the brewery’s young fruit orchard will lend stone fruit to the brewing process and their beehives honey. At press time, and the West Kill crew were busy producing Saphouse—a seasonal release American brown ale brewed with a ninemalt grain bill, toasted maple bark, and maple syrup boiled onsite. “This beer is very much an expression of this place and this brewery,” says Allen. “It has a brown ale base—bready, toasty, crusty—with some caramelization. Then the maple syrup and bark push it toward incense. It’s like eating a roasted marshmallow and getting a little bit of the stick in there—in a good way. Little bit of burnt, smoky flavor—but all subtle and in harmony.” Saphouse will be available for the next few months at the West Kill taproom and at select restaurants in the area. Westkillbrewing.com —Marie Doyon
2/20 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 23
A&P Bar in Woodstock. Photo by John Garay
it’s a date VALENTINE’S DAY ON CHRONOGRAMSMARTCARD
laying chef du jour for Valentine’s dinner isn’t for everyone. Spoiling your sweetie should be about the easy wins—like knowing your favorite restaurant will take care of the food so you can take care of the romance. Another easy win is finding out your favorite date spot is on Chronogram Smartcard, the free app that saves you up to 50% at select local restaurants. Head to the App Store or Google Play to download the app, then mark your calendar or reserve your table at any of these Hudson Valley restaurants this Valentine’s Day. Runa Bistro, New Paltz To celebrate Runa Bistro’s first Valentine’s Day, owner Clare Hussain and Chef Ryan McClintock are giving the traditional pre-fixe dinner their rustic-chic spin. The three-course menu starts with an appropriately ruby-hued kir royale—a combo of crème de cassis (a black currant liqueur) and a bit of bubbly. Appetizers will feature riffs on aphrodisiacs like oysters, escargots, and cheese fondue. Entrées will be a choice of a housemade beet pasta, strip steak and shrimp duet, and poulet rôti. For dessert, choose between butterscotch pot de crème or Runa’s
24 FOOD & DRINK CHRONOGRAM 2/20
classic flourless chocolate torte paired with crème anglaise. $62 per person before tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended. (845) 419-5007
A&P Bar, Woodstock Prix-fixe not your thing? Tucked away on Tinker Street, A&P Bar will be serving up their casual, elevated fare with just a splash of extra romance. On Friday, purchase of any combo of appetizer and entrée includes a complimentary cocktail or dessert. In addition to daily specials, A&P will offer its curated menu of bistro mainstays like steak frites, buttermilk fried chicken, and comforting shepherd’s pie—owner Gemma Bloxham’s ode to her mother’s recipe. According to Bloxham, guests should also expect a live band and plenty of roses. Reservations are recommended. (845) 684-5395
Bliss Kitchen, Newburgh Seeking nourishment of both heart and body? Head to Newburgh’s Bliss Kitchen for their ayurvedic vegetarian and vegan delights. Couples will be greeted with fresh flower garlands to don while they dine—Bliss’s nod to the Indian
wedding tradition where couples exchange them. Dinner will showcase hearty, healthful dishes like vegetable kofta in a tomato and cashew sauce and heart-shaped vegetable cutlets served with tamarind-date and cilantro-mint sauces— plus vegan desserts like raspberry chocolate cheesecake and mango-saffron halva, a bread pudding-like dessert made from semolina. The buffet special will be priced at $20 per person or $35 per couple. (845) 393-1008 Cafe Mio, Gardiner If you’re looking to dodge the evening rush and indulge in a leisurely daytime date, farm-totable favorite Cafe Mio is offering a Valentine’s brunch special Friday through Sunday. You can dive into some light day drinking with a classic mimosa or bellini, then luxuriate in the threecourse pre-fixe, which will include a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Cafe Mio’s chefowner Michael Bernardo is known for comfortfood favorites with a twist, so expect delectably indulgent offerings like chocolate-coveredstrawberry French toast and a seasonal play on eggs benedict. (845) 255–4949
sips & bites From a new Woodstock restaurant by the owners of the Instaiconic Phoenicia Diner to a swanky Poughkeepsie brewery pouring beer worthy of the gods, new dining and drinking establishments just keep popping up in the Hudson Valley. Here are five places to check out this February.
New Paltz’s hidden tropical escape, serving island style since 2019. Sample the largest rum selection in the Hudson Valley.
Essie’s Restaurant This cozy eatery, tucked away in Poughkeepsie’s Little Italy neighborhood, takes cues from the Caribbean and Southern cuisine of chef/owner Brandon Walker’s heritage. Jerk ribs with Sherry-tamarind glaze ($12) sit squarely in the Venn diagram overlap of those influences, marrying BBQ to the sweet-yet-sour taste of the tropical fruit. Not to be missed are the grit croquettes served with garlic aioli ($8), a delightful Southern twist on fried yum. A recent fish special featured buttery escolar, rarely seen on Hudson Valley menus. Grilled and served with saffron risotto, the fish showcases the chef’s assured technique. Walker is featured in the recently published Toques in Black: A Celebration of Black Chefs, by awardwinning photographer Alan Battman. 14 Mount Carmel Place, Poughkeepsie; Essiesrestaurantpk.com
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Dixon Roadside The long-awaited second restaurant from the Phoenicia Diner team opened in late December. Locals will recognize the site of the new Woodstock restaurant as the former Gypsy Wolf Cantina transformed into a gleaming homage to ’60s roadside eateries. Fittingly, here sides reign supreme and orders are taken at the counter. The menu features ambitiously priced, elevated comfort food classics, akin to those at Dixon’s sister diner. The Dixon Daily consists of a main, like Friday’s airy fish fry, paired with two sides and a dessert ($22), which is dispatched to your table on a TV tray. Sandwiches like the juicy fried chicken with slaw and kimchi mayo come with one side ($14-17). A token system allows you to retrieve Ronnybrook soft serve with caramel and flaky sea salt ($5) at your leisure. Dixon is relatively quiet now, but the spacious outdoor patio awaits the crowds that are sure to flock in warmer months. 261 Tinker Street, Woodstock; Dixonroadside.com
Zeus Brewing Located on the ground floor of the newly opened Queen City Lofts building, Zeus Brewing is Poughkeepsie’s latest craft beer destination. In addition to its 10 taps, which rotate through beer styles, as a brewpub, Zeus takes food seriously, offering up a menu of small plates, pasta dishes, salads, and craft pizzas. With its sleek, black-tiled backsplash; brushed brass accents; and modern light fixtures, the brewpub has a swankier vibe than most of its more industrial-chic counterparts—a fitting vibe to accompany the brewery’s divine aspirations. In the summer, the rooftop bar—with its panoramic vistas of the Catskills, Hudson River, MidHudson Bridge, and the surrounding city—will be the place to be. 178 Main Street, Poughkeepsie; Zeusbrewingco.com
In case Cupid misses
Hudson Valley Food Hall After lots of engine revving, Hudson Valley Food Hall finally opened its doors in Beacon’s former Roosevelt Theater last July and has been adding vendors ever since. As is food hall tradition, the market’s slate of offerings leans heavily on street food. Current tenants include the Roosevelt Bar, the cornerstone cocktail pit stop, duh; MoMo Valley, dishing up hand-made Himalayan dumplings; Mizz Hattie’s; an authentic Southern barbecue outpost complete with sweet tea and pecan pie; Bombay Wraps, serving your favorite Indian flavors tied up in a doughy bow (or done as a rice bowl); and (inconceivably) Beacon’s first salad bar: Green House Salads. 288 Main Street, Beacon; Hudsonvalleyfoodhall.com
All That Java After falling in love with the drive-through coffee huts of Seattle, Samantha Sapienza dreamed of bringing the concept back home to the Hudson Valley. In August 2016, she opened the first All that Java location, a to-go coffee output run out of in a tiny-house trailer in her native Rhinebeck. This tiny coffee shop on wheels has had stints on the Walkway over the Hudson and now resides on Ulster Avenue in Kingston, but in January Sapienza came full circle, opening a brick-and-mortar location in Rhinebeck’s Montgomery Row. The cafe has a full espresso bar, plus freshly brewed drip coffee, and pastries like the sweet and salty coffee cake or the herb and cheese gougere. 8 Livingston Street, Rhinebeck; Allthatjava.net
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2/20 CHRONOGRAM FOOD & DRINK 25
An Acre of One’s Own A PAINTER TRANSFORMS A HOME, A STUDIO, AND THEN HER LIFE IN WEST TAGHKANIC
By Mary Angeles Armstrong Photos by Deborah DeGraffenreid
ean Feinberg doesn’t know who really saved whom. The painter, who explores geometry and minimalism in her work, had been searching for 15 years when she found the complex of gardens and digs she would eventually transform into her own homestead. “I loved being outside of the city and had spent quite a bit of time in the area while teaching in the summer program at Bard,” Feinberg says. She wanted an upstate retreat with a studio to balance her busy life in Manhattan, where she was an assistant professor of fine arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “However, I was hesitant—it was a big leap for me to buy something on my own, as a single woman.” Then, in 1995, she struck on a place with potential: A one-acre property, with a hodgepodge of buildings—including a dilapidated cottage, a workshop-garage with an apartment above, outhouses, and a chicken coop. “It was truly an overlooked, kind of forlorn place,” she remembers. “But it had a really nice sense of place.” Built by one family in the early part of the 20th century, it had sat empty for years. “I loved the tall white pines lining the driveway, the old lilac trees and the energies that abounded here. The fact that the place was a bit eccentric appealed to me—I wanted to transform it into something special.” Another appealing aspect was the garage apartment: It was immediately livable and still completely furnished. “It was full things left by the original owners—furniture, tools in the basement, wine kegs, and even Mason jars of tomatoes and pears grown from the property,” Feinberg remembers. She could move in right away and begin rehabilitating the small cottage into her studio space. So, she took the leap and bought it. She didn’t realize that, over the years, embracing the challenge of bringing the place back to life would transform her and her art practice as much as she transformed it. “I needed to do something big and challenging—to stretch myself. I was transformed by being able to express my creativity in other ways beyond my studio practice.” 26 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Jean Feinberg rescued a forsaken summer cottage near Lake Taghkanic and transformed it into her 400-square-foot, year-round art studio. Lining the walls, various iterations of her oil paintings explore an abstract motif inspired in part by her experience rejuvenating her property. “For years I’ve been playing with very intense, flat and uninflected color against either raw wood or found wood,” explains the former teacher. “I found my path to working this way from the delight of having so many color chips around me as I was painting the house. Color can shift so much in intensity, value or hue, and each of these shifts influences feeling as well.”
2/20 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 27
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Feinberg’s one-acre property backs into a wooded hillside and was surrounded by slightly wild but well-planted gardens, which, along with the buildings, she eventually brought back to life. “I’d never gardened until I got here—that was a revelation,” she says. In the foreground, her latticecovered house looks out onto a private courtyard and an exterior staircase with a playful bannister of twisted branches that Feinberg collected from the property.
Cottage Life In the beginning, Feinberg’s priority was salvaging the one-story, wood-sided cottage sitting at the entrance of the lot. Originally built in the 1930s, probably as a summer home for the owners to enjoy nearby Lake Taconic, it is one of a string of similar cottages built along Old Route 82. The interior had been divided into four bedrooms situated around a center chimney and wood burning cook stove, but there was no water or bathroom. (Feinberg eventually tore down the nearby outhouse.) The once idyllic space had fallen into complete disrepair: The low ceiling was caving in and the floor needed to be totally replaced. “Everyone said, ‘tear it down, just tear it down, build something new,’” says Feinberg. She chose a different path, however. Working with local carpenter Raeph Sanderson, Feinberg began by ripping out the interior dividing walls and cutting away the majority of the lowhanging ceilings. After “jacking up the foundation a bit,” they installed new floors and cut three skylights in the now exposed wood-beamed roof. At one end of the studio, the remaining original ceiling boards were repurposed to create an open storage loft for Feinberg to store her larger paintings. She replaced the wood stove but left the exposed brick chimney as a central focal point in the now open, airy studio space. Adopt-A-Home Meanwhile, Feinberg had taken over the property’s second structure—a two-story winterized building—keeping most of the furniture, living
ware, appliances, and even tools, left by the previous owners. “I never got a Dumpster to get rid of everything. I felt something about the spirits here, and I liked the idea of honoring them,” she explains. “And I found myself reusing a lot of what I found, especially the tools.” Set back into the wooded hillside, the 900-square-foot apartment with a covered wraparound porch was built above a ground-floor workshop and garage. “It’s truly a quirky kind of space,” explains Feinberg, who thinks it was hand-built by the owners sometime in the late `40s and `50s for year-round living. She added a few creative touches to the two spaces— painting the kitchen floor red, the sitting area floor with green and cream stripes, and setting off the arched door frames with slate blue paint. She also added two closets—with bright red doors—to the bedroom. The exterior required some updating. “For a long time, I was trying to figure out what to do with the asphalt shingles,” explains Feinberg. “Should I put in new ones or take them out?” When a contractor pointed out that they had insulation value she decided to keep them, and then a road trip to Great Barrington inspired an idea for beautification. “Right outside town, there’s a barn covered with lattice; as soon as I saw that I knew what I wanted to do.” In 2001, she hired a former art teacher, John Burkhart, to individually paint pine beams hunter green and then install them into a square patterned lattice frame around the exterior of the building. “It ended up being a great solution,” she concluded.
2/20 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 29
Totally Transformed In 2005, with her studio finally a creative haven, Feinberg was able to turn her attention to majorly revamping the apartment’s interior. Within the home’s original layout, there was no interior passage between the upstairs apartment and downstairs workshop and garage. “You had to exit from the kitchen door and then re-enter another door to go downstairs to the garage,” she explains. By shifting the home’s bathroom to an adjacent closet space, Feinberg created a lightfilled landing and mudroom area connecting the kitchen and stairwell. Now, the home’s main entrance is through a cherry red door at the first-floor level and the original kitchen entrance serves as a backdoor, leading to the back patio. The large eat-in kitchen, running along the back of the house, sported the original cabinetry and farmhouse sink as well as `40s-era appliances and a wood burning cook stove. Feinberg sold the vintage appliances and the cook stove to collectors, and replaced them with modern versions. She kept the original horizontal stovepipe however, repurposing it as a hanging pot rack. Feinberg also kept the original cabinets and countertops, but updated them with a creative twist. “I was going through a major paint swatch thing at the time,” she says. She painted multicolored “paint swatch” squares intermittently all over the doors and counter tops. The creative impulse unleashed in her kitchen, then turned back around and unleashed itself in her work. “I ended up using the swatches in my paintings, along with wood salvaged during the renovation process,” she explains. “I loved the vestiges of color and history the formerly painted wood had, and I combined them with my own oil paint interventions.
Top: Feinberg in the corner of the apartment’s original living room. The geometric sky blue painting above her is one of her own works; the other art, as well as the furniture, was collected from flea markets, antique stores, auctions, and yard sales. “My decorating style is eclectic to the max,” she says. “I went crazy with color, color decisions, and paint chips.” Bottom: In the kitchen, Feinberg removed a wood burning cook stove but kept the stove pipe, reappropriating it as a hanging pot rack. Inspired by paint swatches, she repainted the cabinets with random, geometric splashes of color. The experiment in kitchen redecorating then worked its way into her creative work, with similar geometric squares of varied color showing up in her oil paintings. “It really diverged from the type of work I had been doing years before,” she explains.
30 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 2/20
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After restoring her studio, Feinberg finally turned her attention to the garage apartment she’d been living in. She fully winterized a wraparound covered porch to exponentially expand the apartment’s living space. In one corner, what was once used for storage is now a sunny sitting nook, decorated with her art as well as second-hand finds. “My work falls somewhere between painting and object,” she says.
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At the entrance of Feinbergâ€™s apartment, she created a sunny landing and mudroom area by shifting the bathroom to an adjacent closet. Feinberg bought the bright yellow painting of a dog by outsider artist and local legend Earl Swanigan on the street in Hudson.
34 HOME & GARDEN CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Top: The front porch of the property’s original structure, once a summer cottage, looks across the road to preserved wetlands. “The amount of time I’ve been up here has just flown by,” Feinberg says. “When I think about it, I’ve really accomplished a lot up here.” Right: Feinberg’s dog Ceci, a Bluetick Coonhound, sits on her bed in the corner of what was once the covered porch. “The house may be going through another renovation,” says Feinberg. “Even though it is far from a historic house, I feel it has a particular character that I enjoy being in conversation with. I’m waiting for it to tell me what to do.”
