Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

settling into catskill

Well it's been quite a year since Hurricane Sandy. After living in Kingston for a little over half a year we moved on to a different town. There were things we liked about Kingston and things that just drove us nuts. We thought it would be a good idea to venture somewhere else, as trying Kingston on for size was part of our original plan. We now find ourselves twenty four miles north in the village of Catskill, the seat of smaller and more rural Greene County. So far so good, as we immediately noticed some things that made us happy, such as walkability. It's not just the difference in size that makes Catskill more walkable (4000 residents vs. Kingston's 24k+) but it's the priority placed on making it a safe place to walk. Ample sidewalks, clearly marked crosswalks and functioning Walk/Don't Walk signals should be a given in any community but in Kingston and surrounding Ulster Town they're not. Despite the city's strong suits such as a burgeoning food scene, great coffee houses, a wonderful farmer's market and the chance to see live music every night of the week, the government falls flat in supporting local endeavors by not providing the necessary infrastructure and information flow. Bryan and I were constantly asking each other WHY? Why are the crosswalks in such bad disrepair? Why are the parking lots Uptown so poorly marked? (there is a weird rumor that Uptown doesn't get the business it should because there is nowhere to park. This is untrue- there is plenty of parking. What's missing is signage, so people can find the parking lots that do exist) Why is the information flow in Kingston, the seat of Ulster County, so poor? This includes a barely navigable city website and poor to nonexistent use of social media. The story we always heard for why Kington is lacking in many respects is that it "has no money." The thing we couldn't help but notice though is that the police department appears to be flush with dollars. Brand new cruisers circle the town constantly- not only the Kingston police force, but Ulster County sheriffs and the State Police. So adding to our frustration that the city isn't managing its budget well is the discomfort brought on by a constant state of paranoia.

So! Here we are in Catskill. I'm in the midst of updating our website and loading it with new products for the holidays. I'm also working on some new pieces of jewelry, which has been a long time coming. Although we lost a majority of our inventory in the flood, some of the sturdier vintage pieces such as mugs, vases and ashtrays survived. And since I made an effort to recover my jewelry supplies, I have most of them too. They still might need more cleaning and polishing, but they're usable. Bryan has even repaired some of our power tools, which is a great thing.