If you make it to the Catskills, make sure to stop into the Phoenicia Diner, which is potentially the prettiest diner I’ve ever been to, and it makes sense, it’s owner, Mike Coffi has spent his career building sets for movies and TV. Always lovely and always delicious and always on my list when I ramble upstate.  

5

NYC’s Key to Clean Water: Upstate Real Estate

  1. Rain and snow falling across this land in the Catskills, 70 miles up the Hudson River, supply roughly 90% of New York City’s water.
  2. Combined, these patches of city-owned property would roughly equal the size of New York City minus Staten Island. NYC is buying even more land to block development and pollution, and to avoid building another filtration plant.
  3. In addition to city-owned land, half of the watershed is either state owned or privately owned and under forest, farm or conservation plans designed to protect water from pollution.
  4. That’s a chunk of wilderness the size of a 2100 square-foot 3-bedroom apartment near Union Square. So, in a sense, you do have a yard!

See the project at http://project.wnyc.org/watershed

10

VISUAL CONTRADICTIONS - Saugerties, New York

Set in the hill slopes of the headland formed by the confluence of Esopus Creek and the Hudson River, SAUGERTIES (Dutch, sawyer’s town), 45 m. (100 alt.,3,918 pop.), is an attractive village of Colonial, Greek Revival, and white frame homes with deep lawns, fences, and flagstone walks. Factories turning out paper, leather, and canvas do not mar the pleasing picture.  -New York: A Guide to The Empire State (WPA, 1940)

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The village of Saugerties is still filled with picturesque homes, many of them stone and brick historical homes built in the 18th and 19th century, but like so many smaller American towns there are very few factories and industries left.  The village itself sits on the Hudson River and is relatively quaint and suburban in appearance, but the Town of Saugerties is more spread out and has a decidedly rural character, with several smaller farms, vacation homes and remnants of a declining industrial past.  I lived on and off in the more rural areas of the town for several years, and continue to travel through the area on a weekly basis.  I am always captivated by the visual contradictions I encounter that reflect a range of failed human endeavors surrounded by the natural beauty and idyllic light of the Catskills.

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Dave Hebb is a visual artist and educator working primarily with photography and video. He lives and works in the Catskill region of New York State, which often serves as the background and subject for his investigation of the landscape as personal metaphor. His work explores the relationship between the individual and the natural environment as mediated through memory, technology and post-industrial infrastructure. His work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally in select venues across Europe.  His work can be seen on his website at davehebb.com as well as Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram .