Monday, August 3, 2009

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Okay. It's officially a triple-header. THREE shows in a week. We know how to live.

Sunday afternoon it was the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus with their show for kiddies at the Spiegeltent. Whips, contortion, sword swallowing, balloon animals, the whole schmegeggy. All backed by a live band. How cool. Since they are practically neighbors, we plan on becoming groupies.

The Bindlestiff's next local show will be in Hudson on Saturday, August 29th at 3:00. It's free and family focused (though you must see them after dark one of these days - it's a whole different Cirkus!). The show will be at the Henry Hudson Waterfront Park. Check their website for rain location info.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

dog on fleas

dog on fleas
Originally uploaded by Cup and Top Cafe
It's a big week for shows in the little Village.

Last night it was Dog on Fleas at the Tivoli Library. Hell of a party wrapping up the Summer Reading Program. The third floor of the Village Hall rocked out with short people hopping from foot to foot and generally makin' mayhem. (One dad, looking on politely at the opener, was down on all fours riding his kid around like a dancing pony before it was all over.) Hilarity is a contagion.

If you haven't yet, you gotta see this band.

"How I got big, I just can't explain.
I was just out there standin' in the clover,
Next thing you know my life's almost over.
How I got big, I just can't explain."

From "When I Get Little (I'm gonna be a boy)."
Kid stuff? No way. Way!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Natalie Live and Local

Did you catch Natalie Merchant at the Spiegeltent last night? On Saturday night, she decided to perform new material from her forthcoming album, and with some scurrying, a piano and an appreciative audience gathered Sunday night. Intimate, casual and an utter delight.

She is a singer-songwriter in her bones and has been writing songs continually since her last release about five years ago. With her lovely little girl off to kindergarten last fall, she turned her full attention (almost full) to creating her new album. As she said last night, many of her collaborators have been dead over 100 years. With a cultural anthropologist's eye, she has unearthed children's poetry (some familiar and some wholely new to us) and set it to music. Collaboration with the living rounds out the project. It's a musically diverse recording with a New Orleans jazz band and a full orchestra appearing.

But, last night was just Natalie, a piano, a little red notebook of music she compiled in the wee hours the night before, and a pen. She sang, played, joked, and made notes in the margins as she worked through the material. It was as much a song-writer's workshop as a performance, and aren't we lucky to have been there.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

6th Annual Tivoli Pie Contest

The judges of Saturday's 6th Annual Tivoli Bread & Baking Co. Pie Contest had quite a challenge this year, as usual.

With nearly a dozen pies contending and scores of people patiently milling around with forks, the connoisseurs chose five winning pies.

Tivoli resident Jacquie Goss took top honors with her lattice-topped peach pie. Her prize, a $100 gift certificate for dinner at Mercato in Red Hook (next year, better break out the rolling pin and give it a shot!).

As he has for the past five years, ten-year-old Alex Gonnella judged pies along side his uncle Mikee Gonnella (baker extraordinaire), Gerard Hurley ( filmmaker and pub owner), and past contest winners Mary Crinnin and Mariah. Alex's known predilection for peach may have tipped the panel toward Goss, but there were plenty of prizes to go around.

As has become the habit of the good people of Tivoli, the minute the final winner was announced, the polite circle of pie aficionados closed in on the table and cleaned those pie plates! Sweet end to a sweet day.

The Annual Tivoli Bread & Baking Co. pie contest is held each year on Tivoli Yard Sale Day. A sign up sheet hangs in the bakery in the days leading up to the event. No entry fee. And, it's a local fresh fruit sorta contest. In season is always best. The bakery is at 75 Broadway. 845.757.2253.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yard Sale on Steriods

The 21st Annual Tivoli Yard Sale Day is now just a heap of free stuff at the curb, but if you braved the traffic and the frenzied shoppers in our otherwise peaceful village, you may be in possession of a find or two.

Or, as a friend of the 212 persuasion once observed, you may have hauled home something that will end up for sale on your own lawn next summer.

As usual, Mayor Marc (as we still fondly think of him) was pressing the flesh at the four corners and handing out yard sale maps. The ambitious among us use it to guide their drive-buys.

I made a casual perusal of the highlights on Broadway (on foot and with coffee). My reward? This groovy (late) mid-century lamp table for my living room reno.

AND, "The Magic Music Box" made by the Plastic Injecto Corp. of Union, New Jersey. Includes follow-the-dots sheet music for classics like "Swanee River" and "Comin' Thru the Rye." Only $8. I know. You're jealous.

So... What did you get?

The Annual Tivoli Yard Sale Day is sponsored by the Tivoli Community Association. It is held on the last Saturday of July. To be included on the printed map of Village yard sales, contact the Village Clerk's Office at 845.757.2021. There is a $10 fee for map listings.

Monday, July 20, 2009


For years now I've bought amazing local potatoes and no-spray veggies from Debbie and Darryl Mosher of Brittany Hollow Farm in Red Hook. When we first met at the Rhinebeck Farmers' Market, their three kids were little enough to sit together on the tailgate of their farm truck dangling their feet.

For the last couple of summers, their son Ross, now a really, really big guy, has been planting a pick-your-own flower field just north of the family farm on Route 9.

It's a pretty simple operation, really. As with so many of our local farm stands, the farmers are too damn busy to sit there and collect your money. There's a rusty old metal box with a slot in the top for your 5's and 10's.

Grab some clippers and a bucket, large or larger. Hit the field. Clip away among the bumble bees and butterflies. Teach your three-year-old the names of all the flowers and bugs.

Then contribute to Ross's college fund. Stuff your bills into the slot and drive home with enough beautiful zinnias, coxcomb, cleome and cosmos to fill all the vases you own.

Brittany Hollow Farm is located at 7115 Albany Post Road (Route 9) just south of Holy Cow. Pick-Your-Own morning to dusk. $5 for a six-inch bucket. $10 for an 8-inch bucket. 845-758-3276.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pie Contest!

Biggest event of the summer in the Village of Tivoli. Celebrity judges. Prizes. And an orgy of pie eating when it's all said and done. Bring a fork.

Sign up now at Tivoli Bread & Baking Co. Judging at noon on Saturday, July 25, Yard Sale Day!