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Summertime Adventures in:

COOKING THE BROOKLYN RUSTIC WAY 18 / Road-tripping TO MAINE’S DOWNEAST COASTLINE 24 OUR SURVEILLANCE CULTURE 28 / THE

NEW!

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS 32 / QUESTIONING ORGANIC ORTHODOXY 38


FULL SERVICE INTERIOR DESIGN 10,000 SQ FT SHOWROOM ON-SITE CUSTOM WORKROOM Fabric, wallpaper, indoor and outdoor furniture, fine rugs, lighting, linens, and decorative objects; sourced worldwide.

LAKEVILLE INTERIORS

Visit the largest decoration and design resource in The Hudson Valley, The Berkshires, and The Litchfield Hills:

7 HOLLEY STREET LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT 860-435-9397 www.lakevilleinteriors.com


modern

At Lindal we are very proud that for over 70 years we have been producing homes that are modern in spirit and warm in nature. At the heart of the Lindal Experience lives progress and tradition, inspiration and predictability – the cutting-edge architecture is delivered through the time-honored building systems of Lindal Cedar homes and backed by a lifetime structural warranty. Lindal Cedar Homes has designed and produced over 50,000 homes, built throughout the world in every climate, on every type of terrain, and in every regulatory environment. Since the introduction of its modern design program in 2008, Lindal has been the modern systemsbuilt ‘prefab’ home of choice for our clients. We will be happy to speak with you about the services we offer, including free site evaluations and site visits, and our free Design Program.

Atlantic Custom Homes, Inc. Stop by our Classic Lindal model at: 2785 Route 9 • Cold Spring, NY 10516 888.558.2636 • 845.265.2636 Info@LindalNY.com www.HudsonValleyCedarHomes.com

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Let us be part of your next flavorful gathering

Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a weekend feast, we’d like to help put something delicious on your table.

Find us at www.mayakaimal.com and Whole Foods Market, Gourmet Garage, Hannaford, Adams Fairacre Farms 2

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EXAGO LOCAL TECH/ GLOBAL IMPACT

Photo by Roy Gumpel

Exago develops software in Kingston, New York, for clients across the world. Its business intelligence software is an industry leader in a market valued at over $17 billion. Like many other tech companies in Ulster County, Exago is expanding, hiring the nextgeneration workforce for cuttingedge digital positions. Is a job in Ulster County in your future?

Exago’s employees benefit from easy access to the outdoors, a thriving arts scene, great local restaurants, and vibrant downtowns. The Ulster County Office of Economic Development helps connect the growing pool of skilled tech workers in Ulster with businesses like Exago. Ulsterforbusiness.com (845) 340-3556

ULSTER COUNTY HACK YOUR WORK/LIFE BALANCE

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Welcome Back to the Catskills

Welcome Back to the Catskills!

Welcome Back to the Catskills!

Spacious Accommodations • Day Spa • Woodnotes Grille • The Country Stores World’s Accommodations Largest Kaleidoscope Adventures in Nature’s Playground • Day• Outdoor • The Country Spacious Spa • Woodnotes Grille Stores

World’s Largest Kaleidoscope • Outdoor Adventures in Nature’s Playground

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WINDHAM MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK

Lift Serviced Downhill Mountain Biking

www.windhammountain.com

Outdoor Adventures Adventures Outdoor

Come Play Play in in Putnam Putnam County Come

Arts&&Th Theater eater Arts

Annual Hudson Valley Annual Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Shakespeare Festival

Dining Dining

Ramiro’s 954 Ramiro’s 954

Historic Historic Places Places

Family Fun Fun Family

www.VisitPutnam.org www.VisitPutnam.org 6

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Sexy Properties. Addictive Website.

No wonder people say we’re real estate porn. Ancram Modern

$1,100,000

Magnificent 3500 sf home on 53 acres in southern Columbia County high on a hill overlooking 1 acre pond. Architect designed & custom built, 4.5 BR/4 BA open floor plan w/ FP, master w/ sitting room, conservatory & screened porch, heated Gunite pool, hot tub, stone walls, English gardens & croquet court. East/west exposure, central A/C.

❚ Harriet Shur 518.965.2144

Rushmore Farm

$895,000

Rare & historic 1754 Dutch stone house on 95.4 acres in Athens among woodlands & pond. 3 BR/2.5 BA. 2012 renovations: new Viking kitchen, mechanicals, central air & insulation. Original wideboard floor, handhewn ceiling beams, cathedral height rafters, 4 18th c. Rumford fireplaces. 18th c. stone smoke house, 3-car garage w/ 2nd floor loft. Private, 1850’ frontage on State Route 9W.

❚ David Ludwig 917.365.1894

Hudson Heritage

$890,000

Circa 1840 Federal/Adam style home just outside of Hudson NY, beautiful & perfectly maintained. Seamless indoor/outdoor living. Rumford fireplaces, pine floors, a vintage home for today’s lifestyle. Gracious hallway, 2 living rooms, dining room, 6 FPs, kitchen w/ original FP. Master suite w/ ensuite 3/4 BA. Blue stone patio, modern pool house & salt water pool w/ Idaho quartz patio.

❚ Pamela Belfor 917.734.7142

Ghent Country Estate

$660,000

Amazing 4 BR/ 3 BA country property on 1.95 acres. Renovated & move-in ready c. 1840 center hall colonial farmhouse overlooking 2 acre pond. French tiled sun room, open plan kitchen w/ stainless appliances, granite counters. Living room w/ wood burning fireplace, master w/ ensuite BA. Stunning rolling fields, mature specimen trees.

❚ Pamela Belfor 917.734.7142

Rhinecliff Perfection

$365,000

Quintessential 2 BR/2 BA Rhinecliff property, blocks from Amtrak. Picture perfect, classic 2-story Folk Victorian home w/ beautiful spindlework detailing on front porch. Contemporary open floor plan, outdoor dining & grilling stone patio off the newly renovated kitchen. Master w/ access to 2nd outdoor space. Garden shed & beautiful stone work.

❚ Rachel Hyman-Rouse 917.686.4906 Historic Uptown Kingston $325,000

One of Stockade District’s oldest post & beam constructions, 3 BR/2.5 BA Dutch vernacular home w/ original clapboard siding, gable roof, wavy glass 6/6 pane windows, & hand-planed doors. Spacious rooms, wide board floors, 8’ ceilings, plaster walls, 2 working FPs, Federal-style open staircase. Outdoor patio & backyard.

❚ Susan Barnett 845.514.5360

Tivoli NY • Hudson NY • Catskill NY • Rhinebeck NY

garydimauro.com Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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TABLE of

CONTENTS

upstater Vo l u m e 3 / Nu m b e r 2

FEATURES

18 24 28

FOOD + DRINK

Rustic Gourmet

Chef Bryan Calvert keeps it simple, both in and out of the kitchen. Story by Susan Piperato Photos by Roy Gumpel TRAVE L

A New Familar Coastline

Road-tripping to Maine’s coastline with a photographer and his family. Story and photos by Matthew Novak CU LTU R E

Living in the Shadow State Karl Marx City’s filmmakers shed light on the Stasi—and America’s

surveillance culture.

Story by Sari Botton

36 38 42 46 8

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The New Pornographers’ creative onus is on Carl Newman, for now. Story by Peter Aaron Photos by Jenny Jimenez AN I MALIA

Greatest Farm on Earth

A Windham farm becomes a home for retired circus and rescue animals. Story by Elissa Garay Photos by John Garay

50 The table comes to the farm.

FAR M I NG

Ravenwood farm in Olivebridge marked the start of summer by hosting its first farm-to-table dinner.

Get Grounded

When Amy Hepworth, farmer and cult hero, questions organic orthodoxy, it’s time to pay attention. Story by Susan Piperato Photos by Hillary Harvey I N NOVATION

The Way of the Maverick

A historic Woodstock concert hall reinvents itself, one note at a time. Story by Debra Bresnan AT HOM E

Thinking Inside the Box

An architect builds a studio retreat deep in the woods. Story by Marie Doyon Photos by Roy Gumpel

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THIS & THAT 12

5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THIS ISSUE

13

CHECK OUT OUR TEAM

14

MY STORY: GISELLE POTTER

16

OBJECTIFIED: THE HOME STEREO

50

OF THE MOMENT: FEEDING FRIENDS-Y

52

ON-THE-MARKET POSTS

64

CLOSURE: LEAVING BABY CHLOE

ON THE COVER New Jersey-based photographer Matthew Novak created this selfportrait with the Milky Way (and a headlamp) at Mother’s Beach in Kennebunk, Maine.

Photo: Brooke FItts

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M USIC

Risqué Business


The 172nd Dutchess County Fair Rhinebeck, NY

August 22 - August 27 FREE SHOW

3 DOORS DOWN

BROTHERS OSBORNE THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW

Tuesday - August 22 - 7:30pm Wednesday - August 23 - 7:30pm Thursday - August 24 - 7:30pm Friday - August 25- 7:30pm

Advance Discount Tickets

NOW ON SALE

Go To: dutchessfair.com

Wine Bar + Kitchen (212) 247-3039 www.dianneandelisabeth.com 644 Tenth Avenue, NYC between 45th and 46th Streets

Locally sourced seasonal menu, perfect for light bites or full dinner. Wonderful ambiance for events, special evenings, or for your pre-theatre dinner.

Award-Winning Farm to Table in the Heart of Hell’s Kitchen 628 10th Avenue, New York, NY (212)582-6300 www.the-marshal.com

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VO LU M E 3 - N U M B E R 2

Summertime Adventures in:

We’re all over this big city — you never know where we’ll turn up next.

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COOKING THE BROOKLYN RUSTIC WAY 18 / Road-tripping TO MAINE’S DOWNEAST COASTLINE 24 OUR SURVEILLANCE CULTURE 28 / THE

NEW!

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS 32 / QUESTIONING ORGANIC ORTHODOXY 38

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.com upstater

The kitchen in Andy Turnbull’s barn-turned-house. Photo by Karen Pearson

E V E R Y D AY

LOFTY VISION By Janine Stankus

Back in the early 2000s, Men’s Fitness magazine creative director Andy Turnbull read an article about restoring barns, and began dreaming about one day turning a barn into a home of his own. America’s antique barns reminded him of the English countryside near Southampton, where he grew up. A decade later, Turnbull got his chance. upstater.com/lofty-vision

MEET THE OWNERS: HAMILTON & ADAMS

HUTTON BRICKYARDS IS FULL OF INNOVATION AND PROMISE

By Kasey Tveit

By Linda Codega

On Saturday, April 8, Hamilton & Adams tore down its brown paper and unveiled the store at 32 John Street. For the first time, Uptown Kingston has its own destination shop specializing in men’s clothing, grooming products, and giftware. We sat down with Hamilton & Adams’s owners, Andrew Addotta and Clark Chaine, for a personal tour and to talk shop. upstater.com/meet-owners-hamilton-adams

“This place is magical,” Karl Slovin says when asked what drew him to the Hudson Valley. “It’s in the light around here. There’s a special type of color.” Slovin, the president of MWest Holdings, grew up spending weekends and summers in Rhinebeck, across the river from Kingston. He has significant experience in understanding what’s important about the cultural fabric of the location of his business’s holdings, as well as the history of the area and its neighborhoods. upstater.com/hutton-brickyards

10 TIPS TO KEEP THE TICKS OFF

EXPERIENCE THE WILD HERB JULEP

By Linda Codega

By Ara Cohen

Not only am I lucky enough to have an outdoorswoman as a roommate, but in between hikes, biking the rail trail, and exploring the Adirondacks, she also works at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. When I asked her for some scientist-approved methods for keeping ticks off, she was more than happy to share some hard-won wisdom. upstater.com/keep-ticks-off

Fish & Game’s julep tradition is older than the restaurant, dating back to the frantic days before it opened four years ago. Growing up in Austin, Texas, chef and co-owner Jori Jayne Emde, loved Derby Day festivities, even if she didn’t particularly care about the race itself. The occasion provided an excuse to wear fancy hats, pop into different houses, and drink juleps. Her joyous association of the event with hats, socializing, and cold, minty booze stuck with her over the years. upstater.com/experience-wild-herb-julep-foraged-farmed-fish-game Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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upstater

5 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THIS ISSUE

EDITORIAL EDITOR

Susan Piperato susan@luminarymedia.com ART DIRECTOR

Jim Maximowicz jmaximowicz@luminarymedia.com

fs sometimes Even professional che er the und il fo tin put forget to r Oat Crumble. nde ave y-L err ckb Bla

1.

