Posts Tagged ‘Relish’

Letter From New York 04 25 2016 From beheadings to Deflategate…

April 25, 2016

I’m not sure where the term “dog tired” came from but that’s what I am today, “dog tired.”  When I woke it was a grey, chill day, unremittingly grey.  At class I was struggling to get my rambunctious students to pay attention while I was helping them fill in the background of what they needed to know about media history.   

Most of them are graduating in three weeks and there are only four more classes for them and you can sense them stampeding toward the doors. 

Leaving them, I went down to Relish, the little cafe by the train station and had an egg white omelet, reading a mystery by Louise Penny while eating.  Coming home, I did a conference call and then prepped for some interviews I am doing for our community radio station tomorrow.

The American Dance Institute has purchased a rundown lumberyard in Catskill and is converting it to performance spaces and living quarters for artists while they’re in residence.  It’s an exciting project…

I am talking to Chris Bolan, their Community Relations Manager, tomorrow about the project.

So right now, I am listening to jazz, sipping a much needed martini and working on  figuring out kitchen organization.  I have more stuff than space.  What goes?  What stays and where does what stays, go?

One of the reasons I felt tired or maybe a bit depressed was that as I was walking toward my class, the phone pinged and the BBC reported a leading gay activist in Bangladesh had been hacked to death, not too long after a liberal blogger had been similarly dispensed.  I felt sad, angry, helpless, wanting to do something to change the tide of hate sweeping the world and not knowing at all what to do about it.

The afternoon brought news that a Canadian in the Philippines has been killed by an Islamist militant group.  His name was John Ridsdel, described as brilliant and compassionate; he was a 68 year old tourist from Calgary, Canada.  Beheaded, of course, in keeping with tradition.

On the American political scene, Cruz and Kasich made a pact to stop Trump by Kasich withdrawing from Indiana in favor of Cruz and Cruz withdrawing from Oregon in favor of Kasich.  After great fanfare this morning, it seems to have fallen apart by the afternoon.

It was not a good day for the New England Patriot’s Tom Brady as the courts upheld his suspension from the first four games of the season.  Deflategate has not gone away; its repercussions are still being felt and Brady’s legacy is at stake.  He could still appeal but his chances aren’t good.  The NFL may well have won.

Hard for me to figure this out as I am not a football fan; never a big fan, I was totally lost to the sport when the concussion revelations began to happen.

It is a mellow night at the cottage.  It is 7:30 and the sun has not yet gone away.  There are buds on the trees and the rhododendron are starting their bloom.  The jazz has energized me and I am happy now.  Somehow, in writing this, I have shed this day.  And I am grateful.

Thank you.

Letter From New York 10 23 15 From looking Presidential to Hurricane Patricia

October 23, 2015

Shakespeare. Relish. Benghazi. Hillary Clinton. Rep. Jim Jordan. Trey Gowdy. Fox News. Jeb Bush. Donald Trump. Ben Carson. Iowa. Politics. Paul Ryan. Tea Party Republicans. Obamacare. Assault with a carrot. AIDS. Turing Pharmaceuticals. Imprimis Pharmaceuticals. China rate cut. Pakistan bombing. Kurd hostages. Nigerian mosque killings. Hurricane Patricia. The Red Dot. Lionel White.

Outside it is a brilliant, perfect fall day, demanding a warm jacket but not necessarily needing to be zipped, a clear blue sky filled with sunlight that ricochets off the golden leaves. Turning a corner this morning near a pond, my breath was taken away by beauty; sun glinting off water and multi-colored leaves, all ablaze.

My friend Lionel is up from Baltimore, tending to his house across the street from mine. We had lunch together at Relish before doing errands after having lazy coffee moments this morning while he helped get my printer back online.

I have been having a time with my electronics this past week. Ah well, everything now seems back in working shape. As Shakespeare said: alls well that ends well.

Not perhaps ending well for the Republicans, probably much to their chagrin, was the eleven-hour grilling of Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. Today’s reports have been mostly favorable to the former Secretary of State and not very kind to the Republicans on the Committee.

