Browsing the archives for the The Catskills tag.

The Catskill Region, The Daks and Monroe, NY, Visiting Your NY Real Estate

Lily's notes

Perhaps a bit too much relaxation and extra oxygen confused the writers and editors of the NY TImes Escape section. This morning’s article about meditating while on a day-trip to Monroe, NY is a great example of myopic vision by a new York City based writer.  Perhaps they thought that since Monroe is north of the city it must be the Catskills, amazing they did not think it was in Westchester County. How does something as incorrect as this get printed? Monroe is about 54 miles north of New York City the Catskills are about 2 hours north of the city.

The Times article puts Orange County NY, the home of Monroe, in the Catskills Region. The great and beautiful Catskill Region consists of Sullivan, Greene, Ulster and Delaware Counties.  If you have not visited the Catskills or the Daks (Adirondaks) which are much farther north, and are spectacular, you should research them and plan a trip.

The region the writer visited is called the Hudson Valley or sometimes the Hudson Highlands.  There is  a great deal to do and see in this area which is quite close to the city and very worthy of more than just a day-trip. If we stay awake instead of letting our minds go to mush, we can enjoy the landscape and sites.

It was the home and inspiration of the Hudson River School of painting and  is now home to the Storm King Art Center, Sugar Loaf, West Point, Bear Mountain, Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall, Harriman State Park, lovely organic farms, boat trips on the Hudson etc, etc, etc.

The vast majority of of New York State is made up of mountains, wilderness and small towns, then add in the the (really) upstate lakes such as Lake George, Schroon Lake,  Saranac, etc, and world class beaches of Long Island, the great lakes and Niagara and you have a tremendous variety and beauty close to home. Ok, you are correct, the Niagara region is a long drive and not so close to the city.

Real New Yorkers should venture outside of the city and visit our beautiful state.  The The NYState’s site, I Love NY State,  is an excellent source of information. 

If you look carefully at your tax return, you may notice that even though you live in NYC, you pay NY State taxes as well.  So, you have paid for many of the parks and sites, perhaps it is time to go visit your truly gorgeous real estate.

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LimmudNY at the Nevele Grande in the Catskills

Events, Lily's notes

Limmud NY filled the Nevele Grande in the Catskills with about 1,000 people for their annual study event during the long Martin Luther King, Jr weekend. Limmud means “study” in Hebrew. There were over 350 study sessions, workshops and films over the four days. There was a camp for the kids. Many different style minyans were held and there was a shuk selling books and Judaica, also many organizations looking for volunteers and distributing information.

The participants came mostly from the North East of the US but there was a sizable number of Brits, Banner and three girlsCanadians (of course) and lots of Californians, and some Israelis. All ages came, there were many families with children, many of high school and university students too.

It was an incredible marathon with so many choices and activities, and so many interesting people to meet. Really wonderful. There were many performers including musicians, comics, and a one-man play. Events started and 7:30 am and ended at 2 or 3 am…It was sometimes difficult to choose exactly what to attend. My friend told me the best joke of the event:

How do you tell the neurotic from the psychotic at an event like this? The neurotics do not sleep and the psychotics don’t go to the bathroom.

The sessions we attended had real variety, intellect and depth, once I stumbled into a “new age” class and left quickly- not my cup of tea at all, but the others in the room were happy…very happy with it. I have a limited appetite for Kabbalah, or demons and devils as well…it is the “Litvak” in me that just cannot  listen to this for very long but I did go to a session about all of this stuff. I did enjoy the sessions on the Mussar movement. There was something for everyone.

I attended a few discussions which were a true pleasure. People of differing opinions discussing serious topics with respect and humor, that is without the bile and without monsterizing the other’s opinions as we usually hear in so-called “discussions” the media.

One was “Who Wrote the Torah- a Conversation on Bible Scholarship and Faith” with Everett Fox, Nigel Savage, Rachel Berkovits, and Danial Goldfarb. Excellent.

There were many films, and an extraordinary session with slides on the history, false Soviet propaganda and reality of Birobijan, the soviet “Jewish” state, by a person who was born there. The slides were incredible: a soviet brochure with photos of palm trees (!) in Siberia, moving stories of the people who came in hope and mostly experienced tragic ends.

Alicia SvigalsAlicia Svigals, the great Klezmer fiddler not only played on Sunday night for a dancing, happy crowd which included dancing children (who the adults lifted up in chairs during the dancing) and dancing adults in the Nevele nightclub called the “Stardust Room”. I love these Catskills- this evening was timeless! The next day, Alicia lead a session on the history of Klezmer music, played some excerpts and also explained why so many “Jewish” names come from instruments such as Feidler, and Zimbalist etc. It was all fun.

We had hoped to get to the indoor pool and to take a freezing walk in the snowy woods, but we were just too busy. I did see about thirty Canada Geese fly in and land on the half-frozen lake honking loudly and we had a great view of the mountains from our window…

My best and most extraordinary moment: meeting the warm, happy woman I would never have expected to be at Limmud. We had not seen each other since she was a teen about 25 years ago. She had lived with our family for a short time. It must be the real reason I was meant to be there.

One more note: Limmud takes place in many locations around the world, and will be at the Nevele next year. If you look up the Nevele Grande on the net you will see horrible reviews which have no validity at all. I do not know who those writers are or what their motivation was but I can tell you that what they wrote is completely untrue. The Nevele is clean, perfectly pleasant and the staff was helpful and always positive.

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