Monday, August 29, 2011

flood devastation in the Catskills

This is across the street from my store on Main Street in Margaretville yesterday. The building I'm in is fine, but the other side of the street was hit hard. The supermarket (the only one in at least a 25 mile radius) and pharmacy were destroyed, as were some small businesses. Many houses lost to floods, bridges washed out, roads destroyed, people trapped in their homes.  Boat and rooftop rescues. The area is full of hills, hollows, dirt roads and small bridges. No cell phone service either. No water in some towns. I hope to get up there Thursday--right now all roads are closed except to emergency workers. This will be preoccupying me for a while ....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

floods in the Catskills

Margaretville today. The Bun 'n Cone, where I get my soft serve ice cream. 
Photo by Megan Van Keuren.

The Granary Building today

and a few months ago.

Footage of flooding on Main St. Margaretville where my store (which is on the 2nd floor) is:

Thanks to all who've asked how I'm doing. Here in Boston, big winds and rain, lots of branches down, etc. Staved off the basement flood and no serious damage. The real story is in the Catskills I left yesterday, there is serious/probably record flooding, which will devastate an already economically depressed area. Earlier this morning the governor of NY drove through Margaretville, where my store is, and posted pictures on his twitter account.  The streets and stores are flooded, and now there is four feet of water gushing down Main Street, and people are being rescued by boat.

Pictures from Fleischmann's, near Margaretville, where Harriet who watches the store when I'm not there lives, here. National Guard is doing helicopter rescues there now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

short weekend, long drive

Drove to the Catskills yesterday thinking I would have a long weekend. On the way I bought the loveliest bouquet of flowers at a farm stand. They are pictured above resting on a picture on the floor of my car. Now I'm going home tomorrow so I don't have to drive for 240 miles through at best heavy rains/high winds and at worst hurricane/tornado conditions on Sunday. Praying the basement doesn't flood and the trees stay upright. And that I remember to take the flowers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

green things

Is that corn growing in my geranium pot?

Weller vase I got at auction a while back. (Yes, it looks blue; let's call it seafoam.)

Roseville from the same auction.
Both have plenty of chips and dings, but that doesn't bother me--i have plenty of chips and dings myself.

Vase from Red Hot Pottery. I love it so much that I bought a batch to sell at the store--I thought they'd be a perfect fit, but they haven't done well. People think they cost too much, so I've had to lower the prices and they still aren't doing well. I don't get it--the pleasure I have gotten from mine is well worth the money. And they are hand made. It's hard for artisans to compete with madeinchina, but oh boy there really is no comparison.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shelburne Museum

The eclectic Shelburne Museum near Burlington Vermont has 39 buildings on 45 acres, most of them historic and relocated from other parts of New England. Some are historic houses and community buildings set up as they would have been in their time,

such as this settlers cottage. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Others are galleries/ exhibition spaces, and not all of them are old. The Kalkin House was built in 2001--the interior was created from 3 trans-oceanic shipping containers. Within was an exhibit of contemporary 3-dimensional paper art. Other buildings exhibited fashion from 1690-2001, Vermont firearms, and landscape paintings.

The founder of the museum, Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960), was an early serious collector of folk art. She was responsible for relocating 20 historic buildings to the property. After her death, her children had this house built on the property and relocated six rooms of the Havemeyer Park Avenue apartment to it. Her parents were collectors of European art and there are Degas', Monets, and Cassatts on these walls.

Mrs. Havemeyer had a lighthouse moved to the property which looks very strange on a grassy knoll.

Not as strange as the Ticonderoga, an elegant old steamboat that used to run on Lake Champlain and that has been fully restored.
 A quick geography break for those not familiar with Vermont: Shelburne is the first town south of Burlington, about 45 miles south of Canada and 235 miles northwest of Boston. Outside of the five Great Lakes, Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S.  The Adirondack Mountains of New York are on the other side of the lake, and to the south of them you can see the Catskill Mountains.

 The sights of the museum include a covered bridge, built in 1845, that was dismantled and moved in 1949,

 a Shaker round barn, a saw mill, Adirondack lodge, school house, general store, 1950 house, and much more. I was there for four hours, and did not see everything.

Some of my favorite things:

The old buildings. All 19th century New England, which is the time and place of most of the antiques I sell--I learn from seeing good examples of the buildings and their furnishings.

the old kitchens

and bedrooms.

this fence woven with sticks,


the extraordinary circus building, which houses a five hundred foot long circus parade, a 4000-piece hand carved circus, many wondrous posters and photographs, and outside of which is an old working carousel.