CARTOON EDITOR

Carolita Johnson carolitajohnson@gmail.com PROOFREADER

Peter Aaron

CONTRIBUTORS

2. A piece of soil

the size of a lima bean contains up to a billion microorganisms.

Peter Aaron, Sari Botton, Debra Bresnan, Chloe Caldwell, Jason Cring, Marie Doyon, Brooke Fitts, Elissa Garay, John Garay, Roy Gumpel, Kandy Harris, Hillary Harvey, Jenny Jimenez, Peter D. Martin, Matthew Novak, Ash Oat, Karen Pearson, Giselle Potter

PUBLISHING FOUNDERS & PUBLISHERS

Amara Projansky & Jason Stern CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Amara Projansky

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Brian K. Mahoney CHAIRMAN

David Dell Upstater is a project of Luminary Media.

3. John Cage wrote 4’33” to teach us, among other things, that we ourselves contain music.

ADVERTISING SALES (845) 334-8600 X106 DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & SALES

Julian Lesser julian.lesser@luminarymedia.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Ralph Jenkins rjenkins@luminarymedia.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Anne Wygal awygal@luminarymedia.com MAR KETI NG D I R ECTOR

Brian Berusch brian.berusch@luminarymedia.com

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER

Samantha Liotta samantha@luminarymedia.com OFFICE MANAGER

Phylicia Chartier phylicia@luminarymedia.com BOOKKEEPER

Molly Rausch accounting@luminarymedia.com

PRODUCTION PRODUCTION MANAGER

Sean Hansen sean@luminarymedia.com PRODUCTION DESIGNERS

4.

5.

Using a blowtorch to char local forest off-cuts of wood shou sugi ban style makes lovely material for a headboard.

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aled are is repe If Obamac rumpcare, T h it w ed and replac l “A. native Car Vancouver New e th f o an C.” Newm ers if he hers wond Pornograp and move his family should take anada. back to C

Kerry Tinger Marie Doyon

LUMINARY MEDIA 314 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401 (845) 334-8600 | fax (845) 334-8610 luminarymedia.com All contents © Luminary Media Inc. 2017 For extended coverage of the upstater lifestyle, join us at upstater.com. Founded in 2011, Upstater magazine and Upstater. com present the Hudson Valley as a state of mind, and act as a guide for visiting and living in the region. Our writers, artists, staff members, and featured personalities have hearts, mortgages, and legacies in the Hudson Valley.


CH E C K OU T OU R

TEAM LOOK FOR CONTENT BETWEEN ISSUES FROM YOUR FAVORITE CONTRIBUTORS AT upstater.com.

Photos: John Garay; Giselle Potter; Peter Martin; Mike McGonigal. Opposite: Roy Gumpel; Karen Pearson; Maverick; Jenny Jimenez, Roy Gumpel

Travel writer Elissa Garay has reported on 60-plus countries for publications like Condé Nast Traveler, CNN Travel, AFAR, and Fodor’s Travel. Her husband, photographer and writer John Garay, also runs BQE Tours: The Brooklyn Queens Experience. The Garays live in Kingston with their two cats.

@NEILCARTY

Giselle Potter has illustrated over 30 children’s books, including The Year I Didn’t Go to School, about traveling with her parents’ puppet troupe in Italy when she was eight, and, most recently, Tell Me What to Dream About and This Is My Dollhouse; she also illustrates the New York Times “Well/Family” column. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and two daughters.

At Luminary Media, Peter D. Martin works in research and contributes articles to Upstater, Chronogram, and Upstate House magazines. When he’s not at his desk, he’s usually riding his bike across the Walkway Over the Hudson, traveling (way too far) out of his way to find great new craft beer, or taking his dog on a hike.

@FLIPPERMONARCH

#upstater TAG YOUR POST WITH

Chloe Caldwell is the author of the novella Women (2014) and the essay collection, I’ll Tell You in Person (2016), published in its second edition as Legs Get Led Astray (2017). She has contributed to New York Magazine, Vice, Lenny Letter, Men’s Health, The Sun, and various anthologies. She lives in Hudson.

#upstater AND YOU COULD SEE YOUR PHOTO ON THIS PAGE. SEND US THE HUDSON VALLEY SIGHTS THAT MAKE YOUR DAYS—AND YOUR NIGHTS.

FOLLOW US

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OBJECTIFIED

S T O RY B Y P E T E R D . M A RT I N | I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y J A S O N C R I N G

STEREO EQUIPMENT With Bluetooth-connected speakers and easy access to most of the world’s music in the palm of your hand, it’s never been easier to listen to your favorite tunes. But is easier better? What is sacrificed for the sake of convenience? How much more of the music would you hear if it were on vinyl and not compressed into an MP3? What might be left in the ether on your favorite song’s journey across the internet? And what subtle nuances are getting lost in the conversion to zeroes and ones? Maybe the difference is negligible. Maybe it’s worth it for the convenience. But maybe you should shell out for a special elliptical diamond stylus for your vintage turntable. And maybe you ought to grab those Borg & Holaffson titanium-cone, driftwood-encased speakers forged by monks at the famed Borg monastery. Perhaps buying $1,000 audio cables tipped in platinum dust and lovingly coated in 16 upstater

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gold foil will make all the difference. But just to be safe, connect those to your vintage, analog preamp using Soviet-era East German power tubes salvaged after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And be sure to check the connection to the custom receiver with single-digit signal loss, and gently dust off your priceless records using an archaeology hand brush. Finally, place your pristine copy of The Velvet Underground & Nico onto the turntable—gently, gently—sit back, and drift on a euphonious ocean of high fidelity. Never mind that you’d need 3,000 square feet of warehouse space to store the vinyl equivalent to the 130 million or so songs you can hear on Spotify. Who cares that NASA put men on the moon with less wires, knobs, and buttons? You’ll finally be free to hear your favorite songs unadulterated, unfiltered, undiluted, and pure. So listen up.


BOSE

BEATS BY DRE

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FOOD

STO RY BY SUSAN PIPERATO | PHOTOS BY ROY GUMPEL

Rustic Gourmet

Chef Bryan Calvert keeps life simple—in and out of the kitchen.

W

hen chef Bryan Calvert opened his restaurant, James, in Prospect Park, in June 2008, Brooklyn was still finding its place on the food map. But after feeling cooped up for years while working in Manhattan restaurants, Calvert found being a Brooklyn restaurateur refreshing. James, named for Calvert’s greatgrandfather, a cook who emigrated from Ireland to open a restaurant in Harlem, is small, with just 45 seats, and was designed to be the upscale version of a classic, cozy, corner restaurant. Hoping to showcase his talents, Calvert filled the menu with complex “special-occasion” dishes, and basked in his good luck.

“In Prospect Park, I had been living above a bodega, and then the neighborhood changed, and this restaurant opened downstairs for two years, called Swirl. They didn’t quite make it, so the space opened and the opportunity came up for me,” Calvert says. “Everything fell into place.” Nonetheless, he faced naysayers. “At first people were like, ‘Why are you going to open a restaurant in Brooklyn? No one’s going to come.’ But I had the money and I was ready to do it, so I went for it,” Calvert says. “Brooklyn is really hot, for almost a decade now, and it’s national. You don’t need to be in a big city to do great food now. All these smaller cities and rural areas are doing great food. People are more savvy about good food and expect more, and it started in Brooklyn.” But three months after James’s opening, the economy began faltering, starting with Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Suddenly, the restaurant’s customers dwindled. “People became far more conservative—they were still going out to eat, but they were concerned about cost and what’s going to happen,” Calvert recalls. “Even people who could afford fine dining and could go out and spend lots of money didn’t, in emotional response.” So Calvert reassessed James. The restaurant’s décor was a success: The tin ceiling, long bar, chocolate-colored banquette, and white brick walls mostly unadorned except for a portrait of the dapper, mustachioed, and dark-eyed James Calvert combine to create what the New York Times called a “charmingly compressed feel.” But the menu needed revamping. “People wanted comfort food, they weren’t so adventurous, they wanted to heal themselves,” he says. Formerly influenced mostly by French cuisine, Calvert decided to shift toward Italian culinary traditions. “In Italy, they make incredible

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dishes just from garlic, tomatoes and pasta,” he says. “So I basically pared down, put less ingredients on the plate. For an entrée, instead of a protein and seven to eight ingredients, I used a protein and three to four ingredients. I didn’t use less-expensive ingredients, but I simplified. I learned that simplicity is actually harder to do, but you can get better results. You can showcase the ingredients more when they’re not hiding under each other.” The new menu was a hit with both diners and critics. “Classic food has greater longevity,” Calvert says. “Most trendy food is interesting and delicious, but it’s also overly complex, too thought out, so in the end, it disappears, it’s just a trend.” Plus, the simpler dishes cost less to produce, so Calvert lowered the prices and instituted a burgers-andall-night-happy hour on Mondays. Nine years later, James continues to thrive. Thrillist noted its “all-around fantastic brunch menu.” At New York Magazine, it was a Critics’ Pick, lauded for its “refined, hyper-localized touch,” and Brooklyn Magazine chose it as one of “7 Restaurants Where You Should Always Order Dessert,” principally for its cheesecake, which James sells through its retail division, Cecil & Merl (also named after beloved relatives). Huffington Post included James on its “New York’s Best Sunday Night Suppers” list, calling it “a treasure” that’s “culinarily forward thinking and—sadly, an almost necessary disclaimer for BK restaurants these days—not pretentious.” And the New York Times praised the “small, sweet” restaurant for its “succinct, appealing menu,” describing James as “the kind of modest, warm refuge produced by a chef who wants to simplify things, to personalize things, to work on a scale that doesn’t require or invite the meddling of too many outsiders.”


Bryan Calvert on the porch of his Andes home. Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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“ I wanted to do my own thing, not take myself too seriously, cook from my heart, and just have fun.”—BRYAN CALVERT Above: Calvert prepares plates of rice to top with Tandoori Chicken and Sautéed Cucumbers with Spearmint, Cilantro, and Lime. The chicken dish is easy to make in large quantities for serving at parties, and it can be served cold at a picnic or sliced up as leftovers for sandwiches. “It’s like fried chicken, but way better,” says Calvert.

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James’s dishes included herbs grown in a tiny adjacent outdoor garden. But as the restaurant’s popularity grew, Calvert established a large garden at his weekend house in Kent, Connecticut, to grow more ingredients. “That was dear to my heart,” he says. But commuting between Kent and New York— not just between the restaurant and his upstairs apartment—made Calvert reevaluate his life. “First I was going up [to Kent] on weekends, and then during weekdays, and I really liked the lifestyle,” he says. Besides, he confesses, he “had no intention of staying in New York for more than a few years, just to get some experience, but then life happens, and 10 years go by. I realized I would probably be happier and more fulfilled living outside the city as much as possible.” Though Calvert was born in New York, his family moved to suburban New Jersey when he was in elementary school. “It was in the ’70s, the whole

‘Bronx-is-burning’ scenario,” he says. As a middle school student in Westfield, he got a job washing dishes at a local restaurant, then moved on to food prepping, assisting a baker, and “just never stopped,” he says. After high school, he worked as a cook before heading upstate to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where he earned an associate’s degree in 1990. He completed a bachelor’s degree at Boston University’s School of Hospitality and Administration, working as a teaching assistant in the kitchen classroom. “I met Julia Child and Jacques Pepin and all these really well-known chefs who taught there—really great exposure to a lot of really cool people going through the doors there,” he says. Working as a journeyman chef and traveling in stints for several years took Calvert to many rural locations in Europe, California, Fire Island, and along the Appalachian Trail before he landed in New York. There, he worked as a sous chef for his former BU classmate, Rocco Dispirito, who founded Union Pacific. “The focus was much different than it is today,” Calvert recalls. “We bought stuff from farms, and I was at the farmers’ markets all the time, but it was mostly about getting the most exotic ingredients from all over the world.” But after five years of 90-to-100-hour work weeks, Calvert needed a break. So when his stylist girlfriend mentioned that famed photographer Annie Liebowitz and her partner, the writer Susan Sontag, who died in 2004, were looking for a personal chef, Calvert jumped at the chance, cooking French-influenced food for the couple upstate at their Rhinebeck mansion and returning to New York to cater Liebowitz’s photo shoots. “I didn’t realize that when you work for someone as prominent as Annie, all of a sudden a lot of people start following you,” he says. He founded Bryan Calvert Catering, cooking for New York’s big-name photographers, working out of Blue Hill chef Dan Barber’s downtown kitchen until finding his own space in Long Island City. Then Calvert joined forces with his then-wife, events organizer Deborah Williams, to form Williams & Calvert Events. “We did that for about 10 years,” he says. “That was a blast, but I still considered myself a restaurant chef, so I was always looking for a space. Then James happened.” James’s sensibility inspired Calvert’s first cookbook, Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates, published in 2016 by Little, Brown & Company. The book, geared toward the home cook, combines rural comfort with urban worldliness. One reviewer praised the book’s recipes for their “finessed familiarity.” To formulate Brooklyn Rustic, Calvert asked friends, family, and colleagues what kind of cookbook they wanted. “They all said, ‘I want recipes for a dinner party for four to six people, serving under six courses, and to be able to cook it all in one to two hours,’” he recalls. The result, he says, is “a collection of recipes for the home cook that I’ve used over the years, both professionally and personally. They’re accessible and encourage using good, local ingredients.” But the book is also the result of his own evolution as a chef. “When you’re younger, you want to wow people. But as you get older, you never want to stop learning things, but you realize that simplicity is a better approach,” he says. “I’ve wanted to do my own


