Annual Copake Bicycle Auction 2013 17 May 2013, 5:29 amI always look forward to April and the arrival of the guests who return to my Inn each year for the annual Copake Bicycle Auction. They were here again this year for a special auction of Carl Burgwardt's Pedaling History Museum Collection. The collection is being sold over the course of three auctions, the last of which takes place next October, 2013.
You can view a video of the action at the first of the three Pedaling Museum auctions in December 2012 on the Copake Auction website.
As always, there are lots of gorgeous antique bicycles going on the auction block. Although I have no idea about their values, I can certainly appreciate their beauty.
This one, a ladies "safety bike" made of hickory wood caught my eye. This bicycle sold for $16,000. And I loved reading the signs behind it.
And this streamlined white bike was unexpectedly futuristic. I noticed in the video that one like it (or maybe it was resold) went for $12,000 in the December auction.
I also liked these brightly painted children's tricycles.
The highlight of the auction (which grossed $800,000 by the way) was this 1911 motorized Pierce shown here by auctioneer Mike Fallon in a photo I borrowed from their Facebook page. It sold for $145,000. That sale must have elicited some applause!
|Photo Courtesy Copake Auction, Inc.|
I have blogged about this auction in the past, so for more photos and information, see the April, 2011 post and the April, 2012 post which go into more detail about the Swap Meet that takes place starting at 6 am on Friday before the Saturday auction. And make your reservations at the Inn for the October 19, 2013 auction, the final one of this amazing collection.
Celebrate with a Cake 14 May 2013, 2:12 pm
We can arrange to have a delicious cake ready and waiting for your special day. Wouldn't this little daisy decorated cake be just the thing for a birthday coming up this spring? A 4" double layer cake is $35 and you can choose a vanilla, lemon, almond, carrot or chocolate cake, iced with vanilla buttercream frosting and fondant on top.
You can choose the filling too - chocolate, vanilla or fruit jam. This one had a home made currant jam and the guests loved it.
Our baker is Vivian Wachsberger of Gateau Viv. She also makes wedding cakes. One like this one at the left could be arranged for an engagement! Or even an elopement!
A summer visit and birthday treat might be celebrated with this little chocolate frosted cake.
This one with the pink, white and rose colored flowers is almost too adorable to cut into!
You order these cakes when you book your reservation online, or just give us a call, and we can arrange it for you. And why not add flowers, chocolates and candy in a mug, too! Make this next birthday celebration a most special one with a stay at the Inn and a delicious home made cake.
"Country Living" Fair in Rhinebeck, NY 7 May 2013, 5:19 amI am delighted that two very talented friends are exhibiting at the Country Living Fair, taking place, June 7-9, 2013, in nearby Rhinebeck in New York's Hudson Valley. This is the first time Country Living is doing a fair in the North East.
You can watch this fun video produced last year by Country Living Magazine about the 2012 Fairs. It will give you a good idea of what to expect.
As I mentioned, two friends will be among the many vendors. I have blogged about Franca Fusco before. She is the wonderful creator of Boxwood Linens. Her lovely shop is on the ground level of the Hillsdale General Store. I visit her store often to sigh over the beautiful, crisp linens - tablecloths, napkins, aprons, towels, shower curtains, etc. Also, I love the elegant hand made candles.
And I enjoy the singular vision of Chrisie Cordrey who is, as her website states, "inspired by the folky, edgy, historical piece of cloth [or] furniture, or really anything". I love her pillows, and re-imagined clothing and furniture.
Some famous folks, like the Beekman Boys, will be there too. Go to the Country Living Magazine website to read more about some of the talented people who will be at the Rhinebeck Fair, June 7-9, 2013. And don't forget to book a room at the Inn!
B&B Guest Reviews His Stay on Video 24 Apr 2013, 8:37 amA recent guest, Ted Sabarese, who is not camera shy, was happy to let me video tape a quick, off the cuff review of his stay at my bed and breakfast in Hillsdale, NY.
It turns out Ted is quite comfortable in front of the camera as he is an artist, a photographer and a director. I enjoyed reading his blog and seeing some of his photography on the web site Behance.
Anyway, here is Ted's impromptu review!
Tell me if you agree! And if you have stayed at the Inn at Green River, and want to shoot a short video review, I'd love to post it. And if you are coming to visit soon, and like to get in front of a camera, I would love to add your review to this collection.
Planning a Wedding? 14 Apr 2013, 3:37 pmThis weekend, April 13-14, the Hillsdale General Store and Boxwood Linens have teamed up to create a Love and Marriage event in their stores in the hamlet to showcase Hillsdale and Columbia County, New York, as the perfect place to have a wedding.
