Author Archives: aliahanna

Cairo Farmhouse for $115,000, with studio and paddocks

This 1890 Cairo farmhouse, in the hamlet of Purling, has a tempting price tag for the amount of space and interior detail. It’s not quite big enough to be called “rambling”—a quality I love in an Upstate farmhouse—but with three bedrooms, two baths, a separate studio, and a horse paddocks, it’s certainly roomy from a city dweller’s point of view. The house is in “town,” but set far back from the road, and Purling has a decidedly country feel.

The house has some nice original detail—wavy glass windows, original moldings, plank floors—plus a deep front porch and an antique wood stove. The condition is listed as “average,” though we’re not sure what sort of work would be needed here, other than updates.

The biggest drawback seems to be the off-the-beaten-path yet not-quite-rolling-countryside location. If anyone takes a look, let us know.  Stats, additional pics, and map after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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Upstate Wedding Suggestions, Ideas, Experiences? Please Share!

Your faithful Greene County correspondent is getting married! I’m thrilled, but also reeling a bit from my initial phone calls to venues. I’d love to find a beautiful space Upstate to have our wedding and sadly my little Upstate house comes with a correspondingly little lawn. The first venue I called in Greene County has a $4000 site fee for a half day rental, which doesn’t include any set-up or staff (or tables or chairs). Did I mention this is the same site fee that the Brooklyn Boathouse charges, one of the nicer places to get married in the BK, but they give you chairs with that price?

Maybe I’m naive for thinking this steep, but I’d love thoughts from you all on places and ways to have an affordable Upstate wedding. Comments, please!

Greene County Pick of the Week: Athens Country Retreat with Upstate’s Most Gorgeous Kitchen

Ok, the $549,000 price point on this country house is more than I usually allow for my Greene County cheapies, but I couldn’t resist this kitchen. It looks so Tuscan, and not in that cheesy Sopranos-way that usually shows up in American interpretations of Italy.

I’m not alone in my love of this home’s entertaining spaces: the house, built on a former mushroom farm, was featured in Saveur a few years back. The home is new, but it doesn’t quite look it. I think the builder did a great job of using the barn inspiration. The property comes with a ton of land as well as the option to buy an additional 10.4 acre building site. My main quibble is the bedrooms look tight—and I’d like more of them at this price. There is a guest house, but I love having house guests and sleepovers and the feeling that we’re all in it together if a serial killer comes …

Stats and map on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Documentary (and Event!) about Kutsher’s, Famed Catskills Resort

There’s a new documentary about Kutsher’s out!* That’s the Borsht Belt-era Catskills resort that inspired cinema’s greatest achievement: Dirty Dancing! It’s showing at the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center on January 26th!

*(Perhaps timed to coincide with the opening of Kutsher’s in Tribeca?)

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New York Post on the Non-Skiing Charms of Hunter

An article about the non-ski related attractions of Hunter Township, which includes the village of Hunter and neighboring Tannersville, ran in today’s New York Post.

I find Hunter village rather sleepy, even by Upstate standards, but I completely concur about the warmth and friendliness. The last time I was in the hardware store on Main Street, they had coffee and cookies on offer for anyone who wanted them—seriously, baked goods at the hardware store!

Greene County Pick of the Week: Pretty on the Outside Palenville Farmhouse for $139,000

This Palenville property is the kind of listing that always catches my eye. A graceful white farmhouse, ideally built before women had the vote, is basically my platonic ideal of an Upstate property. I sometimes feel like Victorian vernacular builders knew how to market to me even better than those geniuses behind the Anthropogie catalog.

While I think this one has such nice curb appeal, I wish the listing included more interior photos. The outdoor space isn’t large but it has some good selling points, too. It’s on a relatively quiet street, across the road from Kaaterskill Creek. The realtor points out that the yard is big and flat enough for a pool. The location is village-seeping-into-country: not totally private, but plenty of trees as well as that creek. Note that Palenville really doesn’t have much of a town center, so Catskill would be the closest town. You’d be close, too, to Kaaterskill Falls and some good hiking, though a good thirty minute drive from skiing farther up the mountain so it would be harder to make this one into a ski or winter rental.

Stats and map on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Greene County Pick of the Week: 1930s Cottage in Jewett for under $179,000


This pretty little Jewett cottage has some pretty, unexpected detail. I love the exterior stone fence and interior stone fireplace. The substantial woodwork and arched ceiling give this little house a nice Hobbit-y feeling. Jewett is a fairly sprawling place, without a town center but with a ton of protected land. Think bears in the backyard rather than charming B and Bs, though Jewett is an easy drive to the ski towns of Hunter and Windham.

The house itself is small—and that kitchen looks tight—-but it comes with three acres of land. Worth sharing one tiny bathroom for? Perhaps if you factor in those great Catskills views.

Stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Illustrious Upstater: Actor Mark Ruffalo is a Sullivan County Resident and Anti-Fracking Activist

I’ve loved Mark Ruffalo since he sexed-up Michelle Pfeiffer in In the Cut. Here’s further proof I know how to pick ’em: Mark is not only a full-time Upstater, according to this new New York Times’ piece, he’s also become an anti-fracking activist in his adopted hometown of Callicoon. That rhymes with swoon.

Greene County Pick of the Week: Sal’s Mad Men Era Catskills Getaway in Coxsackie for $163,000

I probably wouldn’t have noticed this nondescript 1960s Coxsackie ranch if I hadn’t recently fallen in love with this great website RetroRenovation. I wouldn’t touch those (birch?) cabinets in the kitchen or that brick and brass fireplace. I even love the pajama striped wallpaper, and that screened-in porch looks perfect for afternoons spent sipping Tom Collins.

With nearly 3 acres, there is enough room for a bright aquamarine pool—-and looks like there’s already a pond. The property offers an outbuilding studio, too. So which Mad Men character would make this his weekend home? I’m saying Sal, giving the retro-cool, the relative privacy and that great address: Johnny Cake Lane!

Stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Greene County House of the Week: $250,000 Farmhouse with Million Dollar Views

This Prattsville vintage farmhouse is lovely, but for me, it’s all about those views. The property comes with a 1.26 acres—nothing to sneeze at if you’re a Brooklynite—but it feels like so much more. I love that field overlooking the mountains, and all the possibilities it suggests. Giant vegetable garden? Pool?

The house itself offers plenty of room for a family + guests. I’d love to see it without furniture to get a better sense of its bones. Stats and map on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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