It never looks very good when angry white men spend eleven hours yelling at a woman, and one who maintains composure when they do not. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio looked particularly bad, followed close behind by the Chairman, Trey Gowdy. One source said all that happened was that for eleven hours Hillary Clinton managed to look presidential while the Republicans didn’t even look Congressional.

And even Fox News had to acknowledge she did a pretty good job, which must mean she must have been spectacular.

In other political news, Jeb Bush is cutting his campaign spending and concentrating on early voting states. In Iowa, Ben Carson is leading Donald Trump, partly because he is evangelical and Trump is not.

With two more Republican groups signaling their support, Paul Ryan has agreed to run to serve as the next Speaker of the House but that doesn’t mean he is making Tea Party Republicans happy. He isn’t meeting their demands. One of which, according to The NY Times, translates, once stripped of arcane language, to: shut down the government.

Ah, Washington! That’s the place where Congress just voted to gut Obamacare, a move that will likely stall in the Senate.

A 14-year-old Virginia schoolgirl is facing assault and battery charges for throwing and hitting in the forehead her teacher, with a carrot. It is the center of much back and forth on the Internet.

AIDS is a devastating disease. Many of us lost friends and relatives to it in the 1980’s and 90’s. Then came drugs that did not cure but did extend lives and allowed people to live productive lives. It has become a disease that is not curable but is treatable.

Turing Pharmaceuticals sells one of those drugs, Daraprim. Recently, it jacked the price from less than $14.00 a pill to $750.00 a pill. A San Diego firm is going to offer an alternative to Daraprim for $1.00 a pill. You go, Imprimis!

The stock market soared today as China unexpectedly cut interest rates again, the sixth time in less than a year. The European Central Bank is thinking about another cut and The Fed probably won’t raise interest rates until early 2016.

Lest we forget, fighting continues all over the Mideast. An American soldier died in a raid to rescue Kurdish hostages in Iraq. Syria is still fighting. 22 Shiites died in Pakistan in a bombing while over in Nigeria, 42 were killed at mosques by suicide bombers.

The biggest hurricane ever, Hurricane Patricia, is about to hit western Mexico, right around the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Tens of thousands are being evacuated. Its effects will be felt all the way into Texas, where flooding is expected.

The sun is setting and I am shortly off to The Red Dot for dinner with Lionel, where we expect to meet some friends. There is a pink tinge to the sky so that harbors well for tomorrow’s weather. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight…”

Letter From Claverack Creek 08 28 15 Of anniversaries and other things…

August 28, 2015

It is a bucolic day here in Claverack. The temperature is in the mid-70’s and it is mostly sunny. I have spent a good part of the day on the deck. Yesterday I did my Emmy judging and today was CINE judging. I have more of that to do tomorrow because some of the links weren’t present and had to be restored.

As part of my continuing transition to life in Hudson, I went down and met with the Executive Director of the Columbia County Council for the Arts about volunteering, also meeting Dan, a member of their Board.

I’ll do something with them. I know I will need structure if I am going to be up here most of the time.

Then I meandered down to Relish, a little café across the street from the train station and had their legendary chicken salad on gluten free bread. As I returned, I needed to slow for a fawn crossing Patroon Street.

It’s been lovely to have had these two days. Down the creek, my neighbor’s dogs are playing in the creek. I can hear them splashing. It is so placid; insects are chirping and birds are trilling, the sun getting slowly lower in the sky, luscious green all around me.

I’ll go into Hudson in a while. The new hotel, Rivertown Lodge, is having a party for citizens of the city to see the renovation they did on what was a movie theater turned into a motel, now converted to a small boutique hotel. From there to the Red Dot and then home. A pleasant evening seems to be before me.

Ten years ago, Katrina was destroying New Orleans. I was watching it on CNN in New Delhi, in the Oberoi Hotel, sitting on the edge of my bed in front of the television screen and thinking this can’t really be happening. But it was.