Summer All Year Until then, Feinberg had occupied the interior sitting room and bedroom and only used the wraparound porch in the warmer months. “It had these funky old storm windows that could be hooked to the ceiling,” she says. But in 2005, Feinberg decided to expand outward. To make the wraparound porch livable year-round, she worked with contractor Eddie Centroski, insulating the walls and replacing every window. She also added heat and kismet delivered the perfectly sized wood stove, now installed at the space’s center. “I bought it at an auction,” she says. “For seven bucks.” Now, her bedroom lies at one end of the former porch, overlooking the property’s front yard. In the opposite corner, there is both work and living space. Running along the south-facing wall of the house, a sun drenched sitting room looks out over Feinberg’s garden and the former chicken coop—now converted into additional guest and work space. What was once the bedroom has been converted into a formal dining room with a curio cabinet. Feinberg recently retired from teaching. The home that she made totally and completely her own, and that, in turn, transformed her, is now her full-time residence. “I don’t think I ever realized how satisfying this would end up being,” she says. “I can say without hesitation that it was the best thing I ever did.” 2/20 CHRONOGRAM HOME & GARDEN 35
health & wellness
36 HEALTH & WELLNESS CHRONOGRAM 2/20
or Shaun Nanavati, the teachings of mindfulness and Buddhism arrived by a happy accident. Traveling around India in his mid-20s in 1998, he took the cheapest flight he could get from Delhi to Amritsar—and found himself sitting next to the Dalai Lama. At first, he couldn’t place the bespectacled man who sat just across the aisle from him, his face buried in a newspaper. Didn’t he know him from somewhere? Catching his eye, Nanavati realized it was the Tibetan spiritual leader. “To think this guy was a head of state, flying in coach—it was amazing,” he recalls. He wanted to make a connection, yet he didn’t want to intrude. The Dalai Lama noticed his neighbor’s excitement and responded with playful laughter. Nanavati jotted a note on a napkin, inviting the Dalai Lama to have chai sometime. In turn, a monk sitting nearby presented him with the Dalai Lama’s business card. And when the plane landed at Amritsar, the Buddhist leader stood next to Nanavati, grinning, and raised his palm. “I understood later that that’s an invitation for a blessing. But I didn’t know that. I’m a kid who grew up in Jersey—I had no idea what to do. So I gave him five,” he says. “And very spontaneously, the Dalai Lama gave me five right back. He was loving it. The monks were aghast, shaking their heads. But the Dalai Lama was having a ball.” The chance meeting—wordless yet full of laughter—would change Nanavati’s life. He didn’t know much about Buddhism at the time, but his interest was sparked. “I felt like I had made a friend. And I thought, that’s a character I admire. He’s dealt with so much trauma, and yet he’s so playful. What more evidence is there of a healthy psychological framework than that? I became curious.” He went on to read ancient classical texts and quit his job in technology to pursue graduate degrees—first in religion, exploring Tibetan Buddhism with Dr. Robert Thurman at Columbia University, and then in psychology, applying mindfulness in clinical settings. Nanavati briefly considered becoming a monk. But during another trip to India in 2003, when he received the Kalachakra Tantra initiation from the Dalai Lama, the message he got was, “No, go back to your own culture and do what you can to help people who are suffering.” For a time, he worked in a hospital oncology ward and a traumatic brain injury unit. “It was deeply meaningful,” Nanavati says. “Sometimes with things that even surgery can’t fix, I found that if people have some insight into the nature of the mind, they can get better.” These days, Nanavati is a neuroscience researcher, clinician, and professor, and he’s drawing on everything in his background— ancient texts, psychology, and technology—to help bring mindfulness into the present moment. That is, into the digital age. He’s teamed up with colleagues from New York City and Menla retreat center in Phoenicia to form Mindwell Labs, a company that’s developing digital tools to help measure and improve attention and mindfulness. Last month, they launched
their first offering—a free app for the Apple Watch called the AQ (attention quotient) app. It uses the smartwatch’s EEG technology to measure heart rate through the pulse on your wrist, which corresponds with your capacity to focus attention. (Those who don’t own a smartwatch can go to a testing center in Manhattan or at Menla.) “Generally speaking, when we pay attention to something, our heart rate decreases,” explains Nanavati, who first developed the technology in his PhD studies. “With this company, we want to build more and more advanced biofeedback apps that can help people,” he says. The goal is to make the tools of psychology and mindfulness more accessible, and empower people to take control of their own wellbeing, independent of a lab. “Your mind,” he says, “is too important to leave to somebody else.” Enlightenment’s Digital Moment The digitization of mindfulness is already underway. In recent years, meditation apps like Calm, Headspace, and the Insight Timer have soared in popularity. The AQ app builds on this by offering a new metric that lets people measure their attention over time so they can see if they’re getting tangible, real-world benefits from it. Are they investing their time and money in the right way? “The AQ app provides you with a way to track your progress,” says Mindwell Labs CEO Sab Kanaujia. “We have the ability to guide our attention at all times, and to improve that ability like a muscle. But it’s lost because of our 24/7 digital world. As a result, people are not happy. They have a fear of missing out. They want to check everything all the time. You pass the whole day that way and then feel that something is lacking. I also think that in today’s world, improving your attention can be the crucial difference between success and failure at work and at play. So, it’s a useful thing for people to be able to measure attention. If you can’t measure it, it’s hard to manage and improve it.” Beyond the smartwatch app, Mindwell Labs has bigger plans afoot. “Later on, we will suggest interventions that are mindfulness-based, so you can improve your attention level through practice,” says Kanaujia. “We’re introducing what we call data-driven mindfulness. Data-driven means that it’s based on your data. It also allows us to personalize our interventions based on you.” The company’s core product, which they hope to launch later this year, will be a 24/7 automated mindfulness guide—like an Alexa or Siri, but designed for mind-body health. The technology will bring in other biofeedback testing such as vagal tone metrics (vagal tone is the response of the vagus nerve, which plays a role in regulating the nervous system), as well as AI, voice recognition technology, and even voice analysis software that can give indicators about health issues based on the tone and timbre of the human voice. “We’re going to be one of the first companies to utilize [this technology],” says Michael Burbank, director of operations at Mindwell Labs, director of administration at Menla, and a 20-plus-year student of Robert Thurman. “We’ll be weaving it together with
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other metrics to create a portable diagnostic tool, powered by AI.” Think if it as a Siri for the soul—your own voice-controlled virtual enlightenment guide. The larger goal of the folks at Mindwell Labs is to help usher in a new wave of mindfulness that they believe is deeply needed in the West. In its current form, mindfulness has become a buzzword that’s drifted away from its original meaning and source text, which is the Buddha’s 2,500-year-old Maha-satipatthana Sutta (Great Sutra on the Four Foci of Mindfulness). “There’s a simplification and de-Buddhist-ization of mindfulness happening in the mainstream, where everyone and their uncle is claiming to be a mindfulness teacher,” says Burbank. “This is good on the one hand, because it’s helping to popularize meditation, which is an urgent need in our culture of attention deficit and sensory overload. On the other hand, it’s left itself open to legitimate critiques from people who feel that it’s only presenting a very partial picture from the original source.” To get nitty-gritty about it, the primary sutra lays out four focal points of mindfulness—the body, feelings, mind, and mental qualities. Yet mainstream mindfulness tends to emphasize only the first two—the idea of tuning into the body and our feelings to help us become more 2/20 CHRONOGRAM HEALTH & WELLNESS 37
present and de-stress. It usually leaves out the third and fourth steps, which have to do with observing and directing the contents of the mind. “In Tibet they have six words for six different senses—they have the traditional five senses like we have, but there’s another sense. This is the sense of the mind being aware of itself. Because we don’t have that in our neurological paradigms, I think there’s a bit of mistranslation that happens in the teaching,” says Nanavati. “There’s more to it than just stress reduction. It’s a whole system that brings together presence, flow, visual thinking, and intentional or ethical action. This is the real value of mindfulness: When you understand it as a system, you can apply it to your day-to-day life. You can learn faster, develop neuroplasticity, and reap the higher-level benefits.” For people interested in mindfulness, it’s as if the palace they’ve been living in has a hidden wing they’ve never explored before. Practiced in the East but rarely practiced here, the complete mindfulness system often includes visual thinking exercises, which can call up dream-like states and lead to insights. (Nanavati includes one such visualization exercise in the AQ app, to give you a taste.) Another element is the ethical piece, which is sometimes missing in our corporate world. “[Mainstream mindfulness] is often used to give high-powered executives and others the sense that they can learn how to focus and de-stress so they can be more effective capitalists,” says Burbank. That’s why Mindwell Labs plans to offer business training programs that introduce ethics and other components that are part of the Buddha’s original mindfulness teachings. They’re also busy automating a new metric called a Mindfulness Score (or MF score), comprised of a battery of neurological and psychological tests that measure mindfulness across seven categories. These categories—tranquility, investigational skills, mindful awareness, equanimity, concentration and memory, effort, and relational intelligence—just happen to correspond with the seven qualities of enlightenment laid out in the original sutra. Yet Burbank notes that you don’t have to be a Buddhist to benefit from these philosophies or metrics. “We’re not trying to convert anyone to Buddhism,” he says. “These teachings are directly relevant to anyone’s life, regardless of faith. They’re common sense, practical teachings for how to accurately perceive the nature of reality—and therefore how to understand your own mind and become more effective at being you.”
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An Opportunity to Be Gentler In Nanavati’s view, the new wave of mindfulness has the potential to disrupt not just corporate culture but also mainstream medicine. “What we’re trying to do with Mindwell Labs is a project for a scientific psychologist,” he says. “We think of religion as the opposite of that. But really, the Buddhist approach is much more scientific than the way the West practices psychology, which is based largely on observations rather than causal factors. It’s clear that our system of diagnosis is completely broken.” The first thing that needs to go are many of the terms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). “There’s so much judgment in some of these terms,” he says. “Bipolar, for example— it’s obviously an insult. They claim it’s scientific, but it’s not. We have no firm physiological test.” To top it off, we’re overmedicated as a society, but we’re not healthier. And many of our diagnoses lead to drugs with serious side effects. With mindful awareness, we have an opportunity to be gentler. “Instead of saying, ‘You have anxiety,’ or ‘You are this or that,’ you might say, ‘You can be more tranquil. We recommend this tea and this yoga and this practice.’ And that’s much more innocent in its approach,” says Nanavati. “We are bringing a new idea about the nature of the mind that discards the current DSM-driven model of psychiatry for one based on attention. I believe that can help people achieve a high level of personal happiness and mental focus, without all the shame and judgment.” In the end, it’s about creating more harmonious relationships with ourselves and others—and opening the door to the same lightness of spirit that Nanavati found in his chance encounter, at 30,000 feet, with the Dalai Lama. It was an encounter that opened his mind just as he hopes others’ minds will be opened. “People are waking up,” he says. “They’re having a little bit of experience with mindfulness and saying, ‘Okay. Now I’d like to know the real thing.’” Mindwell Labs is seeking meditators in the Hudson Valley who may be interested in recording their AQ as they embark on a meditation practice. To learn more, contact email@example.com.
COLUMBIA MEMORIAL HEALTH’S RAPID CARE CENTERS PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE TO EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS
ccording to the CDC, emergency room visits in the US increased by 22 percent between 2006 and 2016.
ERs are open when primary care offices are closed or booked up for days, which means that many people default to an ER visit out of necessity or, increasingly, habit. This results in overcrowding and increased wait times at the ER as well as costly, unexpected bills for patients who just needed treatment for a high fever or a sprained ankle. “When patients have options, it benefits everybody,” says Dr. Michael Weisberg, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Columbia Memorial Health in Hudson. “If you have a scrape or a bad cold and you go to an urgent care center instead of an ER, you’ll not only see someone sooner, but you’ll free up our resources so we can give people with lifethreatening injuries and illnesses the care they need, too.” Dr. Weisberg has played a key role in expanding Columbia Memorial Health’s emergency resources over the past 10 years. That includes the opening of two urgent care facilities, the CMH Rapid Care centers in Copake and Valatie, to increase access to medical care for patients in Columbia, Greene, and Dutchess counties. The Rapid Care centers are designed to alleviate the demand on ERs for treating minor issues, including seasonal ailments and cuts, sprains, or fractures. The Valatie location is open for walk-in patients every day 9am-9pm, while the Copake location is open 9am-7pm every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. “Before, people had to drive nearly 25 minutes to the closest ER,” Dr. Weisberg explains. “The first year we opened our Rapid Care, we treated more than 12,000 patients. That’s huge.” To ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care possible, every healthcare provider on Columbia Memorial Health’s Rapid Care team—including physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners—has extensive training and experience in the ER. “When you see a healthcare provider in an urgent care setting, you might only see them for a few minutes,” Dr. Weisberg says. “But you’re really benefiting from their years of experience and training. It’s so important that the healthcare providers in those units have the experience and knowledge they need to diagnose each patient accurately and quickly.”
Healthcare providers at the Rapid Care centers also have the benefit of tapping into Columbia Memorial Health’s wider system of records and resources, which enables them to deliver greater continuity of care. “That’s the thing about our Rapid Care centers—they’re connected to the entire Columbia Memorial Health system,” Dr. Weisberg says. “So from the moment you come in, we’ll be able to see your medical record, family history, medication, everything. We can also contact specialists within the hospital system if we need to.” The Rapid Care centers are just one part of Columbia Memorial Health’s expansion of services between home first aid and a hospital stay. Columbia Memorial Health also has an observation unit that serves patients whose conditions indicate they might need further treatment but don’t necessarily require hospital admittance. “We’re the only hospital in the region with a specialized observation unit,” Dr. Weisberg explains. “It allows us to give an even greater level of care for patients, because we can keep an eye on them. And if their condition changes, we’re able to act quickly. It’s details like this that help the medical team at Columbia Memorial deliver the best patient care possible, every day.”
2/20 CHRONOGRAM HEALTH & WELLNESS 39
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40 OUTDOORS CHRONOGRAM 2/20
A view of the 508 acres on the Kingston waterfront acquired by Scenic Hudson in 2019, viewed from the south. Photo by Pierce Johnston
An Industrial Site Turns to Parkland By Phillip Pantuso
lmost seven years ago, one of New York’s largest private developers, AVR Realty, announced that it had secured $1.2 million in state funding for a one-mile walkway paralleling the Hudson River in Kingston. The walkway, which was named the Hudson Landing Promenade, was pitched as a public good, but it doubled as a lifestyle amenity for a 1,600-unit, mixed-use development AVR had proposed for a site along the riverfront spanning East Kingston and the Town of Ulster (or, as AVR put it in the proposal, “a transformational project for the municipalities and the Hudson Valley Region,” emphases not mine). “It’s all part of making Kingston and the county an intermodal, interconnected network of trails, which will literally result in people wanting to [make] Kingston a destination to live and work,” said then Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo. But the promenade was just about the only thing most community members supported about the Hudson Landing project, which never got off the ground, despite being approved after a lengthy review. Among other organizations, Scenic Hudson took an active role in that process, trying to ensure that the site would be developed in a way that would account for
environmental, recreational, and quality-oflife considerations. When it became clear, after years of neglect and lack of funds, that AVR Realty would not be developing the site after all, the Scenic Hudson Land Trust seized the opportunity to buy it. Prime Real Estate The property itself is spectacular: a 508-acre chunk of forested land just north of the Hutton Brickyards along the Hudson River. About three-quarters of it is in Kingston; the rest is in the Town of Ulster. It was formerly an industrial site, with a cement mine and processing facility, but for years it has functioned as an illicit recreation site for birders, hikers, graffiti artists, and ATV riders. It has some 260 acres of woodlands, 37 acres of wetlands, more than a mile of Hudson River access, a cliff and ridge line, and industrial relics from the cement works. Scenic Hudson’s route to ownership was no walk in the park, either. According to Steve Rosenberg, executive director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, the group engaged in a lengthy period of discussion and negotiation with the developer before securing the rights to purchase the property last spring. It was ultimately acquired by Quarry Waters, LLC, an affiliate of the
Scenic Hudson Land Trust, in a deal that wasn’t finalized until October, in part due to the “complex history and nature of the property,” Rosenberg says. Before AVR Realty purchased it, in 2005, the site was owned by Tilcon Minerals, a construction materials company. From the mid 1950s until 1985, Hudson Valley Cement operated a cement facility on the site; prior to that, it supported brickworks and ice harvesting. That industrial history necessitated a lengthy due diligence process for Scenic Hudson, which included checking the property for hazardous waste. Scenic Hudson purchased the property, which has an assessed value of $5.1 million, for an undisclosed sum. According to previous reporting, the prior owners were paying approximately $66,000 annually in property taxes to the City of Kingston, a sum that Mayor Steve Noble has said will be made up by economic activity resulting from the revitalized preserve. The organization currently has a plan before the Kingston planning board to turn the 1.3-mile segment that had been slated for the Hudson Landing promenade into a section of the Empire State Trail, the continuous trail route proposed by Governor Cuomo that will stretch 750 miles from 2/20 CHRONOGRAM OUTDOORS 41
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In January, Kingston Mayor Steve Noble announced that the land purchased by Scenic Hudson will likely become a state park via Gov. Cuomo's $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, which requires voter approval in November. Photo by Pierce Johnston
Manhattan to Lake Champlain and over to Buffalo, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020. That will be the first step in a phased approach to opening a park at the site, though Rosenberg notes that due to the property’s size, use history, and the fact that it lies in multiple municipal jurisdictions, determining the next steps requires “ongoing discussion” rather than a question-asked, question-answered approach. “There are ‘no-regrets’ improvements that anyone would want to undertake, starting with the Empire State Trail and passive hiking access on the western side of the property, which people already use,” Rosenberg says. “It’s the kind of place that evokes an endless list of creative ideas about how it can be used, but it’s premature to head in any particular direction.” A Transformational Project The project builds off previous work Scenic Hudson has done in Kingston, which includes helping acquire the site for the Hudson River Maritime Museum, providing financial support for the solar-powered Solaris boat, and partnering with Wild Earth to turn the Juniper Flats Preserve into an outdoor classroom for local schoolchildren. Scenic Hudson calls this project its “most ambitious,” in the mold of its previous Hudson waterfront redevelopments at Long Dock Park in Beacon, RiverWalk Park in
Tarrytown, and Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing. “We think of this in the context of those other transformational projects,” Rosenberg says, but those projects were much smaller. “The scale, complexity, and the time and cost involved in making this property what it can be to serve the public is by any measure significantly greater.” To discuss preliminary plans for the property, Rosenberg notes that Scenic Hudson has met with landscape architects and master planners (whose names he won’t disclose, though the press release quotes Kate Orff, the MacArthur-winning founder of award-winning landscape architecture and urban design studio SCAPE). Scenic Hudson has also consulted with the Kingston Land Trust; the two organizations have previously partnered on the Pine Street African Burial Ground project. “The Kingston Land Trust is very pleased about the protection of this property because of its incredible environmental, historical, and recreational value so close to the urban and residential areas we serve,” KLT executive director Julia Farr wrote in an email. “As a partner with the City of Kingston and Ulster County on the Kingston Greenline initiative, we are also involved with the development of the Greenline/Empire State Trail section that runs through this site.”
A State Park to be Named Later But further efforts to sound out the community are on hold for now, because it seems likely that the property instead will be sold to the state to be developed into a state park. In January, Kingston Mayor Noble said that the land would be purchased with money from the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature bond act, which Gov. Cuomo announced during his State of the State address and which requires voter approval come November. To Rosenberg, there are clear benefits to working with the state. “It can bring resources to the table that we in the community otherwise would be much more challenged to generate,” he says. Scenic Hudson would remain in an advisory role, helping bring public access to the park and working with the state to generate educational opportunities around the restoration and historic uses. “The project and property doesn’t lend itself to setting short-term deadlines, but we’re working on getting it right to arrive at the long-term vision,” Rosenberg says. “But just the fact of having a 508-acre site like this, most of which is within city limits, on the Hudson River, offering this diversity of landscape types and experiences—that sets it apart from any other park along the Hudson between New York City and the Capital District.” 2/20 CHRONOGRAM OUTDOORS 43
44 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Above: Jake Freedman and Hamar Clarke at the Poughkeepsie Grind on Main Street. Opened in 2016, Poughkeepsie Grind roasts its own coffee under the Illuminated Coffee Company label. Opposite: Samantha Brown with a client at Bella Luci Salon on Liberty Street. Bella Luci, a sustainable beauty salon launched in 2006, was just honored with a Top 200 Salons in America selection for the seventh time.
n 2017, Cortlandt Toczylowski and Caroline Bergelin were looking for a location in the Hudson Valley to open a brewery. They were pretty sure they had settled on a great spot but had one more property to see in downtown Poughkeepsie. They entered an old brick structure on Cannon Street, met the building owner, and then shook the hand of another man they had not expected at the walkthrough, Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison. Bergelin said the personal touch and promise of support was integral to the couple’s decision to settle in Poughkeepsie. King’s Court Brewing Company opened in 2018. “We really felt there was a want for our business and it felt good to be wanted,” says Bergelin. “We came to Poughkeepsie because the city made it easy for us.” It’s not just small businesses feeling the economic development rub in Poughkeepsie these days. According to city figures, roughly $1 billion dollars in development is underway, creating more jobs, housing, and opportunities for residents. But for the riverside city, which has had its fair share of hard times, to take advantage of this moment, stakeholders need to stay on their toes. “Poughkeepsie is the last of the riverfront towns to see [post-recession] redevelopment,” says Rolison. “Now we are seeing the rebirth of the downtown corridor, new Innovation District zoning, a small business loan fund, and new housing and businesses springing up all the time.”
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2/20 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY PAGES 45
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A “Perfect Storm for Development” The largest and most influential project, scheduled to be competed this spring, has already made a striking visual impact on the city. A wave of swirling glass and steel cresting high over Route 9 and the river, the new Patient Pavilion addition to Vassar Brother’s Medical Center has cost well over $500 million. The nearly 700,000-square-foot structure will house 264 private patient rooms, 30 critical care rooms, a 66-room emergency department, a conference center, and other amenities. Additionally, the hospital has already partnered with Marist College to launch a medical school (opening 2022), which will provide residencies to students and is intended to act as an employment pipeline to the expanded facility. In 2018, the impact of the Vassar Brothers Medical Campus on the local economy was estimated at $922 million. With the opening of a new hospital building and medical school, the hospital’s impact will only increase. City Hall has been preparing itself for the population growth and the surge in business investment looking to take advantage of the expanding market. “There’s a lot going on and the most important thing is for us to be able to manage it,” says Mayor Rolison. “When I came into office in 2016, my goal was essentially to rebuild city government. Many offices had been eliminated over the years and we were able to bring them back. Now we have an economic development director and a planning agency. These things were necessary for the city to be able to facilitate the type of growth that you’re seeing now.”
