Follow by Email

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Advent Music to Anticipate the Season of Joy

While I am re-grouping to continue to reflect on the community that has been changing, growing, emerging and becoming Beacon, I invite you all to attend the 3rd Annual Advent Concert to herald the season of joy!! The festivities for the tree lighting begin at 4pm at the Visitors Center, so just stop by for part or all of the concert, which begins at 5pm. Thanks :)

A Little Advent Music

A Song Recital by

Br. Josép Martínez-Cubero, OHC- tenor


Maximillian Esmus- pianist

with The Rev. John Williams, bass-baritone

music by R. Walters, C. Saint Saens, R. Vaughan-Williams, B. Britten, M. Ravel, C. Courtney, D. Besig,
 A. Guettel, R. Hayes, H. Johnson, and M. Bonds
December 9, 2017
Free Admission
Reception to Follow

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
15 South Avenue
Beacon NY 12508
One block south of Bank Square and Beacon Visitor’s Center.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pied Piper, Anyone?

“Young Person’s Guide to the Organ” – Pipes, Pedals, and Piano (with snacks to follow) on Sunday afternoon, September 17 at 1:30 PM at St. Andrews, Beacon. If you know of a young person – fourth grade and up – who already has some piano background, please let them know about this. They need to contact Susan LaGrande by emailing her at to register for this event.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Still Going Strong

It is the mid-way point of summer and there is still time to walk the streets to take in the art along the way during the annual public art display known as Beacon 3D. Beacon 3D is a personal favorite and an event that I have supported in different ways over the last few years. Started in 2013 by artist and gallery owner, Eleni Smolen, it has been recognized by the community as progressive, meaningful, and recognized as an award winning project. 

This year, I'd like to take the opportunity to highlight my two favorite sculptures in front of my favorite architectural gem in Beacon, the Howland Cultural Center: Hedge 1, 2017 sculpture in stainless steel nails, Insun Kim, artist (top) and Columbina, 2013 reinforced concrete, Sarah Haviland, artist (bottom.)

Both hard, cold, strong, feminine, and fantastic! The juxtaposition of the two unique creations is visually stunning. One draws you in to discover the other. One appears to be rejecting and off-putting, the other inviting and huggable. Standing and taking in the visual field, I met some new Beaconites, a family of four who moved up from Brooklyn :) and while we spoke about Beacon 3D and ways to connect to other families in the community, a sparrow flew into the tree, unafraid and not threatened by the barbs and unnatural branches. It sat in the tree chirping despite our proximity and I fumbled and could not get a photo of it at the right angle, and I paused for a moment, which was long enough to realize that was all I had to do. The bird, the art, the chance meeting, the moment, the breath. It was all right there. And that is all that was needed.

Food for Thought: Art in public spaces is not about decoration or marketing or visibility. It is about that moment of connection within the space that the art creates to invite you to be a part of it, unabashedly, wholeheartedly, one encounter after the next. Thank you ,Insun! Thank you, Sarah! And many thanks, Eleni, for each and every moment!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Beacon Bits -- A Hand Full of Art

Calligraphy Exhibit

Second Saturday, July 8, 2017


*4pm-brief class/demonstration

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 15 South Ave, Beacon NY

Br. Roy Parker’s Craft

Calligraphy is a hobby and vocation for Br. Roy Parker, OHC, who lives at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. This exhibition will capture his spirit and his art. Br. Roy will also give a demonstration and brief class at 4pm; materials will be provided for those who would like to follow along with the demonstration and practice the lettering.

Roy’s Calligraphic Journey

Br. Roy first became interested in calligraphy when he encountered the book “Sweet Roman Hand,” (ed. Wilfrid Blunt, 1952), Shakespeare’s term for Italic handwriting in “Twelfth Night. In 1980, he studied with Beva Farmer in Monterey, CA and became part of the lineage of master calligrapher Lloyd Reynolds with whom she had apprenticed. In the last 30+ years, he also studied with of Peter Thornton, Thomas Ingmar and master calligrapher, Reggie Ezell. Br. Roy has also had students of his own and taught workshops.

This joy of sharing his craft has led him to execute an extensive variety of calligraphic pieces in the form of commissions for those attracted to his work. Br. Roy is motivated by engaging with creative beauty, the pleasure of creation, and acknowledges the legacy of his creative acts. Calligraphy has also been a practice of developing patience and self-knowledge.

