Category Archives: Phoenicia

Phoenicia Dutch Colonial, $495,000

We’ve had quite a few notes from readers, and realtors, writing in to urge us to spread the word that “Phoenicia is still here.” (Which was also the subject of NY Post piece last week). This is not to say that the town wasn’t hit incredibly hard and that there’s work to be done. It’s just to say that much of the place is still highly functional and totally beautiful (see photos from earlier this week), and there are still homes for sale.

Including this one, sent in by folks at FreeStyle Realty. I personally don’t go in for a Dutch Colonial, but there’s something about this place that does feel so classically country house to me that I thought it might interest our readers. Maybe it’s just that it has a pool, and so few of the properties we profile do. This one has nice woodwork–not too much of it–and plenty of space with four beds and 2,385 square feet. Here’s a little write-up from the broker:

“There’s a two-room professional suite, with separate exterior entrance that has been a “town doctor’s” office for decades, would also make a great B&B suite. Plus, there’s home office(s), a library/study area and a laundry room. The home has been completely updated state-of-the art energy wise – from the basement to the attic, and all systems in between.  Original, never-painted interior woodwork, hardwood floors, french doors, orig. steam radiators converted to hot water with individual thermostats. Outside is just right — 1/2 of an acre, heated saline pool, fully fenced yard with enough lawn and whimsical treehouse.  Need more yard – use the Parish Field right next door.  Need more woods? Parish Field hosts the entrance to the “Tanbark Trail” hiking trail which adjoins NYS Mt. Tremper lands.”

It’s in town, close to all the adorableness of downtown Phoenicia, and very close to the lovely Esopus Creek. I’m a sucker for the subway tile in the bathroom, an instant draw for me personally. And I like that it’s next to state land and hiking trails, so the chances of a subdivision popping up next door are very small. Probably a good time to buy there, when business is slow, and word has it this place is just about to undergo a reduction. Just make sure it’s not in the flood plane. Stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Photos of Phoenicia, the Survivor

Last week we got a little bit of well deserved flack for posting an outdated photo of Phoenicia, just after Irene flooded the town. So a reader sent in some photos of Phoenicia today — still recovering, but in many ways back on its feet. I for one can’t wait to get up there!

If you have any photos of your upstate travels to share, please send ’em in!

“Catskills Are Still the Tops” says NY Post

Phoenicia, just after the floor/Timberlake Camp

Most folks I’ve talked to down in the big city have been steering clear of Phoenicia, one of the towns most damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. But the NY Post this week published a travel story about how great the Catskills are — still — in their post-Irene state, even Phoenicia. They write:

“The southern entrance to town, the one that everyone uses, was closed; the bridge across the creek — now in spots widened to more than twice its original size — had been severely damaged, perhaps beyond repair; workmen were clearing the last of the debris it had collected; its guard rail lay twisted, hanging off to one side.

But this was just one entrance to town out of four — by the time I showed up, the other three were open, as if nothing had happened. I held my breath, driving in, and parked, looking around. Main Street was filthy with mud, but walking up and down the street, I couldn’t find one business I remembered that wasn’t open.”

So, folks, let the leaf-peeping and the mountain climbing begin. The Catskills are officially open for business!

(Thanks to our Margaretville correspondent for pointing out this story!)

After Irene, Should We Rebuild?

The NY Times asked an important question this weekend: should we rethink rebuilding in the very spots that Irene ravaged? After all, at least a little built of the destruction came from a human miscalculation about, or perhaps willful ignorance of, building on the flood plain. “Are there communities that simply can’t be protected adequately and should be relocated?” asked Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill.

Cahill goes on to say that the communities with the strictest building codes tended to be the least damaged–a vote for big government, I guess, and that dirty word regulation. The decision has to be made based on what folks in the article term the “new normal”–the more severe weather patterns expected to continue due to climate change.

The town they focus on is Phoenicia, a favorite of ours for its sweet little inns, the great tubing, the beauty of the Esopus Creek…which is also it’s most potentially menacing aspect as well. And they mention poor Margaretville as well, where business owners are now second-guessing their choices.

“…the destruction left by the tropical storm has already begun to alter the mind-set of some business owners and homeowners. Last year, PSK Supermarkets, which operates a chain of Foodtown and Freshtown stores in New York State, spent millions of dollars to open a store in the Village of Margaretville, in Delaware County, about 20 miles west of Phoenicia.

Noah Katz, a co-president of the company, said he knew he was building on a flood plain and was aware of the damage that major storms had already inflicted on the village. But since a couple of 100-year floods had already occurred in the past 15 years, the likelihood of another such storm anytime soon seemed slim.

‘We thought we had a hundred years,’ he said.”

Where to Stay When House Hunting Upstate

The Tivoli B&B

We had a reader request for upstate accommodations, places to shack up when out house hunting or just getting fresh air for a weekend. Below you’ll find a starter list, places we’ve stayed, visited or just heard really good things about, to suit a variety of budgets. We’ve broken then up by county. Please help us compile a master list by adding your own, in the comments or by emailing us.

Hudson Merchant House
Four rooms to let in a restored, modernized Federal-style brick home, three blocks from the train station
$165 to $295

The Inn at Hudson
A restored, grand 1903 Mansion
$200 to $225

More Hudson options here.

The Roxbury Motel
Super hip-ified motel with spa
$99 to $345

The Rhinecliff
Fancy and tasteful hotel, delicious restaurant, steps from train station
$259 to $359

Madalin Hotel
Fancy inn, center of town, delicious food

Suminski Innski
Amazing restored mansion filled with art, on the Hudson
starting at $125

Round Top
The Winter Clove
Wonderful family mountain house with pool and bowling alley, stuck in time
starting at $95 per person

Rebounded borscht belt holdout
Starting at $145

Minnewaska Lodge
Poor man’s Mohonk, rooms like a Target showroom, but great locale
$169 to $225

High Falls
Clove Cottages
Adorable, affordable, pet-friendly, recommended by a reader. They bring hot scones in the morning!
$110 to $180

Mt. Tremper
Kate’s Lazy Meadow

Airstream trailers and cabins, tended to by a former singer from the B-52s.

Simpler Times Cabins
Pretty self explanatory
$60 to $125

Creekside Phoenicia Farmhouse with converted barn for $469,000

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The list price on this farmhouse near Phoenicia surprised me at first glance. It’s a pretty house, but properties that seem more obviously upmarket go for less in this neck of the woods. When I looked at the listing more closely, the $469,000 made more sense. The property includes a classic red farmhouse (2 upstairs bedrooms, 2 bedrooms in the attic, country kitchen, brick fireplace) plus what the broker describes as a “Soho-style” converted barn. Recently renovated, the barn looks modern and loft-like, with high ceilings, built-ins and lots of light. The barn offers two additional bedrooms, perfect for guests or for using as a rental property. (NB: The barn’s bathroom situation isn’t entirely clear to me.) I think the property’s most winning feature, though, is the great cedar deck leading to the stream down below. The home is in “excellent” condition, with lots of surrounding space.

Read the rest of this entry

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