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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Beacon Bits -- New Beginnings

February 1st is the first day of spring (Imbolc) in the Celtic calendar, so it seems fitting to notice what is happening with the ongoing harbinger of Main Street renewal and expansion of businesses suitable for community life, such as--
o  those who are keeping resolutions to exercise and keep fit as seen through the windows of Crossfit Locomotive while anticipating the stirrings of a new venue, Oak Vino,  open in time for a Valentine's date;
Far cry from the 'virtual community' that once existed between the Yankee Clipper and Beacon Post Office
o  the expanded and pristine location of Roosevelt Vet on the Hudson where Dr. McArdle and her warm and friendly team are ready for whatever furry friends come their way;
Roosevelt Vet (left) with room for More Good (right) next to Towne Crier Cafe
o  the presence of David and Jacob Bernz at Main Street Music, where stringed instruments and lessons are ready for the plucking;
Main Street Music, located in an historic building known for its manufacture of horse-drawn carriages
o  the relocation to a new home (its third in Beacon) for People's Bicycle with a much deserved street presence and improved visibility for Beaconites who follow the sharrows;
People's Bicycle -- Coming Soon to a new location across from the Beacon Theatre
o  the sneak peak at an exciting mystery market (across from Max's on Main) for serious foodies;

o and the recent opening of Beacon Bread Company, a bakery and bistro that will make early birds ecstatic when they show up at 7am for freshly baked bread (every day but Tuesday), or an early breakfast plate, or a varied lunch menu for those who sleep in or take-out later in the day. Bread varieties include challah, brioche, baguette, oatmeal raisin walnut, caraway rye, Pain Aux Cereales. Heavenly!
No it's not Paris -- but the continental bakery had a recent visit from People's Bicycle for Sunday breakfast!

As you begin to explore the various venues, it will be a good time to 'make new friends, but keep the old' as Diane Keaton sang at the Golden Globes, welcoming the newcomers to Main Street as they rub shoulders with their neighbors who seem to have staying power. It's good to note that the newbies don't seem to need the fanfare of triangular flags draped in their windows to draw people inside. They know that if you build it for the community and by the community, Beacon will come flocking and knocking at their doors.
Food for thought:  February is a time of transition, albeit betwixt and between the darker days of winter and the early days of spring. It's a good time to remind oneself that you can't really have a new beginning without some ritualistic ending or closure followed by a period of movement towards something new. I was reminded of this when I met a new friend recently diagnosed with diabetes. Old habits die hard.  It's extremely challenging to learn new ways of eating. No sweetened iced tea. Breakfast first thing in the AM. Regular mealtimes. It's just as challenging as picking up a banjo for the first time, or using the unfamiliar equipment at a Gymboree for adults! We all need maps and landmarks to guide us towards the new habits that await us. Sometimes we even welcome the presence of an empathic guide who occasionally lapses into drill sergeant mode or whatever it takes to create a new lifestyle. It's worth it. Or at least it's a healthy response to Mary Oliver's poem in which she queries, 'what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'
A Picture-is-Worth-a-Thousand Words Recipe
for a Low Glycemic Vegetable Soup to Start the New Year
(with garlic, onion, celery, yellow/orange/red peppers, zucchini, kale, fennel, sweet potato, string beans, chicken stock, red beans, stewed tomatoes, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper)


For the non-diabetic -- serve with a simple and delicious whole grain bread from Beacon Bread Company.

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