Above, clockwise, from left: The Sautéed Cucumbers dish, says Calvert, “is cooling and balances out the spicy chicken”; a small bottle of Calvert’s foraged and pickled ramps; the BlackberryLavender Oat Crumble “is a classic,” says Calvert, because “it’s easy to make, and everyone loves it so you can’t go wrong.” Plus, he advises, “It’s good to eat healthily all the time, but it’s also nice to indulge a little. When I cook for myself, one dish has cream and butter. It makes the meal more balanced, and more like a little group dinner.”

thing, not take myself too seriously, cook from my heart, and just have fun.” Brooklyn Rustic’s dishes include some James favorites: Cured Salmon; Black Kale Salad; Roasted Asparagus with Sea Salt; Lemon and Blueberry Tart; and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake; along with cocktails by James’s “go-to cocktail guru” Justin Lane Brigs, like the Window Box Collins and its featured Parsley Syrup. Spread among the recipes are short yet charming essays providing “little tips that can make a big difference” from Calvert on every aspect of cooking, from “Set Up for Success” to “Perfect Ripeness,” “How to Select Olive Oil,” and “Preserving Herbs.” Inevitably, Calvert decided to simplify his lifestyle to match his cooking style. In 2015, he gave up his Kent house and bought a cabin and 25 acres outside the village of Andes, in Delaware County, New York, a threehour drive from Brooklyn and a 15-minute drive from the town of Delhi, home to dairy farms. Finding Calvert’s place can be tricky. The area lacks GPS and cell phone service, requiring visitors to follow a stream bed and look for a neighbor’s sign proclaiming “Rabbits for sale” to know where to turn for Calvert’s long, uphill driveway. His cabin sits at the top of a hill, as charming as a reader of his cookbook would expect. Wrapped with a porch and deck, it overlooks a wide green lawn surrounded by forest. There are flower beds, a sizable vegetable garden, abundant blueberry bushes, Calvert’s pickup, and wide sweeps of both sun and shade.

Inside, things get more urban. Calvert renovated the place himself, including building a staircase out of reclaimed wood, and made his own kitchen workbench extra high to fit his tall height. In the living area are a woodstove and two British vintage-inspired leather chairs from designer Timothy Oulton. There are tiny jars of pickled ramps foraged by Calvert, and, hung alongside the art throughout the open space, is a growing collection vintage serving dishes and kitchen implements that he began for the photographs in Brooklyn Rustic. “Food tells a story, and so if the stuff we put it on has a story, that makes it more interesting to me—that’s why we relish old things like our greatgrandmother’s china, we have a symbiotic connection to it,” he says. “Buying kitchen stuff blindly is not as rewarding—just like buying food blindly.” And although collecting used kitchenware is also more economical, admits Calvert, “It’s not so much about cost as it is about the journey. Scavenging old junk shops takes time.” These days, Calvert spends a few days each week in Brooklyn working at James. The rest of the time, he’s exploring nearby parklands and villages or relaxing on top of his hill, “in exploration mode,” figuring out his next move, doing lots of cooking, and watching his dogs—Georgia and Fisher—enthusiastically patrol the property for deer and bears. Although Calvert admits it took him a while to get used to the cabin’s quiet, he now “can get pretty Zen about things up here,” he says. “In this busy world, it’s a gift just to wash dishes.” Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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MAKE IT BROOKLYN RUSTIC STYLE

Tandoori Chicken Serves 4 | Active: 20 minutes Total: 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus 4 hours to 2 days for marinating

Sautéed Cucumbers with Spearmint, Cilantro, and Lime

Blackberry-Lavender Oat Crumble Serves 6 | Active: 20 minutes | Total: 1 hour

Serves 4 to 6 | Active: 15 minutes | Total: 15 minutes 2 tablespoons cumin seeds 2 tablespoons sweet paprika 2 tablespoons smoked paprika 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 t ablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes

For the crumble topping:

For the berry filling:

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon

2 large English cucumbers, seeded and cut into 1/2– inch dice (about 4 cups)

¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, sliced, plus a few sprigs for serving

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons tapioca pearls

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon dried lavender

¼ cup lightly packed fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves, sliced, plus a few sprigs for serving

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

7 cups fresh blackberries

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime

1 t easpoon whole black peppercorns

2 cups whole-milk yogurt

2 scallions, cut into ¼-inch pieces

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 ( 3½- to 5-pound) chicken,

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

cut into 8 pieces (drumsticks,

2 garlic cloves, peeled

thighs, breasts, wings)

Blend the cumin seeds, sweet and smoked paprika, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, salt, and red pepper flakes in a blender until they become a fine powder. Add the garlic cloves, ginger, and lemon and lime zests and juice, and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the yogurt and pulse on and off until all the ingredients are combined. In a glass bowl or baking dish, thoroughly coat the chicken pieces with half the yogurt marinade (refrigerate or freeze the rest for up to one month for another recipe). Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Preheat the oven to 325�. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange a roasting rack on top. Remove the chicken from the marinade, leaving a generous coating on each piece. Place the chicken skin side up on the roasting rack. Leave at least ½ inch between pieces. Spoon any extra marinade from the bowl on top of the pieces. Roast the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160�, about 45 minutes. Turn the oven broiler on low and broil the chicken until the yogurt marinade starts to slightly blacken, about 5 minutes. If your oven doesn’t have a broiler, crank the oven to 450� and brown the chicken for about 5 minutes.

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2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the cucumbers without overcrowding the pan (cook in two batches, if necessary) and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but still crunchy. Add the scallions and ginger and cook for another minute. Pour in the soy sauce and lime juice and cook until the liquid is almost gone but the cucumbers are still a little bit crunchy, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Toss in the lime zest, cilantro, and spearmint. Serve hot with mint and cilantro sprigs as garnish. This can also be refrigerated until chilled and served as a cold salad.

“These are great summer dishes that are easy to do and made mostly with local ingredients.” —BRYAN CALVERT

¼ teaspoon ground coriander 1 stick (8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the crumble topping: Spin the oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander in a food processor just to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture has a crumbly consistency, about 5 quick pulses. Don’t overmix or you’ll have a paste. To make the filling: In a blender, blend the granulated sugar, tapioca, and lavender until it is a fine powder. Toss the blackberries with the sugar mixture and pour into a 6 x 9-inch baking dish or 6 individual 8-ounce ramekins. Scatter the butter over the berries, then spread the crumble topping evenly over the top. Set the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake until the crumble is golden brown and the filling is lightly bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes (or about 20 minutes if using ramekins). If it’s browned but not bubbling, cover with aluminum foil and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, and serve warm. Excerpted from Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates by Bryan Calvert, published by Little Brown and Company, 2016.


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TRAVEL

STO RY AND PHOTOS BY M ATT HEW NOVA K

A NEW FAMILIAR COASTLINE A northern New Jersey photographer’s family grows together in Maine.

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M

y wife and I didn’t choose career paths that promised huge salaries. As a designer and a photographer, respectively, we could make a good living, but not good enough to be able to afford spending weeks with our two daughters exploring the nation’s mountain ranges in our own RV or finding secluded beaches by charter plane. At first we only traveled to places that were close enough for me to get back home to the Hudson Valley for a few days to finish up a project or head into New York for a shoot, and then make it back the next day.

Then, in 2014, after my wife and I had been shooting weddings for about a year, we received an assignment that changed everything. A couple emailed us, asking us to photograph their wedding in southern Maine. They only had enough money to cover the cost of our drive there, but in lieu of payment, they offered free accommodation for our family to take a vacation after the big day. Typically, when a client offers us a deal like that, we don’t follow up, but we were intrigued by the promise of Maine’s salty air and harbor ports, which would be a whole new world for us to explore with our girls. So we said yes, I bought an atlas, and we buckled in for a seven-hour journey to Maine’s southern coast. Traveling from New Jersey, we took the Thruway past the Catskills, and then the Mass Pike into New England, watching the tall, white pines give way to hemlocks and birch trees. When the iPad battery died, the girls were forced to look at the scenery for entertainment. Moosecrossing signs appeared. We drove through hardwoods, skirted river tributaries, and passed through towns that looked like settings in Steven King novels. We noticed lobster pots and buoys perched on front porches. And then, suddenly, the GPS chirped, “You have arrived.”

Opposite: The Nubble Lighthouse in York on Maine’s Downeast coastline. Above: Matthew Novak’s wife Ana and daughter Lola at the edge of Cape Porpoise Harbor. Below: The Novak family—from left, Anna, Lola, Zoe, and Matthew—on Mother’s Beach in Kennebunk. Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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We opened the windows, stashed away the regional tchotchkes, unpacked, and immediately felt like we belonged there. But for me, the first night of any vacation is hard. I toss and turn and reread my notes about the million things I want to show my girls. That first night in Maine, I listened to the lullaby the waves made, breaking onto the rocky walls, heard the call of a barred owl, and pictured myself saying, “Now this is a lobster roll,” and “Quick, flip that rock! There might be a starfish underneath, but the tide’s coming in quick!” But finally, like a kid trying to stay up on Christmas Eve, I fell asleep. And then it was morning—time for the real adventure to begin. “Donuts!”I screamed, kicking the salt-stained screen door open. My sleepy family came down the stairs, half smiling, half grimacing. I told them how I’d watched the sun crest the pine trees down the road at 5:45am. And I was happy to report finding wild trout in a creek nearby, and two—yes, two!—lobster roll shacks nearby for us to try. But I was also sad to report that, no, I had not yet spotted a moose. My older daughter, then almost a teenager, rolled her eyes. But I go away so I can do all the things I never have time to do at home. On vacation I like to rise early to explore and bring “home” stories and a new list of things to do, and then spend the days dragging my family around to do them. On that first road trip to southern Maine, we consumed 17 lobster rolls between the four of us. These days we’re a little tamer, but we have our traditions. We’ve settled in. The Nubble Light House is no longer new and exciting, but it’s still beautiful, the lobster rolls at Fox’s Lobster House in York are still amazing, the donuts at Congdon’s in Wells are still glorious, and the early morning trip to Portland to get coffee beans from Tandem Coffee Roasters still makes me smile. All of the things that made our first road trip one of the best our family has ever had are still there, and still wonderful, but now they’re like favorite songs you put on repeat, that you can recall in your head anytime you want. And now that my daughters are older, eight and 14, we all remember that first formative trip fondly. It serves not only as a sweet memory but as a guide to spending time together, even when we’re not in far-off places. Even if we’re just out for dinner near where we live, we savor everything—food, atmosphere, but especially each other’s company, because being together, in those moments, is all we want to do. u

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Clockwise from top: It’s best to sneak out before everyone else wakes up to grab fresh donuts from Cogden’s; Zoe with her lobster roll (cold, not hot!) at Fox’s Lobster House; Lola at Bideford Pool during low tide.


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CULTURE

STO RY BY SAR I BOTTON | PORTRAIT BY KA REN PEA RSO N

LIVING IN

THE SHADOW STATE Karl Marx City’s filmmakers shed light on the Stasi—and America’s surveillance culture.

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I Film Stills: ©pepperandbonestwo 2016

n 2012, when filmmakers Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker began making Karl Marx City, they could never have predicted just how eerily relevant the film would be when it debuted in the fall of 2016.