Matthew White, owner of the Hillsdale General Store, and Franca Fusco, owner of Boxwood Linens, are ready to help you register for gifts, and have put together a list of businesses that cater to weddings. You will leave with a packet of business cards of carefully selected partners - florists, cake makers, photographers, jewelers, musicians, tent rentals, caterers, and wedding venues, etc. Whether you want to be married in a field on a farm, in a beautiful 1799 Shaker barn, in a lovely garden at a bed and breakfast, or at a small country church, our region of the Hudson Valley has the spot to fit your dreams.
And speaking of dreams, look at the lovely table linens, glass ware and antique china displayed in both stores.
And the General Store also has many options for new and vintage glasses, china, kitchen utensils, bake ware... everything you need to set up your new home.
If you miss this event, don't worry. Just stop by either store for the packet of business cards to help you plan. And come stay at the Inn and let me also give you some ideas. It's never too early to start planning. The inn is already booked for a June 2014 weekend for a wedding that will take place in the Hillsdale's Roe Jan Park! And here is a photo of a summer wedding in that park.
Mother Nature was certainly cooperating that day!
Innkeeper Interviewed on Radio Station WSBS 11 Apr 2013, 3:43 pmI taped an interview earlier in the week which will be played on our local Great Barrington, Massachusetts radio station, WSBS, tomorrow morning, Friday, April 12th, at about 8:15 am. I will of course, be preparing breakfast for guests at the Inn, but I can still listen just by going to the radio's website and clicking on the Listen Live button in the upper right hand corner!
Member Spotlight, featuring a local business member in a writeup on the Chamber website, and arranging for a 10 minute interview on the local radio station, WSBS, which can be heard on the 860 AM and 94.1 FM channels.
I stopped by WSBS this week and was ushered into a studio by radio host, Jesse, to tape the short spot. Jesse asked me questions about how I got into the bed and breakfast business, and how it has changed in the 24 years since I started out with just 3 rooms. I thought it was great fun. I always had a fantasy about having a voice over career so it was neat to be in the studio, speaking into the microphone. And we did it in one taping!
So please do listen tomorrow morning, and tell me what you think!
Innkeepers Lunch at the CIA 7 Apr 2013, 8:05 amI was one of "the ladies who lunch" recently at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, New York. I took the afternoon off from the Inn to join two innkeeper friends for a birthday lunch at my favorite restaurant there, the Ristorante Caterina de' Medici.
|Photo Credit: Culinary Institute of America|
I love going to this restaurant, partly because I love Italian food, partly because it is a lovely space, and partly because of the Maitre d', Vincenzo Lauria. Actually Vincenzo is an Associate Professor, because of course the CIA is a cooking school, and the restaurant is a classroom. His official title is Lunch Maitre d'Instructor, and he is responsible for training in the front-of-the-house.
Here, and in the other four restaurants at the CIA, students staff the restaurants, both front and back of house. I always enjoy their enthusiasm. And their clear love of food, and joy in pursuing a career involved with food, makes taking a tour of the CIA great fun, too. It always strikes me as a happy place!
On the CIA's restaurant page there is a great video about visiting the CIA and dining at one of its fine restaurants. And the CIA is just a 1 and 1/4 hour drive south of the Inn. If you are coming to me from the south, I suggest you stop in for lunch, visit one of the historic sites in Hyde Park, and then continue up to the Inn for more good food and wonderful places to explore. Buon appetito!
Turkish Music and Star Gazing at Olana 3 Apr 2013, 5:09 am
I can't imagine a better vantage point from which to star gaze than high atop a hill just south of Hudson, New York on the grounds of Olana.
Olana is the Persian fantasy castle built by Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church, in the 1870's - '80's, and it is one of my favorite places to send my Inn guests. It boasts fabulous, unspoiled views of the Catskill mountains and the Hudson River, and those views may be seen from the house as well as along the 5 miles of carriage trails which traverse the 250 acre property.
But I was talking about stars. On Saturday evening, April 13th, there will be an Astronomy Tour at Olana, from 7-9 pm. Members of the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association will be on hand to start the evening with a presentation about "the wonders of the night sky", and will then lead the group out into the field below Olana so you can view the stars and planets through various telescopes which they will provide. You should also bring a pair of binoculars, and if possible, a red flashlight. Reservations need to be made by Thursday, April 11th. Call 518-828-1872 x 109. The cost is $5.
