Sunday, June 27, 2010

Woodstock's Summer Farm Festival

Woodstock is a town that supports both the stores that line Main Street, and also the farms in the surrounding area. Through the aptly named Woodstock Farm Festival, local farms, nurseries, wineries, and more have a chance to set up tents to sell their fresh, organic produce every Wednesday during the summer, rain or shine. From around three until dark, more than twenty vendors congregate in the parking lot of Houst's hardware store at 6 Maple Lane, sharing with the public everything from bread to lettuce to jam to strawberries.
Beginning in late May and ending in late October, this festival is a growing phenomenon for the summer season, and it is open to everyone interested. The Farm Festival even sponsors activities for children and other special events, which are advertised on their website, Please join our local growers and bakers any Wednesday to enjoy what they have to offer. After all, "If it's Wednesday, it's Woodstock!"

~Danielle Barthel

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Side of Woodstock

Before visiting Woodstock, you might be unaware that the town is set in one of the most beautiful places in the Hudson Valley. Known mostly for its concert-related history, Woodstock's natural beauty can come as a pleasant surprise to visitors. The town is surrounded by the Catskill Mountains; you can look up from Main Street and see them looming over the town, protective rather than ominous.

It's a wonderful sight to behold, even if you have lived in Woodstock your entire life. So if you're in the mood to traverse away from town, to walk your dog, wander by yourself, or perhaps watch the local soccer teams compete, you should check out the Comeau Property.

Off Comeau Drive, there are acres of land available for the public to picnic, peruse, photograph, or otherwise make use of the outdoors. It is a family- and dog-friendly place outside the busy sidewalks of Main Street, almost behind Woodstock, and is very quiet, calm, and lovely. That is, unless a soccer game is going on! The Woodstock Soccer Club has used the spacious fields for games for over twenty years, and they are quite popular during the season.

If you're interested in seeing something beyond Woodstock's wonderful stores and restaurants, take a walk to the Comeau Property, and see a side of Woodstock you may not have even known existed.
~Danielle Barthel

Monday, June 14, 2010

Second Saturdays: Walking Woodstock

Walking Woodstock co-author Will Nixon (far right), leading a walk on the Comeau

Second Saturdays are an ongoing celebration of the arts in Woodstock, NY. They were founded by the Woodstock Arts Consortium (WAC), an eleven-member non-profit arts group, in 2005. Red balloons tied near doors on the designated days signal WAC events. If you come to town on a Second Saturday from May to December you can expect to find gallery openings, book signings and cultural happenings.

On June 12 the Historical Society of Woodstock, a WAC founding member, hosted a book event for Michael Perkins and Will Nixon, authors of Walking Woodstock: Jouneys into the Wild Heart of America's Most Famous Small Town. The event was held at the Eames House, 20 Comeau Drive in Woodstock, site of the Historical Society museum. The authors gave a talk, graciously signed books and afterwards led a walk around the Comeau property.

Walking Woodstock is filled with lore about the town and provides the casual visitor with some lively insights and tips on walks in the area. There are essays on hikes up Overlook Mountain, Mt. Guardian, Mink Hollow and many points in between.

~Weston Blelock

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WHAT'S IN STORE WOODSTOCK: New at the Farm Fest!

Check out the new What's In Store table at the Woodstock Farm Festival. It's your chance each Wednesday, 3 to 8 PM, to get a taste of the fabulous merchandise available at Woodstock's arty shops, galleries and boutiques. Sponsored by the Woodstock Chamber and organized by Life is Good shop owner Ray Carucci, WHAT'S IN STORE WOODSTOCK is another great way to experience the very best of Woodstock. See you there on Wednesdays!

~Julia Blelock

Above: Woodstock Chamber President, Joyce Beymer, trying on a new hat

The Woodstock Experience: Stores That Define the Town

The town of Woodstock, New York houses a unique combination of new and old businesses. When visitors walk down the street, chances are very good that they will enter stores that have been introduced to the town within the past five years, as well as those which have existed since the festival that bears its namesake, or before!

Candlestock, a wonderful candle store in the center of town, is still run by the original owners, Barbara and Dennis Moss. The store has been around since 1970, and the gigantic candle “mountain” inside is one year older than that. This wax sculpture is truly a sight to behold, intriguing customers from around the world. It often prompts interested buyers to purchase some drip candles before they leave to start their own piece of art. Also unique to Candlestock is the line of one-of-a-kind candles created by Dennis solely for this store. Colorful and beautiful glowing pillars are forged by hand, each different than the one before. There are even candles with sayings on them, ranging in meaning from the Serenity Prayer to words of wisdom from past presidents. It becomes an adventure each time you pass through the carved wooden candles that flank the front of the door.

Woodstock Hardware, another interesting local business, is a store that has existed in town since 1953. For fifty-seven years, this store has been serving the hardware, electrical, building, and most recently, kitchen-related needs of Woodstock. The store has had several different owners since its original opening, but has remained on the same premises for over half a century. With more than 5,000 square feet of floor space, you will be hard pressed not to find what you need, while being helped by a service-oriented, obliging staff.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Woodstock Experience: Bliss Yoga

Bliss Yoga has been in Woodstock since 2001, inviting all levels of interested participants to take part in an enticing array of classes and workshops.

Right off Route 212, Main Street in Woodstock, the center is focused on sustainability and a pure, natural way of life. Classes range from basic level to specific kinds of yoga, such as Kundalini and Ashtanga. Experienced instructors lead each class for an hour and a half, teaching, guiding, and shaping the lives of their students. The teachers are helpful and devoted to their classes, making Bliss a valuable asset to any student. The yoga center has been beneficial for the minds and bodies of countless residents and visitors to the Woodstock area for almost ten years. Workshops and retreats are two additional segments offered, made possible by the hard work of director Debi Medeski.

~Danielle Barthel

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Woodstock Experience: Featured Gallery

Lotus Fine Art & Design is a family-owned gallery on Rock City Road, run by local artist Jamie Barthel and her husband, Doug. This gallery features photographs, paintings, sculptures, chandeliers and more, all created by artists in the Hudson Valley region. This gallery has been in Woodstock since 2005, making it a relatively new addition to the town’s bustling scene, but it proves its worth daily by displaying gorgeous art that everyone can appreciate. Currently, Lotus Fine Art has exhibits by well-known photographer Barry Feinstein, painter F.E. Green, and also, Jamie herself, with her astounding reverse hand-painted glass. Along with displaying beautiful art for the community, Lotus Fine Art also offers framing possibilities for special posters, photos, and other art.

~Danielle Barthel