Br. Roy’s entire print repertoire, which are art quality giclée prints, are available from The Monk’s Cell Gift and Book Shop. Br. Roy also creates original calligraphy under commission.  Contact him to explore possibilities. To see examples of Br. Roy’s work or to order prints or cards of his calligraphy, visit the ‘monkscell’ Etsy Storefront.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Bergen-Beacon Connection

After reading this morning's New York Times Travel piece 36 Hours - Bergen, Norway
I cannot be silent any longer about the connection I have experienced between Beacon NY and Bergen, Norway especially after recent trips to the gateway city to the fjords. When you read the Times article and learn about the nature scene for hikers, the foodie scene, the music scene and the hang-out scene for drinking beer, you will know what I know about the connection. And now that Norwegian Air will be flying direct to Bergen from Stewart International Airport, it is a no brainer to predict that travelers from Norway and vice versa will understand that there is a link between the fjords of Norway and the fjord on the Hudson. 

Personal photos in album taken in 2014: Bryggen (top), on top of Ulriken with a flashback to Mount Beacon (left), street scene in a neighborhood with its hills and cobblestone streets (right)
Food for Thought: I think it is time for Beacon to go international. Maybe this article is serendipitous. Join me in envisioning an international connection for Beacon and Bergen. Sister cities, anyone?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Beacon Bits -- All's Well That Ends Well

Some things are still in process, but some things do end. As for the WWKIP day in Beacon, "Knit Us As One", on Saturday June 10th, the event, which was one of almost 1200 in over 50 countries worldwide, is finished. A small group of eight knitters brought finished cotton dishcloths to share with the food pantry at St. Andrew's Church and enough skeins of cotton yarn were given out for another twenty to be completed by October when the knit-for-charity group resumes with new knitting projects for the winter months. More to follow about that. In the meantime, some of the scenes of the day are shared for inspiration.

Food for thought:  In case you have some time to knit a dishcloth or two, here are some patterns. You will need a skein or two of cotton yarn and size 6 or 8 knitting needles. You can stop by the food pantry any Saturday during the hours it is open for food distribution. 
Noni’s Favorite Dishcloth
Size 6 needles.
CO 38 sts.
Knit 2 rows
Row 1: (RS) Knit
Row 2 (WS) K2, purl to last 2 sts, K2
Row 3 (RS) K2, (K1P2) x11, K3
Row 4 (WS) K2, (P1,K2) x12
Repeat rows 1-4, ending with row 4, until 7.5” from CO row.
Knit 3 rows.
Bind off.

Ramen Noodle
32 sts (size 6)
Rows 1-3 - Knit
Row 4 – K3 *K2,P2, rep* to last 5 sts – K5
Row 5 – K3, *P2,K2, rep from * to last 5 sts, then P2K3
Row 6 – repeat row 5
Row 7 – repeat row 4
Repeat rows 4-7 – 10x or desired length
Knit last 3 rows.
Bind off.

Dishcloth on Diagonal

Cast on 4. (Size 6 or 8 needle.)
Row 1: Knit 4
Row 2: Knit 2, yo, K to end
Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches
Row 3 – Knit 1, Knit 2 tog, yo, Knit 2 tog.
Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 stitches left.
Bind off.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Stitch-by-Stitch

It's getting close to that time of the year when knitters all over the world gather in public to knit together and create community in towns, cities, villages all across the globe. Within Dutchess county, there are two officially registered World-Wide-Knit-in-Public (WWKIP) day events: the fourth annual event at the Walkway Over the Hudson and the second annual event, Knit Us As One, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on South Avenue in Beacon.The Knit Us As One event will take place on Second Saturday, June 10th, from 2-6pm, rain or shine, in the carriage house. 
Please join us to knit (or crochet) cotton dishcloths that will be given away at the Food Pantry at the church, which was featured in the Beacon Free Press last winter. Instructions and patterns, some limited samples of free yarn, conviviality and chit chat will be available for all those who join, both crafters or those who like to watch those who create stitch-by-stitch.

Food for Thought: During last year's event, our poster display on the sandwich board at the corner of Main Street and South Avenue was removed and found to be missing at the end of the day. This was the only poster that had disappeared from the sandwich board that we have placed on the corner over the last two years. On the poster advertising the event, we had noted that we were the first annual WWKIP day event in Beacon. We wonder if our message offended some of the local knitters who certainly have 'knit in public' and hope that there was not a misunderstanding, which led to the poster being removed. WWKIP is a trademark event that requires a fee to register, which Knit Us As One has contributed to, last year and this year. It is a movement worth supporting with a modest fee for those who manage the website and market the event worldwide. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Open Studios, Open Hearts

After the weekend flurry of all the sugar-craving, cupcake fans visiting our town, the perfect antidote is to get back to the roots of creativity and 'open studios' with the artists who made Beacon the hot-spot that it has become! Other than intimate encounters with an artist in her or his own studio, chance meetings with neighbors who are out and about, stopping for lunch or supper with a friend at one of the many go-to places from one end of Main Street to the other, may I suggest another kind of encounter, one that just may open your heart.

