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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beacon Bits - Glass Half Full

The fundraiser, "Brewed, Baked and Blown", held on Saturday, June 18th, for the benefit of renovations for The Beacon theater in affiliation with 4th Wall Productions( offered tastes of Keegan Ales ( in handblown beer glasses by glass artist Kathleen Andersen of Hudson Beach Glass ( The perfectly shaped-for-every-size-hand, classic beer glass measuring 1/2 pint was a gift to those who attended the benefit; each glass wore it's Frost & Justice medallion in honor of the recipes of two local brewed beers from rival families that apparently brought everyone in two neighboring towns together. Kathleen demonstrated her glassblowing technique and was a joy to watch as she effortlessly rolled, sealed and stamped a finished product. In her own words, she explains how she uses her creative talent under the watchful eye of John and Wendy, co-owners of Hudson Beach Glass, in the landmark firehouse with the kiln that is always fired up at the west end of town: "I graduated in 2008 with a BFA from Alfred University, with a Concentration in Glass and Painting. My love for teaching comes from the basic joy of sharing something I love with others. Being present to see the surprise and wonder on a student's face the first time they work with the glass, to seeing the satisfaction and joy that is present when they finish a piece, is what makes teaching glass so amazing, and fun." Kathleen radiated as she spoke about her passion with her own inner fire;  she exuded enthusiasm and undoubtedly inspires others to give it a try in one of her classes. She makes it look deceptively easy, a hallmark of an excellent teacher.

The evening was gentle with the extended evening light of early summer under a tent on Main Street with local artisan cheeses from Sprout Creek Farm (, tastes of All You Knead Bread (  and three choices of ale. A vote was cast to determine which ale would be served on tap at one of the theater's storefronts.

While the tastings were in the foreground, the background held the variety of Beaconites who had come out to support the event. I met a few new neightbors and by chance, two of them were new to Beacon and both had started a dog walking business. I was fascinated with Liz, formerly employed as an aerospace engineer, and married to a physics professor at West Point, she re-invented herself to become a service provider ( She, like Kathleen, was full of youthful energy, drive and passion. Their positive mood was contagious.

So the overall theme of the evening was hopeful anticipation - new creations, new adventures, new performances. Some food for thought: the community of Beacon is like holding a glass that is half full. Halfway to reaching its full potential. Half of the journey complete. Halfway home. It feels right to join in to support the momentum so we can move forward together.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beacon Bits - Farm Fresh

An occasional blog (otherwise known as "food for thought")
in celebration of community life in Beacon, NY

Finding a short-cut that bypasses traffic on 9D near the Newburgh-Beacon bridge was a random act of kindness. Traveling east on Route 52 to Red Schoolhouse Road north to 9D led to a quick left and right to enter the Stony Kill Education Center for my second pick up at Common Ground Farm (, my "CSA" ('community supported agriculture') farm. Still early in the season, members were instructed to take 2 lettuce (1 romaine, 1 ruby red), 2 bok choi, 6 sprigs basil, 3 garlic scapes and 1/2 pound spinach -- all harvested during the day for the pre-assigned Tuesday pick-up slot. The evening air was crisp as the temperatures were dropping after the rain that passed through earlier. The sky was mesmerizing as the shadows of the clouds turned five shades of gray with mauve and teal highlights from the vesper light shifting towards dusk.

The farm is located on the Stony Kill Education and Environmental Center (; see also Stony Kill Foundation,, which lost funding in 2010 budget cuts, and hopefully will never see its demise like much of the farmland that met its fate in the lower Hudson Valley development heydey of the housing and commercial property boom.  Some food for thought. What better way to insure local farming as a homegrown industry by purchasing shares and enrolling as a member of an available community supported farm? And what better way than to find one's way back home to juice a cool, refreshing, healthy green drink?!

2 apples (golden, granny smith)
6 stalks bok choy*
1 small lime
3 sprigs mint*
Wash and clean all items, peel lime.
Place into juicer and juice as per manufacturers' guidelines.
Pour into a container to shake and then serve immediately.

Written on June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beacon Bits - One Bite At a Time

An occasional blog (otherwise known as "food for thought")
in celebration of community life in Beacon, NY

After pondering the utility of sharing my personal reflections regarding the goings-on and momentum of Beacon's reformation into a modern community of artists, professionals, families, singles, locals, working class, innovative and all-around creative folks, I decided it was time to put pen to paper (since I knew nothing about how to start a blog on the internet); but by now, if you are reading this, you can see that I've begun to enter the world of blogging. So here is some food for thought.

This past weekend, early Saturday morning, I drove down Main Street and caught a glimpse of the newly opened All You Knead bakery ( and began humming the Beatles' tune, "All You Need Is Love", which turned into the image of only needing a fresh-baked loaf of bread (how about gorgonzola walnut, cheddar jalapeno or olive?), some local and
international cheese from Homespun ( and a bottle of wine
purchased at the Artisan Wine Shop ( With this classic trio

of bread, wine and cheese, I could imagine a hike along Dennings Point ( or a walk towards Riverfront Park ( or just a quick ride home for a late brunch while reading the Times and scanning the local Poughkeepsie Journal or Beacon Press for events. But since this local shopping visualization was virtual because I was about to embark on my first MTA train ride( from Beacon to NYC, I held my simple feast in my imagination until the end of the day when I could collect my local delicacies and savor the taste of home.

Inaugural Posting Written on June 13, 2011