The husband-and-wife team began work on their documentary, which examines life in East Germany under the totalitarian community rule of the Stasi secret police before the fall of the Berlin Wall, back in the days of President Obama’s re-election. They never imagined that by the time the film appeared, American democracy would be endangered by the authoritarian-leaning President Trump, who would look to discredit all media other than Breitbart News and Fox News, attempt to ban immigration from majority Muslim countries, fire acting Attorney General Sally Yates for not supporting that ban, and later fire FBI Director James Comey, reportedly for not dropping an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Nor could Epperlein and Tucker foresee that in the months following Karl Marx City’s release, our own surveillance culture would have advanced to the point that a woman would be convicted of charges of disorderly and disruptive conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds simply for laughing—almost inaudibly—at a statement made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing; a veteran journalist from the Guardian would be arrested

for asking questions, too persistently, of Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price; or that the Federal Communications Commission would actually consider penalizing Stephen Colbert for a joke that insulted the president. When Epperlein and Tucker first approached the Stasi Archives in Berlin, they had two objectives in mind. The first was to shed light on life under the Stasi before the collapse of the East German bloc, or German Democratic Republic. “There are so many young people born after 1989 who know nothing about it, or the Cold War,” says Tucker. “Also, at the time, people were comparing the National Security Administration to the Stasi all the time,” Epperlein says, “and that’s just not correct. The Stasi was a tool in a totalitarian system, and the NSA is a part of our democratic society.” The second objective was to tell the story of the Stasi’s rule through an investigation into the suicide of Epperlein’s father in 1999, 10 years after the Berlin Wall came down. Three anonymous letters sent in the early 1990s to her father’s employer—a West German specialty book distribution company, where he served as the managing director for East German operations— claiming he was a Stasi informant. Epperlein wondered, could this possibly be true? And if so, was that why he killed himself? She found it hard to believe that the man she had known and loved had been an informant, but since her father destroyed all of his papers before hanging himself in his yard, she had little to go on. And he hadn’t left a suicide note. So Epperlein’s only hope for insight was to get hold

Opposite, from above: Filmmakers Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker at their home in Rhinebeck; Epperlein in the fifth grade at Valentina Tereshkova School, Karl Marx City, in 1977. Above: Epperlein gathers sound before a bust of Karl Marx outside the former headquarters of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in Chemnitz, formerly Karl Marx City.

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of her father’s file in the Stasi Archives. It took the Stasi Archives three years to grant her wish. “Getting access to the Stasi Archives is a very lengthy process,” Epperlein says. “It’s very highly regulated. There are laws about what you can and can’t see. You can’t just randomly walk in there and look for stuff.” In the meantime, she and Tucker got to work, interviewing a wide range of subjects, from Epperlein’s mother and twin brothers to former Stasi agents and an expert on suicide—who tells them that contrary to what we see in movies and on television, most people who commit suicide don’t leave notes. “Some people said we were crazy to start making the film before we went into the archives, or knew the outcome of our request,” Epperlein recalls. “But we decided that the process of finding out the truth should be part of the film.” The film follows Epperlein around Berlin and her hometown, Chemnitz, which was known during the Cold War as Karl Marx City. She interviews people, collects sound with a large microphone, and, in the Stasi Archives, sorts through piles of documents and formerly shredded photographs that have been pieced back together. All of this is narrated, not by Epperlein herself, but by her and Tucker’s 21-year-old daughter, Mathilda, who was then attending Bard College and living with her parents, who split their time between Rhinebeck and Berlin. Mathilda tells her mother’s story in the third person—an unusual choice. “It’s the first time we ever used narration,” Epperlein says. She and Tucker have made several other documentaries together, without voiceover narration, since they met in 1994. “We needed it this time to get more information across,” she explains, “but we didn’t want the voice to be mine, because

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Film Still: ©pepperandbonestwo 2016

Epperlein doing research at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden for Karl Marx City.

it’s already a personal film, and it was not just meant to be about me. It was more about this time. I wanted to tell the story of the East, not my own story. I’m a private person by nature. So, to create some distance, we needed the voice of a third party. There’s also a sort of nice poetry to three generations of family involved in a film together.” Ten years before making the film, Epperlein had tried her hand at telling the story in a graphic novel. “I’m trained as an architect,” she says. “I just love drawing. It’s fun. But it didn’t really come together that way. Maybe now I can finish it.” Tucker comes to the film’s subject matter from his own interesting personal angle. “I grew up with sort of the American equivalent of the Stasi,” he says. “My father was a military intelligence officer. He was part of the Army Security Agency. So surveillance seemed normal to me.” Regardless of what’s been happening since the 45th President of the United States took office, and despite Epperlein and Tucker making a film that seems to tell a cautionary tale, the filmmakers remain optimistic that things here can’t get as bad as they were under the Stasi. In fact, during Q&A sessions on the film festival circuit, they’ve been surprised by viewers comparing the Stasi with what’s happening in the US now. “We had a screening in Tacoma, Washington, where an audience member insisted something like that can happen here,” Epperlein says. “I usually respond by saying that we live in a democratic society. East Germany was an oppressive totalitarian communist system. There are big differences.” Still, the couple cautions against complacency. “Democracy isn’t to be taken for granted,” Epperlein says. “It’s not something that will automatically exist all the time. We have to take part, have to participate, have to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. If we don’t participate and stand up for democracy, it can disappear.” But even within our democracy—before, during, and after the Trump election—there has existed a surveillance state. In fact, says Tucker, there are ways in which we might be making ourselves vulnerable within it. “We’re on social media. We’re on our phones. We’re leaving all these digital breadcrumbs, and they are all evidence,” he says. “You could joke to a friend that you want to kill the president, and it could be used against you: ‘Well, you certainly said you wanted to kill the president.’” “This is why I’m not on Facebook,” Epperlein adds. “What if Mark Zuckerberg decides to turn against us?” In the end, despite the filmmakers’ exhaustive research, they weren’t able to collect enough empirical evidence to vindicate Epperlein’s father, proving he wasn’t a Stasi informant. But still, they’re fairly sure he wasn’t. “After talking with family members and outsiders, and doing our research, we could rule out certain facts,” Epperlein says. “It gave us some closure. It established that he was a good guy, and we can live with the fact that we will never know for sure, or why he killed himself. But it seems as if he didn’t commit suicide because he was hiding something from us.” u


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MUSIC

STO RY BY PETER AARON | PHOTOS BY JEN N Y JI MEN EZ

Carl “A. C.” Newman

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Risqué Business The New Pornographers’ creative onus is on Carl Newman, for now.

T

he loss of a major songwriter would sideline most bands. But the New Pornographers are not like most bands. In fact, in one sense, they’re not really a band. The group, formed in Canada in 1997, self-identifies as an open, changeable collective, a rotating indie dream team made up of members of several exalted underground rock acts and topped off with the soaring voice of an alt-country queen. Throughout their nearly two-decade existence, the outfit’s songwriting duties have been split between singer and guitarist Carl Newman (AKA A. C. Newman, the de facto leader) and singer and multiinstrumentalist Dan Bejar. But for the making of their seventh studio album, Whiteout Conditions, released in April, and their subsequent promo tour, Bejar elected to sit things out and continue concentrating on his own band, Destroyer. This put the creative onus largely on the shoulders of Newman, who wrote all the tunes for the new album and has steered the mighty pop juggernaut back onto the road for summer dates in North America and Europe. (At press time, the band isn’t scheduled to perform in the New York City area, but will be in Boston on July 21, Montreal on July 23, Buffalo on July 25, and New Haven, Connecticut, on July 27.) So is it weird for Newman to be the only one writing the songs this time out? Has Bejar’s break given him pause? “Not as much as people think, really,” says Newman. “Dan’s been a friend of mine for a long time and there’s always been a certain dynamic with the way we work. Like, right after we made our first album [Mass Romantic, 2000], Dan suddenly announced that he was moving to Spain. We thought we’d lost him, but then he ended up coming back in time for the next album. With this one, Dan’s absence mainly meant that there were, like, three more songs for me to write this time. But that’s how it is, we’re used to people coming and going and having

different lineups. For this tour, we were lucky to get [founding singer] Neko Case—there’ve been other times when our tours conflicted with hers and we had to go out without her.” The New Pornographers began as somewhat of a lark in Newman’s native Vancouver in 1998. It was then and there that the front man, already known for his work with grunge punks Superconductor and pop revisionists Zumpano, began bouncing around the idea of starting an “all-star” project with Case, Bejar, drummer Fisher Rose (soon replaced by Limblifter’s Kurt Dahle), Evaporators bassist John Collins, and synthesizer player Blaine Thurier. “We’d all been talking about starting a project together for so long that no one we told about it thought we’d ever actually do it,” explains Newman. “They were all, like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. You guys keep talking about this band you’re gonna start, blah blah blah.’ So we had the idea before we ever got together to play, and we felt like we kind of had to deliver after a certain point.” And deliver they did. Mass Romantic, the New Pornographers’ debut, a spirit-lifting burst of ’60s sunshine harmonies, slashing power pop guitars, and swirling, Day-Glo keyboards, arrived in 2000, won a Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year, and generally sent critics into a giddy tizzy—a spell no doubt helped by Case’s concurrently exploding solo career. By the 2001 South by Southwest music festival, the unit was the toast of indiedom, and such was their status as new keepers of the classic pop flame that Ray Davies himself joined them on stage at the convention to perform, quite appropriately, the Kinks’ “Starstruck.” The group signed to indie powerhouse Matador Records and more masterful albums followed as their fanbase grew: Electric Version (2003), Twin Cinema (2005), Challengers (2007), and Together (2010). Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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Having done their time in Brooklyn, Newman and his wife bought a place in Woodstock and moved upstate in April 2009. “I’m amazed at how much I’ve come to like the solitude,” the songwriter says. “I was afraid I might feel like a fish out of water, but I just keep meeting more and more cool local musicians.” His growing list of local collaborators includes folk legend Happy Traum, keyboardist Marco Benevento, and folk rock duo Mike & Ruthy. Not long after the 2014 release of the New Pornographers’ Brill Bruisers, Newman met and began jamming with another cool local: singersongwriter and violinist Simi Stone. “Carl and I did some Neil Young songs together for a Woodstock Day School benefit concert, and our harmonies just sounded so great,” recalls Stone, who fronted New York band Suffrajet before herself moving to Woodstock, where she performed with the Duke & the King and began a rising solo career. Newman recruited her for the New Pornographers in July 2015. Although she doesn’t appear on Whiteout Conditions, she’s found the experience of singing alongside Newman, Case, and the others to be a revelatory departure from her own self-described “mountain Motown” music. “I’m really honored to be included,” she says. “[The New Pornographers’ music] is a lot more complex than mine, but I took to it really fast. It feels as good playing it as it does listening to it.”

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Indeed, while spinning Whiteout Conditions, it’s not hard to imagine how good it must feel to perform such songs as “Play Money,” whose percolating pop perfection is marked by Case’s cresting lead vocal, or the driving “High Ticket Attractions,” which Newman admits was fueled by the anxiety he felt during the 2016 presidential election (“the Magna Carta / it’s under water / We left it there for the sons and the daughters”). “It was hard to avoid any of that stuff sneaking into the music, the shock that the country could be so stupid as to elect someone like Donald Trump,” he says, adding that the threat to his family’s health insurance via the administration’s vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act has been especially troubling. “It made us think of moving to Canada—seriously,” says Newman. “It’s, like, what is the end game here? For us to be paying $2,000 a month until we die just so we can have health insurance?” Fortunately, Trump and the GOP’s attempts at eradicating the advances in health coverage put forth under President Obama have, so far, foundered. And, thankfully, Newman, along with his wife and five-year-old son, is staying put in the Hudson Valley, where he plans to continue creating transcendent music. But by no means does Newman take the New Pornographers’ exploding success for granted. The band’s trajectory has been “amazing,” he says. “Really, I was just happy that we were able to sell out Brownie’s. That would’ve been enough for me.” u

Above: The New Pornographers are (from left) Todd Fancey, Neko Case, Joe Selders, Carl (A.C.) Newman, John Collins, Kathryn Calder, and Blaine Thurier (missing: Dan Bejar).


