Fall is fast approching here at Catskill Maison Bed and Breakfast. I think this will be a great year for leaf peeping! We weren’t overloaded with rain like last year (no thanks to Hurricane Irene) but in August we’ve had a good balance of rain and sun and heat and so far this month we’ve had warm sunny days and cool nights! A perfect recipe for a great Catskills foliage season. People in the NYC tristate area are often mistaken and think that the best foliage is in the end of October and early November because that’s the best foliage time in the city, but in the Catskills we are a month ahead (or unfortunatly for us in the Spring we are a month behind)…therefore great foliage begins the last weekend of September and goes for about 4-5 weeks until just before the end of October. The last weekend of September through the first 3 weekends of October are a special time up here. We have the Autumn A Fair in Windham and festivals every weekend at Hunter Mountain and there’s apple picking and pumpkin picking and delicious cider and cider donuts. The farmers markets are in full harvest mode and the days are crisp and clear. This might be the best time of year up here!
Archive for the ‘Catskill Mountain News’ Category
September 13th, 2012 by moffett
October 3rd, 2011 by moffett
This past weekend we officially reopened our Bed and Breakfast Catskill Maison after a month of watching Windham rebuild from the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. I’m pleased to report that Windham is open for business, all restaurants (with the exception of Brie and Bordeaux) and most other businesses are open for business!!!! On the other hand the farms that we work so closely with in order to provide that local 3 course breakfast that our guests love didn’t fare well at all due to the storm. Bohringer Farm where we get the majority of our fruit has been damaged to the point where they will not be open for the rest of the year. RSK Farm in Prattsville where we get almost all of our vegetables including our incredible, melt in your mouth Carola potatoes has been very severely damaged. They are selling what they harvested before the storm at their farm-stand on weekends but have nothing to sustain themselves going forward. The product that comes out of RSK farms is extremely special. Please see my past blog posts that discuss their potatoes, corn, and farmstand quality heirloom tomatoes and greenbeans . Bob and Sandy, the owners are not only our purveyors they are our friends and their farm has sustained hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage! The farm is their livelihood, they cannot survive without it and we depend HEAVILY on what they grow on their farm. I know that there are people who are skeptical about donating to relief funds because due to the bureaucracy who knows if the farmers who need the money actually receive anything, however there is a fund set up to specifically help Bob and Sandy save and rebuild their farm. We at Catskill Maison B&B are asking our friends, customers, and neighbors to please donate a little something to help restore RSK farm. Please click onto this RSK FARM link to read about what has happened to RSK and to make a donation and please pass this information along to anyone who you know who wants to help in the relief effort for upstate New York for Hurricane Irene in a very personal way!
September 14th, 2011 by moffett
We went to the Bed and Breakfast this weekend for an initial assessment of conditions on our property and Windham in general. First of all, with regards to our property…with the exception of an electrical malfunction with our well (to be fixed tomorrow I hope) and slight water damage to our driveway (cars can still enter and exit with no problem)…we have suffered no other damage due to the storm and we plan to be open for business this Friday the 16th of September as scheduled.
The town of Windham endured major damage along Main Street, but I am happy to report that recovery efforts are coming along very well! The road is now fine and completely open for travel, all roads in Windham are actually open for car/truck traffic now which is great! You can still see the force of the Batavia Kill as it has left creek damage and some tree damage alongside the creek on Main Street.
Many of the businesses which were affected will be open for business shortly or are already open for business now, which will allow us to have a great foliage season after all! I’m listing information here of restaurants/cafes/stores below:
Alpine Village (including Chalet Fondue, the Mobil and Windham Mountain Outfitters), Vesuvio’s Restaurant, Rockin Mexicana, the Windham Winery, Daly’s Coffee Shop, Toderos Deli/Salumeria, Post Office, Valero convenience store/gas station, Windham Hardware Store, Christmans Golf Course and Chicken Run are all currently open.
GNH Lumber plans to open on the 19th of September
The Brewery and Catskill Mountain Country Store plan to open on September 24th
Bistro Brie and Bordeaux hopes to be open by the beginning of October
I will get information on Messina’s restaurant as well as Mill Rock ASAP.