At a Chamber of Commerce breakfast last October, Paul Calogerakis, economic development director for the city, and Paul Hesse, Poughkeepsie community development coordinator, laid out the long list of projects in the works, stating that more than 1,200 housing units have been either recently completed or are under construction, one third of which are expected to be available below market rate. “The combined forces of greater personnel capacity at City Hall, Opportunity Zone tax legislation, creation of the Innovation District, abundant available real estate inventory, and the high demand for housing has created a ‘perfect storm’ for development in the City of Poughkeepsie,” Calogerakis said. Go-Karts & Movies New residential and commercial projects seem to be popping up everywhere. Current projects in the works or recently completed include the Queen City Lofts (home of Zeus Brewing Company, complete with rooftop bar) the development of a hotel and conference center on the Vassar Campus, One Dutchess, Poughkeepsie Landing, and development of the 150-acre Hudson River Psychiatric Hospital site into a mixed-use residential and commercial campus with publicly accessible green space. Cultural and entertainment businesses are also opening up or expanding in and around the city. A new large go-kart and arcade facility, called RPM, recently opened at the Galleria. Jim and Gina Sullivan, developers of the 40 Cannon complex, opened Revel 32 last fall, turning a
derelict Gilded Age masterpiece into a nightclub and events space. Poughkeepsie’s most iconic food establishment, Rossi’s Deli, is opening a second location in Eastdale Village, a 390-unit development opening this fall near Adam’s Fairacre Farms on Rt. 44. New York State has also gotten behind the cultural renaissance, pledging $2 million in CFA grant money to Bow Tie Cinemas, which plans to build a 10-screen movie theater with restaurant and bar to the underused parking lot downtown behind the Chance Theater. Attracting breweries like the aforementioned King’s Court was another piece of the plan to modernize lifestyle draws for incoming residents. Mill House Brewing Company, Blue Collar Brewery, Plan Bee Farm Brewery just outside city limits, and Zeus Brewing Company, which opened in January, round out the new local beer industry that has suddenly put Poughkeepsie on the map for craft brew pilgrims. “It’s not competition. For us, it’s like, the more the merrier,” says Bergelin. “Now there are a bunch of breweries people can Uber, or even walk, around to. It’s a win for all of us.” Established businesses that helped build the foundation for economic growth continue to thrive and draw folks to the city as well. The Chance, the Bardavon, and restaurants like Brasserie 292, the Artist’s Palate, Mahoney’s, Essie’s, the Derby, and many others represent the authentic charm that has made Poughkeepsie appealing even when there were fewer recreational visitors. While new customers are always welcome, some older business owners are 2/20 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY PAGES 47
48 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Above: Zeus Brewing Company opened in December on the ground floor of Queen City Lofts, the latest brewpub to join the city’s ever-expanding craft beer scene. Opposite from top: El Azteca on lower Main Street is prized by locals for its inexpensive, authentic Mexican food. David Wong and Sarah Timberlake Taylor work with a student at The Art Effect in Poughkeepsie. The Art Effect, a merger of two longstanding arts nonprofits, Mill Street Loft and Spark Media Project, works in arts education and youth development across the region.
taking a wait-and-see approach to the recent hubbub. “I see the younger generation being much more positive about the way the city is changing. A lot of the older business owners have seen things in the past that make them skeptical. They saw the negative legacy of the urban renewal program in the `70s and have been through recessions. It’s left a bad taste in their mouth,” says Lorenzo Angelino, an attorney who represents many regional and city businesses and is a founder of the First Friday monthly businesscommunity event. “The goal is that the things coming in are sustainable for outsiders and local residents. We need to make sure that everyone sees themselves represented.” Rehabbing Forgotten Poughkeepsie In February of last year, the city took ownership of the former YMCA building located at 35 Montgomery Street, which had been closed for a decade. After hosting community listening groups, asking residents what they wanted to see in the former Y space, the city requested redevelopment proposals. The frontrunner is a proposal put forward by the 35 Montgomery Community Coalition, a group including heavy hitters in the regional nonprofit space, such as the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County, Dutchess Community College, Nuvance Health, Vassar College, and the Poughkeepsie Public Library, among others. The proposed multipurpose space would be a “community and recreation resource that can be a safe, structured,
and horizon-expanding space for Poughkeepsie’s youth and families,” according to the proposal. The redevelopment plan is a part of a larger anti-blight initiative. The city has worked with non-profit housing partners Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County, Rebuilding Together Dutchess County, and Hudson River Housing to find solutions for vacant properties across the city. Since 2018 the number of empty buildings has reportedly dropped from 600 to 500. Residents and officials single out Hudson River Housing for its successful efforts over the years to create much needed low-income housing unity in communities throughout the Poughkeepsie. City officials also recently created an Innovation District to streamline projects in the downtown area and are working to overhaul the city’s comprehensive plan and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. As its finances have improved, the city has been able to leverage grant money from the state to undertake pedestrian safety and green infrastructure projects as well. Scenic Hudson, which is based in Poughkeepsie, is making sure new building projects aren’t the only thing growing in the city. In December, the organization announced the creation of a new urban trail. Scenic Hudson negotiated and funded the acquisition of 2.7 miles of a former rail corridor that passes through residential and commercial neighborhoods on the North Side of the city, alongside Marist College, and down to the Hudson River. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY PAGES 49
“We are very interested in the North Side of Poughkeepsie, which is the most economically challenged part of the city,” says Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president of Scenic Hudson. “One third, or more, of the population in that area are living below the poverty line. We’ve been working with the North Side Collaborative program over the past two years, developing a shared list of needs and desires.” Rosenberg added that part of the reason Poughkeepsie is attractive to developers is its placement on the Hudson River but that there are also more hidden natural assets like the Fall Kill Creek, which run through the North Side. He said it’s encouraging that the new waterfront plan includes the Fall Kill tributary as part of the proposed riverfront district. This designation will open up the underprivileged community to a wider selection of governmental funding streams. “What could happen now in Poughkeepsie follows what has been happening in other river cities,” says Rosenberg. “They all have so much in common when it comes to assets, and they are all small cities with the problems of bigger cities. Through proactive planning and community involvement you can create positive change.” Strength of the City While the rising economic tide is drawing new higher income residents and visitors to the city, a community of invested and engaged nonprofit organizations are working to make sure the benefits of all this progress are felt not just by newcomers but also by the longtime residents who created the culture that makes Poughkeepsie attractive. “The strength of the city is made by the people 50 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 2/20
who live here,” says Rolison. “I’m certainly not an expert in everything. Working with our nonprofit partners gives us the perspective that allows us to represent our community responsibly.” Scenic Hudson and Hudson River Housing are just two members of Poughkeepsie’s vital nonprofit ecosystem. Other organizations, like the CSA farm and food justice advocacy group Poughkeepsie Farm Project, are making an impact. The Farm Project grows 200,000 pounds of produce annually, donating 40,000 to emergency food providers. They also run educational programing throughout the city school district. The Art Effect, which funds a diverse range of career-focused youth arts programming, is also contributing in the city’s less-fortunate areas and is ready to adapt to the shifting development landscape. “I definitely see that, along with all the development the art scene in Poughkeepsie is heightening as well, says Art Effect Executive Director Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt. “What’s most exciting for us is what it represents for the future career opportunities in the arts for the kids we service. I think we are at a critical moment where we don’t know how things are going to turn out, but the way the community is working together is exciting. We have to make sure that the people that live here benefit.” No matter who you talk to in Poughkeepsie, at city hall or on the street, the message is the same. Everyone seems excited that this moment of rebuilding and growth has finally arrived, but it’s a cautious optimism, skeptical that everyone will get what they’re owed. Perhaps the silver lining is that with so many eyes on the ball it’s much less likely to get dropped.
The City of Poughkeepsie assumer ownership of the former YMCA building on Montgomery Street last year. Derelict for the past decade, the city is working with regional nonprofits and other stakeholders to redevelop the site as a community hub.
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1. Adams Fairacre Farms
765 Dutchess Turnpike (845) 454-4330 Adamsfarms.com The Hudson Valley’s super farm market, with locations in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh and Wappinger!
2. Alumnae House: The Inn at Vassar College
161 College Avenue (845) 437-7100 Alumnaehouse.vassar.edu Historic 20-room inn that is part of Vassar College. Event and catering space available for wedding receptions, parties, business meetings, and more.
3. Central Hudson 284 South Avenue
Cenhud.com People. Power. Possibilities
4. Creature Comforts Animal Hospital, P.C.
64 Pine Street (845) 625-2474 Creaturecomfortsanimalhosp.com All pets, all better. Providing excellent comprehensive medical and surgical services for pets of all shapes and sizes (dogs, cats and exotic pets).
5. Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center
9 Vassar Street (845) 486-4571 Cunneen-hackett.org An historic nonprofit community cultural center built by the Vassar Brothers in the 1880s with venues and offices to rent, showcasing professional and amateur artists in theater, dance, music, visual, and fine arts.
6. Darkside Records & Gallery
611 Dutchess Turnpike (845) 452-8010 Darksiderecords.com This independent record store offers the Hudson Valley’s largest selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, cassettes, turntables, audio equipment, movies, and more.
7. Dreaming Goddess
44 Raymond Avenue (845) 473-2206 Dreaminggoddess.com According to owner Rhianna Mirabello, Dreaming Goddess is in the business of supporting people on their journey toward healing, selfawareness, and spiritual connection.
8. Fall Kill Creative Works
485 and 635 Main Street, 8 North Cherry Street (845) 442-3044 Fallkillcreativeworks.org Fall Kill Creative Works (formerly The Mid-Hudson Heritage Center) manages four fully equipped craft studios/maker spaces in downtown Poughkeepsie, offering classes, workshops, exhibits and more in: Ceramics, Printmaking, Textiles, & Storytelling.
9. Friends’ of the Poughkeepsie Public Library Book Store
141 Boardman Road (entrance behind Library under blue awning) (845) 485-3445 Poklib.org/friends/book-store The Friends’ Book Store has over 20,000 high-quality used books, DVDs, and audio books, which are continuously restock the shelves from our large inventory of donated items. Most books are $2 or less!
10. King’s Court Brewing Company 40 Cannon Street, Suite 1 (917) 697-3030 Kingscourtbrewingcompany.com A craft brewery in downtown Poughkeepsie that hosts a seven-barrel brewhouse system with 20 rotating taps. We’re proud to not specialize in any style of beer—we have everything from crazy Hazy IPAs to deep Stouts and sours.
11. Linacre Family Chiropractic 40 Spackenkill Road (845) 473-1450 Committed to serving humanity through chiropractic, we also offer nutritional, detoxification, and cold laser therapies as well as weight loss management.
12. Lola’s Cafe and Gourmet Catering 131 Washington Street (845) 471-8555 Lolascafeandcatering.com Lola’s is a fast casual lunch cafe located in Poughkeepsie, underneath the Walkway over the Hudson.
13. Poughkeepsie Public Library District 93 Market Street (845) 485-3445 Poklib.org Poughkeepsie Public Library District invites everyone to explore new opportunities, discover new passions, and connect with a new community.
14. Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory 8 N Cherry Street (845) 337-0263 Hudsonriverhousing.org The restored historic Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory features a cafe, community kitchen, and distinctive event venue. Great space, greater mission.
15. Table Talk Diner 2521 South Road (845) 849-2839 Tabletalkdiner.com A family-owned diner with an elevated menu including steaks, seafood, and pasta plus a bar, bakery, and ice cream fountain.
16. The Art Effect 455 Maple Street (845) 471-7477 Feelthearteffect.org The Art Effect empowers youth to develop their artistic voice to shape their futures and bring about positive social change.
17. The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center 124 Raymond Avenue (845) 437-5632 Fllac.vassar.edu The Loeb is unique to the region in its combination of stellar temporary exhibitions and a permanent collection of art that spans the ages—from ancient Egypt to the present—and a serene sculpture garden of modern and contemporary works. This directory is a paid supplement.
Map art by Kaitlin Van Pelt
52 COMMUNITY PAGES CHRONOGRAM 2/20
2/20 CHRONOGRAM COMMUNITY PAGES 53
A collaboration with
The Aging of the Mid-Hudson Valley Understanding the Region’s Changing Population By Sarah Amandolare
look at recent national media coverage of the Mid-Hudson Valley reveals a common theme: youthfulness. The prevailing narrative—that young people are migrating north from Brooklyn and spurring a creative renaissance from Beacon to Hudson—may be partially true. But it also ignores the fact that this region is aging, rapidly and profoundly. A report published in October, “Out of Alignment,” by the Newburgh-based think tank Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, suggests that the Mid-Hudson Valley has arrived at a crossroads where demographics and the economy are misaligned. Some of the most striking statistics pertain to older residents. For example, adults 55 and older are projected to comprise 35 percent of the region’s population by 2030, a 17 percent increase from 2017. Adults 75 and older will make up 10 percent of regional residents. And already, the median age in six out of the seven Mid-Hudson Valley counties surpasses state and local averages. “This is just the baby boomers coming of age,” says Pattern for Progress’s CEO and president, Jonathan Drapkin. Members of the Silent Generation—the demographic cohort preceding the boomers—are also 54 FEATURE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
living longer than ever, and the aging is happening statewide. The older adult population (which refers to adults ages 65 and up) is growing faster than the overall population in New York’s 20 largest cities and counties, according to a 2019 report by the Center for an Urban Future. Moreover, that report noted that the Mid-Hudson Valley is home to two out of the three New York State counties with the greatest increases in the 65-plus population over the past decade: Orange and Dutchess. At the same time, the 85-plus population of Dutchess County increased by 80 percent, the largest increase of that population in any county statewide. These findings portend a spate of challenges across the region, from providing healthcare and affordable housing for seniors to creating opportunities for employment, according to Drapkin. “The impact may not have been as striking had the Valley been growing at a healthy rate, but it’s not [been],” he says. A Dwindling and Aging Population Faces Rising Costs People are moving into the study area—the MidHudson Valley saw a net gain of 5,674 residents from
POPULATION GROWTH IS STAGNANT
177,749 182,493 180,129 176,893
95,745 99,710 99,464 100,199
341,367 372,813 378,174 397,598
48,195 49,221 47,791 45,392
280,150 297,488 295,685 290,338
Population Change: Growth across the Mid-Hudson Valley has been flat or declining, while the population overall is aging, which puts economic stress on the region.
New York City between 2015-2016—and there’s anecdotal evidence of young people relocating to Poughkeepsie and Kingston. But Drapkin says he won’t be convinced until 2020 census numbers come in; all Mid-Hudson Valley counties but Orange saw a population decline between 2010 and 2017, the latest year for which data is available. According to the Pattern for Progress report, deaths outpaced births in Ulster, Columbia, and Greene counties in 2016, and the regional fertility rate fell to 1.76 that year, just below the national rate of 1.8 and significantly lower than the 2.1 rate needed to maintain a stable population. And not enough people have been moving in to make up the difference. That uncertainty around population growth is what sets the Mid-Hudson region and 587 3,087 much of upstate New York apart from places 507 and New2,596 like Westchester, Long Island, York City, where populations are growing more -80 -482 robustly and aging simultaneously, according -13.6% to Drapkin. And the low or stagnant -15.7% population growth in the Mid-Hudson Valley seems likely to continue in the coming decade: 76 percent of Gen Xers and 64 percent of baby boomers in Dutchess County said they’re at least somewhat likely to leave New York State during their retirement, according to a 2015 AARP survey. Moreover, Pattern for Progress projects a 26 percent decline in regional public
school enrollment by 2028. if they didn’t want to participate. It’s worth People are leaving the study area because noting that Americans whose employers of ballooning costs and shrinking wages— provide a retirement plan are 15 times more trends that also help explain why 48 percent likely to save for retirement. of regional 18-to-34-year-olds are currently On the other hand, Drapkin notes, there is living with their parents. That percentage well “tremendous stress” on the regional workforce exceeds state and national averages, indicating and not enough people to fill jobs. There are just how pricey it is to live here, according also plenty of older people who don’t want to Drapkin. Case in point, it’s significantly to retire just yet. “Maybe they’re not as savvy more expensive for a family of four to live in at technology, but we can coax some of them the Mid-Hudson Valley than in some midback into the workforce.” sized cities, including Nashville, Charleston, and toTaH 2018 NURaleigh, MBERaccording OF BIR S Bnationwide Y COUNTY An Aging-in-Place System in Need of cost-of-living study by the Economic Policy More Resources Institute, cited in the Pattern for Progress Any discussion of aging in the Mid-Hudson report. Valley and how to deal with it must also And it’s more than likely that Midconsider the region’s rapidly diversifying Hudson Valley seniors are going to feel the population. Between 2007 and 2010 in 458 5,333 1,036 948 1,860 13,300 pinch intensify in the coming decades. The Dutchess County, for example, the Asian 797 1,468by 35 percent, 11,637 2015 386 AARP report5,085 also found that 798 nearly population increased while the a quarter of Dutchess County Gen X and African American and Latinx populations -238 -151 -392 -1,663 -72 -248 boomer voters don’t have a workplace or went up by 67 and 62 percent, respectively, -15.7% -23.0% -15.9% -12.5% personal retirement-4.7% savings account. In fact, according to an-21.1% AARP report, “Disrupt half of private industry-employed New York Disparities 2.0,” published in late January. State residents lack an employer-sponsored County offices for the aging and local retirement savings program, according to governments “might not be set up to respond” AARP’s New York State director, Beth Finkel. to culturally specific needs, notes Finkel. The AARP is advocating at the state level that percentage of people of color moving into employers must offer an IRA savings option, if nursing homes is increasing nationwide, for they don’t already offer employees another way example, despite most people vastly preferring to save; employees would then have to opt out to age in their own homes. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM FEATURE 55
THE FIRST ANNUAL
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stay calm and nominate Nominate your favorite Hudson Valley business for a Chronogrammie! Nominations open now through February 29!
chronogram.com/chronogrammies 56 FEATURE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
OUR COST OF LIVING IS HIGHER THAN OTHER REGIONS
MONTHLY COSTS FOR TWO ADULTS AND TWO CHILDREN
$1,321 $828 $2,419 $1,273 $1,330 $867 $1,779
$1,155 $830 $2,239 $1,243 $1,330 $801 $1,549
$1,609 $883 $1,579 $1,231 $1,216 $1,005 $1,563
$1,002 $792 $1,052 $1,170 $1,170 $724 $693
$1,037 $807 $886 $1,161 $1,245 $744 $895
$1,026 $787 $1,227 $1,201 $1.353 $731 $1,114
Monthly Costs: Living in the Mid-Hudson Valley is significantly more expensive for a family of four than living in growing mid-sized cities like Nashville, Charleston, and Raleigh.