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ANIMALIA

STORY BY ELIS SA GARAY / PHOTOS BY JO H N GA RAY

GREATEST farm ON EARTH

For circus trainer Jenny Vidbel, who lives on her family’s 58-acre farm at the foot of Windham Mountain, the Catskill Mountains aren’t quite the “big top,” but their silhouette works just fine. For three generations, the Vidbels have been circus artists as well as farmers. Vidbel is an equestrian/animal trainer. Her late grandparents, Joyce and Al, a circus equestrian and animal trainer specializing in elephants, respectively, kicked off the family’s circus legacy. Vidbel grew up immersed in both the farm and the circus. Inspired by her family, she became a circus trainer. This fall the Big Apple

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Circus will open for its 40th season with Vidbel and members of her menagerie of rescues and retired circus and farm animals—15 ponies, nine horses, nine dogs, four pigs, a donkey, and a lama—in the lineup. When they’re not performing, Vidbel’s animals live with her on the farm. In 2018, Vidbel and her partner, retired trapeze artist Guillaume Dufresnoy, will open Windham Mountain Horse Theater, a 250-seat indoor ampitheater, to provide public performances. They are also launching a foundation offering animal therapy programs to disadvantaged kids, special-needs kids and adults, and seniors. u


Opposite: Jenny Vidbel’s farm is a haven for rescue, farm, and retired circus animals. Clockwise from top: The practice corral and barn, with the Catskills in the background; training requires a personal touch; Vidbel accepts that some animals don’t want to perform. “If they work out, great,” she says. “If not, they live their life out here anyway.” But some, like this dog, have natural charisma.

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FARMING

S T O RY B Y S U S A N P I P E R AT O | P H O T O S B Y H I L L A RY H A RV E Y

GET GROUNDED When Amy Hepworth, farmer and cult hero, questions organic orthodoxy, it’s time to pay attention.

Although AmyHepworth farms organically, she still believes any form of cultivation is unnatural. “Every time I go out on the farm, I’m actually hurting the land,” she says.

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In 2050, the world population will reach 9.5 billion. Not solving the soil erosion problem by then would be suicidal, says Hepworth.

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n the food world, farmers, unlike chefs, don’t become celebrities—unless they’re Amy Hepworth. The outspoken organic farmer grows more than 400 types of vegetables and fruit on a 400-acre farm in Milton, across the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie. She has won a huge following in New York City by supplying produce to the Park Slope Food Coop, Whole Foods, and a long list of high-end restaurants. Part of Hepworth’s star status arises from her pedigree: She’s a seventh-generation farmer on land cultivated by her family since 1818. But she’s also a larger-than-life personality: passionate but practical, philosophical but blunt, frequently prescient, and openly emotional. She often mentions the need for the public to “hear the farmer’s cry for help.” But her demands to be heard are well earned. She’s hoed a tough row, so to speak, from the get-go. Born on the farm as one of five kids, she was driving tractors at nine and trucks at 12, pitching in to help her mother after her father took off following a fire that ruined one of the farm’s packing facilities. (Hepworth’s twin sister Gail, a former biomedical engineer, joined the farm as head of production in 2009.) Hepworth has been vocal about many issues, including advocating for living wages for farm workers, decrying the defunding of agricultural research, preferring organic alternatives to pesticides and fungicides, championing hundreds of rare and fussy heirloom varieties (including Shiro plums), and promoting the eating of maggots and insects. (Sometimes that’s what happens when we don’t use chemical pesticides; besides, they’ll make good protein sources if there’s a worldwide food shortage someday.) But most famously, she supports “hybrid” farming, based on organic principles but with flexibility when it comes to technology, that eschews what she calls the “two-party system” in which “‘organic’ is seen as ‘good’ and conventional is ‘bad.’”

In December 2015, the Cornell Alliance for Science website posted Hepworth’s op-ed piece on hybrid farming. “The organic movement was successful in changing the way the agricultural industry operates,” she wrote. “But the time has come to release ourselves from the tyranny of the label—taking its valuable lessons and evolving beyond organic to create the safest, most ecologically, economically, and socially just agricultural system possible. Advances in biotechnology are a natural fit to meet the demand of the population for sustainably grown food.” Although Hepworth initially got a lot of flack for her views, she’s won the farming industry’s respect. The Cornell Alliance for Science named her farmer of the year in 2016; and she’s been profiled by New York magazine, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Lately, Hepworth is talking about how arable soil—dirt that contains enough nutrients to grow high-quality food—is disappearing. Six inches, or 150 millimeters, is the minimum topsoil depth required for farming, according to FEWresources.org, a website devoted to the study of food production, energy, and water. Replacing just one inch—25 millimeters—of eroded topsoil takes 500 years. From that perspective, arable soil is a nonrenewable, endangered ecosystem. “We can’t live without the sun or water, right? Well, we can’t live without soil,” Hepworth says. “Soil, when it’s complex, gives plants the right nutrients. But we’ve degraded our soil in agriculture, and we’re losing our soils worldwide. We’ve created very productive seeds, but we’re not getting the seeds’ natural genetic potential, and we’re losing our efficiency, because our soils are losing their organic material.” People assume soil is a renewable resource that can be depleted and replenished by decaying organic matter, but that’s not so easy, says Hepworth. A 2015 study by the University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures estimates that nearly 33 percent of the world’s adequate or rich food-producing land has already been lost, and that soil is steadily disappearing at a rate that’s outrunning the pace of natural processes to replace it. Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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Early in the 2017 growing season, Hepworth walks some of her 400 acres.

“We can’t live without the sun or water, right? Well, we can’t live without soil.”

“We’ve lost two billion hectares of soil, and there are only one-and-a-half-billion hectares left [on earth],” says Hepworth. “We have a growing population to feed”—by 2050, she notes, there will be 9.5 billion people on earth—“and if we continue [to erode soil] at this rate, it’s suicidal. A basic human right is to eat. We have problems now feeding people—people are malnourished and hungry on this planet—and it’s going to get worse. We need more intelligence, more science.” In the mid-20th century, the ironically named “green revolution,” turned agriculture into an industry, says Hepworth. Farmers utilized chemical fertilizers and machinery, and farms expanded into multinational businesses to produce more food, faster and cheaper. “When the ‘green revolution’ came, it fed a lot of people cheaply, and we got ourselves into a situation. We were inherently unaware of what was gonna happen,” she says. “Now we have to figure out a way to prioritize feeding people healthy food, with nutrients, and be environmentally sound about these things. It’s an obligation.” When Hepworth took over in 1982, after earning a B.S. in pomology (the science of growing fruit) from Cornell University, the farm was a commercial apple producer. She began by infesting apple trees with mites to attract the mite’s predators as natural pesticides. Much of the apple crop was lost in the process, along with “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Hepworth; her family nearly fired her. Nevertheless, she persisted, and successfully transitioned the farm to more holistic operations. In 1983, she began selling produce to the then-260-member Park Slope Food Coop. Today, the coop has 16,000 members, and Hepworth supplies it with 111 types of vegetables (accounting for about 80 percent of her vegetable sales), and 53 kinds of fruit. Angello’s Distributing brings her produce to regional coops. Whole Foods also sells it, and Mike’s Organic Delivery delivers it to clients in Westchester County and Connecticut and farm-to-table restaurants in New York State. Locally, it is served at The Would in Highland and sold at Heart of the Hudson Valley in Milton. In 2009, with the tomato crop infected with late blight, the air-born fungus that led to the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s, Hepworth sprayed a copper-based fungicide. Copper is one of very few blight fighters available and the only organic one, but it doesn’t break down,

–AMY HEPWORTH

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thus permanently impacting soil biology—which Hepworth doesn’t take lightly. She’s decreased energy consumption through solar power and geothermal heating and cooling systems, and raised wages for over 200 farm workers. “I’m not the easiest boss, but we grow together on this farm,” she says. “Things are coming together because we’re together as a people. Imagine you have 100 people working together to accomplish something, how much better that feels than to have one person taking the profit for themselves. Then it means nothing. It’s a great ride we’re on here. We’re a happy farm.” Yet despite expanding the farm from 50 to 400 active acres, offering increasingly popular produce, and achieving national fame as a farmer, she’s only recently made a profit. “I have a very unusual principle around money. I believe it to be currency, and it’s always moving,” she says. “I don’t have retirement. I only have debt. I can borrow crazy amounts of money I couldn’t even pay off if I wanted to in my whole lifetime. I don’t make money, but people think I make money. I just distribute it. It comes in and goes out again.” In the end, the soil matters most. “Agriculture is the machination of the natural ecosystem,” Hepworth says. “Every time I go out on the farm, I’m actually hurting the land. Dropping ploughs, kneading soil, planting crops is unnatural. But we can figure out a safer way to do it.” So, what’s Hepworth doing about all this? She is deeply influenced by French agronomists Claude and Lydia Bourguignon and their “manifesto for endurable agriculture.” “We have to learn from others,” she says. “[The Bourguignons] have been doing it for 35 years. They’ve dug 12,000 holes all over the planet to understand soil. They have a lab, and I’m sending some of my soil there.” She publicly laments the lack of both American agronomists and soil research—including at her alma mater, Cornell, which has been defunded by 70 percent. “The soil is the biggest biochemical energy in the universe,” she says, “and we don’t even study it properly.” She sits on the board of directors of the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, in Highland, a farmer-owned, regional research facility in partnership with Cornell. And she’s constantly reading antique agricultural books. Currently, her favorite one is from 1856. “I like to go back in history and compare,” she says. “We live in an intellectual time, but it isn’t the only one.” u


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INNOVATION

S T O RY B Y D E B R A B R E S N A N | P O RT R A I T S B Y R O Y G U M P E L

The Way of

The Maverick

Kitt Potter helps reinvent the historic concert hall, one note at a time.

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Top: Jazz singer and Maverick Executive Director Kitt Potter inside the concert hall. Above: Composer John Cage (left) with pianist David Tudor.

Photo: Maverick Concerts

O

n the evening of August 29, 1952, in the woods just outside Woodstock, the up-and-coming pianist David Tudor sat down at the piano onstage at the Maverick Concert Hall, lifted his hands over the keys, looked at the score, and paused. And paused. And paused. Tudor was premiering the artist and composer John Cage’s new work, 4’33.” For each movement, he read the score, and then closed and reopened the piano lid—without ever touching the keys. Although 4’33” has become famous as “the silent piece,” it was anything but. Cage later explained that he created the piece to demonstrate that “silence is not acoustic. It is a change of mind, a turning around.” He wanted his audience not to expect to hear piano notes, but instead to realize that there is no such thing as silence, that sounds—and therefore musical notes—are always around us and even within us, and we actually choose what we hear.


Photos: Dion Ogust; Simon Russel

Left to right: John Flannagan’s sculpture of the concert hall’s namesake, the legendary wild horse Maverick; The Maverick is open to fresh air, natural light, and, most importantly, the sounds of nature.

The premiere of 4’33” changed the world of music forever. And it is fitting that such a revolutionary moment occurred at the Maverick. Being open to the woods, the concert hall is constantly filled with the sounds of nature. The Maverick first opened its barn-like doors in 1916, as part of the then-burgeoning Maverick Colony for collaborative artists and craftspeople. To build the distinctively rustic venue, the Maverick’s founder, Hervey White, who was also a novelist, poet, printer, editor, and socialist, enlisted a crew of like-minded artists, builders, and friends. The building, framed with heavy timber to which the walls were nailed directly, and topped with a gambrel roof of asphalt and wood shingles, is renowned for its remarkable acoustics. “I did it with the idea of gathering some good musicians during the summer months and giving chamber music in a rustic music chapel among tall trees at the foot of a hill,” White told the New York Times in 1916. Both the concert hall and art colony were named after a legendary wild horse that White heard about while visiting his sister in Colorado in the 1890s. In 1911, he published The Adventures of a Young Maverick, a heroic narrative and ode to artistic freedom. In 1924, White commissioned sculptor John Flannagan to create a likeness of the horse as an icon for the arts colony. Using only an ax on the trunk of a chestnut tree, Flannagan sculpted a horse emerging from outstretched human hands. The 18-foot sculpture originally stood at the property’s entrance, but since 1979, it has been housed inside the concert hall to avoid further deterioration. The Maverick has always straddled two worlds—as an innovative and revolutionary force and as a keeper of chamber music traditions— and gained distinction within both spheres. Besides hosting the premiere of 4’33”, the Maverick has welcomed international stars like the Tokyo String Quartet, and is America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music series venue. In recent decades, the Maverick has worked to create a more inclusive music program. Music director Alexander Platt, who arrived in 2002, broadened the chamber and classical programming; reestablished the Young People’s Concerts program (first offered in the early 1990s); and founded an annual chamber music concert, which he directs, as well as the series Jazz at the Maverick. Last summer, to complement Platt’s programing and push for more diversity in its performers and audience, the Maverick hired its first executive director. Kitt Potter, a jazz singer as well as the