Another update will follow as warranted
September 6th, 2011 by moffett
Thank goodness for good weather! Windham was blessed with 8 consecutive days of weather without rain so headway was made in the clean up effort post Hurricane Irene. State Rt 23 is now open all the way through the town of Ashland so Main Street is now completely accessible by car. GNH Lumber which was hit very hard by the storm plans to reopen on September 19th. To that end we at Catskill Maison B&B plan to reopen on Friday the 16th of September. All businesses on Rt 296 in Windam and on Goshen in Hensonville are open, and I should have an update as to which busiensses on Main Street/Rt 23 are open by this weekend. Though Main Street in particular was damaged by 3-5 feet of flood water almost all businesses will be able to fully recover. Additionally Hunter and Tannersville are recovering nicely, and the towns down the mountain are pretty much back to “pre Irene” conditions.
Prattsville, is in a different situation altogether. I have not been to Prattsville as of yet, but in speaking to those who got a view first hand, it’s a disaster. Nothing in downtown Prattsville seems to be recoverable, people have completely lost their homes and businesses. For those who wish to donate to the Greene County disaster fund and to Prattsville specifically this is the link to Greene Cty Government . More information to come!
August 31st, 2011 by moffett
I just wanted to give a short update on conditions in Windham…The power was restored to our Bed and Breakfast around 5pm yesterday, by the end of the evening almost all of Windham had power! This is major because with power the clean up can begin. Main Street has been heavily damaged, over a dozen businesses have been affected in a major way and the road is torn up. Folks are trying to pick up the pieces and rebuild as quickly as possible and I think that most affected businesses will be up and running by the end of September. Catskill Maison will not be open this weekend and we will update you on whether or not we will be receiving guests next weekend. Our neighboring town Prattsville didn’t get as lucky as Windham, there is complete devastation in Prattsville and that town has almost 100% loss in damages. Please continue to keep the towns in the Catskills in your thoughts and prayers.
August 30th, 2011 by moffett
I haven’t written a blog post in a few weeks because as a manager for Verizon I was summoned to “strike duty” in Queens NY since the beginning of August. I’ve been in my NYC home throughout this time and planned to return to Windham to Catskill Maison this upcoming Labor Day weekend to receive guests. Needless to say that will not happen. For those of you who aren’t aware, Windham was devastated by Hurricane Irene.
I’m not going to embellish upon the news reports on this blog post or any other updates going forward…I’m only going to give my personal take on what’s going on from those that are dealing with the nightmare going on in Windham right now.
We had guests at our B&B this past weekend; one couple (thankfully) cancelled their reservation, another left on Saturday morning and cut their trip early. I advised the third couple to head back to New York City on Saturday as well, but they decided to stay an extra night thinking that Windham would be a better option for them than Greenpoint Brooklyn (in Bloomberg’s infamous zone “A” of evacuation in NYC) because they were going to be evacuated. What happened over the next 24 hours is almost inexplicable. Liz, our Innkeeper (and one of my dearest friends) has been working nonstop and tending to many wonderful guests for most of this summer thanks to the Verizon strike, and this past weekend was to be her last weekend before she got a “reprieve” by Hector and I coming up to the B&B to work. I spoke to Liz on Saturday and told her to fill up the bath tub, get an extra flash light and buy non perishable foods “just in case” because we lose electricity regularly in the Mountains, and quite frankly that’s what I expected…a power failure of a day or two at the most, but not much more than that.
On Sunday morning at 8:30 Liz called me in Riverdale from the land line phone at the Bed and Breakfast and told me that it was pouring and windy and the Batavia Kill across the road was rising and beginning to flood the farmland across from us. I asked her if the guests left yet and she said they were still upstairs. Grateful that the power was still on I asked her about breakfast. She decided not to make our normal 3 course breakfast because the power had been going out intermittently, I told her to put on another pot of Coffee just in case and to let me know when the guests leave she could lock up and go home. At 9:15 I got a text stating that the power went out. The news after that was right out of a movie. The water came to the street across the road from us with only the street and the slope that our house stands on protecting us. Emergency services dropped off an elderly man, another man and his 2 daughters and dog at our door because the homes on the other side of the road were flooded and they needed to be rescued and brought to a place on higher ground. I had Liz give them some coffee and figured they would be with us for a couple of hours until the rain stopped and the water receded. I was so naive and so wrong.