Expanding access to in-home care is not only“the right thing to do because people
The Meaning of “Age-Friendly” When he broached the topic of aging, On the whole, New York State has been Drapkin discovered a lack of outside-themaking strides toward accommodating an older box thinking. Most people still associate want to age in place,” says Finkel; it’s also population. New York became the nation’s first fiscally responsible, costing less than nursing getting older with retirement and sickness, age-friendly state in 2017, a World Health home care and supporting local economies. he says, but in reality, Americans are living Organization and AARP designation that At least 72 percent of nursing home longer, and many either don’t want to or recognizes high marks across eight age-friendly can’t retire. payments in New York State are covered by CHILDcategories, CARE Isuch S Pas RO HIBITIVELY EXPENSIV“There’s E transportation, community Medicaid, a major contributor to the state’s still a lot of work to be done and health services, and housing. Earlier this $6 billion budget deficit. And when people in terms of imagining what to do with, stay in their homes, they also continue paying year, Ulster and Orange counties were awarded nationally, millions of people,” he says. funds from the New York State Age-Friendly property taxes and shopping at grocery and But amid the report’s findings and his Planning Grant Program. The money can go drug stores. As for seniors in remote areas discussions around the region, Drapkin toward revitalization features like enhancing who may want to age in place, Drapkin finds much to be inspired by. With the and creating open spaces, improving public points to possibilities like telemedicine, growing desire among older adults to stay transportation, and expanding affordable which will require a “true solution to rural in their homes as they age, for example, housing options in walkable downtowns— broadband” throughout the region. tech-savvy millennials could team up with qualities desired by seniors and millennials In 2018, Governor Cuomo added aging, local carpenters unions to retrofit houses alike. as well as disparities among communities of while helping elderly folks get the hang of “What’s fascinating to me is that this is not color as they age, to his health prevention new home technologies like smart sensors agenda. The state has also begun investing $15 just about older adults,” says Finkel. “An ageand voice-activated personal assistants. friendly community could be age-friendly for million in counties with waitlists for homeDrapkin also envisions local colleges all ages.” based care services, including long-term care building on-campus senior housing, as Over the past several weeks, Drapkin has services for Medicaid-ineligible families. But SUNY Purchase has done. And he wonders been traversing the region to meet with groups about a multigenerational solution: zoning there’s a statewide shortage of home health of residents in all seven counties. His goal: to aides, and family caregivers are filling the amendments to allow for houses owned by explain the results of the report, and suss out gap,putting an average of 20 percent of their empty-nester boomers to be reconfigured peoples’ greatest concerns. Pattern for Progress into two-family homes, creating new annual earnings toward related expenses, from will publish a follow-up report detailing medications to meals to home modifications affordable housing for millennials. potential strategies and recommendations for like wheelchair ramps and accessible showers. “With the size of the housing crisis we have the region, inspired by locals’ input as to how Cuomo now, we’re going to need dozens of solutions,” has yet to approve a proposed they want local and state leaders to tackle Caregiver Tax Credit of $3,500 per year to says Drapkin. “I look at this report as full of different issues. help cover some of those out-of-pocket costs. opportunities.”
2/20 CHRONOGRAM FEATURE 57
Hudson Brickyard in Kingston
58 WEDDINGS CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Venues for Vows
HUDSON VALLEY WEDDING DESTINATIONS By Hayley Arsenault
rimming with a broad range of possibilities for brides and grooms to be, the Catskills and Hudson Valley are home to myriad highly desired wedding destinations that are designed to accommodate city dwellers and upstate residents alike. Featuring betrothals that bask in waterfront beauty, nostalgic nuptials held on historic sites, working farm festivities, and locally sourced seasonal spreads, a comprehensive collection of local destinations that dot the Hudson River region are highlighted below to illustrate a variety of visions for vow-exchange ceremonies and celebrations. Each distinctly equipped with bespoke offerings, amenities, and accommodations, the venerable venues that follow are distinguished by time-honored historic heritages, verdant views and vistas, bucolic backdrops, and carefully considered culinary contributions to enable an exquisite wedding day that won’t soon be forgotten. WATERFRONT
Hutton Brickyard in Kingston A sprawling site that sets an exposed industrial aesthetic against sweeping waterfront views, the historic Hutton Brickyards hugs the Hudson River in Kingston. In a testament to its legacy as a former brick works factory, the vast venue attains a raw minimalist milieu with century-old brick edifices and wrought iron accents. Transformed to accommodate both indoor and outdoor occasions with modern event production infrastructure, couples can choose from a trio of covered pavilions with towering truss ceilings and poured concrete floors, as well as an enclosed hall that has been restored to pay homage to the site’s honored heritage. Huttonbrickyards.com The Chapel Restoration in Cold Spring Cold Spring’s Chapel Restoration—a cultural and historic landmark that lines the Hudson River—was built in 1833 as the first Catholic church north of Manhattan. A restoration in the 1970s repaired the Greek Revival-style structure’s fire-ravaged ruins, transforming it into an ecumenical site set against the rural backdrop of the Highlands. The Chapel currently serves as a serene setting for special occasions and is available for weddings from April to November. With an intimate interior adorned by a colossal candelabrum overhead and double doors opening out onto a portico overlooking the river, the chapel accommodates approximately 100 people while an adjacent chancery offers a changing area, restrooms, and kitchen facilities. Chapelrestoration.org
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A Private Estate in Germantown Photo by Julie Skarrat Photography
Villa Vosilla in Tannersville Perched high atop the Catskill mountain peaks, Villa Vosilla is a boutique 75-room hotel that accommodates overnight and weekend weddings year-round. Offering amenities such as a bedecked ballroom that boasts the capacity to seat up to 200 guests, an indoor pool, and an inhouse restaurant, the family-run resort has been honing its Italian-inspired hospitality know-how for more than half a century. From the ceremony to cocktails and cuisine, the touted Tannersville venue is committed to creating a classic Catskillscentric, customized celebration for couples. Villavosilla.com
on 500 acres of winding woodlands in Port Jervis. The pastoral premises are peppered with wispy, pine tree-lined lakes and rolling green hills that offer verdant views of the bordering Shawangunk Mountains. Alongside an array of luxury lodging cottages and cabins, the rural estate— whose campy characteristics unfold across its bunkhouses, tennis courts, and rope courses— hosts roaring receptions inside its 5,400-squarefoot barn, which overlooks the site’s series of sparkling lakes. Cedarlakesestate.com HISTORIC
The Spruceton Inn in West Kill The Spruceton Inn is set atop eight acres of rolling farmland swathed by streams and meadows in the forested foothills of West Kill Mountain. With a recently restored postand-beam barn, an onsite bar, and nine rooms rendered in minimalist decor, the intimate and inviting inn conjures a contemporary yet rustic atmosphere that is ideal for woodsy weddings. Built in the 1860s with hand hewn hemlock beams and no-nail construction, Spruceton’s seasonally operated 1,200-square-foot barn is open for use from May through October and can host up to 125 guests who are invited to soak up the surrounding pastoral premises from its adjoining patio. Sprucetoninn.com
Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown Upon crossing the gates of the 19th-century Lyndhurst Mansion estate, wedding guests are immersed in a romantic respite set on its own 67-acre park beside the Hudson River in Tarrytown. With the capacity to host up to 300 guests, Lyndhurst’s limestone Gothic Revival castle features fanciful turrets as well as an asymmetrical outline, and is flanked by gorgeous grounds with flower gardens and lively lawns that unfold beneath weeping Beech tree branches. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966, the estate is augmented by individual accommodations across its grounds— including a carriage house, courtyard, and openair veranda—that can be conjoined or enjoyed independently for intimate gatherings. Lyndhurst.org
Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis The former address of an archetypal 1970s summer camp has been revamped into Cedar Lakes Estate: an upscale wedding retreat resting
Mount Gulian in Beacon Tucked away on a quiet tract of land measuring 48 acres and overlooking the Hudson River in Beacon, Mount Gulian is a reconstructed 18th-century
Dutch Colonial homestead that is distinguished by its revered role as Revolutionary War headquarters. A landscape of historic trees, vibrant lawns, and blooming flower gardens borders a restored barn from the 1720s, which presently possesses original wood plank floors underfoot and hand-hewn beams that hover along its steeply pitched, openraftered ceiling. Mount Gulian can accommodate weddings with up to 135 guests from the months of May through October. Mountgulian.org Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck Cloistered in the quaint town of Rhinebeck, the Beekman Arms is billed as the oldest operating inn in America, celebrated for its time-honored hospitality as a historic wedding host since its inception in the 1700s. Centuries-old edifices embellish the experience of the venerated venue, which comprises a collection of distinct backdrops for the big day, and is poised to provide overnight accommodations with 80 guest suites and rooms spread across several historic houses. A traditional tavern is located onsite, while the Beekman’s culinary team handcrafts a menu inspired by seasonal produce from local Hudson Valley farms. Beekmandelamaterinn.com A Private Estate in Germantown Heralded as a historic property where invitees can immerse themselves in the nostalgia of 19thcentury celebrations, A Private Estate features the landmarked Livingston Mansion set against a hidden haven of lush lawns and grand old oaks overlooking the Hudson River in Germantown. The venue encompasses three distinct regions that 2/20 CHRONOGRAM WEDDINGS 61
Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grove. Photo by Basia Ambrosiak/Photobybasia
diversify the landscape of any special occasion: A half-mile-long ribbon of lawn is anchored by the momentous mansion, which surveys the streaming river below, while a fully modernized barn complex was conceived to host receptions, and a charming carriage house is available to accommodate couples on their special day. Aprivateestate.com WORKING FARM
Red Maple Vineyard in West Park A boutique farm-to-table wedding venue and vineyard, Red Maple Vineyard in West Park is a picturesque farm that provides a pastoral setting for celebrations. Sprinkled with quintessential countryside accents such as a horse paddock, chicken coop, stone foundation ruins, and floral gardens, 143-acres of vibrant land surrounds a renovated cow barn from the 1800s, which has been thoughtfully renovated to include amenities that comprise a bridal suite, grand piano, bar, and lounge area, as well as a recently added reception pavilion. The vineyard venue aims to source produce primarily from their property and is able to hold up to 300 guests. Redmaplevineyard.com Seminary Hill in Callicoon With sweeping vistas and views of the winding Delaware River in all directions, Seminary Hill is a family-run cider orchard, tasting room, and wedding venue nestled in the Catskills town of Callicoon. With multiple backdrops to choose from, vows can be exchanged alongside a unique landscape depending on the season. Delicate pink and white flowers bloom in spring, while the orchard’s colorful yields pop against deep green leaves in summer, and crisp fall foliage is peppered with pears and apples that are ripe for the picking in autumn. The venue includes just over a dozen onsite lodging arrangements and can accommodate up to 200 wedding guests. Seminaryhill.co 62 WEDDINGS CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Foxfire Mountain House in Mount Tremper Photo by Laurent Gaudy
Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grove Bounded by rolling hills and mossy meadows, Blooming Hill Farm boasts a bucolic backdrop for weddings with bountiful bunches of organically grown greens and carefully cultivated crops that coalesce to form creative culinary offerings. The seasonally inspired menu features handpicked yields fresh from the farm’s 100-acre fields as it abounds with eclectic ingredients both harvested and wild. An old oak tree stands as an arborous anchor for outdoor ceremonies while receptions for up to 200 guests can be held beneath pearly white pitched tents illuminated by twinkling strings of light at night. Bloominghill.farm LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD & DRINK
Foxfire Mountain House in Mount Tremper With a bohemian home in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, Foxfire Mountain House holds 10 private acres bounded by forests, mountains, and meadows. In addition to a carefully crafted menu of locally sourced supplies, wedding weekends include exclusive use of the entire grounds, and perusing the property prompts encounters with a picturesque pond, bonfire pit, lily pool, glass pavilion, and Moroccan-tiled veranda. Designed with a decidedly wayfaring and worldly aesthetic that is accented by moody, historic touches, the vintageinspired inn features 11 fashionable guest rooms, as well as a bar, restaurant, and lounge that lend cozy nooks for guests to gather. Foxfiremountainhouse.com The Arnold House in Livingston Manor Setting the stage for a rustic country wedding complete with locally sourced food and drink, the Arnold House in Livingston Manor is an acclaimed venue for year-round festivities. Multiple backdrops and locations are available for all occasions. Up to 200 guests can gather alongside meadows and gardens during open-
air ceremonies with tented receptions in the spring, summer, and fall, while the site’s pole barn and greenhouse—complete with a built-in bar and bandstand—provides a more intimate place for up to 125 guests to gather for cozy celebrations during winter months. Overnight accommodations are available onsite for up to 28 guests across three buildings. Thearnoldhouse.com The Kaaterskill A wedding at the Kaaterskill comprises a calming Catskills retreat that is replete with sweeping mountaintop vistas, abounding acres of lush wooded lands, and scenic footpaths lined by lazy winding rivers. Couples can choose from a collection of charming ceremony sites, while a picturesque pond house provides the perfect spot for a cocktail hour. Receptions for up to 150 guests are held within the Kaaterskill’s rustic red barn, while larger parties can be accommodated beneath tents pitched atop the freshly cut lawn. Located onsite, a restored Dutch Barn Inn is brimming with spacious quarters and modern luxuries that include in-suite fireplaces and private patios. Thekaaterskill.com Valley Rock Inn and Mountain Club in Sloatsburg A secluded Sloatsburg sanctuary surrounded by acres of wild reserves, the Valley Rock Inn and Mountain Club is a rustic refuge that arouses the intimate atmosphere of a far-off village. Anchored by acres of preserved wildlands across Harriman State Park and Sterling Forest, the luxurious expanse of cloistered quarters offers an idyllic outdoor weekend wedding retreat fueled by fresh farm-to-table produce. With access to an array of amenities onsite, friends and family can gather inside historic dwellings, barns, and meeting houses that date back to the early 19th century, while an assortment of accommodations for up to 400 guests are available. Valleyrockinn.com
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Ukraine in the Membrane
That Time My Band Played in Kiev By Peter Aaron
t’s December 1996, I’m in a dark building, and my ass is freezing. The brutalist structure I’m in is the main terminal at Boryspil International Airport in Kiev, Ukraine. It’s been 10 years since the nuclear accident 60 miles away at Chernobyl, and the region’s power grid has yet to fully recover. Which is why, I’m told, the grim, dimly lit terminal is without heat in the dead of winter. My New York-based band, the Chrome Cranks, is about to become only the third Western indie act, after our American friends Sonic Youth and Dead Moon, to perform in Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. We’ve flown in from London, and the mood in the Cranks camp is not what you’d call upbeat. The group—guitarist William Weber, drummer Bob Bert, bassist Jerry Teel, and me on vocals and guitar—has been on the road, in the cold, for four weeks, and we have two more ahead of us on this tour, promoting our third album, Love in Exile. We haven’t slept, everyone’s been sick at some point, and we’re all getting on each other’s nerves. The guy who organized the show, a Duane Allman doppelganger from Minneapolis whose name escapes me—let’s call him Duane—arrives to collect us. Duane’s a freelance journalist who’s been living in Kiev for the past year or so, writing a series of articles for Hustler about life in Ukraine a decade after Chernobyl. At one point during our stay he will tell us that so many people here are getting radiation cancer that the doctors have simply stopped telling them when they’ve been diagnosed with the disease, because most are quickly committing suicide after learning the news. Duane has some other worrisome news for us as we make our way out into the frigid night. Our show, which had been booked at 64 ARTS & CULTURE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
a club called, amusingly, the Cowboy Bar, has been moved to another venue, with barely any time to get the word out about the change. Why? The Chechen mafia faction that’s been “protecting” the bar, a successful Western-themed establishment in the middle of the city opened by an expatriate American, has decided they want the place for themselves. The original owner has been told that the club is no longer his, and that it would be very good for his health if he made plans to leave the country—immediately. After a series of fruitless queries to the new owners, Duane has sensed that they aren’t all that interested in honoring any of the club’s prior bookings. So with less than a week to go, he’s secured a new site for the gig, which is two nights from now. Picking us up in the parking lot is not a taxi or rental van, much less a limo. Instead there are two older men Duane has hired to transport us. Both of them are driving the exact same make of car: an East German compact called a Trabant, which has a plastic body and runs on a mixture of gas and oil via a tank and fuel pump that sit directly under the hood, almost right on top of the engine (what could go wrong?). Their tiny trunks have just enough room for our luggage but not the hard-shell flight cases of our guitars, which are longer than the width of the cars. With the windows down to accommodate them and the heavy cases crushing our laps, our party of five—Ruud, our Dutch tour manager/sound man is with us—squeezes into these death traps, along with Duane and the drivers, and sets out. But with the weight of their extra passengers and cargo, the toy motors of these glorified lawn mowers are simply not powerful enough to get us up the first hill we come to. An alternate route is chosen and we continue. Duane and a couple of the other guys are in the lead car, and I’m among those in the one following. We get a few miles farther into the pitch black (no streetlights) before a green-and-white police car pulls the first
vehicle over. Our unspeaking driver follows to the shoulder, where we sit, shiver, and try not to freak out at the thought of being stuck in some Stasi-style cell for who knows how long. The cop leans into the open window of the other car, talking to the driver. After a couple of minutes, he gets back in his car, makes a U turn, and goes on his way. Later I find out that Duane had to give the officer money before he’d let us proceed. “Yeah, that’s just what they do here,” he says. We arrive at the house where Duane is renting a room from an elderly lady in a wrinkled washerwoman dress. She’s the perfect babushka, nodding and warmly smiling—the first native smile we’ve seen since we landed. She gives us all handknitted Afghan blankets and towels that feel like burlap. It turns out we’re not staying here, but, rather, at an apartment a few blocks away. Walking along a main street, we come upon a surreal sight. On the illuminated side panels of every one of the bus shelters lining the straight thoroughfare are the exact same Marlboro and Pepsi advertising posters, in alternating order: Marlboro/Pepsi, Marlboro/Pepsi, Marlboro/ Pepsi, for as far as the eye can see. In fact, Pepsi is underwriting our gig, not something that would ever happen back in the States. With the USSR gone, capitalism, it seems, has come to Ukraine. The building we’re crashing at is a very old tenement with wide, plaster-dust-covered stair landings. We trudge up a few flights, and Duane lets us into our quarters. Inside, there’s no furniture and most of the walls have holes punched in them. There’s running water, in two temperatures: cold and sub-zero. Our chaperone says goodnight and we bed down on the bare floor with the babushka blankets, still wearing our winter coats and using dirty laundry plucked from our bags as pillows. Our first meal in Ukraine is at a recently opened establishment: Kentucky Beirut Chicken. The moniker, we discover, derives from the fact that the place serves falafel and chicken.