You can enjoy such a sunset from inside Olana, this Friday, April 5th. From 6-7:30 pm, there will be a concert of Turkish music in the Court Hall. You will hear music such as Church may have heard when he visited Constantinople in 1868, played on traditional Turkish instruments. After the concert, Turkish hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served in the Studio Corridor over looking the
loggia. The tickets for this event are $100. There is very limited seating. Call 518-828-1872 x102 to reserve.
I also wrote about visiting Olana in my November 3, 2010 blog post which you might enjoy reading.
Full Moon Hike at Furnace Brook Winery 30 Mar 2013, 8:10 amFurnace Brook Winery at Hilltop Orchards, an easy 15 minute drive north of the Inn at Green River, offers a full moon hike once a month.
Tonight, March 30th is one. The full "worm" moon* was actually two nights ago, but it will still be a beautiful clear night with lots of light provided by the moon as you hike through the apple orchard and on trails through the woods, led by experienced guide, Holly Bouker.
The hike starts at 7:30, although it is suggested that you arrive by 7:15 so as not to be left behind. Dress in layers of clothing, to be warm, but also be able to shed some layers as the exercise warms you up. The hike lasts for one to one and a half hours, then everyone heads back to enjoy a bonfire, a tasting of wine and hard cider, and entertainment.
It is a good idea to wear hiking boots, and bring a flashlight and some water. The fee is $10/pp.
*According to the Farmer's Almanac, the Full Worm Moon in March is so called because as the temperatures rise, and the earth thaws, earthworm casts appear, just in time to help the migrating robins find a meal.
Innkeeper goes to Vegas 24 Mar 2013, 9:19 am
I have no interest in gambling, so had never been to Las Vegas until I went there recently to attend the PAII Conference (the national bed and breakfast association - Professional Association of Innkeepers International). I must say it is a long way from the hamlet of Green River where my Inn is, or as Dorothy would say, we are not in Kansas anymore.
My first realization that I was somewhere very different struck as I walked through the Las Vegas airport in the early morning hours, i.e. 3 am (are flights ever on time anymore?) Slot machines in the airport!
Driving into the city of Las Vegas at night, I was struck by the roof line of the Excalibur Casino - quite Disney-esque, don't you think? Or surreal, can't decide which.
In fact, for four days, I never left the Tropicana Hotel, where the conference was held, as the program and trade show were extensive, starting in the early morning and continuing into the early evening. And I ate in restaurants like Bacio in the hotel which I enjoyed. I did manage to avoid the casino though. The intent of hotels in Vegas, as one of our conference speakers pointed out, is quite different from that of hotels or bed and breakfasts in other markets. In Vegas, the motive is to get
the customer to the casino to gamble, so amenities that you have come to expect when traveling, like coffee makers in the rooms, free WiFi, free breakfast, robes, etc. are not provided. Hmmm. You might enjoy some amusing videos about the different guest experiences offered by bed and breakfasts vs. hotels on the PAII Better Way to Stay website.
Met some interesting characters at the Tropicana. Hint: I am not the one wearing the yellow feathers.
I finally had a chance to walk the "strip" for several hours on the last night, before leaving on a red eye flight to get back to the Inn at Green River.
Las Vegas provides quite the contrast between high end stores like Prada and Louis Vuitton, and the street hawkers inviting you to see the peep shows across the street. It is somewhat schizophrenic and reminds me of my years working in the garment district in New York City when Times Square was like this, only without the high end stores. The same diversity applies to the people traveling to Vegas.
My favorite casino was the Bellagio...
with its fabulous interiors. The main entrance features this enormous glass piece by famous glass blower Dale Chihuly - amazing.
|Photo Courtesy Dale Chihuly website|
If you love blown glass, locally we have the Schantz Gallery in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, just 20 minutes from the Inn at Green River, which also showcases art by Dale Chihuly.
And did I mention the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio?
They were celebrating Chinese New Years while I was visiting. The themes to these fabulous installations change regularly.
And of course, as you approach the Bellagio, you see the large lake in front, and are treated to the famous fountain show every half hour. My video doesn't quite capture the sound of the music and the very effective choreography of the water effects, but you get the idea.
Next I explored the Paris Hotel and Casino...
and enjoyed dinner at the Cafe Ile St. Louis, where I really did feel like I was dining in an outdoor cafe on a Parisian boulevard.
And the escargot was good, too. Along with the baguette and le hamburger!
But I must say it is all a bit too wild for me, and I am happy to be home in Green River where I look forward to welcoming you for a relaxing getaway!