Morning turned into afternoon and Liz and I were in contact over the cell phone…our house was safe and dry and everyone had food and water and could use the facilities. She said it was like “camp” as our guests and neighbors played Monopoly and Life in our Library…Liz, never breaking a sweat made sure everyone was as comfortable as possible and was the perfect hostess, even though she was texting me telling me that she was freaking out. Afternoon turned into evening and it dawned on me that we would have to shelter our neighbors for the night. I advised Liz to set up some rooms so that our neighbors could sleep for the night and my thoughts turned to the two little girls who were rescued by a bucket truck, and the trauma that they must be going through. Liz ventured into town and reported that our partner Bed and Breakfast Country Suite (on the flooded side of the road) was still standing though their barn/antique/consignment shop was surrounded by water…the trailer park seemed to be still standing as well and Ashland looked fine, however Windham was a different story. She wasn’t allowed past the entrance to South Street but she couldn’t drive down South Street either because there was a huge crater in the road. I had seen the footage of our school buses being swept away down Main Street, and the newly refurbished bridge by Valero gas station getting hit by a house and caving in. I knew in my heart things were bad.
Monday morning with the sun up our guests finally were able to head back to the city, the elderly man was able to get back into his home and the family into theirs. Liz was able to really assess the damage to our property which I’m relieved to say there is NO DAMAGE!!!!! God seriously looked out for us because our landscaping is in almost perfect condition (minus a few small branches that fell onto the lawn), and we didn’t have any structural damage or flooding. The only thing we have to deal with is the lack of power and trying to save our food. Some of our friends and neighbors and fellow business owners didn’t get so lucky. Liz’s house didn’t suffer any damage either, her family is safe and her vegetables even made it in her garden. The backyard of her house has a new “landscape” but other than that she is okay.
Here is what I know (as of this morning) from Liz and Antonia (the owner of the Windham Spa)…Prattsville is completely washed out and isolated, the bridges have been washed out and nobody can get in or out, it’s a similar situation in Maplecrest as the bridge to Maplecrest is washed out as well and Maplecrest is completely under water. Windham’s South Street has a crater in the right lane but the left lane is fine so it’s open from end to end, therefore you can take 23 E from Ashland to South Street and make a left onto 296 and continue east on 23. The center of town on Main Street (rt 23) is closed and a mess and suffered the most damage. There seems to be rubble and small damage to Windham Mountain, the Alpine village (where Chalet Fondue and Albergo B&B are) is fine. Christmans Windham House and Messinas seem to be okay minus small flooding issues. The grounds of the Catskill Mountain Country Store are destroyed, the Windham Spa is destroyed as well the structure is still there but the flood damage is immense, but thank God Antonia and her family are safe. Liz can’t get through Main Street so I don’t know all of the damage but she said that propane tanks and debris and cars are littering the sides of the street from what she can see. Liz got to Cairo yesterday (Windham thank goodness isn’t isolated and Cairo has power) and picked up ice so that our food will stay fresh until the power comes back on (hopefully by tomorrow). But it’s going to be a long and tough recovery. I’m confident that our town will bounce back and be better than ever before but right now everyone is just stunned and trying to pick up the pieces. Windham needs tourism more than ever after this disaster. Many in our town will temporarily (and some permanently) be out of work. I will post in a couple of days to speak of any new developments, but as of right now I can only state a few things.
1. We are lucky and extremely grateful and are going to help and support our community as much as possible through this catastrophe.
2. Catskill Maison will open for business as soon as it’s safe for guests to visit and things begin to calm down in town and I will be updating the blog regularly to keep past and future guests abreast of developments on the rebuilding of Windham.
3. Liz will continue to work with us and we will be assisting her and her family through this difficult time.
Please keep our towns in the Catskills in your prayers.