Independent retail businesses of any kind are still a novel concept here, and the ambitious entrepreneur behind this one is hoping to go global. His prospects don’t look—or taste—very good. The house-signature chicken sandwiches turn out to be flavorless breaded microwave hockey pucks on bread, served with a side of plain white rice. After we’ve eaten, it’s off to the offices of the student organization that’s helping Duane organize and promote the show. En route to the Metro, we schlep through Independence Square, which, eight years later, will be the site of enormous protests during the Orange Revolution. On the sidewalk, weathered old women in wool coats offer root vegetables for sale, arranged on torn sheets of cardboard. The architecture is a combination of the Stalinist styles built upon what the retreating Red Army destroyed during World War II and the surviving ornate-but-crumbling 19th-century brick buildings that hint at Kiev’s pre-Russian Revolution epoch as a major center of commerce. The overcast sky and the monochromatic mixture of soot, exhaust, and steam from the breaths of passerby makes me feel like I’m in a charcoal drawing. Meeting the small group of smiling kids at the office is a bright spot, though. They’re all superfriendly and speak English very well, making me feel bad for not taking the time to have at least asked Duane beforehand how to say hello in Ukrainian. Despite the headache of the show being moved, their enthusiasm for putting on a concert by a real, live American rock band remains undaunted. The guys and I sign some posters and press photos for them, and we make plans to meet up again later at the infamous Cowboy Bar, where a local band is playing. Wary of the mafia situation, we try not to attract too much attention that night as we enter the club, but it’s hopeless. The word is out, and everyone knows who we are. People at neighboring tables glance over at us and whisper to each other. The band, a teenage quartet whose name is the Forrest Gump Orchestra, is on stage, and they’re too intimidated to look in our direction. Actually, they seem intimidated by the very act of what they’re doing, sheepishly playing U2 and R.E.M. covers at such low volume that the music barely exists. It’s a universe away from the kind of deafening, unfriendly, feedback-ridden noise that our band specializes in, and I wonder how we’ll be received when we play the following night. Late the next afternoon, a van pulls up to shuttle us to the place we’re playing and the amusing irony of the joint’s name is not lost on us: the New York Night Club. A giant, hangarlike shed in a Kiev suburb, it’s primarily used for wedding parties, one of which is finishing up when we arrive. We shuffle in to the sight of garish, multicolored neon light sculptures and disco balls spinning and pulsating overhead and soused sexagenarians and their descendants getting down to canned dance music on the roller-rink-sized floor. Touring bands sometimes get stuck with weird openers, but I’m guessing not many of them can say they’ve followed a Ukrainian wedding party. We can’t soundcheck until after the event ends, so we’re directed to a side room to be interviewed for a TV
Above: Kentucky Beirut Chicken: Apparently, it never caught on. Photo by Bob Bert Opposite page: We’re the Pepsi generation: a ticket for the Kiev concert.
newsmagazine show. The host, a slick dude in a brown leather jacket who fancies himself the local David Hasselhoff, holds his cigarette in an affected manner, as if cupping a chalice, and clearly knows nothing about us or our music. “Why is it that you dye your hair?” he asks, among other useless questions. After 15 embarrassing minutes, it’s time to set up. When we see the backline, we assume there’s been a mistake. We’re playing a room whose capacity is roughly 400 people and they’ve given us practice amps. Shoeboxes with a single 10-inch speaker in each. The built-in speakers in your laptop would probably be louder. But, no, this is what there is. Unfortunately, the confusion with the venue change and the fact that the Metro stops running for the night before we are to play means the turnout is minimal: Once the wedding revelers have filtered out, there’s maybe about 20 kids scattered among the cavernous room’s tables. We decide to forgo a full soundcheck and just get this over with, so we go on stage, quickly check our instrument levels, and start the set. Someone with the club takes this as a cue to switch on the disco balls and dry ice, and suddenly the dancefloor looks like the set of “Ukraine’s Got Talent.” Because our music contains the odd, impressionistic touch of 1960s garage rock, sometimes people who’ve read about us but haven’t actually heard us assume we’re a retro act, which is far from the case. But during the first number, a throbbing thumper called “Way-Out Lover,” a young, mod-looking couple desperate to dance darts onto the floor and begins to frug and twist—a cute departure from the roiling slam pits we normally play to. It dawns on me that even though we’re performing at a talkover volume level, perhaps to some of these
kids the sound is actually rockin’, simply because they haven’t experienced many live bands at all. After 10 or so songs, one right into the next, we’re forced to quit because I’ve broken two guitar strings (I play too hard when I can’t hear myself ). The last, shrill note rings out. After that…stunned silence. But then, thankfully, an audience-proportionate smattering of whoops and applause. Victory. While we’re packing up, a very excited—and very drunk—young guy climbs on stage and produces a pen and a red, passport-sized booklet embossed with a hammer and sickle. During the Cold War military service was compulsory for most Eastern Bloc males, and this is his old army ID, which he’s refashioned into an autograph book. Clipped from magazines and pasted inside are photos of his faves, Metallica, which are signed by the band. “Look, James Hetfield!” he shouts, pointing to the singer’s signature. Our new friend flips ahead to a blank page and passes the booklet around for all of us to sign, even Ruud and Duane, and grills us about rock ’n’ roll right up to the very moment we’re getting back in the van. As ridiculous as the set itself was to us, I like to think we planted some seeds there that night. In the morning, we cram into the Trabants once again and run the gauntlet back to the airport, where we say goodbye and thanks to our handler before getting on the plane to resume the tour. During the flight, I recall a moment from two nights before, when we’d met our sweet, adopted Ukrainian grandma. She didn’t speak any English, but Duane had taught her a few words. After much buildup and with a cue from him, she smiled and said them, loudly and proudly: “I love rock and roll!” 2/20 CHRONOGRAM ARTS & CULTURE 65
music Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman Acquanetta (Cantaloupe Music) Cantaloupemusic.com Part horror-movie soundtrack, part Minimalist cantata, and part rock opera, Acquanetta is the score to the multimedia, experimental opera by that name that was staged last summer at Bard SummerScape. Clanging, distorted electric guitars are met by hounding, pulsing strings, the high-pitched blare of a choir, and a soprano imploring “Please don’t take my brain.” (Don’t I know that feeling.) Based upon the real-life title character, who enjoyed B-movie fame from the early 1940s through the early 1950s, the story is set within a scene from Captive Wild Woman, in which Acquanetta (born Mildred Davenport) starred as a mad scientist’s gorgeous creation, the result of an experiment fusing an ape and a “Brainy Woman.” Soprano Mikaela Bennett soars as Acquanetta, and the rest of the cast, plus the Bang on a Can Opera Ensemble and members of the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, bring drama and precision to their roles. Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon wrote the art-rock score—think Glenn Branca meets Philip Glass—providing the perfect vehicle for the equally Minimalist and occasionally comic libretto by Deborah Artman, who lives in Greene County. Acquanetta’s own origins—was she a Native American from Wyoming? A Mexican? An African-American woman from Norristown, Pennsylvania?—are obscured by history, which perfectly suits this exploration of changing identities, even though the character of the Director repeatedly intones, “I know you want everything to be clear and simple as black and white.” Well, it just isn’t. —Seth Rogovoy
Jeff Wilkinson & The Shutterdogs Hill No Passing (Independent) Jeffwilkinsonmusic.com The remains of the world’s oldest forest were recently discovered in the Catskills, giving credence to the observation that roots run deep in the Hudson Valley, spreading out not just from the Band’s historic Woodstock residency, but throughout time. Songwriter Jeff Wilkinson, it’s clear from Hill No Passing, his recent disc with the Shutterdogs, drinks the water. It’s dressed up with killer contributions from the Beacon team of fiddler Sara Milonovich and multi-instrumentalist/producer Greg Anderson, as well as a recent recruit, guitar ace Josh Colow. The disc also features guest spots from hot shots like banjo man Richie Stearns and vocalist Daria Grace. The opening salvo of “I Need a Revival” sets the tone—urgent, earnest Americana with an East Coast spin—which continues through the closing, slidetinged “Turkey Vulture Blues.” High points include the lilting “Edge of the World”; the subdued, harmony-laden “Names of Quilts”; and the strutting “Take Home Pay.” —Michael Eck 66 MUSIC CHRONOGRAM 2/20
The Warp/The Weft Dead Reckoning (Independent) Thewarptheweft.com With an apt name, The Warp/The Weft weave dominant guitars and soaring vocals to construct a sonic fabric of mind-bending, yet accessible, progressive rock. Sometimes searing, sometimes subtle, sometimes both, always interesting. The Poughkeepsiebased quartet’s third full-length embraces the art of music, searching the in-betweens and venturing to the tenuous edges of falling apart. Thankfully, the cliffsides and crevices are never too clever for their own good, and the intriguing riffs and evocative lyrics are held tight to the ledge by the dynamic, but grounded, bass and drums. There is some psychedelia here, but the music never ventures into the realm of jam rock. With allusions to a certain flutefriendly British prog-rock band of yore, The Warp/The Weft lean into post-punk, indie, and traditional rock, melding the genre perpediculars into a sound of their own. Worth a trip to see them tame the beast live. —Jason Broome
Rob Scheps Comencio (SteepleChase Records) Steeplechase.dk Rob Scheps says in the notes to Comencio that it’s a disk of dedications. One track excepted, that one for his mother, Scheps’s dedications are for the composers, or to prominent players associated with the tune. It’s interesting how this selection technique creates an emotional narrative in the sequencing. From the boisterous, optimistic feel of opener “The Flip Side” by Scheps’s late friend John Abercrombie, to the angular, exotic “Message from the Nile” by McCoy Tyner, through the Bacharach-Costello composition “I Still Have That Other Girl” (on which Schep’s sax strikingly emulates Elvis’s distinct phrasing and gulping delivery), Scheps and band interject modal numbers and post-bop riffing amid mournful cool-jazz, Baker-esque ballads. It’s easy to hear a kind of hero’s journey in this flow—from innocence to experience, as it were. The last number is Kenny Dorham’s “Short Story,” which, I took, in context, as a roughed-up but confident version of the voice I heard in the opening track. —John Rodat
books Live Sustainably Now: A Low-Carbon Vision of the Good Life Karl Coplan COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2019, $28
Rockland County resident Karl Coplan, director of the environmental litigation clinic at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, chronicles his year of suburban middle class living on a carbon budget and makes the case that the sustainable life can still be a comfortable and satisfying life. Sharing his adventures in kayaking to work, driving electric, and eating Mediterranean-style, Coplan demystifies the measurement of one’s own carbon footprint and how to set a personal carbon cap, and outlines the climate consequences of various energy, lifestyle, and transportation choices to help readers create their own blueprints for sustainableyet-fulfilling lives.
Yellow Earth John Sayles HAYMARKET, 2020, $28
Novelist, screenwriter, actor, and director John Sayles, a Dutchess County resident whose 1978 Union Dues was a National Book Award nominee, reads from his latest work on February 3 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck. Yellow Earth, set on the banks of the Missouri River in North Dakota in the time just before the Standing Rock struggle hit the headlines, contemplates the impact of a shale oil discovery on Three Nations land. Sayles’s protagonist, Tribal Business Manager Harleigh Kildeer, is the man who must balance the advantages and disadvantages of the Three Nations Petroleum Company and the competing worlds in play.
Weather Jenny Offill KNOPF, 2020, $23.95
Dutchess County resident Jenny Offill, author of the national bestseller Dept. of Speculation, ponders the questions that crop up when our currently polarized public discourse spills over and impacts private life. Lizzie Benson is working as a librarian and enjoying her avocation as a “fake shrink,” just catching her breath between issues with her “God-haunted” mother and a brother in recovery, when she’s offered what sounds like the perfect job: answering the voluminous mail her old mentor receives as creator of a podcast called “Hell and High Water.” Offill reads on February 27 at Murray’s in Tivoli.
Wolf Herbert Stern and Alan Winter SIMON & SCHUSTER, 2020, $27.99
What if you’d met Hitler in 1918 as a fellow mental patient who needed a friend? When he was still a lowly corporal, a diagnosed psychopath who called himself Wolf and suffered from hysterical blindness? What if you had known him through his transformation from unassuming so-so painter to fascist megalomaniac? Stern and Winter, both attorneys by trade, have created soldier Friedrich Richard, an observer, sometime friend and protector, for their “realistic portrait of the evolving Hitler.” Among doings, people, and places taken from fresh, precise historical research, Stern and Winter read at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock on February 15.
Woodstock’s Infamous Murder Trial: Early Racial Injustice in Upstate New York Richard Heppner THE HISTORY PRESS, 2020, $23.99
Woodstock town historian Richard Heppner, author of three books of local history, turns his attention to the racial dynamics of 1905. Oscar Harrison, 23-year-old son of a reservoir superintendent, was found dead from blunt force trauma in the home of “colored man” Cornelius Van Gasbeek, and hasty assumptions were made. Augustus H. Van Buren, Esq., a Woodstocker with a conscience stronger than his regard for popular opinion, fought the case, pro bono, through three years and multiple trials. Not as tidy as To Kill a Mockingbird, Heppner warns us going in, but a snapshot of a community in transition.
The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years David Levine GLOBE PEQUOT, 2020, $26.95
Anywhere you go around here, you’re standing on the site of four centuries of recorded human drama. The Hudson River provided explorers with a navigable pathway into the North American continent early on. And it doesn’t take written records to know that the river was just as important to people living here in the 10 millennia or so before that. But how was it shaped? That’s David Levine’s starting point in The Hudson Valley: The First 2.5 Million Years, and it puts things nicely in perspective after the abbreviated and often Eurocentric history most of us were taught in school. The time frame includes the river itself as a player with a story, surely the least it deserves after all these years of feeding and carrying folks. The Hudson River School artists, after all, reaped a bounty bequeathed from the Ice Age. Levine has written a regular history column for Hudson Valley magazine since 2010. In his introduction, Levine notes that despite 30 years as an Albany resident, much of what he found out in that role was new to him. His fresh eye sheds light on fascinating characters familiar and obscure: Benedict Arnold, Sojourner Truth, Matthew Vassar, the mansionbuilding tycoons, the mad scientists of Tuxedo Park, the ironworkers of Warwick, the violet growers of Rhinebeck, and the Quakers of the Oblong, among many others. In “The People of the Waters That Are Never Still,” the first chapter in which humans take the stage, Levine digs deep into what is known of the Mohican and Lenape, drawing on early 17th-century sources and the archaeology of SUNY New Paltz Professor Joseph Diamond to paint a much more detailed picture than we usually get of how the previous inhabitants lived their lives. And Levine sticks the landing: He tracks down living members of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican nation out in Wisconsin and finds out how they’re doing now. This chapter alone is worth the price of admission. But there’s loads more. Levine is not a historian, and he had the common sense to go straight to the local experts and let them rock’n’roll on the topics they know best, getting the reflections of those who’ve done the deep dives and pondered the results. Local and institutional historians have access to lots of fascinating detail, and they (and Levine) love to reflect on the quirky bits, the ironies, the likely motivations. This is an ambitious and well-realized work; if one might wish for a chapter on, say, Father Divine or the Clearwater or Peekskill’s racial struggles, it’s only because one would like to hear Levine’s take. His clarity and sense of humor make this book a treasure chest that belongs on all our bookshelves if we wish to know what these hills and shores remember. It would be hard to get closer unless they themselves could talk. Levine will read at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck on Tuesday, February 11 at 6 pm and Golden Notebook in Woodstock on March 14 at 4:30 pm. —Anne Pyburn Craig 2/20 CHRONOGRAM BOOKS 67
EDITED BY Phillip X Levine
Always love yourself, no matter how you look, how people say you look, just love yourself. Because that’s your own personal body. Don’t let anybody judge you.
the most compelling argument against war is the nature of war here is a boy who has lost his shoes below the knees
—Tiana Bradley (8 years)
Leaving Atocha Station, Madrid
You accompanied me to the 12:30 train, Your arm locked around mine Under my huge umbrella. “Yes,” you said, “this is what we do.”
Are you feeling anything? Are you forgetting your breathing? It’s your river, running coldly. It’s your star, coldly following, saying thank you for the anchor, good moon, good moon falling down.
I had mentioned how we Americans rarely link arms, Except under certain restricted conditions— Spouses, children, dear old relatives— But never a man and woman un-attached. “That’s odd,” you said laughing a bit, “We touch and hug and kiss everyone—all the time— You Americans, what are you afraid of ?” I shook my head because I didn’t know. A year now has gone past. I look out at the rain and people walking And think of my big umbrella, your arm in mine, And wonder when will I leave Atocha? —Stephen J. Kudless Homage: Northwest Hill Road My wife reminds me the mailboxes are exactly two miles down the road from our house. All twelve stand side by side at the bottom to say people here are different. We are four wheel drivers who think nothing of mud gullies on warm winter days. And those holes in the maples are not from drive-by shootings (oh you city mice) but grand avenues to the world’s best syrup. White tails hang in our neighborhood and red fox seeks her mate down the street. We don’t mind black bear in our spring garden his almost human paws squashing some lettuce: we take the plunder of compost with a pinch of salt. We have seen your cathedrals, your chic malls, your ballets. We have heard your symphonies, They’re poor copies of cellular oaks, a red hawk’s harsh soprano, and the dance of our own surprising vault over a stream. —Stuart Freyer 68 POETRY CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Drowning looks like sleeping. The quiet, a comfort, the lighting, pleasing, a weak rain beginning, but nothing trying, no nothing too terribly heavy upon your head. They were pebbles, but I called them stones. I forgave them. I tucked them in. I kept them with me, counting slowly, as we put the boat to bed. —Marni Ludwig The Old Man there’s so little time the old man said an hour maybe a year then it will all be over and life snuffed out the end we always fear well I said cheer up you never know yes he said this is true but you misunderstand my young friend I was talking about you —Richard Donnelly Tracers raining down on our foxholes through the night: thousand points of light. —Patrick Walsh While reading poems Shadows danced on her pale throat Black dangle earrings —Karen Becker
Red Riding Hood Twilight sits upon the path Cuts through darkened trees and past Oak and birch and timid pine Below her feet a silver line Extends another mile or so Before she reaches Buffalo Her cloak floats with her as she runs Her feet are repetitious drums Leap over root, jump over stone She knows that she is not alone Behind her at a distance still A pack of wolves just past the hill The alpha calls, a chilling hum Foreboding things that are to come Things of death and flesh and bone Turn your heart to ashen stone Run faster now. Half mile or so The settlement of Buffalo Her eyes are fixed upon the peak Ahead of her five hundred feet Across a meadow far and wide Where bird and fox and fawn abide Her scent is blood. The pack is near The air now thick and filled with fear Her father’s name gone from her mind Her mother a forgotten time For years now memories are vague Come, go, to reappear and plague Her tortured and tormented soul Below her now, there’s Buffalo She turns. The wolves so near she sees Their faces, fur, their eyes and teeth Fangs made only for the kill The pack arrived. With it a chill Together they look down below A sheep herd grazing in the glow. And from a log, a place of rest The Sheppard’s son his eyes turn west What he now looks upon in grief All his long life will never leave His dreams and days and sleepless nights Her red cape dances as she strides The wolves two dozen at her call The sheep stir frantic in their stall They push against the wood and fence The wolves surround them and commence Their search for weakest, youngest blood Their leader’s name: Red Riding Hood —Stefan Bolz
Upper Byrdcliffe Road
whether cleared land, or a path, or a road you must leave something of yourself behind. there is no right way to go. here is the way things are.