There is one house filled with antique toys, another with quilts, hatboxes and dioramas (as in the above--I love how detailed the selection of items on his desk is), and one with duck and fish decoys. I see so many bad decoy (and other antique) reproductions that it is a breath of fresh air to see genuine, old, primitive ones.

My favorite place was the stagecoach inn filled with folk art. 

Most poignant moment: a very long cradle made for the elderly and the infirm, a practice originated by the Shakers. It made me think how comforting it would be for someone ill or dying to be rocked in the security of a cradle.

Museum website here. Excellent NY Times article about it here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

watching the duck

yesterday after unpacking the car and going to a couple of used furniture stores and unpacking the car again, Luke and I went to dinner at an old-school seafood and steak restaurant. we ate on the deck overlooking Lake Champlain with a breeze off the water, and after dinner walked along the lake and watched the boats and the water and the sunset
and this duck
we watched him for the longest time, bobbing along, alone

here is Luke in front of his new house, a 2-family. he shares his side with 3 friends and there are more students in the other side.

no matter how grown up they are or how happy, I always grow melancholy when I say goodbye to my children, and i think that explains the deficient punctuation and lack of capitals here, though i don't know why ...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

a few things

a new collage

I used antique book plates and maps of Canada, an old typed recipe for blueberry jam, paint chips and washi tape.

Also paint, string and seeds from a box of stuff for Indian religious ceremonies (now the collage smells slightly of incense).

flowers from my garden

my reading corner
pillows by Lambert and Enhabiten.

Today I drive to Burlington Vermont to settle my son Luke in his new house, which means filling my car with skateboards (including a stack of broken ones that will be wall decor) free weights, clothes and books, and tonight buying him and his roommates a good meal. Burlington is in the northwest corner of the state, near Canada, on Lake Champlain. Small, beautiful, clean and safe, it is the quintessential college town--low key, lots of good cheap food and indie stores. Actually, Burlington has more indie spirit than any town I've seen in decades. And tomorrow I get to visit the Shelburne Museum--folk art, quilts, a 3,500-piece miniature circus hand-carved from wood, the worlds largest museum collection of trivets... what more could a gal want?

Monday, August 15, 2011

a (very) short story

Usually I look for the story in the picture, but in this case it is in the frame.

Once upon a time there was a painting, quite large, a little naive, but very sweet, with painted shrubs bearing pink flowers that made it special. It lived in a store in upstate New York.

It had a nice wood frame, and and typed on a small piece of paper attached to the back of the frame was this:

Wait! No need for your reading glasses--I'll copy it here: 

    This frame is made of cherry wood from a tree 
cut down by Andrew Plotczyk in 1925 on the river 
bank in the orchard on his farm in Northfield,
Mass. Taken to Evans Bros. saw mill along with 
chestnut logs cut from the wood lot for railroad
ties. Stored in the hay barn for many years.

The end.

I am fascinated that someone chose to memorialize the frame and by the details--the river bank, the name of the saw mill, the chestnut logs and their purpose ... 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a country drive

Finally, a sunny day and time for a back roads drive to Andes, one of my favorite villages. It's only 5 miles from my house but I'm always so busy at the store I haven't been there in ages.

 I bought honey at a roadside stand (nobody was there--I left money in a mason jar) and passed lots of cute houses. This sweetheart isn't really crooked--I took the picture out the car window.

Another crooked house/car window picture. This house is for sale. I want the dog. (of course you know you can click on pictures to enlarge) Isn't there a nursery rhyme--there was a crooked man, who walked a crooked mile, he had a crooked house, across a crooked stile...

 Tay Tea just moved into this house.

I want every item on the porch. The pink chair! The blue table! The orange shelf! They aren't even for sale--Tay now serves lunch on the porch, and doesn't that sound delightful--but that doesn't stem the tide of desire I feel.

This side of the porch is nice too. Sorry about the shadow.

 The stunning woman in the picture is the great-aunt of Tay's owner. You can read more about her here.

 My life is not complete without this table,

and  I adore this cabinet. 
You know how I feel about the color green, right?

Speaking of green ...
 How do you like this grapevine table and porch rocker I put in my store? A wicked covetous part of me wants to price them so high nobody will buy them, so I can continue enjoy them. But that would be bad karma.

I found this birdhouse on my drive. The man who built it sells them from his barn. 

One more green thing from my day, and then I'll say farewell:

an overturned rowboat

Enjoy your weekend!