The Independent Extols The Catskills, But….

….in its “quest” for “Catskills style,” the U.K. newspaper in my humble opinion omits some very “stylish” places:

Searching for style in the Catskills

I understand it seems to be a narrowly focused piece that showcases certain businesses. Still, it gives an unbalanced impression of the region. There is lots of “style” out there beyond hugging Route 28 towards Roxbury.

Places that Indy article plugs, such as Woodstock and Phoenicia, are definitely worth visiting. Head north as well. Windham and adjoining towns – Hunter, Jewett, Ashland and Prattsville* – should not be missed.

Windham has the prettiest Main Street in the Catskills. It also boasts a large ski resort. (There’s also another in Hunter.) It has the wonderful Bistro Brie & Bordeaux. (One wouldn’t have thought the Independent could’ve possibly overlooked something like, uh, that.) There’s also the well-regarded Windham Vineyards and Winery. And you haven’t eaten in a diner until you’ve tried (cash only) Michael’s. (My English brother-in-law – who visited last summer – still talks about how much he enjoyed it.) I could go on….

Next door Ashland – one of the smallest towns in New York state – even has a replica Partridge Family bus. (It’s on private property.) Does anything get more “stylish” than that?

The area has state forests and fantastic hiking trails. It’s also somewhere you can drive for tens of miles before bumping into a traffic light. (The hamlet of Tannersville – there’s “style” there too – in the town of Hunter, has the STOP light.) The vistas and serenity are second to none for the Catskills.

Rainbow over the Catskills. [Photo by me, 2012.]

Rainbow over the Catskills, looking toward Hunter Mountain. (Notice the deer accidentally in frame.) [Photo by me, 2012.]

Yes, I’m biased. Our house is outside of Windham. However, if you drive up from New York City and confine yourself only to what’s along Route 28 and don’t continue up from Phoenicia to Route 23, you haven’t really seen the Catskills.

Anyway, time to get back to work. Writing, writing, writing. Woodstock isn’t the only place in the Catskills with authors. ;-)

Have a good day, wherever you are reading this….
__________

NOTE: *For me, one of the few “lighthearted” moments of Tropical Storm Irene and the lousy late summer of 2011 was hearing CNN’s Anderson Cooper repeatedly say “Prattsville” to an audience of global viewers. The town and area have rebounded from the flooding. Prattsville still has a few ruined private dwellings marked for demolition, but most business locations have recovered, rebuilt, and, indeed, often been refurbished.

Afternoon In The Catskills

A view of Windham Mountain, in upstate New York, just after 3:30pm Thursday, local time:

image

You know that bit on Euronews where they do that video offered with “No Comment” thing?

That.

Uh, sorta. :-)

I’ve suffered from occasionally absolutely cracking headaches since I was a teen. I’ve never really understood why: they have no “obvious” trigger. Today had been “one of those days.” Terrific pain hit this morning and has been with me all day.

I gave James my headaches in the books. Nice of me, eh? As writers we have control literally over everything our characters do… and endure!

Finally feeling a little better, I ventured outside. Hence, the photo.

Morning Mist

Happy Saturday! How about an “uplifting” photo?:

Morning mist below Windham Mountain (left) and Hunter Mountain (distant, right), in the Catskills. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Morning mist below Windham Mountain (left) and Hunter Mountain (distant, right), in the Catskills. [Photo by me, 2014.]

I grabbed that about 45 minutes ago. I’m a “morning person,” as you may know. Even on the weekends!

There’s still plenty of snow visible on the ski runs on both Windham (left) and Hunter, but brown patches are increasingly obvious. Spring has arrived. Skiing is finished until November.

Have a good weekend, wherever you are. :-)

Catskills Moonset

How about a photo to start the day? The Moon was up all night and brightly, into early daylight:

The Moon finally going down only a little while ago. [Photo by me, 2014.]

The Moon going down only a little while ago. [Photo by me, 2014.]

