Holiday Happenings in Woodstock

Hello! Sorry for the long absence. It was a busy autumn with trips to northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island to shoot foliage. Then came a business trip to San Diego. Then Thanksgiving with the snow, and next blog post I’ll share some of the photos I took there of an endangered place in the Catskills.

But for now let’s do a “show and tell” of Woodstock. I drove up there yesterday to have lunch, enjoy a play, and generally walk around enjoying the decorations. Here goes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst, I had a fabulous lunch at Joshua’s and can highly recommend this place — the food, service, and ambience. not to mention the prices! The menu has a strong international flavor, with a number of Middle Eastern dishes.

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Here’s the front portal of the historic Dutch Reformed Church, all decked out in Christmas finery.

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The Rare Bear gift shop looks warm and inviting to potential shoppers. Also, notice the historic marker to the left. Food for thought!

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Here the emphasis is on the historic marker itself rather than on the building. A call to support your local, homegrown businesses, please.

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It may be Christmas, but Woodstock will never let you forget this is Woodstock! Still, when you look at the decorations on display in this shop window, it’s kind of fitting that the birthday of the Prince of Peace is being celebrated.

Finally, about that play I mentioned. They preferred not to have pictures taken during the performance, and I respected that. But I do encourage you to go and see it for yourself, if you can make it to Woodstock this coming weekend. It’s The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge: A Holiday Comedy by Mark Brown and performed by the Bird-on-a-Cliff Theatre Company. It’s funny, it’s not without its commentary on some foibles of modern society, a delight for everyone familiar with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and very well acted by a professional cast. More performances this weekend December 19-21, appropriately enough in the court room of the Woodstock Town Hall. See http://birdonacliff.org.

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If you’re still looking for holiday gifts, or would like to treat yourself to something, please have a look at my Etsy shop for some irresistible specials. My Ashokan Items gallery has some photo prints of obvious local interest at a special sale price plus free shipping (USA only), and my Special Sale Items gallery has a selection of some of my best photos, already matted and framed, at ridiculously reduced prices, mostly left over from summer and fall shows because I need to clear some space around here. These are special prices for you faithful readers of my blog.

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Hudson Valley Holidays and Favorites of 2012

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On a walk through Woodstock the day after Christmas I happened to have my Canon Powershot G15 with me and so I photographed some of the decorations in the shop windows and on the lawns. No great masterpieces (being in Woodstock on a weekday midday doesn’t lend itself to that, though it is lots of fun!), but here are two shots from my favorite window in all of Woodstock. For one thing, its position where the historic church can be seen reflected in the window makes it very interesting indeed; for another, the colorful items in the window, especially at Christmas time, tend to remind me in the scene near the beginning of the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol where Tiny Tim is ogling the toys in the window of the toy shop. (Although — am I the only one who finds something slightly sinister in that scene?)

My favorite photos of 2012 are now posted in a special gallery on my website: an even dozen, of which some, of course, are from the Hudson Valley.  All photos in this gallery are my Prints of the Month for January. That means not one but twelve pictures available at the special Print of the Month prices. It’s a good time to purchase,  because all my prices will increase slightly in February.

Here’s a preview for you — two of the photos, one of Cooper Lake and one of an old barn in Spruceton Valley. Click on either of them or on this link to visit the gallery and see all twelve.

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Cold Spring Christmas

Here is another mini-collection of photos of Hudson Valley towns decked out for the holidays. This time it’s Cold Spring in Putnam County.

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The reflection of the decorated shops across the street in the window of one of Cold Spring’s wonderful antique shops gives a “two-for-the-price-of-one” image.

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This cheerful snowman greets passersby outside my favorite Cold Spring cafe.

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One of Cold Spring’s premier restaurants boasts not only a river view, as its name indicates, but also a stunning view of Storm King Mountain, as you can see, on the other side of the Hudson.

New Paltz — Decked Out for Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner I thought it would be fun to visit some of my favorite Hudson Valley towns and see how some of the stores are decorated. Here is a sample from New Paltz.

IMG_0371 sThis set of colorful stick figures that always greet visitors at the entrance to the famed Water Street Market is currently sporting Santa Claus caps.

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Many of the shop windows in the Water Street Market are decorated with this “gift-wrap” theme. The photo includes a reflection of the shops on the opposite side of the pedestrian path.

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My favorite place in all Water Street — the gallery of regional photographer G. Steve Jordan. If you’re in New Paltz, stop in for a real visual treat. Otherwise, visit Steve’s website. Anyone who has been to the Mohonk Mountain House should appreciate one of Steve’s prints of the area as a remembrance of their visit. One of his magnificent 2013 calendars will keep the memories alive on your wall all year long.