“If you put more colors on the stage, you will get more colors in the audience.”–KITT POTTER former development associate for the Colour of Music Festival, which celebrates black classical musicians, is now working to contemporize the Maverick’s programing while paying homage to its roots as a cultural innovator. Initially Potter perceived Colour of Music’s concept as “militant,” but found that as the festival evolved, so did its audience. “If you put more colors on the stage, you will get more colors in the audience,” she says. With the Maverick’s allies and audience predominantly aging and white, it’s time to attract younger people of varied backgrounds—as board members, volunteers, audience members, and performers—“so we can hand the baton down,” says Potter. “With my jazz backing and contacts, and with Alexander’s in the classical world, as well as my specialty in youth program development, we are doing great things together. When we put our heads together, we are a force to be reckoned with.” Growing up in the 1970s in Newburgh, Potter attended private schools there. Despite the bad rap Newburgh often gets, she calls the city “an amazingly great town that raises incredible citizens.” Her music career started early. As a baby, she sat beneath the piano bench as her grandfather played the piano. By age four, she was scatting to Ella Fitzgerald and mimicking Miles Davis; at eight, she started classical voice training. Initially, she hated it. “I thought I was being punished,” she says. “I wanted to do rock ‘n’ roll, but my mom and my brother [who played drums] taught me the whole Jazz Fake Book.” Potter sang in her church and school choirs. At SUNY Oswego, which she attended before transferring to Howard University, she debuted as a lead singer. “My parents drove there to hear me and my father was in tears,” she recalls. “By the time I got to Howard, I was knee deep in funk music.” Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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Kitt Potter at the Maverick

At Howard, where Potter studied sociology, she met Noble Jolley, Sr., the school’s first graduate jazz music major. “He brought the jazz out of me,” she recalls, by inviting her onstage at Washington, DC’s Cellar Door. “I had written original lyrics to Herbie Hancock’s ‘Maiden Voyage’,” she says. “I sang my lyrics and walked offstage, singing, to thunderous applause.” After 10 years in DC, doing gigs at night and working at think tanks by day—including the Urban Institute, National Academy of Sciences, and Committee on the Status of Black Americans—Potter returned to the Hudson Valley to work as an employment trainer and grants coordinator. Eventually, she became first soprano at the Charleston Symphony Spiritual Ensemble, where she was tapped six years ago for the Colour of Music Festival by its founder and artistic director, Lee Pringle. “When I saw Colour of Music featured on CBS-TV, I knew it had arrived,” she says. “African Americans tend to enjoy jazz, blues, hip-hop, and funk, but when they saw posters with people that looked like them [playing classical music], they wanted to support the festival.” Although Potter has served several institutions, none of them were quite like the Maverick. “I’m an old soul, and I like old houses,” she says. “I visited the Maverick years ago and was mesmerized. Serving an institution that has lasted the test of time is different from working for a new organization, where people need to hear success stories and want to know the ‘why.’ The Maverick presents music at an historical site. The setting, architecture, history, and story are so fascinating. I’m living my dream.” In the 2018 season, Potter will perform at the Maverick. “When Alexander asked me [to perform], he said, ‘You’re not allowed to say no and you have to sing “Alfie” for me,’” she says. “He made me cry.” Platt also requested that she perform songs from No Strings, a 1962 Tony-nominated musical drama, starring Diahann Carroll as a fashion model living in Paris, which explored the Civil Rights Movement as well as interracial relationships. For her performance, “Bright Moments In and Out of Time,” Potter plans to offer her take on the plight of blacks and gays, as well as terrorism by featuring the music of Nina Simone, Josephine Baker, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis. “But the crux of it will focus on the migration to Paris and those who came back to America, like James Baldwin,” she says. “He experienced the hosings, the dog attacks, and Bloody Sunday, and then returned to America to fight as an intellectual. I may include some ‘jazz-oetry.’” Potter will be joined by local musicians: saxophonist Joe Giardullo, bassist Steve Rust, keyboardist Vinnie Martucci, and drummer Arti Dixon, the latter three of whom are also included on her CD, to be released in December. “These musicians and I go back decades, and they’re like my family playing with me,” says Potter. “They know what my soul wants to sing before my brain gets it.” u

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SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS

at the Maverick New Foundations series presents three string quartet pieces by composer Aaron Jay Kernis, performed by Chiara String Quartet on July 9, Parker Quartet on July 16, and Jasper Quartet on July 23, and the world premiere of Gerard McBurney’s String Quartet No. 1, “Hildegard Quartet” (1996), inspired by the works of Hildegard von Bingen, performed by Spektral Quartet on July 8. The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild hosts the Harlem Quartet’s Young People’s Concert at the Kleinert-James Center for the Arts in Woodstock on August 12. The quartet performs Gabriela Lena Frank’s “Milagros,” for string quartet (2010), inspired by the sounds of Peru, back at the concert hall on August 13. Trio Solisti offers the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio No. 2 (2017) on August 27. Sunday afternoon chamber music concerts feature Escher String Quartet on July 2, Dover Quartet on August 6, Amernet String Quartet with pianist Ran Dank on August 20, Trio Con Brio Copenhagen on July 30 and pianist Orion Weiss and Shanghai Quartet on September 10.  On August 26, Music Director Alexander Platt conducts the Maverick Chamber Players, members of the AUREA Ensemble, cellist Emmanuel Feldman, and soprano Maria Jette, in “Remembrances” featuring Maurice Ravel’s/Wolfgang Renz’ Le Tombeau de Couperin and Modest Mussorgsky’s/Wolfgang Renz’ Pictures at an Exhibition; Dominick Argento’s “Six Elizabethan Songs,” and Ned Rorem’s “After Reading Shakespeare” (1980). The Young People’s Concerts series (free for children under 16) and Maverick Prodigies concerts feature Arturo O’Farrill Quintet on July 1, The Ladles on July 7, and Harlem Quartet at the Kleinert James Art Gallery on August 12. Jazz at the Maverick presents Arturo O’Farrill Quintet on July 1, Bill Charlap Trio on July 15, Eldar Djangirov Trio on July 29, and Karl Berger and the Creative Music Studio on September 2. Bansuri flute master Steve Gorn returns on August 5 for Indian ragas with vocalist Sanjoy Banerjee and Samir Chatterjee on tabla. Nexus percussion ensemble, playing a mix of contemporary classical, ragtime, African, and original music, performs on August 12. On September 9, Woodstock folk music legend Happy Traum performs with his friends. Horszowski Trio performs Daron Hagen’s Piano Trio No. 2, “J’entends” (1986) on September 3 at the annual Concert for the Friends of Maverick. Admission is by contribution.


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AT HOME

S T O RY B Y M A R I E D O YO N | P H O T O S B Y R O Y G U M P E L

THINKIN GINSIDE THEBOX A New York architect builds a studio retreat deep in the woods.

T

inkerbox is nestled in a forest clearing in the foothills of the Catskills. The low, rectangular house is architect Marica McKeel’s latest project—an upstate oasis where she and her husband can rest and play. “We tried to create a place where we could focus on our hobbies instead of just working all the time,” says McKeel. “When I’m here, I can think. It’s nice to be at a different pace—I made bread for the first time the other week.” McKeel and her husband, financial analyst Brock Vandervliet, purchased 38 acres of land in Kerhonkson in 2011 to serve as a trial space for McKeel after she founded Studio MM Architect in New York City. Tinkerbox is her third project on the property, which is subdivided into five lots. The first two homes were sold, but this one was built for McKeel and Vandervliet to keep. Black and boxy, the cedar-sided house has a modern aesthetic, yet blends with its environment; in fact, a horizontal strip of windows allows an approaching visitor to see through the house to the woods beyond. “The houses I design look very different from next door or down the street,” McKeel says, “but with the woods they work very well.” She researched the ancient Japanese wood charring technique shou sugi ban, which uses fire to preserve wood, and then she and Vandervliet spent many weekends blackening the house’s siding with a blowtorch. The heavy, 12.5-foot mahogany front door stands out amidst the

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vertical plane of black siding, and opens effortlessly on a pivot hinge to a vaulted foyer with a staircase leading up to the main living floor. Tinkerbox upends the term “split level,” challenging every assumption and bias toward the style. Built into the hill, the home’s lower level is partially submerged, providing insulating qualities year round and enabling multilevel access to the outdoors. The lower level contains a laundry room, a wine cellar, and the hobby workspaces that have given the house its name. An exotic car aficionado, Vandervliet stores a 1985 electric green Mercedes G-Wagon in the two-car garage. McKeel’s woodworking furniture workshop next door features a 12-foot-wide bifold door that opens directly to the outdoors, letting in ample natural light. McKeel was conservative about clearing woodland for the project and honored the felled trees by reusing their wood throughout the interior, most impressively in a floating entryway staircase. Made from 4-inch-thick slabs of oak and maple and balanced along a central steel beam, the steps appear simultaneously weightless and heavy. The staircase leads up to a wall of massive glass sliding doors, revealing the covered deck, furnished with a cinderblock fireplace, large table, and twin recliners for woods-gazing. To the left of the sliding doors is an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area. The palette throughout is simple and soothing: white and black walls with blue accents.


The cantilevered entryway roof extends to the other side of the house, where it covers a second-floor deck. The house’s gutters were designed by McKeel to preserve Tinkerbox’s sleek outline. Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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Clockwise from top left: A line of low windows in the bedroom (shown here) and living room frame the woods while blocking the driveway below; in the warmer months, McKeel and Vandervliet use the deck and its outdoor fireplace to host dinner parties; the oak and maple slab stairs are made with wood from the property; an efficient Morso woodstove, used to heat the entire house, sits in the center of the living room, which is oriented south, providing a view of the woods from the much-used window seat.

Though the house is a modest 1,260 square feet, its high ceilings and clear sight lines to the outdoors give the impression that you’re never completely indoors. The generous kitchen has a 12-foot-long black granite counter with a gas cooktop and an undermount sink. A built-in wine cabinet, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and Wolf oven blend into a wall of minimalist white cabinets lining the north-facing wall. “In such a small space, having a place to put stuff away is so important,” says McKeel. “It’s the same with the closet—either things have a place or they’re on the floor.” A waterfall-edge marble island divides the kitchen and dining room, and an Elijah Leed walnut dining table sits beneath a 3-D brass light fixture made by McKeel that uses Edison-style light bulbs. The adjacent living room is oriented south. Windows on three walls fill the space with natural light. The room was designed around McKeel’s favorite L-shaped sectional, from which treetops can be seen through a long, narrow horizontal window on the east wall. Beneath the south-facing picture window is a wooden window seat covered with sheepskins and pillows. Nearby are a built-in Morso wood stove and McKeel’s beloved Phloem Studio leather armchair.

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At the opposite end of the house is the single bedroom. Floor-toceiling windows, framed by custom indigo-dipped linen curtains, provide panoramic views of the sylvan setting. McKeel made the headboard with crosscuts of hand-charred wood from the property. A lockable second door in the single, ensuite bathroom allows the couple to turn it into a powder room for guests. A large painting of a woman serves as the focal point in the black powder room; in the interior bathroom, a double vanity faces a walkthrough shower. With its clean, rectangular silhouette and simple footprint, the house is tidy and deliberate. But Tinkerbox is also a treasure box, carefully furnished with pieces that McKeel has crafted, commissioned, or collected. “This is now my place of inspiration, so every piece is important,” she says. “If I have the kinds of pieces up here that are totally inspiring, it’s going to make me want to go down to the shop and start making furniture.” Tucked into its own little corner of the world, Tinkerbox offers a hideaway from the commotion of city life. In the quiet, unhurried pace of the woods, there is space for rejuvenation and innovation. u


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OF THE MOMENT

PHOTO BY BROOKE F IT TS

Feeding Friends-y

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Over Memorial Day weekend, Ravenwood celebrated the start of summer with its first farmto-table dinner. The Olivebridge farm’s owners, chef/grower Chris Lanier, and his wife, artist/ designer Dana McClure (shown standing at right), bought the four-acre cow pasture in 2010 and relocated there from New York in 2014 with the birth of their daughter. Since then, they’ve been transforming the property into a vegetable farm and venue for integrating agriculture, culinary arts, and the local makers’ movement. To kick off their first growing season, Lanier and McClure hosted

30 guests from New York City and throughout the Hudson Valley, seated them in the 1850s barn at a long table graced with locally sourced flowers and candles, and treated them to five courses featuring local produce, meat, cheese, grains, wine, and cider. “To feel the barn fill up with such gracious, creative, inspiring people, all gathering to celebrate our region and the community growing within it, was truly a gift,” says McClure. Share the local harvest at dinners on August 25 and 26, September 22 and 23, and October 6 and 7. RavenwoodNY.com. —Susan Piperato


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ON • THE• MARKET BROUGHT TO YOU

POSTS

BY UPSTATER.COM Find new On-the-Market posts every day at upstater.com. BY K A N DY H A R R I S

A

t Upstater.com, we cross the line between “love” and “obsessed with” when it comes to real estate—so our On-theMarket posts go live every day. We scour the Internet and drive the streets to bring you the best-of-the-best houses on the market (although “best-of-the-best” is, of course, subjective). Our content runs the gamut, from “Five-Figure Fridays” (great homes under $99,000) to “More Than a Mill.” We also cover handyman specials, easy fixer-uppers, turnkey-move-in-ready homes, weekend escapes, country cottages, and grand estates.