All I know is in that moment walking by the side of the mountain road, the creaking call of the trees reminded me of the goddess who was talking in my dream after the brown bear had appeared at dusk, the summer smelled of burnt earth, icy cold brooks.
she learned to understand what it is like to face a mountain. formalizing things both comfortable and immediate. there are always discoveries along the way. only some are valuable. —Vittoria S. Rubino
Youth Young is the breath I inhale so sweetly That I forget just how mortal these instruments of mine are When the music notes sour, such chaotic surprise But I rather not taste the fear of time beyond these city lights that hold me so And my favorite part of being blue and broken is that I can be repaired so easily, that there is hope in even the most stubborn parts of my fingertips And I know that numbered days can become so weary Yet tonight the moon is so hungry and full I swallow tomorrow And my lovers agree There is nothing like simply Being caught by the mouth and told to Live
Sacred, sacred, sacred. Those trees gifted me this place, their rooted ley lines so strong giving way to the great mystery on this mountainside I remember the first time I saw the monks measured, joyous, awestruck walking past the oaks on the side of the road toward the footpath back to the monastery. Sacred, sacred, sacred Their deep maroon red clay crimson robes streaming light like through yellow leaves rustling with the great ability to hold the space for peace where there was little, in silent devotion air so thick with love laden trees knitting together heaven and earth. Sacred, sacred, sacred. —Lori Corry
Regrets Only I can’t stay in this house The siding peels and a mouse died in the walls The neighbors are collecting cats I have to save I’m done with this body Crows feet and skin dripping post-baby belly My guts are beautiful, they say We’re failing 7th grade Test schedules and book reports make us dumb Our common core is in music, museums & madness Tonight is cancelled I wouldn’t marry again for all the tea in China Having lost all faith in the goodness of men I could even leave America Hypocrisy and ignorance are displacing me I’ll miss the things I don’t recognize anymore I’m sorry. I’m just not available I have prior engagements with other people, places And things I don’t regret yet
Constraint I could have a new life but I keep holding onto my old one like a pair of vise grips on tattered, warped wood, bursting at the seams, and torn, begging to be repurposed, and adorned, with the spoils of yesteryear. How did so much water get in? Now the grain won’t close. —Arina Soler
Leaving for Their Honeymoon a fibonacci word count we see two lovebirds after the wedding nestling in a pine tree with the breeze they take to the sky then circle once and depart— spiraling to earth one feather their gift —Neal Whitman Untitled Everything I am is a version of someone else. Everything I do is aversion to something else. —Britt Barnard
Full submission guidelines: Chronogram.com/submissions 2/20 CHRONOGRAM POETRY 69
Ruth Gruber, Alaska, 1941
“RUTH GRUBER: PHOTOGRAPHS" The aunt of gallerist Mark Gruber, Ruth Gruber (1911-2016) was a trailblazing photojournalist who spent her life documenting topics related to humanitarian causes. At one time a correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, Gruber subsequently shifted her attention to the lives of refugees and to issues of rescue, sanctuary, and liberation, devoting her life to humanitarian causes during World War II. Recipient of the 2011 ICP Infinity Awards Cornell Capa Award, these photos are drawn from Gruber’s private archive spanning more than half a century on four continents. At Mark Gruber Gallery in New Paltz. February 8–March 21
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February 26 27 28 29 30 31 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 February 6: Dr. James Hansen talks climate change at Kingston High School February 7: ModFest at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie February 8: “Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place)” February 9: The Orchestra Now performs Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony February 12: “Bo-Nita” at Denizen Theater in New Paltz February 14: “Ella the Ungovernable” at Valatie Community Theater February 22: Lewis Black at UPAC in Kingston February 23: Hudson Valley Gospel Festival in Poughkeepsie February 28: Illusionist Ryan Dutcher at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck
For comprehensive calendar listings visit Chronogram.com/events. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 71
The Persistence of Memory JAN SAWKA AT THE DORSKY MUSEUM by Lynn Woods “Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place),” which opens February 8, is the second retrospective of the Polish-born artist’s work to be held at SUNY New Paltz. The first was in 1989, and resulted after Sawka, who lived in High Falls, had met Neil Trager, director of the college’s art gallery. The exhibition was fortuitous for all involved: through Trager, Sawka met New York art gallery owner Samuel Dorsky, who subsequently represented him; Dorsky got to meet Sawka’s famous client, Jerry Garcia (Sawka designed monumental stage sets for the Grateful Dead’s 25th anniversary tour); and the success of the exhibition helped spearhead Trager’s initiative for an art museum, whose construction was made possible by a generous donation from Dorsky. Dorsky died in 1994, Trager retired from the museum in 2008, and Sawka tragically passed away in 2012 at age 65. But the artist’s powerful legacy, here celebrated in the institution it helped foster, lives on: the 46 paintings and drypoint etchings in “The Place of Memory,” augmented by posters along with silkscreen prints, photographs, and various memorabilia, are as fresh and mind-bending as when they were made. Indeed, in this era of mass propaganda masquerading as news, viral social-media conspiracy theories, and AI applications for citizen surveillance, Sawka’s complex, convention-bending art continues to resonate. Its appealing, eye-catching graphic style combining brilliant color with nuanced grays draws you in— and then mystifies, confounds, and delights with its labyrinth of double meanings and elegiac undercurrents. 72 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Sawka was an art star who had won a prestigious award from the President of France when he was expelled from Poland in 1976. He had been active in the Polish underground art scene, designing sets, illustrating books, and arranging happenings, and gained renown for his posters, which were the only official creative vehicle for visual artists under Poland’s repressive government (as a purely visual medium, they were also an ingenious way to express subversive ideas). Ultimately, Sawka was unable to evade the censors and was exiled to France, where he became artist in residence at the Pompidou Center before moving with his wife and infant daughter to New York in 1977. He did illustrations for the New York Times, exhibited his paintings and sculptures, designed theater sets, and toward the end of his life designed massive installations for rock groups as well as governments; as artist in residence for the cultural ministry to Japan, he designed “The Tower of Light Cultural Complex” for Abu Dhabi, UAE, utilizing Smartglass technology. As the name connotes, “Place of Memory” features work that’s meditative in tone and, in some cases, focused on loss. Its centerpiece is Ashokan 1-4, a series of four enormous triptychs depicting the dark waters of the reservoir. Each is edged along the top by a narrow band representing the surrounding landforms, which are silhouetted against the wall—standing in for the sky—and connote the submergence of the panels in water. Along the top center, a glowing, rising sun successively progresses in each panel through
Above: Passing Away, acrylic and varnish on Masonite, 66” x 96”, 1988. Photo by Camille Murphy Opposite, from top: The Memory, acrylic on Masonite, 48” x 40”,1986. Photo by Amanda Schweitzer Partial Recall, acrylic on Masonite, 67” x 99”, 1997. Photo by Camille Murphy
a construction of small white boxes. The vast, reflective surface of the reservoir is consonant with the plane of the triptych, which is covered with a scrim of hieroglyphic-like, indecipherable text and tiny images of faces, figures, trees, and the like. With its inscribed surface and transparent depths, the reservoir is a palimpsest, a theater of memory, symbolic of consciousness and the drift of its endless ruminations; in the piece’s cosmic scale, intricate, coded text, and shape-shifting qualities, it evokes the imaginative scope and Surrealist logic of the stories of Borges. “The place of memory within the human consciousness is the theme of the show,” says Frank Boyer, a professor of art criticism at SUNY New Paltz who curated the show with Sawka’s daughter, Hanna Sawka, was a friend of the artist and has studied Polish contemporary culture for the past 30 years. “It’s about how the memory of a place operates for the exile—and for everyone. Jan was focused on people finding themselves in the reflections of his artwork. He had something to say, but he strongly invited the viewer to participate.” Another large-scale work, Asbury’s Notebook, inspired by a trip Sawka and his wife and daughter took to Asbury Park back when it was a decrepit and forlorn place, reminiscent of the resorts of post-war Poland, is bordered along the bottom edge by clustered buildings and telephone poles silhouetted against the fiery afterglow. Here the surface plane consists mostly of darkened sky, in which dozens of tiny scenes and symbols are suspended like rows of heraldic shields. In Letter No. Three, which commemorates a theater in Krakow that had burned down, seven panels, whose symmetrical, hierarchical arrangement, from the smaller panels at the ends to the large central one, suggests a Medieval altarpiece, are covered with discrete, tiny images, a cacophony of memories comprising a memorial. Sawka’s technique of mixing acrylic paint with ink and his use of nuanced grays, which recalls the poorquality printing of magazines in Poland (an Iron Curtain equivalent of Warhol’s sloppy machine), amplified by his juxtaposition of letters with figurative imagery, infuses the works with ambiguity, as if they were prints, not paintings—documents vulnerable to the passage of time. This contrasts with his use of bright reds and oranges, which in some instances conveys the sublime effects of the sunrise or sunset and in others, a sinister, destructive force (as is the case in Intrusion, in which a tonguelike shape of bright red successively invades the three panels of gray sky, which are filled with ghostly, tomb-like symbols and figures; according to Boyer, the poisonous plume alludes to the industrial, heavily polluted region of Poland where Sawka was raised.) Also of note is 36 Post-Cards, which consists of 20-x-25inch identically sized drypoint etchings, each hand colored with watercolor and bearing the word “post card” wittily integrated into the visual design. Each is accompanied by a text extracted from a recently discovered letter Sawka wrote to the curator of the Poster and Prints Division of the Library of Congress, which owned many of his works; the letter, written at the request of the curator, describes each scene. The texts are illuminating in that they reflect Sawka’s wide-ranging travels as well as his connection to his native country. “We thought one of the paintings depicted the Hudson River, but it turned out be a tiny Polish river at flood-tide,” notes Hanna. “Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place),” runs February 8 through July 12 at the Dorsky Museum. On March 28 and 29 at 2pm, the Dorsky, the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Polish Cultural Institute will host a symposium on Sawka’s work featuring the curators; scholars Peter Schwenger, Tom Wolf, Beth Wilson; and others. The symposium will take place at the Dorsky on March 28 and the Kosciuszko Foundation, located at 15 East 65th Street, in New York City, on March 29. A parallel exhibit, “Golden West? Jan Sawka’s California Dream,” will open on February 1 at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art at California State San Bernardino. Newpaltz.edu/museum
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SUNY New Paltz Distinguished Speaker Series presents…
AN EVENING WITH ARTHUR O. SULZBERGER JR. ’06 HON Chairman, The New York Times Company
Truth, Trust and the Future of Journalism In conversation with James H. Ottaway Jr. ’18 HON, Retired Director and Senior Vice President of Dow Jones, Chairman of Ottaway Newspapers
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | 7:30 p.m. SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center 100 (snow date: Wednesday, March 11)
SUNY New Paltz students get one FREE ticket with New Paltz ID at the Parker Theatre Box Office or at the door. Limited quantity!
Tickets and Information: 845-257-3880 | newpaltz.edu/speakerseries Parker Theatre Box Office open 11:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, February 17 – March 10
Weddings at Byrdcliffe Arts Colony Woodstock, New York
woodstockguild.org/venue-rental 74 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. ’06 HON (left) and James H. Ottaway Jr. ’18 HON (right). This series is made possible by the SUNY New Paltz Foundation with support from the following sponsors: Campus Auxiliary Services, Henry’s on the Farm, Inn at Buttermilk Falls, M&T Bank and Sodexo. If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator at 845257-3972 as soon as possible.
Starting on Valentine’s Day, lovers who love jazz will have a lot to love about Hudson. This is the third year for the Hudson Jazz Festival, which on February 14, 15, and 16 will take over the city’s historic Hudson Hall with the sounds and sights of America’s greatest original art form. Once again organized by local jazz pianist Armen Donelian, the 2020 lineup features singer Aimee Allen (February 14); solo pianists Kevin Hays, Francesca Tanksley, and Cidnho Teixeria plus the Billy Harper Quintet (February 15); and the excellent Lee Morgan documentary I Called Him Morgan followed by Slavic Soul Party (February 16). Bringing further flavor will be food and beverages from James Beard Award-winning chef Zak Pelaccio’s neighboring eateries, Fish & Game and Backbar. Armen Donelian answered the questions below via email. See website for show times and ticket prices. Hudsonhall.org. —Peter Aaron Congratulations on your third year of the festival. What was it that made you want to start a jazz festival in the first place? Jazz is “America’s National Treasure,” as declared by Congress. When I relocated from New York City to Hudson in 2005, I found this area underserved for jazz. I started the summer Hudson Jazz Workshop in 2007, with our student/faculty concerts staged at the Hudson Opera House since 2009. When Tambra Dillon became its executive director in 2013, she asked me to curate a new jazz festival at the newly renovated Hudson Hall. Her invitation thrilled and humbled me. That’s how the Hudson Jazz Festival began. What makes Hudson Hall such a good venue for a music festival? Hudson Hall is at the center of Hudson’s renaissance, literally and figuratively. As the capital of Columbia County and strategically located in the Northeast, the city of Hudson is diverse and growing. It boasts Amtrak access and proximity to major highways, and it’s bursting with creativity and new ideas. Located in the middle of downtown, the hall itself has all the physical attributes of a world-class performance space—great natural acoustics, state-of-the-art audio and video technology, impeccable beauty, generous capacity, and
a hardworking and qualified support staff. You’d have to travel far and wide to find an historic regional venue of comparable stature. Hudson Hall is Hudson’s jewel of a hall. As a musician yourself, you’ve performed at jazz festivals around the world. What are some things about the festival that set this one apart from others? From a musician’s perspective, one seeks total artistic freedom, professional logistical support, and adequate financial compensation. The Hudson Jazz Festival, in addition to supporting exceptional international artists in these ways, strives to curate a program of the highest quality and most diverse stylistic range, while creating an open and welcoming feeling conducive to performers and audiences alike. The festival simultaneously projects an aura of intimacy, respect, and expansiveness, where one meets cultured people from around the globe while enjoying the finest jazz and leisurely sampling tasty refreshments from local restaurateurs offered during the concerts.
Hot, Sweet, and Cool THE HUDSON JAZZ FESTIVAL February 14-16 Hudsonhall.org
Above: Slavic Soul Party bring the Balkan funk to Hudson Hall on February 16.
How has the festival changed since it began, and how do you expect it to change as it grows in future years? Are there any elements you hope to introduce at subsequent festivals? As the festival’s artistic curator, I’ve tried to cover many musical bases from the start, which is not an easy task given the complexity and depth of jazz music itself as well as the challenge of organizing and staging several musical events within a short weekend’s time. Having performed since 1975 as a sideman and bandleader in just about every jazz genre—including country, R&B, blues, swing, stride, bebop, post-bop, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and modern—and having taught jazz in several New York-area institutions of higher learning for 35 years, I wanted to assemble the best of what I knew and loved into a concentrated series of events that would both entertain local jazz fans as well as educate new ones. I included a film and a youth workshop. I drew upon my acquaintances with well-known artists both as prospective performers and as advocates. I expect to follow this approach as the festival grows beyond its infancy. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 75
MUSIC Beethoven’s Eroica
February 8-9 Beethoven moved from Bonn to Vienna in 1792, a rising star for a short, sweet time. When he realized he was losing his hearing, he was horrified. He retreated to the village of Heiligenstadt,, wrote a heavy, loving “Testament” to his brothers, then decided he needed to keep on writing his music. It was right after that that he wrote his Symphony No. 3, Eroica (Heroic), a great shout of overcoming in which he discovers musical worlds within his own creative mind. If that weren’t inspiring enough, there was the little matter of the French Revolution. Ludwig Van loved liberty and equality, but was disgusted with Napoleon. Come here the TON (The Orchestra Now) bring it to life for his 250th birthday anniversary on February 8 at 8pm or February 9 at 3pm at Bard’s Fisher Center. Theorchestranow.org
COMEDY Lewis Black Taveonna Ridley plays Alice and Hannah Wisdom plays Ella Fitzgerald in David McDonald's play "Ella the Ungovernable," which dramatizes Fitzgerald's time at a reform school in Hudson. The play premieres at Valatie Community Theater this month.
From Jailbird to Songbird “ELLA THE UNGOVERNABLE” February 14-15 VALATIECOMMUNITYTHEATRE.ORG Ella Fitzgerald, the legendary jazz icon, is best known for her stunning and wide-ranging vocal ability. Over the course of her singing career, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums in addition to capturing the musical attention of a nation for over half a century and helping to define the American Songbook. Composer Ira Gershwin said of Fitzgerald, “I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.” Before she became a legend, however, she served a little-known stint at a reform school for girls in Hudson when she was 15. Her eventual escape from this institution recently inspired film-makerturned-playwright David McDonald to portray this story of triumph over adversity on stage. Abused by her stepfather following her mother’s unexpected death in 1932, Fitzgerald went to live with her aunt in Harlem, dropped out of school, and began working as a lookout for a local brothel. Fitzgerald was eventually caught by the police and a judge sentenced her to attend the New York State Training School for Girls in April 1933. In a New York Times article from 1996, published shortly after Fitzgerald’s death, an administrator from the reform school, recalled the institution’s harsh conditions during her confinement. “She had been held in the basement of one of the cottages once and all but tortured,” said Thomas Tunney, who was administrator of the reform school from 1965 until its closure in 1976. Less than a year later after first being brought to Hudson, Fitzgerald mysteriously escaped. Soon after, she got the career breakthrough at an Apollo Theater amateur night that would launch her into stardom. When McDonald first heard about Fitzgerald’s past, he instantly recognized it as an allegory of the oppression of marginalized people. It was then he decided to turn this story into a piece of theater and began writing the script. “It’s the story of people being trapped with no visible means of escape,” McDonald says. “The message of the play is: Don’t ever give up.” He began work on the production in June 2019. 76 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
“Our production sort of ground to a halt at the end of the summer, though,” McDonald says. For the lead role of Ella, he had three actresses fall through over the course of three months due to conflicting commitments. The production stopped moving forward. After a reboot of the production at the Theatre for the New City in Greenwich Village also fell through due to lack of funding, he wondered “Ella” would ever come to fruition. Then, while eating lunch at the Valatie Diner one afternoon, he noticed lots of kids buzzing in and out of the Valatie Community Theatre across the street. “On a whim, I decided to cross the street and see what was going on,” McDonald says. That’s where he met Tanya Phelps, who was directing a youth production of “Frozen Jr.” McDonald and Phelps quickly hit it off. Phelps was instrumental in helping McDonald finally cast the role of Ella and making an introduction to the Valatie Community Theatre. The play itself is a drama with three musical numbers. Writing the character of Ella was an interesting challenge for McDonald as not much is known of her time at the school. “Many of us know the public character of Ella Fitzgerald as kind, gracious, almost regal in her bearing,” McDonald explains. “However, she always refused to talk about what had happened to her as a teenager in 1933.” The character he created is that of a stoic person who exemplifies endurance through life’s tribulations, and is partly based on McDonanld’s own mother. “That being said, having a quiet character at the center of your play doesn’t lend itself to drama, or fun, so I invented the character of Alice, her cellmate and best friend, to be Ella’s foil, the chatterbox who really does most of the communicating with the audience and drives the play forward,” McDonald says. “Ella the Ungovernable” will debut at the Valatie Community Theatre in Valatie on February 14 and 15. Valatiecommunitytheatre.org —Elyse Sadtler
February 22 The King of the Rant returns with his 2020 standup comedy tour, “It Gets Better Every Day.” (Sure it does, Lewis.) Intelligent rant is essential for survival in these curious times of ours. Count on Black to skewer absurdity, hypocrisy, and madness at every turn, in his classic cathartic style. You may even decide to join his Frustrated Union of Cynical Kindreds Universal. (Try the acronym. Then check out the work this selfdeclared cynic and Grammy winner does for stateless kids with Children of the Forest College Fund.) Black performs at Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston on February 22 at 8pm. bardavon.org.