Ten years later, New Orleans has, according to some reports, bounced back. Some parts have returned to their violent roots and parts of the black middle class has been lost, having moved to other cities and set down roots.

But that it came back at all is a miracle of sorts. There were fears in those early days that New Orleans would never recover its spirit, its verve, and all the things that had made it such a special place. I haven’t been there since Katrina but am thinking of taking the train “The City of New Orleans” or “The Crescent” down there one day and revisit a city of which I have many fond memories.

Today is also the anniversary of the death of a 14-year-old black child, Emmett Tull, allegedly killed for the brutal crime of a wolf whistle at an attractive white lady. It took a jury an hour and three minutes to acquit the two men accused of murdering him. The boy’s death did much to stir up calls for racial equality and provided an impetus for the Civil Rights movement.

Seventy years after the end of World War II, the Poles think they have found a Nazi treasure train. Rumors of its existence have persisted through the decades and now it may have been found. Wonder what it contains if it is a Nazi “treasure” train?

Politically, it has appeared to be a calm day. In the top stories, none of them were about Donald Trump! That’s a good way to end the week.

Letter From New York 07 31 15 A very Hudson sort of day…

July 31, 2015

At this moment I am sitting on my deck; the creek is mirror still and once more reflecting the foliage in all its green majesty. The day threatened to be agonizingly hot but turned out to be rather mild, humidity low, air clean and fresh. I sat on the deck and read, had a conference call while sipping lemonade. It was an idyllic kind of day.

Last night’s party for Ray, our conductor, was an outstanding success. Forty or so of the “Empire Regulars” showed up for the event. A beautiful cake was presented to him that had “Thank you for riding Amtrak” in icing on it. My “Ray Martin” cocktail was well received and there were some grand food offerings. We took over the unused café car and made it party central.

We forced Ray to give a little speech and he did so graciously. Most of the “Empire Regulars” get off in Rhinebeck but they rode on to Hudson and we took a group shot of all of us at the Hudson Station. Then the Rhinebeck riders leapt onto a southbound train and headed home!

It was a great success and a tremendous send off for Ray. I am totally delighted I could be there and be part of it.

Usually I don’t drive to the train station. I like to leave my car at the house so it looks like I’m there. When coming in on Monday, I did drive to the station but completely forgot. My friend James gave me a lift home and only then did I think: where is my car? At the station!

So this morning, I took a taxi into the Hudson, down to the train station to retrieve my car. Unlike New York, you often share a cab here with others. This morning there was a couple on their way to the Laundromat. They were obviously friends with the young woman driving. I had an interesting fifteen minutes of insight into their lives, full of drama, threats, and machinations. It was amazing. When I got out of the taxi, I told them I hoped all their stories had happy endings. The young man wished the same for me. There were complicated relationships with everyone knowing everyone else and everyone seeming to be related. It was dizzying and a little frightening.

After retrieving my car, I stopped at Relish, the little restaurant across from the Train Station, and had breakfast. There, too, was drama, all the employees gathered around one of them, giving her advice on how to handle her romantic situation, whatever it was.

I was beginning to think that this was going to be the theme of the day.

It hasn’t been. I took my car to be serviced, returned home after collecting the mail and have been cuddled by the beauty at the cottage for the rest of the day. In about an hour, I will head down to Hudson for a light dinner and then home to continue reading the book I’m engaged in.

Speaking of Hudson, Forbes had an article recently about the reasons you should come here. Below is the link for the article if you’re interested.

I have not been to Fish and Game. It’s been reviewed by my friends as a little over the top pricey, very good but has always seemed a little pretentious for my taste. I should give it a try and make my own opinion.

The sun is a golden orb behind me and I am winding down, getting ready for dinner. I have not commented on the world situation. It is too beautiful a day. I want a moment’s respite from the trials and tribulations of the world. Surrounding me are a couple of acres of the most beautiful places on earth and I am inhaling them right now.

If possible, the creek is even more mirror like and I am surrounded by the sounds of birds and soft jazz on the stereo. It is a perfect way to slide into a weekend.

I hope your Friday has been as delicious as mine.