The Labyrinth
Walking Meditation in the Sanctuary
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
17 South Avenue, Beacon NY
Second Saturday, May 13th
4-8 pm
Ambient Soundscapes will be created by Craig Chin ( from 5-8pm
A 36-foot canvas labyrinth will be placed in the sanctuary for “pilgrims” to explore a walking meditation. The labyrinth is a sacred circle with a single path that leads to its center. Walking the path is an ancient Christian spiritual tool that has been rediscovered in our time. The labyrinth is a metaphor for the spiritual journey and lends itself to prayer and meditation during a personal encounter. Guided meditation suggestions will be available as you enter the sanctuary. It is customary that individuals take their shoes off before entering the labyrinth. Opportunities to walk the labyrinth will begin during daylight, transition through the vesper light and sunset leads into dark. The beauty of the sanctuary, the ambient sounds, changes in the light and colors of the Tiffany stained glass windows will enhance one’s journey.

Food for Thought:
O Lord of the Labyrinth Way,
Guide me into the best possible future that you hold for me.
Lead me into bright and lovely days ahead.
Take care of me through all the twists and turns, ups and downs, and down and outs.
Light the way so that I can stay on the right path.
Help me to cast aside my cares and woes and lay my burdens down.
Make my journey light as I take one step at a time.
Closer to the center, closer to you, closer to all my beautiful tomorrows.
Let me rest in your peace and give me courage to go on.
Help me to be thankful and grateful and full of gladness for all your gifts along the way.    

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Music for the Soul

Arts in the Sanctuary
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
15 South Avenue, Beacon NY 12508

Free Concert -- 2nd Saturday
March 11, 2017

Laurel Massé

With a repertoire that embraces Basie and Bach, banjos and bagpipes, the Beatles and the Bard of Avon, Laurel Massé is a singer without borders. She began her career as a founding member of The Manhattan Transfer. Her solo recordings, Alone Together, Easy Living and Again have been applauded by People, Billboard Jazz and The Absolute Sound. Her most recent recording, Once in a Million Moons is a classic partnership with arranger/accompanist Hubert “Tex” Arnold, long-time music director for the great Margaret Whiting. Ms. Massé has also appeared on recordings by Barry Manilow, percussionist Layne Redmond, songwriter Carol Hall, and banjo master Tony Trischka, among others. While living in NYC, she was a member of the professional choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Current, Ms. Massé resides in the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York and she teaches master classes and offers private coaching in song interpretation, improvisation, and performance for professionals and amateurs. She is a long-time instructor at Ashokan Music and Dance Camp and at The International Cabaret Conference at Yale, and has lectured and led master classes at prestigious institutions such as Dartmouth and The Royal Academy of Music (UK).

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Beacon Bits -- Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind

There's been a long hiatus or a brief hibernation since I've posted my last blog. I think the pause was mostly related to my reaction to changes that occurred in the fall and I'm not just thinking about the closing of some of my favorite Beacon venues like Gwenno James, or Clay, Wood, Cotton and the opening of newcomers Glazed Over, beetle and fred, and the renovated Beacon Hotel. Comings and goings are all a part of life, but some are harder than others to accept or embrace.

So when in doubt, I remind myself of the basics that an anthropologist once said in a plenary session I attended, "stick to the knitting." So stick to the  knitting I did! I made hats and scarves with a group of knitters, Knit Us As One, who met at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church from late fall through the  winter in order to donate them to the food pantry for giveaways during weekly food distribution hours.
I knit a pussyhat for a Beaconite attending several marches in DC, including the historic Women's March on January 21st. And it's not too late to knit additional ones!

And I knit and felted a bowl, entitled 'Let's Get to the Bottom of This', and donated it to the fundraising initiative that Eleni Smolen hosted for the sponsorship of 2017's Beacon 3D project, Bowled Over,  held at Theo Ganz Studio on February 24-25, 2017.
So it was a productive hiatus, a creative hibernation, as well as an attempt to heal the mourning, angst, righteous indignation and horror related to the politics and cultural upheaval in the U.S. I am reminded of  the slogan, Think Global, Act Local and hope that it is revived for the best development envisioned for Beacon, which is a microcosm of our society during this transition. Options abound for inclusion and sustainable development vs. the potential greed and egocentrism of entrepreneurs gone awry.

Food for thought:  It is important not to give up. "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted." Just another way of saying,  it's time to  'stick to the knitting.'