FESTIVAL Vassar Modfest
Through February 9 Vassar College is hosting Modfest, its annual arts extravaganza. Through February 9, there’s a packed schedule of performances, discussions, and experiences related to this year’s theme, which is “Reflect to Project,” interpreted every which way by Grammy Award-nominated vocal ensemble New York Polyphony, Jeff Snyder’s laptop orchestra, Tony Award-winning actress Celia Keenan-Bolger, members of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and faculty and students in performance. Vassar.edu
MUSIC Ain’t That Good News: Hudson Valley Gospel Festival
February 21-February 23 They’ll be making lots of joyful noise all weekend long at the Hudson Valley Gospel Festival, happening at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and the Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center. Ain’t That Good News offers lovers of praise music a chance to come together, explore the genre’s impact on culture through history, and polish their skills. For performers and those who’d like to be, there will be breakout/ workshop sessions and master classes focusing on traditional and contemporary gospel, call and response, spoken word, shedding, open voice workshops, visual arts, music directing, youth choir (ages 12-17) and drum and dance ministry, all leading up to a red carpet worship session on Sunday. You can buy full-weekend tickets and immerse yourself, or attend any or all of the concerts happening Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Dutchesstourism.com/hvgospelfestival
For comprehensive calendar listings visit Chronogram.com/events.
TALK Climatologist James Hansen
February 6 Born into an Iowa tenant farm family, Dr. James Hansen is a soft-spoken, brilliant, and persistent scientist who warned the United States Senate about climate change back in 1988. With his granddaughter and 20 other young people, he is pursuing Juliana v. United States, which asserts that the federal government is denying young people their constitutional rights through its inability to address climate change. On February 6, Hansen will speak at Kingston High School from 7-9:30pm in a “Catskill Conversation” about climate science and inaugurating the Ashokan Youth Empowerment and Sustainability Summit (YESS!). Ashokancenter.org
THEATER “The First Ladies Coalition”
February 21-February 23 What were Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, and Mary Todd Lincoln like? What did they carry behind their public faces, and how did they carry it? We’ll never fully know, but thanks to writer and actress Ginger Grace, we can get a lesser-known perspective. Grace was inspired to write “The First Ladies Coalition” after a national tour opposite Rich Little in “The Presidents”, playing all of the first ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Hillary Clinton. In this show, Colleen McCracken—an immigrant, ex-con, and survivor of domestic abuse played by Grace—invites us into her sewing shop and introduces us (through subtle impersonation) to the famous foursome. The show will be presented at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill on February 21 and 22 at 7:30pm and February 23 at 2 pm. Bridgest.org
Through March 1 Denizen Theater in New Paltz is staging the regional premiere of Elizabeth Heffron’s “Bo-Nita,” directed by Summer Wallace, as the first show of the 2020 season. The play, a one-woman show starring Terry Weagant, follows the intellectually gifted and hilariously imaginative Bo-Nita, a 13-year-old who learns life’s lessons while observing the behaviors of those around her, for better or for worse. Broadway World said Weagant “absolutely illuminated the stage” in an earlier run in New York City. Performances Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm through March 1. Denizentheatre.com
MAGIC Ryan Dutcher
Illusionist Ryan Dutcher blends astonishing magic with devastating comedy, Broadwaystyle production values, and intense audience engagement, combining the tradition of the Las Vegas-style illusion shows with rock-concert energy. MTV has described him as “amazing” and a Fordham University reviewer as “inspirational.” If you think your sense of wonder is a thing of the past, Dutcher is out to show you that your inner child can emerge and be delighted. He grew up in Hopewell Junction, started performing at age 11, and has been touring the nation at venues great and small, so come enjoy the artist on his home turf at the Center for the Performing Arts in Rhinebeck on February 28 and 29 at 8pm and March 1 at 3pm. Centerforperformingarts.org
For comprehensive calendar listings visit Chronogram.com/events.
King of Birds, Kahn & Selesnick, 2012-2013
Apocalyptic Follies KAHN & SELESNICK AT HOTCHKISS'S TREMAINE GALLERY Through February 23 Hotchkiss.org/arts “We’re strange optimists, in a dark way,” remarks Nicholas Kahn, one half of the artist team Kahn & Selesnick. Their new show, “Truppe Fledermaus & the Carnival at the End of the World,” remains at the Tremaine Gallery at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut until February 23. When I first saw their photographs, I thought they were paintings—or Edwardian book illustrations. I was reminded of the witty, morbid drawings of Edward Gorey, collected into books such as The Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Curious Sofa: A Pornographic Tale. The arch-topped photographs seemed designed for the Victorian stereoscope, a handheld device for producing three-dimensional images by gazing through lenses at two identical photos. The subjects of the photos are often in profile, suggesting tarot cards—and, in fact, Kahn & Selesnick have designed their own tarot deck, which is on display at the Tremaine Gallery. Also in the show are posters, writing, ceramic heads eerily lit from below, and a life-sized halfhuman half-bat sculpture, hanging upside-down from the ceiling. The artists’ latest “novel,” 100 Views of The Drowning World, which is actually 100 loose pages which may be shuffled at will, is displayed on one wall. “Truppe Fledermaus” represents approximately seven years of work. (“Fledermaus” is German for “bat,” which explains the man-bat.) In the early days of the internet, avant-gardists spoke of a “hypertext novel,” a story composed by a group of writers which could branch in various directions, with no fixed beginning or end. Kahn & Selesnick have imported this concept into visual art. But what is the “plot” of their “novel”? Pictures
of lost-looking people—a man with a satchel on a deserted street, a pilgrim hoisting a massive woodframed backpack—evoke the world refugee crisis, as well as global warming—two connected phenomena, come to think of it. Or are the protagonists on a spiritual quest? It’s almost like Kahn & Selesnick are playing a game: how cleverly can they hide their politics? And how cheerful can an apocalypse be? Theirs is an anthropology of the future. The two artists met as teenagers at Washington University in St. Louis in the early `80s, where they moved in together, both majored in photography, and began “creating worlds”—to use Kahn’s phrase. The budding artists had similar influences: the writing of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, the elegiac paintings of Casper David Friedrich, the Victorian photos of Julia Margaret Cameron. Kahn & Selesnick work in series, first setting out basic ground rules. The two share many tasks, but there’s some division of labor. Selesnick makes paper items, and does most of the writing and Photoshop. Kahn produces fabric costumes, larger props, clay sculpture. “I do more of the painting, though Richard’s a better painter,” Kahn avers. The artists no longer share an apartment, but over the years have lived in proximity: on Cape Cod, in Ireland, and presently in the Hudson Valley. “We’re usually 35 minutes away from each other,” Kahn explains. “That’s the correct collaborative distance.” Kahn & Selesnick’s “Truppe Fledermaus & the Carnival at the End of the World” will remain at the Tremaine Gallery of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut until February 23. Hotchkiss.org/arts —Sparrow 2/20 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 77
Totally Dedicated: Leonard Contino, 1940–2016
Mel Bochner Barry Le Va on view Leonard Contino, Lady, 1967, courtesy the Estate of Leonard Contino
January 22 – April 5, 2020 Dia Beacon 3 Beekman Street Beacon, New York diaart.org
78 THE GUIDE CHRONOGRAM 2/20
Opening reception: Saturday, February 8, 5 – 7 pm SAMUEL DORSK Y MUSEUM OF ART
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT NEW PALTZ
exhibits “‘BUILT’ ARCHITECTURE IN ART AND DESIGN” AT THE LOCKWOOD GALLERY Lockwood Gallery’s ebullient press release states that: “At the heart of ‘BUILT’ lie our deepest questions and preoccupations with the spaces we inhabit: questions of function and ornament, access and exclusion, impulse and restraint, play and severity.” Nine powerhouse artists, designers, and architects have been enlisted to realize the promise of this ambitious concept led by Tom Fruin, whose colorful water towers and house-like structures made of plexiglass, steel, plastic, and scrap material bring new life to seemingly dreary environments in Brooklyn and across the country. Other works include architect Richard Scherr’s elegant sculptures, which suggest models for impossible buildings and Jeanette Fintz’s paintings, which balance urban elegance and natural lyricism. Through February 22 Addition House, Tom Fruin, welded steel, reclaimed plexiglass, wire
10 Must-See Hudson Valley Art Exhibits for February 2020 by Carl Van Brunt “PHOTOWORK: BEYOND 20/20” AT BARRETT ART CENTER The latest iteration of this annual survey, now in its 33rd year, highlights the art of contemporary photographers working throughout the US selected by Shoair Mavlian, executive director of Photoworks UK. Mavlian chose 40 photographs for the show, including several examples of social commentary. Included among these is Ellen Jacob’s Alajandra, which depicts a young advocate for immigrant rights—brought to the US from Mexico as a baby yet recently detained by ICE—with her back to the camera facing a brick wall, defiantly raising her fist. Through March 7
“HOT/COLD: EXPRESSIONS IN WAX” AT ARTS MID-HUDSON “Hot/Cold,” curated by Tracy Leavitt, includes 11 different artists, some of whom use wax in its hot, fluid state known as encaustic, some of whom prefer to work with it in its more viscous form called cold wax, and some who utilize both forms in the same artwork. Hot, cold, or in-between—several cool pieces are on view, including Dietlind Vander Schaaf’s elegant abstraction composed of Zen-tinged mark making, Regina Quinn’s subtly textured landscape, and Judith Hoyt’s translucent wax and collage work. Through February 16
“ALWAYS: ALEX KWARTLER AND SAM ROECK” AT JDJ | ICE HOUSE IN GARRISON According to the JDJ website, “ALWAYS is a metaphor for relationship: the relinquishing of control, the freedom found in parameters, the inevitability of miscommunication and loss, the roles of time and chance, and the necessity of trust.” A visitor will find two projectors rotating full 360 in opposite directions flashing images in RBG from Kwartler’s and Roeck’s art reference files. For brief moments, the images overlap. Neither artist has collaborated with another artist before. The visitor is also a collaborator entrusted with putting this all together. Clues can be found by
ascending to the gallery’s loft to find examples of each artist’s still work: Kwalter’s Snowflake paintings—spare means/colidescoping meanings; and Roeck’s Inferno drawings—carefully rendered with discrete sub-sections, against grids that are sometimes manipulated to create spatial illusions. Through March 15
“TRANSLATIONS” AT THE ALBANY CENTER GALLERY The quirky human practice of translating commonplace visual reality into abstract form is the subject of this fiveperson show. Artistic practices developed over time may be repeated again and again, but somehow the better artists never seem to do exactly the same thing more than once. Consider the work of Beth Humphrey, who as education curator of the Woodstock Artist Association spends a good deal of her time fostering the creativity of children. Humphrey brings an adult playfulness to her fearlessly chromatic and boldly inventive wall pieces that bridge the conceptual gap between micro and macrocosm. Humphrey doesn’t step in the same cosmos twice. The other ingenious abstractionists whose work is on view are Stephen Niccolls, Victoria Palermo, Stacy Petty, and Anthony Ruscitto. February 4–March 6
“COLLECTING LOCAL” AT THE SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM OF ART It’s no secret that there are many very talented artists living and working in and around the Hudson Valley. In recognition of this fact, the Dorsky at SUNY New Paltz has been adding works by local luminaries to its permanent collection every year for the past 12 years through the Alice and Horace Chandler Art Acquisitions Fund. The Chandler’s vision is: “to encourage students and the wider community to engage with the living arts of our region.” Art is chosen for the Annual Purchase Award from works juried into the yearly Hudson Valley Artists exhibition. “Collecting Local,” curated by Anna Conlan, allows the public to see these outstanding artworks displayed together for the first time, including
examples of video, photography, sculpture, prints, and paintings. Some of the artists whose work is on view are Charles Geiger, Libby Paloma, and the team of Curt Belshe and Lisa Prown. February 8–July 12
WILLIAM STONE: “APPERCEPTION” AT HUDSON HALL Apperception, the process of understanding something perceived in terms of previous experience, is the target of William Stone’s self-described “wry” assaults on the way we encounter the everyday world. On view at Hudson Hall are works by Stone, going back as far as 1990, that deconstruct, then reconstruct utilitarian objects to give us a gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) jolt out of our habitual thought patterns and emotional responses. One such reconstruction transforms a once sat-upon object (a chair) into an abstract incarnation of a sitter whose shapely legs dangle over the edge of the pedestal where it is perched. Another piece, Shared Stair—literally linking two separate sets of stairs—boggles perception, triggering an automatic hesitation response not unlike fear. February1–March 15
JOANNE CARLSON: “RISE UP AND SHINE” AT OPALAK GALLERY On the Hudson Valley’s ever changing map of art, it’s a long paddle upstream from the reverent vistas of Thomas Cole to the rollicking floral freak show of JoAnne Carlson. The former saw the sublime in nature, the latter seems to have drunk the nourishing KoolAid first served-up by Pablo Picasso who famously said that instead of imitating nature he worked like nature, creating form instead of mimicking it. “Rise Up and Shine” covers 25 years of Carlson’s seriocomic fecundity, which has manifested in assemblage, sculpture, and painting. Through February 29
2/20 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 79
exhibits GARRISON ART CENTER
23 GARRISON’S LANDING, GARRISON “Presence 2.0: Works on Paper by Doug Navarra.” A marriage of old and new as expressed through Doug Navarra’s choices of vintage documents and the alterations he makes to them with gouache, pencil and ink. Collections of old papers, some dating to over one hundred years old, provide the substrate and starting point for Navarra’s mark making. Through March 1.
365 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL “Henry Klimowicz: Art Exhibition.” Materially dedicated to cardboard and its freedom from the cultural confine of value, Klimowicz sculpts in the way growth occurs in nature. Like a wasp builds its nest, each piece grows from itself, following its own sense. His substantial and complex sculptures populate space, engaging light and setting a new tone for its environment. Saturday, February 1, 6-9pm.
TREAMINE ART GALLERY AT HOTCHKISS 11 INTERLAKEN ROAD, LAKEVILLE
“Truppe Fledermaus & the Carnival at the End of the World.” Kahn & Selesnick, who live in the Hudson Valley region, are a collaborative artist duo working primarily in the field of photography and installation, specializing in the portrayal of fictitious historical narratives. Through February 23.
HUDSON BEACH GLASS GALLERY 162 MAIN STREET, BEACON
“Donald Alter: The Late Work/In Memoriam 1930-2019.” Through February 2.
327 WARREN STREET, HUDSON “William Stone: Apperception.” Mixed media work, ranging from paintings to kinetic sculpture. February 1-March 15.
HUDSON RIVER MARITIME MUSEUM 50 RONDOUT LANDING, KINGSTON
“MARKED DIFFERENCES” AT PINKWATER GALLERY IN KINGSTON The parameters of abstract art are many and varied and Meredith Rosier has been teaching its ways and wonders at the Woodstock School of Art for some time now. Rosier has opened the eyes of many artists to abstraction’s expressive promise and now she has curated a show of nearly 40 regional practitioners at Pinkwater Gallery. Scott Clugstone’s Gorky-inflected mixed media work Audacious Torque, Carol Pepper Cooper’s distinctive Yearning rendered in collage, ink, and charcoal pencil, and Roxie Johnson’s Adrift, which evokes vast space in a small work, are some of the highlights. Through February 28
“Rescuing the River: 50 Years of Environmental Activism on the Hudson.” Through January 1, 2021.
HUDSON VALLEY MOCA
1701 MAIN STREET, PEEKSKILL “How We Live: Selections from the Marc and Livia Straus Collection.” Through December 6.
JDJ | THE ICE HOUSE
CALL FOR ADDRESS, GARRISON “Always: Alex Kwartler & Sam Roeck.” Through March 15.
JOYCE GOLDSTEIN GALLERY
Line Study, Deborah Goldman, pen and ink, 2019
19 CENTRAL SQUARE, CHATHAM “The Roaring Twenties.” Multi-generational artists showcasing work that was made while in the decade of their twenties. Featuring the work of Scott Brodie, Jeanne Flanagan, Richard Garrison, John Hampshire, Andrea Hersh, Jenny Kemp, Catherine McTague, Sara Pruiksma, Kelsey Renko, Christine Snyder. Through February 15.
510 WARREN ST GALLERY
BUSTER LEVI GALLERY
“Charles Benton: New Works.” Through February 8.
ALBERT SHAHINIAN FINE ART GALLERY
“Artists Invite 2020 Exhibition I.” Buster Levi gallery artists invite one other artist to exhibit alongside them in Artists Invite. Through February 2.
“22nd Anniversary Exhibition & New Collector’s Showcase.” Through February 16.
BYRDCLIFFE KLEINERT/JAMES CENTER FOR THE ARTS
“Dimensions Variable.” Painting, sculpture, ceramics, and other media by Byrdcliffe’s talented membership. Through February 16.
“Hot/Cold: Expressions in Wax.” An invitational exhibition curated by Tracy Leavitt featuring works created using the versatile and evocative substance of wax. Through February 16.
CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY
510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON
22 EAST MARKET STREET SUITE 301, RHINEBECK
696 DUTCHESS TURNPIKE, POUGHKEEPSIE.
BARRETT ART CENTER
55 NOXON STREET, POUGHKEEPSIE “Paintings by Lisa Turtz.” Through February 22.
BEACON ARTIST UNION
506 MAIN STREET, BEACON “Camaraderie.” A group exhibition highlighting the ceramic works of Jack Troy and his anagama firing crew; Carolanne Currier, Rob Boryk, Janine Dudash, Michael Robinson, Nick Miller, Kyle Myers, Eileen Sackman, Lynne Anne Verbeck and BJ Watson. Through February 3.
BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN
121 MAIN STREET, COLD SPRING
36 TINKER STREET, WOODSTOCK
622 WARREN STREET, HUDSON Winter Nocturne. An exhibit of contemporary painting, sculpture and photography that explore the subtleties and structures found in nature. Selections will include works by Frank Faulkner, Gary Buckendorf, Joe Wheaton, Don Bracken and photographs by Betsy Weis. Through February 23.
398 MAIN STREET, CATSKILL “Aerial Abstraction.” Photos by Alon Koppel. Through March 21.
11 PEEKSKILL RD., COLD SPRING “After the Storm.” Work by Kristen DeFontes. Through March 7.
5 WEST STOCKBRIDGE ROAD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA
“Unborn Sun: Paintings by John Gordon Gauld.” Gauld’s compositions depict assemblages that seem unintentional at ﬁrst, but with sustained attention, reveal a myriad of calculated, symbolic associations. Through February 7.
Barry Le Va. Long-term view. Mel Bochner. Long-term view.
BOARDMAN ROAD BRANCH LIBRARY 141 BOARDMAN ROAD, POUGHKEEPSIE
“New Works and Retrospective: Paintings by Ivars Sprogis.” Through March 8.
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3 BEEKMAN STREET, BEACON
EAST FISHKILL COMMUNITY LIBRARY 348 ROUTE 376, HOPEWELL JUNCTION
“Exhibit of Heart.” Paintings by June Killeen. February 1-29.
LOCKWOOD ART GALLERY 747 ROUTE 28, KINGSTON
“Built: Architecture in Art & Design.” Works by Tom Fruin, Andrew Lyght, David Provan, Susan Spencer Crowe, Jeanette Fintz, Richard Scherr, Kurt Steger, Mitchell Rasor and Geoff Ross exploring the boundaries governing the intersections of art, architecture, and design. Through February 22.
2683 SOUTH ROAD, POUGHKEEPSIE Contemporary Edo Art by Mariah Reading. Reading has a zerowaste practice, using found objects as her canvas. Through April 26.
MARK GRUBER GALLERY
17 NEW PALTZ PLAZA, NEW PALTZ “Ruth Gruber: Photographs as Witness.” Celebrates the remarkable life (1911-2016), a 20th-century pioneer and trailblazing photojournalist. February 8-March 14. Opening reception February 8, 5pm-7pm.
