Monday, September 1, 2014

a Catskills weekend

I got to the country late Thursday night, and Friday morning went to Russell's for an egg sandwich.
The eggs are so fresh and flavorful that I don't add cheese or anything else. At Russell's weekenders mix easily with locals--old school farmers and Brooklyn stylist/makers can all agree on a good breakfast sandwich.

 Then I wandered through tiny downtown Bovina to take some pictures. This old general store is for sale, and somehow I discovered that the door was unlocked, so I went in and wandered around. Unfortunately I accidentally deleted most of my pictures, but it is such a cool place, filled with soul and character. It's for sale with an old farmhouse and 8 acres.

Pressed tin ceilings.

 Three or four rooms on each floor.


Old ledgers.

 There are a lot of pictures on the real estate listing here. Her exterior pictures are good, but her interior pictures don't begin to capture the charm of this place. It looks like the farmhouse has been woefully updated. Upstate NY is filled with charming old farmhouses at really reasonable prices. (If you're used to Boston, NY, SF prices). Bovina's only three hours from NYC. I'll never open a store again, but I was pretty excited for a while there, as I wandered around.





 We bought our house in the woods twelve years ago, and every time I go there I feel a sense of joy, freshness, clarity, peace. I get deep into nature, but also enjoy the simple pleasures  that abound in the eclectic rural life of the Catskills.

25 comments:

  1. What a great old store. I love that first photograph with the portrait, and the tin ceiling. I think I know at least a bit of the feeling you feel when you go to your house in the woods. I feel something similar when we travel north of the city here. We don't own our place, but we regularly rent the same little cottage. We'll be there soon and I'm so ready for it!

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    1. I think the most magical places I've ever been are north of SF. Point Reyes, Bolinas, Mt. Tam, Mendocino, Elk, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys…Have a wonderful time, Denise!

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    2. Even the names are magical, Jen, and read, aloud like a Marin poem. Add two of my favorites -- Olema and San Anselmo -- and I could start singing! Am yearning for my next trip to Marin/Napa/ Sonoma. Lovely entry and thanks as always.
      Diane in Coneflower
      Sunflower, Chrysanthemum
      Denver

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  2. Replies
    1. Never? I hated selling, Rubye Jack. Loved procuring, arranging, talking to people about the goods, but not the selling part. Though if anything could have changed my mind this place could have.

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  3. Hello dear Jen,
    Back from London.. Its always good to be home.
    What stories that old building can tell!! The people, even left a photo.
    If one was to open a store there..What could it open as.!! Its a shame that the old building is not used.
    Where you live, sounds idilic and peaceful.
    I have been to Boston.. but we took the road to Cape Cod! and visited other places around.
    Enjoy your stay in the Catskills.
    xxx val.

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    1. Hi Val,
      These was some other old stock too--oil cans, boards games, other odds and ends…The Catskills isn't a usual destination for people in Boston. Boston is two hours from so many wonderful places==the Berkshires, the Cape, Maine, Vermont…and it's a four hour drive to the Catskills. We bought the place when we lived near New York and couldn't bear to sell it when we moved.

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  4. The sight of those ledgers made my fingers itch to dip back into the store's history. Did you look to see how far back they went? I guess it will take a young couple to take it on.

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    1. There were more. You know, I was trespassing (not that anyone would care) and in kind of a daze about the magnificence of the place, so I didn't poke to deeply, though I thought about going back the next day. When we bought our house we saw a place that had the most charming old farmhouse, (not updated) a general store, an artists studio, a barn, and a couple of other outbuildings for an insanely low price. But it would have been so much work! And for a weekend home that isn't what we wanted.

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  5. Hello Jen,

    Oh dear, we have been completely entranced by this place. We looked through all 51 images and can absolutely feel the atmosphere of the place. Such a temptation.

    We can well see how this corner of the world has captivated you. It has a simple yet sophisticated charm and all set in the most glorious of landscapes. We know that we should be seduced and wish to own something there. And just three hours to New York.......it could be three lifetimes!

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    1. You are right about the three lifetimes, Jane and Lance. It is amazing to find such untouched rural life so close to the city. It is part of the NY watershed, so there are all kinds of restrictions on land use and building, so it will never change much.

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  6. Hello Jen, It would be a temptation to think of the store as an annex to the house, which does look a little small. Plus, think of all those shelves to fill, although I am sure that I would be up to the task. The acreage also looks promising for a mini-orchard. The whole place has the charm of long ago.
    --Jim

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    1. It's so hard to have a successful business up there. The hamlets are very small and spread apart--there are no densely populated areas, so you have to be a designation. It can be done, but it takes a lot of hard work, commitment, and understanding of the area.

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  7. I know I could live there and feel content and at peace, just as you sound when you write about it there. You'd probably find me laying in the grass listening to those musicians. :)


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    1. I'm so enchanted with your new neck of the woods, Sarah!

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  8. I think I am a country kind of person, however, when it comes to living in a countryside, maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be.
    I just cherry pick the best bits of country life but I really need that once in a while.

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    1. I don't know how I'd feel about living in the country full time. I'd need to be able to travel and visit the city a lot, I think, at this stage in my life.

      By the way Cosmos, can I say how amazing your English is? The phrases "cracked up to be" and cherry pick" are perfectly used. You are inspiring.

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    2. Thank you for your compliment, Jen. Actually "cracked up to be " is a phrase I knew from the song "Seventeen" by Janis Ian. I sometimes take or borrow the expression that impressed me from songs or writings. That' how I learn English, however, I'm a bit worried how actually that expression sounds. So may I ask you to feel free to tell me if it is too straight or something strange about that? Anyway I'm happy you gave me a positive response about the usage :)

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  9. I love wandering around abandoned building. has to be one of my favourite pastimes!

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    1. I wish I'd spent more time there.

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  10. ahhhh, I was almost afraid to read this post. i knew the images would be envy producing. and i was right. but at least you share.

    i'm scratching gus with my left hand so am unable to capitalize.

    he sends his respects.

    i send my love.

    xo j

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  11. It could be the most amazing place Jen! A bit of vision is all. Hope you are well and enjoying your weekend.

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  12. I'm catching up, been away and unplugged This place looks soooo cool, I bet it got your juices flowing a bit!

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