In the foreground, I happened to catch the top of our water well cap. It had been totally buried.

Lots of the “here and there” snow has melted, but the skiing is still good. Ski Windham says it will be open through March 30. We’re hearing vaguely of another snow “event” early next week.

Happy Tuesday!

Ski Runs

Starting Friday a bit early, and I thought I’d post this. Yesterday was a gorgeous Catskills day. I grabbed a photo of Windham Mountain ski resort, looking up from the car park, toward the lodge (l) and the condos (r):

20140306-134924.jpg

While the air was cold (about 20F/ – 6C), the strong sun was warm. (Today will be a bit cloudier.) It’s definitely feeling like March. Ski season doesn’t have much longer to go ’round here.

Paris Or Rome, Or Cleveland?

Snowed in as many are currently in the U.S. northeast (including us), I’ve seen some weighty issues being thrashed out at times among some of my Facebook friends. One (male) relation offered this philosophical observation last night. It having a degree of relevance here, I thought I’d edit it, and clean it up grammatically, and share it:

You could go to Paris or Rome with someone you care little for, but go to Cleveland with someone who truly turns you on, stay in a garage and be overjoyed. Absolutely….forget Paris or Rome….

It is indeed true: it matters not where you are, as long as you are with the one you love.

Yet I couldn’t help but think also on how that statement made no allowance for a related possibility. Suppose you are “with someone who truly turns you on”…. and the choice is either Paris or Rome…. or Cleveland? Where would you prefer to be together? ;-)

Incidentally, I admit I have never been to Cleveland. However, I have been to Youngstown. Not that that’s the same place, of course.

A snowy Saturday. [Photo by me, 2014.]

A snowy Saturday. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Yes, definitely too much snow now. I suspect cabin fever is indeed setting in. :-)

The Blue Before The Snowstorm

The sky was such a stunning blue outside the house yesterday, I grabbed a photo:

Trees against an amazing blue sky, near our house. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Trees against an amazing blue sky, near our house. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Uh, it doesn’t look like that currently:

Not nearly the same blue sky this morning. [Photo by me, 2014.]

Not nearly the same blue sky this morning. [Photo by me, 2014.]

In that second one, I happened to catch a bit of a long stone wall that runs along part of our property. There are remains of rock walls like those all over the Catskills, left behind from when these mountains were once covered with farms, usually dairy farms. Also visible above the snow toward the bottom left in the photo is a bit of the barbed wire that still runs along it.

Full disclosure: those trees in that second photo are (perhaps obviously) not the same trees as the first one; that photo is not quite as sharp as the other one because I snapped that through a window (it’s freezing out there!); and it was also not quite yet fully daylight.

Still, the latest “big snow” is starting to fall… on top of the previous snow.

I also woke up with a good part of a new chapter in mind (for the sequel). I’ve already tapped tapped tapped it down furiously in outline (I hate forgetting!) on my iPad (courtesy of my bluetooth keyboard on which I’m also typing this post). Given no one is likely going anywhere today well into tomorrow, I suppose I’ve got absolutely no excuse for not getting it fully on the computer. ;-)

Oh, Deer

You probably think homes in the Catskills 3 hours north of New York City are isolated? That no one knocks on your door unexpectedly? And that reality must make writing easier?

Uh, that’s not entirely so:

"The flowers next to the house look inviting... If only this deck weren't in the way..." [Photo by me, 2013.]

“The flowers next to the house look inviting… If only this deck weren’t in the way…” [Photo by me, 2013.]

There are times some of the locals distract you, wandering around uninvited outside your house like they flippin’ own the place. :-)

Saw a couple of them earlier this morning, but was unable to get a photo like that one from last winter. I do find what I call our “time wasters” to be therapeutic in a way. When you’re feeling down, seeing them meandering around can help lift your spirits a bit – and we certainly need it, with a close friend’s funeral tomorrow in London, and us unable to be there.

Hope you’re having a good weekend.