Charming Bargain

Cozy Up to the Slopes

Mint-Condition Treasure

101 Fifield Avenue, Hancock

611 Route 296, Hunter

128 Academy Street, Poughkeepsie

Woodland Creek Real Estate

Realtor Greene Acres Real Estate

Gary DiMauro

$92,500

$199,000

$475,000

BEDS: 5 BATH: 1 SQUARE FEET: 1,200 LOT SIZE: .33 ACRES TAXES: $3,859

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 2 SQUARE FEET: 1,520 LOT SIZE: .41 ACRES TAXES: $2,095

BEDS: 8 BATHS: 3.5 SQUARE FEET: 7,492 LOT SIZE: .28 ACRE TAXES: $12,000

Check out this big bang for your buck, located in Hancock village in southwest Delaware County. The multi-bedroom Bungalow-style residence includes appealing details like hardwood floors, exposed brick, original woodwork/trim, and a fireplace. Cross the backyard to find a tiny guest cottage, which could be transformed into a personal studio or work space. There may be some work to be completed on this house. Specifically, the listing mentions “finishing touches,” which doesn’t seem that intimidating. Given that the house contains five bedrooms, it’s easy to start fantasizing about opening up a couple of those small rooms to make larger spaces...like a master suite, for example. Too ambitious? It’s situated in walking distance from Main Street, where the majority of Hancock’s businesses are located. Both the east and west branches of the Delaware River pass nearby the property, which is also a stone’s throw from the New York/Pennsylvania border. The setting is indeed countrified, but New York City is less than 2.5 hours away.

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Into winter sports? This renovated house is five minutes away from the entrance of Hunter Mountain in Greene County among the northern Catskill Mountains. With four bedrooms, you can invite your friends and family along for the ride. The house includes an open floor plan, stainless steel kitchen appliances, and lots of natural light thanks to the sliding glass doors in the dining room. The interior is clean, uncluttered, and makes an ideal comfy place to land after a day on the slopes; hiking the numerous trails nearby; exploring nearby villages Hunter, Tannersville, and Windham; or a day trip south into the Hudson Valley. It may be close to winter recreation a-plenty, but it’s an all-season home. While away the summers near swimming holes, watch the trees turn green in the spring, or behold the golden glory of autumn from the comfort of your own living room. And it’s less than 2.5 hours from New York City.

This meticulously maintained Second Empire Victorian is positively enormous, with nearly 7,500 square feet, not to mention a multitude of bedrooms, a grand entrance foyer with sweeping staircase, and 10-foot ceilings. Built in 1865, the house, with intact original features, is located in the Academy Street Historic District south of the MidHudson Bridge and less than a mile from the Hudson River waterfront. The 140-acre historic district features 46 historic homes. As far as Poughkeepsie neighborhoods go, this one is as good as it gets, and for fans of well-preserved 19th-century architecture, it’s a particularly great place to live. There are a formal living room and dining room, both with working fireplaces, large windows, period molding, and parquet floors. Some bedrooms also come with fireplaces. The third floor of the house is a legal four-bedroom apartment. Other nearby attractions include the Metro-North/Amtrak station, the Bardavon, Poughkeepsie Public Library, and the Walkway Over the Hudson.

R E A L E S TA T E S E C T I O N


THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Live a Zen Lifestyle 280 Salem Road, Pound Ridge Houlihan Lawrence

$1,315,000 BEDS: 2 BATHS: 3 SQUARE FEET: 3,162 ACRES: 2.06 TAXES: $24,517

Prepare to pick up your jaw from the floor after you take a look at this 1956 Midcentury Modern home. Fans of the Mid-Mod sensibility will revel in the exterior’s unique butterfly shape, as well as the interior’s warm wood paneling, mahogany ceilings, masonry fireplaces, and mitered glass, all of which is set against and over a collection of boulders in the Westchester County town of Pound Ridge. The house was designed by Midcentury architect David Henken, a follower of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian style of home building and neighborhood planning. Wright’s vision of Usonian neighborhoods included houses constructed from native materials with an emphasis on wood, stone, and glass, while situated in harmony with its natural setting. The Usonia Historic District in nearby Pleasantville, Westchester County, is just such a community of homes, if you’d like to see Wright’s vision in the flesh. As for this house, Henken took Wright’s lead and created a work of art that you can actually buy and live in yourself. The living room offers two walls of glass and near-180 degree views; the kitchen has stainless steel appliances; and the yard ofers a koi pond, in-ground pool, and stone patio—all just over an hour from New York City. R E A L E S TA T E S E C T I O N

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SPONSORED CONTENT

Featured Listing: Red Hook

6 Quintessential Hudson Valley Homes Whether you are looking for high-end modern or quaint country, we found six stunning homes, courtesy of top agent Alexis Li of Halter Associates Realty. He has the local intel to help you find the perfect home in the right spot. Here is a taste of what’s hot and what to do, in and around his Ulster and Dutchess county listings.

Red Hook | $899,000 FEATURED LISTING Modern Comfort in a Country Setting This exquisite, spacious home features four bedrooms and four bathrooms, bamboo flooring, and geothermal cooling and heating. The Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, massive island, walk-in pantry, and breakfast nook are any home cook’s or entertainer’s dream. Great for large groups, the home retains a sense of privacy while being just a few minutes from the center of town. Other highlights include close proximity to apple and berry picking, Sawkill Farm, Starling Yards CSA, Suarez Family Brewing, Gaskins, Mercato, and Tivoli Mercantile.

A Modern Farm

Hyde Park | $1,345,000

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This well-constructed modern home with country character enjoys tranquil privacy on 38 acres complete with stone walls, fields, forest and a small pond. Situated on a former farm, this ultimate compound has two barns close to the main house. The 1836 farmhouse, completely rebuilt in rustic modern style, has flowing interior spaces and a stone fireplace. Located between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, you are close to great eats at The Amsterdam, Cinnamon, and Le Petit Bistro; shopping at Hammertown, Paper Trail, and ultra luxe home decor from Hundred Mile. Picnic on the lawns of Vanderbilt Mansion or sneak in a flick at the Hyde Park Drive-In Theatre. Convenient commute using the Taconic. Praised in The Week magazine’s “Best Properties in the Hudson Valley.” R E A L E S TA T E S E C T I O N


Q&A with ALEXIS LI YOUR REAL ESTATE GUIDE

Woodstock | $775,000

Ideal Catskills Getaway This home’s open layout and grand common areas are ideal for big group entertaining. Unsurprisingly, it’s been featured by TimeOut NY, PureWow, and HGTV. Nestled between Phoenicia and Woodstock, you can hike Overlook Mountain, hit a local swimming hole, then grab a bite at Cucina, Phoenicia Diner, or The Pines.

Alexis Li met his wife Bobbi on the set of No Country For Old Men. Between film projects, they’d renovate homes, which gave Alexis experience in every aspect of the home buying process. We sat down with Li to talk about his path from the film business into real estate, his journey from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley, and the region’s rich culture. How does your experience in the film industry make you a better real estate agent?

A decade in the film business gave me a strong work ethic and the skills to market homes with a vision in mind. I treat every new listing like a film production, and work hard to get it the exposure it deserves.

What’s your favorite thing about living Upstate? Rosendale | $310,500

On the Water Kayak or fish out your front door. This charmer is conveniently located between Rosendale (Market Market) and Kingston’s Rondout (Brunette).

Woodstock | $849,000

Woodsy Escape This serene farmhouse has character and comfort. From the backyard, you can listen to the property’s stream, walk to hiking trails, or take a dip in the pool.

I came to the Hudson Valley from Fort Greene in Brooklyn, which is the same journey that many home buyers are making now. I’ve made many more friends here than I ever could have imagined, and there’s so much to do. I’m really happy to be raising my daughter in a place with such a rich history. I grew up in Amsterdam and it’s thrilling to see the community rally around its Dutch roots. Rhinebeck even has a Sinterklaas festival!

What inspired you to open a vacation rental in Woodstock?

People from all over are visiting the region to experience the area’s natural beauty. We grabbed the opportunity to operate our own Airbnb in Woodstock. After years of investing and renovating homes, we’ve gotten great at identifying potential, negotiating prices, rolling up our sleeves and renovating houses ourselves.

For more info on these listings or help with buying or selling a home in the Catskills or Hudson Valley, contact Alexis Li or visit: www.alexis-li.com Member of the Ulster and Dutchess County Boards of Realtors

Woodstock | $499,000

Woodstock Art Community

This one-of-a-kind barn home enjoys privacy surrounded by guild-protected land in the historic Byrdcliffe Art Colony. Enjoy an open layout high amongst the trees with seasonal views. Walk to Garden Cafe, Shindig or Tinker Taco Lab. See a show at The Colony, Bearsville Theatre, or get tickets to a Midnight Ramble. R E A L E S TA T E S E C T I O N

ALEXIS LI, ePro® Halter Associates Realty

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson 3257 Route 212, Bearsville, NY 12409 c: (845) 505-6608 | avli@me.com The Shortest Distance Between Listed and SOLD! Vo l . 3 / N o . 2

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TO BE BUILT Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the serenity of your very own secluded 20-acre property surrounded by nearly 1000 acres of state forest land. WEB# PJ1402846 LA GRANGE | $899,000

A PICTURESQUE SETTING Located on a rural country road minutes to the Village of Millbrook rests this very well-designed home with a split-living bedroom floor plan ideal for accommodating guests. WEB# PJ1389432 | WASHINGTON | $745,000

Michael Tellerday Real Estate Salesperson Mobile: 845.797.6891

Jill Rose Real Estate Salesperson Mobile: 914.204.0124

COUNTRY RETREAT Designed with a relaxed-style of sophistication, this sprawling Ranch home boasts a main floor master suite and stunning mountain views from every room in the house. WEB# PJ1401613 | DOVER | $599,900

PRIVATE GETAWAY HOME Beautiful passive solar home with great open floor plan, light-filled spaces, soaring ceilings, and a private tranquil setting on over six acres. Energy efficient, southern exposure. WEB# PJ1393186 | CLINTON | $539,000

Jessica Chutka-Pelletier Real Estate Salesperson Mobile: 845.475.5604

Denise Bertolino Associate Real Estate Broker Mobile: 845.235.4990

LAGRANGE CUSTOM BUILT Beautiful LaGrange custom built home with majestic sweeping views just one minute to the Taconic Parkway. Peace and tranquility abounds. WEB# PJ1400157 LA GRANGE | $459,900

HEART OF LAGRANGE A rare find. This Single Family home has an abundance of space for the whole family. Boasting five spacious bedrooms so everyone can have their own space. WEB# PJ1400132 | LA GRANGE | $385,000

Nicole Porter Associate Real Estate Broker Mobile: 845.797.5300

Michael Tellerday Real Estate Salesperson Mobile: 845.797.6891

ROCKING CHAIR FRONT PORCH Fantastic neighborhood for this traditional Colonial with beautiful setting and rocking chair front porch. Stunning new kitchen with Hickory custom cabinetry and granite counter tops. WEB# PJ1404471 | UNION VALE | $339,000

HISTORIC HYDE PARK Cape Cod/Craftsman style home. Well maintained on a lovely landscaped lot, perfect for outdoor entertaining. Relax year-round in the comforts of the main floor sunroom. WEB# PJ1401838 | HYDE PARK | $314,900

Jill Rose Real Estate Salesperson Mobile: 914.204.0124

Mary Jean Staudohar Associate Real Estate Broker Mobile: 914.474.7250

SHEEPHERDER’S INN – On 25 acres with idyllic vistas in the heart of hunt country, this estate creates an unparalleled retreat in scenic Old Chatham. The vast property features six enchanting guest suites with stone fireplaces and exposed beams. KATHERINE JENNINGS, Associate RE Broker. WEB# UM1360335 | OLD CHATHAM | $3,950,000