March 8th, 2011 by moffett
In case you thought we were the only one…B&B finder just recently did a press release on Mother/Daughter Bed and Breakfasts. When Mom and I decided to open Catskill Maison, we really didn’t think there were so many other Mother/Daughter Bed and Breakfasts out there. It’s alot of work and a serious case of “hands on” learning but into our 4th year I must say that we are really having a blast! In honor of our latest bit of press we plan to put out a Mother/Daughter getaway special for the Spring and Summer so stay tuned!
February 10th, 2011 by moffett
This week I’ve been bombarded with Valentines advertisements left and right, so much that I’m beginning to not feel the “love” at all, and have suggested to my sweetie that we begin an “anti-valentines” campaign! There is so much commercialization behind Valentines day that I’m beginning to think that I’m reliving Christmas all over again. Sometimes it’s just great to get away from it all and go the non traditional route of just spending quality time with friends, family and/or your significant other without the “hoopla” of expensive dinners, over priced flowers and waist expanding chocolates. A weekend skiing in the Catskills at our Bed and Breakfast Catskill Maison has become a very popular alternative for both new and repeat guests.
I’m happy to report that as of this post we are completely booked for this weekend, and next weekend and filling up even for the last weekend of the month. It’s a great honor to have our place recognized as a “destination” in the Catskills for those trying to do something different for the month of February, and I have a little fun too playing cupid at our Bed and Breakfast doing things with a little “valentines” twist.
February is such a celebration month for our family, aside for Valentines weekend which I’m happy to say that I will spend with amazing guests on Friday and Saturday and come back to spend the actual day with those I love, its the birthday month of 3 of the most important people in my life.
Happy Birthday, Mommie, Bear (Dad) and GD (Granddad)!!!! Wishing you love and happiness throughout this year and the years to come…Stay tuned for a blog about my Fathers Birthday dinner tomorrow night at Seasons Restaurant at the Windham Country Club!
January 21st, 2011 by moffett
So the construction continues and I’m happy to say that we are still on target for a December 2011 grand opening of our long awaited Wine Bar! Joe AKA our contractor, landscaper, adopted cousin/nephew, lifesaver…is now onto the second room and we have completed the demolition of part of the wall that separates the first from the second room. More ceiling tiles have been been ordered and sheet rock has been erected! The first room is almost complete (minus the bar) and we are applying for our wine and beer license soon. Attached are some pictures and expect another update in a couple of months.
November 20th, 2010 by moffett
It’s about 7am on Saturday morning…It’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving so Catskill Maison Bed and Breakfast isn’t open for business right now. There is no reason for me to be up this early on a Saturday when I don’t have to serve breakfast. Sure I was planning on getting up in an hour or so because I want to beat the crowds at the Union Square Greenmarket that will surface by 11am on the Saturday before Thanksgiving; but to be up and bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7am, enough to blog is cause for concern. There are times when I have to be almost threatened by my Social Media Director Sharon to get a blog post out at all, so for me to be up right now with not even a hint of coaxing means that I have to write about something important and exciting!
I woke up this morning to an email from one of our purveyors and friends Carol Clement from Heather Ridge Farm. Carol, who owns and runs the farm and the Bees Knees Cafe which is run on the farm, sent out an eblast last night stating that her cafe, the Bees Knees is being written up in this Sunday’s NY Times Travel Section. After reading the article, I got so excited that I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I had to get the word out! For those of you who have visited us and had our 3 course locally sourced breakfast on a day when we feature the highly touted chicken sausage and on the board where we list our sources “Heather Ridge Farm” is written…this is the same Heather Ridge Farm!
Carol’s Bees Knees Cafe, which is approximately 20-25 minutes from Catskill Maison is only open on Saturday for lunch. Her farm store is open on Saturday as well, and after eating a wonderful meal made of almost 100% locally sourced ingredients (which those of you who read my blog know is very important to me, since almost every post mentions the importance of local and sustainable food); you can purchase all kinds of goodies from her farm store! I can personally attest to the fact that her “Oink and Moo Chili” is AMAZING!!! Really addictive stuff and it runs circles around the chili from Manhattan Chili Company.
Our sincerest congratulations to Carol and her team over at Heather Ridge, we are so very glad that what she is doing is being recognized and being given the kudos it deserves.
***All Photos featured on this post are a courtesy of Heather Ridge Farm.