The recent Memorial Day Weekend always brings specific memories back to me.
Memories of the Catskills. Packing the family "valeases" for a long weekend in the bungalow colonies. Seeing friends, sneaking into area hotels for shows and the late night Blue Horizon Diner run on Route 42 in Monticello, NY! Let's not forget Poppin's, the drive-in movie theater and White Lake.
Although many say the Catskills is "dead" and will never be what it was in its hey day of the 50's 60's-through the late 80's, it has absolutely seen great revival in its own right.
Have you been up there recently? To the beautiful Sullivan County?
The former Brown's Hotel, is now the "Grandview Palace." All rooms were converted into condos and you can buy one for under $15k! You heard right! And all "hotel" amenities are included. The only thing is, there are no more "chambermaids" for you to give those tips to. You know the tips you used to give in little manila envelopes? Lillian Brown is no longer sitting by the door of her dining room, welcoming guests with a wave of one hand, while she smoked a cigarette with the other. Those were the days! Visit: www.grandviewpalace.com
The Concord Hotel, is getting a major overhaul and will be known widely as the Concord Entertainment Center. It still has a huge golf course, and is also a great venue for conferences. Mr. Louis Cappelli and his partners have done wonders with the hotel and the general environment. Formerly owned and run by the Parker family, the Concord was a haven for singles weekends, dance groups and just about anyone seeking respite from the hectic city. I am happy to report that I am now "friends" with Arthur Parker on Facebook, who is doing quite well and enjoying his "post concord" life immensely! Please visit: http://www.concordresort.com
The site of the ORIGINAL Woodstock festival, is now BETHEL WOODS! Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a complete concert and arts venue. There you will find a Woodstock museum and a full summer concert lineup, with such acts at Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, The Original 50's Do-op Show and The Dave Matthews Band!
Take the time and take the ride, up to Sullivan County, NY. For a day, a stay and to enjoy the fresh air and nurturing nature! www.sullivancounty.net
Around Town Events:
River to River- begins their FREE summer concert and event lineup on May 31st through Labor Day. All across NYC there will be movies on the river, concerts, kids events and much more. Please visit: wwwrivertorivernyc.com
Governor's Island has re-opened once again for the summer season! With events such as "bike FREE fridays" and famous artists performing on the Island, your fun is just a ferry ride away! Please visit: www.govisland.com
Visit: DowntownNY.com/dinearound because on June 2nd from 11am to 3pm, you can taste delights from top NYC restaurants while meeting great chefs. Located in Chase Manhattan Plaza you will NOT go hungry! Proceeds got to help area food banks!
Speaking of great food, you WANT to visit the newly opened 92Y TRIBECA! Located at 200 Hudson Street, 92Y Downtown offers endless classes, events and a sumptuous Cafe. When you hear the word Cafe, you may think of mainly desserts and coffee/tea. While 92Y Tribeca has a delicious and homemade dessert and coffee menu, they also boast an amazing brunch and dinner menu!
From their unbeatable Lake Perch Chowder soup (which is milk free!) to their Wasabi Deviled Eggs and The Big KaTUNA, the 92Y Cafe is a standalone for dining!
Their food is locally grown and made to order. They are certified Kosher Dairy. The seating is casual but elegant, the staff and chefs are extremely friendly and talented. Their prices are very reasonable, especially for NYC!
The annual Red Bank Blues and Jazz Festival is happening again on the weekend of June 5th-7th in where else? Red Bank NJ. Home to the "Little man from Red Bank" and many famous jazz and blues artists, this annual music extravaganza is free and open to the public. Located on the Banks of the Navesink River, and right in the heart of Red Bank, you can walk around, take in the culture of the town, the endless music and beautiful river sunsets. There will be food for sales and area charities on hand.
You can stay for the day or stay over at one of the quaint Inns in town or in a well equipped Embassy Suites hotel nearby.