3 FRIENDLY LANE, MILLBROOK “Winter Flowers: Photographs by Lee Courtney.” Through February 29.
VASSAR COLLEGE, 124 RAYMOND AVENUE, POUGHKEEPSIE “Self-taught and Outsider Art from a Private ‘Teaching Collection.’” Curated by Arthur F. Jones, an art history professor, collector, and also an artist. Through February 16.
56 NORTH FRONT STREET, KINGSTON “Marked Differences.” Group show of abstract form curated by Meredith Rosier. Through February 28.
QUEEN CITY 15
“Ancestral African Whisperings: The 2020 Codes.” Opening reception February 15, 3pm-5pm.
“Composed to Decompose.” Forty-five artists have composed installations that are intentionally designed to decompose over the course of an entire year. They demonstrate that it is through decomposition that fertility is replenished, ecosystems are revitalized, and life is renewed. Through July 31.
317 MAIN STREET, POUGHKEEPSIE
RIVER WINDS GALLERY
172 MAIN STREET, BEACON “New Year/New Artists: Devlin and Dooley.” KP Devlin’s paintings are inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights—specifically the Hell portion! Jennifer Dooley skillfully uses wide-angle lenses to magnify the tattered grandeur of public spaces that had been built to impress. Through February 2.
ROCKLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS
27 SOUTH GREENBUSH ROAD, WEST NYACK “American Modernism: 20th Century Influencers in Rockland.” Through February 23. “Natural Progressions.” Site Specific installations. Through April 30, 2-5pm.
SAMUEL DORSKY MUSEUM OF ART 1 HAWK DRIVE, NEW PALTZ
“Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place).” Jan Sawka (1946-2012) was a notable contemporary artist of Polish descent whose works convey his fascination with human consciousness, memory, and places through which a human life passes. February 8-July 12. Opening reception February 8, 5pm-7pm.
449 WARREN STREET #3, HUDSON. “Sentients.” Laleh Khorramian. Through February 23.
THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
1946 CAMPUS DRIVE, HYDE PARK 452-9600. “Amber Waves: Transforming Grain, Transforming America in the 19th & 20th Centuries.” Student-curated exhibit. This exhibit delves into how the advancements in grain production impacted American society in the United States through the 1800s and 1900s. Students considered seven topics of importance: technology, labor, alcohol, economy, politics, science, and ritual. In researching this project, they explored the role of grain in the field, kitchen, and industry. Through April 30.
68 MOUNTAIN REST ROAD, NEW PALTZ
VALLEY ARTISANS MARKET
25 EAST MAIN STREET, CAMBRIDGE “Stu Eichel: Paintings.” Through February 19.
LEHMAN LOEB ART GALLERY
124 RAYMOND AVENUE, POUGHKEEPSIE “Metal, Acid, Line: Etchings from the Loeb.” Spanning time and geography, this focused exhibition features more than a dozen prints from the permanent collection chosen for their common medium: etching. Through April 12.
11 MOHONK ROAD, HIGH FALLS “The Shape of Light.” Seven artists from the Hudson Valley bring their unique interpretations of how light affects their work. Curated by Ann Crowley and Laura Taylor. Featuring works by Anne Crowley, Diane Dwyer, Cristeen Gamet, Heather Hutchinson, Lisa Jacobson, Joana Murphy, and Laura Taylor. Through April 26.
WOODSTOCK ARTISTS ASSOCIATION AND MUSEUM
DOUG NAVARRA AND MATT FRIEBURGHAUS AT GARRISON ART CENTER What’s past is still present in Doug Navarra’s inclusive gaze. His works in gouache, pencil, and ink on antique paper—which he masterfully reconstructs and then embellishes with inventive contemporary mark-making of his own devising— are invitations for close inspection for the inquiring eye and engaged contemplation for the probing mind. Matt Frieburghaus engages the history of the earth—past, present, and future—which he found compellingly expressed in the Icelandic subarctic and Low-Artic landscapes which he visited three times between 2014 and 2018. Employing 3-D wall projections, objects made from 3-D printers, and video projections with sound, Frieburghaus evokes the vanishing presence of our natural world. Through March 1 untitled, Doug Navarra, gouache, pencil, and ink on vintage papers
28 TINKER STREET, WOODSTOCK
“Fresh Snow: Recent Work.” Juried by SooJin Buzelli. Hibernating artists emerge mid-winter from their studios to show us new work, reviving our winter weary souls, like the softest blanket of snow. February 1-March 1. Opening reception February 8, 4pm-6pm.
WOODSTOCK SCHOOL OF ART 2470 ROUTE 212, WOODSTOCK
“Works by Thompson Family Foundation Scholarship Recipients.” Works by high school and college student recipients of scholarships provided by the Foundation. February 1-29. Opening reception February 8, 3pm-5pm.
TIVOLI ARTISTS GALLERY 60 BROADWAY, TIVOLI
“New Year/New Works.” Annual spotlight on new artwork, photography, printmaking, sculpture and more. Through February 9.
2/20 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 81
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Painting by Sean Sullivan
ROCKET NUMBER NINE RECORDS
Zoltan Fejervari plays Howland Cultural Center in Beacon on February 16.
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN/JOE PUG February 7. Bonny Light Horseman is a folk supergroup made up of Grammy- and Tony-winning singersongwriter Anaïs Mitchell (“Hadestown”), Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats, Califone, the Shins), and Josh Kaufman (Bob Weir, Craig Finn). The trio’s self-titled debut, released last month, has been eliciting critical raves for its ghostly takes on traditional English ballads. Chicago-based troubadour Joe Pug’s road-weary tunes echo with the musical spells of Dylan, Prine, and Cohen and the literary slants of Steinbeck, Whitman, and Carver. The two acts share this intimate night at Levon Helm Studios. (The Weight Band plays the Band February 15; Tanya Tucker trucks in March 6.) 7:30pm. $30, $45. Woodstock. Levonhelm.com.
CHEAP TRICK February 7. If you’ve somehow never seen America’s top power pop band live, well, you really need to correct that sad situation. This month, the pride of Rockford, Illinois—roaring frontman Robin Zander, mugging guitarist Rick Nielsen, thundering bassist Tom Petersson, and Petersson’s son Daxx now in place of original drummer Bun E. Carlos—blows the ornately decorated roof off the Palace Theater. As liberating as anthems like “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” and “Southern Girls” hit via record, it just don’t get no better than the real, live thing. In concert, Cheap Trick never disappoints. (Get the Led Out lionizes Led Zeppelin February 1; the Wood Brothers knock it out February 8.) 8pm. $34.75-$64.75. Albany. Palacealbany.org.
ERIC PERSON PLAYS RONALD SHANNON JACKSON February 9. Drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson (19402013) was one of New York’s avant-jazz pioneers, performing with Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, and Ornette Coleman; in the mid-1970s he was in the latter’s electric free funk band, Prime Time. In 1979 he formed the Decoding Society, a group that featured a preLiving Color Vernon Reid on guitar and future Ben Harper sideman Eric Person on saxophones. Person pays tribute to the music of Jackson at the Falcon with this date, which also features keyboardist Neil “Nail” Alexander, bassist Robert Kopec, and drummer Dean Sharp. (Cindy Cashdollar slides in February 3; Telepathic Moon Dance jams February 6.) 8pm. Donation requested. Marlboro. Liveatthefalcon.com.
ZOLTAN FEJERVARI February 16. Pianist Zoltan Fejervari has performed in his native Hungary as a soloist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Hungarian National Orchestra, and the Concerto Budapest Orchestra. Here, he adds the 1872 Howland Cultural Center to the list of prestigious venues he’s appeared at, which also includes Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Library of Congress, the Palau de Musica in Valencia, and the Biblioteca Nacional de Buenos Aires. For the program, which is being presented as part of the Howland Chamber Circle series, he’ll perform works by Beethoven, Haydn, Bartok, and Janacek. (9 Horses trots in February 8; the Lincoln Trio plays March 1.) 4pm. $30 ($10 students). Beacon. Howlandculturalcenter.org.
ANNIE HART/ALEXA WILDING February 18. Fans of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” reboot may recognize Brooklyn vocalist and keyboardist Annie Hart from her synth pop trio Au Revoir Simone’s appearance in the series. In 2017, she released her solo debut, Impossible Accomplice, which was singled out by New York magazine’s Bedford and Bowery blog for its “resonant, tender, and not too sweet” sounds. Hart, who has collaborated with arch French synth duo Air, shares this bill at the Half Moon with townie Alexa Wilding, whose music draws on her experiences as the mother of twins (one of whom is a cancer survivor). Her third and most recent album is 2016’s ethereal Wolves. 8pm. Call or check website for ticket prices. Hudson. Thehalfmoonhudson.com.
JESSE MALIN February 20. The music of Lower East Side staple Jesse Malin has certainly made quite a journey since his days as the frontman of 1980s hardcore pioneers Heart Attack and 1990s glam punkers D Generation. Since 2002’s The Fine Art of Self Destruction the singersongwriter has been releasing acclaimed, acousticlaced, heart-on-the-sleeve solo albums that accent his earnest and introspective side and feature guest appearances by friends like Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, and Billie Joe Armstrong. Williams produced Malin’s newest offering, 2019’s Sunset Kids, whose songs should be in the set when he pays a winter visit to Colony. (The Big Takeover returns February 15; Chris Bergson and Ellis Hooks get bluesy February 28.) 7pm. $15, $20. Woodstock. Colonywoodstock.com.
2/20 CHRONOGRAM THE GUIDE 83
Horoscopes By Lorelai Kude
TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT For all the astro-hype around January’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction, some astrologers may have not even bothered writing horoscopes for February—that’s how close some thought we’d come to The End of the World As We Know It. To be fair, there is a precedent for that kind of fear. 2001’s Saturn-Pluto opposition brought us 9/11; only days prior to the exact conjunction of Saturn-Pluto last month, the US was on the brink of war with Iran. By the time this column gets into print anything may have happened—but be assured friends, life goes on, and February’s forecast brings some unexpected relief from all the heaviness via future-focused Sun in idealistic Aquarius through February 18. Though it’s still cold outside, our gut instinct tells us the earth is remembering new life again and eventually winter’s end. Hearts are warmed and friends welcomed at the Full Moon in generous Leo February 8. Romantic Venus enters courageous Aries February 7, making a passionate trine to brave Mars in Sagittarius through February 15. Finally, smack in the middle of all the intensity brought on by a celestial clusterbomb in serious, sober Capricorn–Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, the South Lunar Node and Mars after February 16–little Mercury in Pisces swims into view, retrograde February 16–March 9. Pisces counters cruelty with compassion, indifference with empathy, and healing through forgiveness. The Sun in Pisces after February 28 and the New Moon in Pisces February 23 implore you: Turn off the talking heads and hysteria-makers. Trust your gut instinct and open your hand to your neighbor. Reach across the aisle to mend fences with a friend who cares just as much about the world as you do, but perhaps in a different way. Open your mind and heart to the vulnerable who are put into your path—they are your teachers, and you are theirs.
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ARIES (March 20–April 19) Venus in Aries is courageous love; a love brave enough to face hard truths. Venus enters Aries February 8, immediately teaming up with asteroid Chiron, the Wounded Healer, to inaugurate a fresh perspective on past suffering. Feelings of vulnerability may surface. Unprocessed grief finds opportunity to heal through physical action, especially around February 26–28. Trust your body’s wisdom now. Ruling planet Mars in Sagittarius through February 16 lends inspiration to your assertiveness; the Archer’s bow takes aim and Mars in Capricorn February 17 through the end of March empowers you to do the hard work of hitting the target.
TAURUS (April 19–May 20) First-Quarter pleasure-loving Taurus Moon February 1 stimulates your quest for the ultimate in coziness, and by February 28-29, you’ll find even more creative ways to be snugly serene. Planetary ruler Venus in assertive Aries after February 7 empowers you to seek a secure nest, removed from toxic conflict, to rest your peace-loving soul. Venus squares Jupiter February 23 at the Pisces New Moon: Beware of over-spending or outright denial about the costs associated with maintaining your comfort zone. Emotional struggles at Venus’s square to Pluto February 28 may be avoided by seeking new ways to share power and responsibility.
A practicing, professional astrologer for over 30 years, Lorelai Kude can be reached for questions and personal consultations via email (email@example.com) and her Kabbalah-flavored website is Astrolojew.com. 84 HOROSCOPES CHRONOGRAM 2/20
GEMINI (May 20–June 21) Your cup runneth over with new ideas, but your brain is so over-stimulated now there’s hardly anywhere to put them. Declutter your mind February 3–4 with a major mental house cleaning. Throw out old ideas gathering dust and taking up much-needed space. Mercury Retrograde in “wishful thinking is just as true as actual truth.” Pisces February 16–March 9 is great for conjuring dreams and stimulating your imagination. Review your recent creations for originality February 5; surprising new insights or information may prompt a reassessment of your efforts by February 28. You’re on the edge of a significant breakthrough!
CANCER (June 21–July 22) The word “looney” is from “Luna” (Moon), and Moon-ruled Cancer feels looney this month around material-world issues of money and worth. The Full Moon in Leo February 8/9 demands more attention than usual be paid to your valuables, resources, and rights. By the Moon’s conjunction to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in solar opposite Capricorn February 18-20 and Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, you may feel a little crazy when measuring your own sense of self-worth against your balance sheet. Remember, you can’t put a price on personal values such as integrity, loyalty, and compassion. These riches never rust.
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LEO (July 22–August 23) Charisma, charm, and personality power are on full throttle this month! The Full Moon in Leo February 8/9 burns brightly in both the skies and your own heart as your emotional life takes a turn for the weirdly wonderful now. Emotional empathy for those less fortunate (or less fabulous) than yourself is strong, as the Sun, your planetary ruler, travels from idealistic, humanitarian Aquarius to compassionate, sensitive Pisces February 18. Compelling attraction to unique and unusual people, places, and things February 22–24 may prompt spontaneous travel or at the very least a staycation with a status quo-breaking special someone.
VIRGO (August 23–September 23) Mercury Retrograde in your solar opposite Pisces February 16–March 9 asks you to examine communications around intimate relationships. Mixed messages are evidence of ambiguity. You long to be whole-hearted in love but your analytical mind resists believing fragile, flawed humanity can live up to your own high ideals. Mercury sextiles original, rebellious Uranus February 5 throwing new light on an old subject; at Mercury Retrograde’s second sextile to Uranus February 28 confirms your instincts. Resist gaslighting efforts by those who have the most to lose with the diminishment of your attention. Your personal sovereignty is a priceless commodity.
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LIBRA (September 23–October 23) Ruling planet Venus in solar opposite Aries gives passion a leading role in the drama of your life during February, adding fire and heat to an almost too-airy approach to intimacy. Libra prefers idealistic beauty, avoiding anything unpleasant, messy, or imperfect. This month your membership in flawed, frail humanity comes up for renewal and the price to pay is recognition and acknowledgement of your own very human vulnerability. Maturity requires acceptance of ambiguous reality. Venus squares Jupiter February 23 at the New Moon in Pisces, forcing confrontation with your fears and reprioritizing compassion for others as well as yourself. 2/20 CHRONOGRAM HOROSCOPES 85
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SCORPIO (October 23–November 21) Frustrated feelings and blocked channels of communication which last month seemed insurmountable find a work-around at the Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio February 15, followed immediately by Mercury in Retrograde Pisces February 15–March 9, which surprisingly opens the floodgates of the heart. Emotional intensity dot com is your personal URL by Valentine’s Day. Classical ruler Mars in exuberant Sagittarius through February 15 favors risk-taking; Mars in Capricorn from the 16th onward prefers the safe bet, but when Mars trines Uranus February 21 all bets are off. Expect the unexpected! Non-conforming personal choices now yield unexpected, unusual rewards later.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22–December 22) Ruling planet Jupiter in conservative Capricorn all year expands your perspective on wealth, responsibility, and commitment. Mars in buoyant Sagittarius through February 15 fuels your tank with optimistic hope, tempting you to overestimate your ability to deliver on extravagant vows. Mars in Capricorn from February 16 warns you to pace yourself and not make promises with your mouth that your arrow-wielding centaur self can’t cash. Playing the long game requires patience and forbearance, two qualities you’d be wise to cultivate. You’re being fast-tracked for a big win after this season of dues-paying. Consider it an investment, not a punishment.
CAPRICORN (December 22–January 20)
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86 HOROSCOPES CHRONOGRAM 2/20
With Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, the South Node and Mars after February 16 all in Capricorn, there’s a lot of sobering reality cluttering up your energetic field. Though it may require effort to loosen up, once you’ve unleashed your (surprisingly bawdy) sense of humor, relief from all the crushing seriousness comes quickly. Finding ways to relieve internal pressures with external pleasures is the job of the Venus sextile to Pluto and Saturn February 1-3. Mercury retrograde in sensitive Pisces February 16 and Sun in Pisces after February 18 is a tender balm, bathing you in compassion. Empathy heals old wounds.
AQUARIUS (January 20–February 19) Sun in Aquarius through February 18 spit-shines your dancing shoes. Though it may be cold outside you’re warmed by the Full Moon in Leo February 8/9, inviting intimacy into your life in an unconventional way. Modern planetary ruler Uranus in sensual Taurus is sextiled by compassionate, empathetic Mercury February 5, and again during Mercury’s retrograde February 18. The time between these two transits is an opportunity to temper unrealistic ideals which no mere human can meet with the sweet relief of allowing yourself to be loved for just who you are right now, with all your gloriously human vulnerabilities.
PISCES (February 20-March 19) With classical ruler Jupiter in Capricorn and modern ruler Neptune in Pisces, you reap the benefit of applied practical knowledge and mature wisdom applied directly to your dreams. Your chance to prove you’re worthy of success comes at the Jupiter-Neptune sextile February 20. Mercury Retrograde in Pisces February 16–March 9 revisits partnership deals and business details made in January which looked rock-solid at the time but now may be exhibiting cracks. Shore up the foundations of your business and personal relationships, and if you’re mixing the two it’s imperative you develop healthy boundaries (a Chinese wall?) between them.
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Chronogram February 2020 (ISSN 1940-1280)
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2/20 CHRONOGRAM AD INDEX 87
Untitled, Larry Arvidson, August 13, 2017
On a lazy summer afternoon in 2010, Larry Arvidson was out on the Hudson River in his sailboat just south of the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. He was startled by a low-flying plane that preceded to buzz his boat multiple times before continuing north, flying under the bridge. (Planes are not allowed to fly under bridges.) The aircraft was a Consolidated PBY Catalina, a distinctive-looking seaplane widely used in WWII. Arvidson notified the Albany office of the Federal Aviation Administration about the reckless flyer in the historic plane via email. The FAA replied that unless he had photographic evidence, Arvidson shouldn’t bother them with strange stories of antique aircraft zooming under bridges. So Arvidson, an amateur photographer, started bringing his Olympus sailing with him. Fast-forward seven years. A bright summer day just off the Rhinecliff waterfront. Arvidson notices a homemade ultralight aircraft cruising low over the water. There’s also a motorboat zipping past. And a train pulling out of the Rhinecliff train station. A serendipitous convergence of modern transportation modes. Arvidson pulls out his Olympus and waits until everything’s in frame and presto, an improbable shot. Arvidson claims no credit. “It was total luck,” he says. —Brian K. Mahoney To submit street (or river) photography for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue, email your 300-dpi photos with captions to our creative director at email@example.com.
88 PARTING SHOT CHRONOGRAM 2/20
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