1850’S FARMHOUSE – Beautiful four-bedroom Colonial Farmhouse with hardwood floors and updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Wonderfully-finished old barn with studio/gym, additional outbuildings, and a character-filled entertaining deck with pergola and spa. JOSHUA KOWAN, Real Estate Salesperson. WEB# UM1368185 | RED HOOK | $349,000

SOUTHSIDE BUNGALOW – Beautifully updated 1925 bungalow within walking distance to shops on Hooker Avenue. This property is convenient to everything. Hardwood floors throughout, modern open-concept kitchen. Many updates over past several years. PATRICK FLOOD, Real Estate Salesperson. WEB# UM1387019 | POUGHKEEPSIE CITY | $215,000

MILLBROOK BROKERAGE 845.677.6161 HOULIHANLAWRENCE.COM

THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE PROVEN AND PROVING IT 58 upstater

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LAGRANGEVILLE BROKERAGE | 1325 ROUTE 55 HOULIHANLAWRENCE.COM

AREA’S MOST POWERFUL LOCAL AND GLOBAL NETWORKS. R E A L E S TA T E S E C T I O N


LADY OF THE LAkE / PUTNAM VALLEY, NY Excl. Lakefront setting. Privacy, 30 acres, history & elegance. Balconies & terraces plus guest cottage. $3.9M. Web#15507834

FARMHOUSE - 117 LUSH ACRES / CATSkILL, NY Excl. 3 Fresh Water springs & bottling house. Mins to Hudson & Amtrak. Perfect for an entrepreneur. $1.750M. Web#14061407

1890 HIDDEN TREASURE / HUDSON, NY Excl. Historic. Bright. Pristine and private on 1 acre. 8 BRS, 4 baths, wpflcs, lovely porch. IG Pool. $850K. Web#15580179

ELEGANCE ON THE PARk / HUDSON, NY Excl. Meticulous. Original details. Brilliant light. Outdoor kitchen. Circa 1842. Great entertaining space. $699K. Web#15282349

HISTORIC & RARE OPPTY / HUDSON, NY Excl. 7500SF amazing live/work loft. Varying ceiling heights to 28ft. Great for restaurant/studio/bar. $894K. Web#16044937

NY BEAUTY-RIVER VIEWS / HUDSON, NY Excl. Orig architectural integrity & modern updates. 3 light filled floors, EIK, bi-level patio garden. $638K. Web#16481269

SIMPLICITY & PRIVACY IN NATURE / TAGHkANIC, NY Excl. Artist inspired barn style on 5 private acres. Quiet, great location! Charming out buildings. $358K. Web#16362071

Nancy Felcetto

Licensed Real Estate Broker Halstead Property Hudson Valley, LLC t: 917.626.6755 I neh@halstead.com

5 2 6 W a r r e n S t r e e t, H u d S o n , n Y 1 2 5 3 4

|

Robin Horowitz

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Halstead Property Hudson Valley, LLC t: 518.660.1302 I rhorowitz@halstead.com

518.660.1301

Halstead Property Hudson Valley, LLC All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, change or price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation or guaranty is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and other information should be re-conďŹ rmed by customer. All New York Yankees trademarks and copyrights are owned by the New York Yankees and used with the permission of the New York Yankees.

R E A L E S TA T E S E C T I O N

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YEAR ROUND FAMILY GETAWAY

SPECTACULAR CIVIL WAR ERA BARN Simply Spectacular Realty Services

• 7,668 SF of Exceptional Design & Character • 5 Bedrooms / 4 Full, 2 Half Baths • Exquisite Workmanship • Gourmet Kitchen • 5+ Car Garage / Elevator • Private & Secluded 38 Acre Site

• Schenectady County, NY

• 3 Hours North of NYC, 6 Minutes off I-90

David M. Phaff GRI, ABR, CRS, CSP, e-Pro

Scan the QR Code with your smart phone for a video tour

Cell/Text: 518.469.8984 Email: David@DavidPhaff.com

see the 3-D Tour at:

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

www.1986Crawford.com

Willow Realty 1857 Brick Federal Farmhouse Overlooking the Wallkill River in Gardiner

•6490 sq. ft. home •Guesthouse •54 acres Impeccably and honestly restored and furnished to its era 11-foot ceilings, elaborate trim, private. 3rd floor studio, horse barn, fenced paddocks. MLS 20162329 | $1,850,000 Willow Realty: 40 Pure Honey Lane, Gardiner, NY Laurie@WillowRealEstate.com

845-255-7666 60 upstater

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Historic Rhinebeck and Red Hook Village Living P Spacious modern loft like home newly renovated w/over 3500 sq. ft. of living space. Vaulted ceilings, HWF, 2 FP, 5 BR & 3 BA. Plus a library, media roo screen, central air, new kitchen, modern lighting fixtures & a 2-car garage. All on 5-AC w/a pond.

’60s renovated three-bedroom home is sited on a corner parcel in a Red Hook community setting. This gambrel-roofed house features three levels of living with a finished basement and two-car garage. Open and light filled with a master bedroom on first floor. Screened-in porch, fenced yard and beautiful mature trees. Walk to schools. $315,000

Rhinebeck Victorian with authentic detailing: tin or coffered high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, original front door and porch. New kitchen with soapstone counters and half bath. Finished lower level with French doors, fireplace, spacious rooms with full bath. Large backyard bluestone patio and Landsman stream. Two-car detached garage. $699,000

Rhinebeck Village Victorian built in the late 1800s and renovated for modern living… just move right in. Large living room with wood floors, eat-in kitchen, dining room and four bedrooms. Zoned as a two-family residence but used for a single family. Semi private backyard…Walk to the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market and all the Village has to offer. $799,000

6423 MONTGOMERY STREET | RHINEBECK, NY 12572 | 845-876-8588 | ag@valstar.net | NorthernDutchessRealty.com

PAULA REDMOND REAL EST AT E INC OR POR AT ED

• • • TOWN OF CLINTON

$870,000

Private Country Contemporary CLERMONT

$845,000

Panoramic Mountain Views

MILLBROOK

$545,000

Catskill Mountain Views RED HOOK

$599,000

Catskill Mountain Views

PLEASANT VALLEY

$529,000

1800s Country Charmer PINE PLAINS

$260,000

Spacious Village Home

Millbrook 845.677.0505 · Rhinebeck 845.876.6676

paularedmond.com

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vintage village colonial

CLASSIC HUDSON VALLEY FARM

rhinebeck , ny

This charming Civil War era residence was built by Thomas Edgerley, a founder of Rhinebeck Savings Bank. The main level offers a spacious, eat-in chef’s kitchen; foyer, formal living and dining rooms; music room; den; and, 2 baths. The second floor features a gracious master en suite; guest suite, 2 additional bedrooms, hall bath and laundry. Offers a 20x40 heated, gunite pool with built-in spa and a 3-car carriage-style garage with half bath and changing room. Walk to Rhinebeck’s fine dining and Upstate Films. Minutes to Amtrak and Bard’s Fisher Center. $1,399,000.

H.H. HILL REALTY SERVICES, INC.

Extraordinary opportunity to own 120 acres on one of Columbia County's most scenic roads. Updated 1830 farmhouse overlooks sparkling spring-fed pond, romantic gazebo, 2 bedroom guest house, horse barn and rolling pastures. Own all that you can see. Truly a magical setting. Two hours from NYC, 3 miles from the Taconic Parkway, and 7 miles from Hudson. $995,000

Nancy Cuddihy, Assoc. Broker (518) 929-5627 StoneHouseProperties.com

845.876.8888 • HILLRHINEBECK.COM

6408 MONTGOMERY ST., RHINEBECK, NY 12572

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CLOSURE

S T O RY B Y C H L O E C A L D W E L L | I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y A S H O AT

Leaving Baby Chloe

I

n the thick of winter, after sitting, lethargic, on my couch for a week, low-key depressed, eating bread, I signed up for a silent meditation retreat at the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, a tiny village about 15 minutes from the city of Hudson. The retreat people were mindful and minimal in their emails. When they wrote that my check hadn’t arrived, I wrote back, worried, “But I sent it last Friday!” They responded, “It will arrive,” which was curiously calming. Meditation retreats are impulsively doable. I don’t like activities that require using more than my body. I’m happy to go swimming any day of the week, but I don’t like kayaking. Retreats are easy, like getting a tattoo. You just show up. My drive to Claverack felt profound; there’d been a blizzard, but now the sun was shining hard as fuck. Thawing. A Buddhist nun gave me a lanyard with my name on it, which I didn’t wear, just like I never wore the lanyards given to me at past jobs, as they make me feel corporate. Lanyard-less, I walked up the hill to a building called Placeless Zen to find my room. On the door, my name was written on a sign, hanging beneath another sign with another name. The first names matched. Chloe and Chloe. There were twin beds with polka-dotted comforters. On the nightstand was Chloe’s book, The Red Tent. I flipped it over to read the back. Chloe’s deep, I thought, deeper than me. I placed my book next to Chloe’s. I’d brought Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart, just to be clichéd. Dinner was kimchi, roasted yellow beets, asparagus—so healthy that the next day I felt sick. While I ate, I looked around, wondering which person was Chloe. The silent part of the retreat would start in the morning. After dinner we sat in a circle and gave our names. I saw Chloe for the first time. She’d driven from North Carolina with the boy next to her. Back in our room, there she was. Lush brown hair in a bun. Silver nose ring. “Hi,” she said. “Hi.” Chloe changed her shirt with her back to me and I changed my shirt with my back to her. Chloe got into bed with her book. I did my skin-care routine, trying to heal the harm done in my 20s from days spent not wearing sunscreen and nights spent snorting and not sleeping. I wondered if Chloe thought I was vain. She didn’t put anything on her face. After a few minutes I glanced over. Chloe smiled at me sweetly. “We have the same name,” I whispered. “It was meant to be,” she said in a mocking way that reminded me of the way my cousins and I talk to each other. “You drove here from North Carolina?” “Yeah.” “Was that your boyfriend with you?” “He’s just my friend.” I liked her even more now. “We should probably go to sleep,” she said, “so getting up tomorrow isn’t horrible.” Chloe was responsible. At 5:40 a.m. Chloe and I got dressed and brushed our teeth. Then Chloe left without me. I tried not to take it personally, but I definitely noticed it. In morning meditation, I couldn’t relax until I found Chloe. I stole glances at her.

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All day I ran into her. There were 65 people there—few enough to see her everywhere, but many enough for that to seem coincidental. I decided Chloe was my rock. I was going to hold Chloe in unconditional positive regard. I began touching her shoulder whenever I saw her. I wondered if she’d describe me to her friends as “older.” I wondered if she thought, judging by When Things Fall Apart, my skin-care routine, my being there alone, that I was just another broken woman in her 30s. Which, come to think of it, I guess I am. But Chloe was too kind to have thoughts like the ones I was projecting onto her. When I was 20 I made friends with a bartender who was 26 and would illegally serve me. She called me Baby Chloe. At the end of her shifts, she’d snort coke and blast “The Edge of Seventeen.” She’d point at me while singing the line: “I’m a few years older than you!” I’d feel young and loved and special. “Do you mind,” Chloe said, “if I don’t wear pants?” It was our final night together. I was touched by the question. We weren’t sharing a bed—why would I care if she didn’t wear pants? She was in a T-shirt and underwear. I was in sweatpants, socks, and a hoodie. We lay in our respective beds and chatted. Chloe discovered I was a writer; I learned she was 19. “Nineteen!” I exclaimed. “I’m a baby,” she said. At breakfast on Sunday, I set my coat and gloves down and lined up for oatmeal. Returning to my seat, I saw Chloe’s sweater and scarf next to my belongings. My heart fluttered. Her sweater—I couldn’t decipher what color it was. Cream? Gray? Brown? The silence ceased at noon. People’s faces look different when they speak. They form expressions with their eyes. You can see their teeth. As we put away our meditation pillows, Chloe approached me. “Your hair,” she said. “You have the most beautiful waves.” She reached up to touch it. “I have curly hair, too,” she said. “I noticed that.” I was sad leaving Chloe, like when I say goodbye to my cousins. I don’t know when I’ll see them again, and I’m sad I don’t know them in a deeper sense, hoping they’ll be okay, knowing they won’t always be. Chloe gave me her slow smile. I touched her shoulder for the umpteenth time, then walked outside with two other women closer to my age, though I was older than them, too. When did I start being the older woman? There was nothing to do but get into my car—and leave Baby Chloe behind. u “Leaving Baby Chloe” is excerpted from an essay in the second edition of Chloe Caldwell’s essay collection, Legs Get Led Astray, published in July 2017 by Short Flight/Long Drive Books.


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KASURI

Upstater Summer 2017  
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