Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stoney Kill's STONYART Event Happening!

Stony Kill Foundation Flyer for STONYART

It's finally here! You've seen the flyers, you've mentally marked the date in your mind, and now you get to go to the STONYART live auction featuring local artists to support the Stony Kill Foundation this Sunday, October 26! 

For only $20, you are directly helping the Stony Kill Foundation stay alive and well and beautiful along 9D. The event is easy-peasy to attend. It's at the Howland Cultural Center on the East End of Main Street on the big curve. It's from 3-6pm on Sunday, so you have plenty of time to do your Main Street thang after a brunch in Beacon, stop in for wine and cheese and maybe even a little auctioning of local art! You will be amazed by the art you find there, so don't miss it!

For other events and opportunities such as yoga days and kids classes, visit the Stony Kill Events page.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Honey for Fall Days - A Boutique's New Staple

Fall's chill is in the air! And so are scratchy throats. Beaconites know how to face harsh weather, and it's to embrace it and treat ourselves to nature's deliciousness - honey. And boutiques are fully stocked with local honey!

480 Main Street
East End of Main Street on the Curve
Visit Utensil's Facebook Page
Catskill Provisions makes a seriously amazing raw honey. Why? Because their motto is happy bees make happy honey. Their bees must be very happy and sweetly fed. New to your tastebuds and sure to warm your body is Mike's Hot Honey which has been infused with chilis. Like you needed the extra spike of awesome! But you did because your butternut squash needed to kick into high gear. Utensil always picks the best selections for your culinary needs.

Beacon Train Station
Beacon's Farmer's Market on Sundays
Not only can you find raw honey at the Beacon's Farmer's Market, from Honeybrook Farms but you can find the Honeybee Pollen for those of you who want to eat local bee pollen to help build resistance to local allergies. And can pick up a big jug of pure maple syrup while you're down there...

462 Main Street
East End of Main Street Before the Curve
Normally found in Lauren & Riley are party dresses, cute tops, adorable little girl's dresses, and Betsy Johnson-esque shoes. But this season they are offering you honey with tea! Or is it the other way around. Hudson River Apiaries honey is on the shelves at Lauren & Riley.

267 Main Street
Middle of Main Street Across from Key Foods (who also has honey)
Known for French selections, Beacon Pantry of course has specialty raw honey, and stocks the often sought after Lavender honey, in addition to Acacia, Chestnut, and Cinnamon Creamed honey (!?!). Dips and spreads for chicken just got a lot more interesting...  

Drink up! Or for you serious honey lovers, spoon it up.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Little Beacon Blog is Hiring - Part Time Editorial/Production Assistant

We're hiring! Looking for a part time editorial production assistant to help keep A Little Beacon Blog up to date with guides, social media, and some graphics work. Ideal candidate lives in or near Beacon, and loves Beacon and all of the neat things going on here. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to experience the business of blogging, and what's involved with running and growing a blog, which is one of today's most trusted media sources by readers. This is a production position, so some writing skills are required, but mainly in the form of writing descriptions of classes or events and short social media posts. Familiarity with social media such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook is a must. You will be working virtually at your location, so self-motivation and dedication is a must. This is contract, part-time work.

Responsibilities include (but not limited to):

  • Researching current dates for Guide pages, such as Kids Classes, Weekend Festivals, Best Brunches in Beacon, Swimming Classes for Adults and Kids, etc. and making edits to those Guide pages on the blog.
  • Linking and writing some descriptive copy for Guide pages.
  • Pinning blog posts to pin boards in Pinterest.
  • Scheduling photo and plain text tweets in Twitter.
  • Bonus (but not required)! If you have graphic skills and can crop photos using a basic photo applications like Preview and Grab (in Macs) and creating photo collages using Fotor
Rate: $15/hr, 3hrs per week

If you have graphic design skills, this job can involve some low level designing for a different rate.

  • Design banner ads for sponsors who place ads on A Little Beacon Blog.
  • Design branded graphics for A Little Beacon Blog to feature special Categories and highlighted pages.
Rate: $20/hr, 3hrs per week

If this floats your boat, please email with your interest, why you want this job and why you'd be great at it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Sukkah Comes to Beacon in Celebration of Sukkot: "Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project"

The people of Beacon were given a communal celebration of bounty, vulnerability and appreciation of the harvest, with "Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project", a non-denominational celebration around the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. People visiting and walking through the park near the Visitor's Center at the West End of Main Street near the train station were able to experience this deliberately rickety structure with a roof of bamboo built by the project partners, Beacon Arts, Beacon Hebrew Alliance, the Laba House of Study at the 14th Street Y, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Arts, and other organizations. This time of reflection came at a good period to give thanks for the rain this past week, as local reservoirs are hitting lows that are causing Hudson Valley leaders concern.

“It's hard to be vulnerable, to be open to the sky,” says Rabbi Brent Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance. “It’s easier, however, to be open as part of a community. The ancient festival of Sukkot invites us to come together and give thanks for the harvest and also to be aware of the fleeting nature of life.”

For a period of eight days, the Sukkah was home to discussions, learning, workshops, stories, singing and more. Members of the Beacon community and beyond participated by sharing their knowledge of everything from Celtic folk traditions to hidden Jewish identities to a Beacon time capsule.

Did you visit the structure and what thoughts did you leave with? Please share them in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

All Sport Health & Fitness Fishkill (Sponsor)

All Sport Health & Fitness
17 Old Main Street
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-5678

All Sport is more than just a gym. It's an experience. From the moment you walk through their doors and are genuinely greeted by team members behind the front desk, you begin the feel the involvement between people, activities and a mindset of tapping into opportunities around you. Designed around your lifestyle, All Sport has something for everyone, from indoor/outdoor basketball courts, racquetball, soccer camp, dance lessons, indoor/outdoor pools, saunas, massages, a huge room for weight lifters, a calming room for women's strength-building, an "express circuit" machine set-up with a free lesson on how to use it all. For those who need a more creative workout, there are over 90 free group exercise classes for members, including Zumba, Barre Fusion, Yoga, and many more. Got kids? Enjoy All Sport's most thoughtful move of all - a fully staffed 2-room childcare center aka "Kids Club" with a jungle gym, slide, baby exersaucers, and coloring. And if the kids need a break from the room, All Sport schedules different classes such as Kids in Motion, where kids tumble to music in a racquetball court and then can be walked back to Kids Club by the teacher.

Kids in Motion I: Ages 1 & 2 (child and parent)
Tuesdays, 10:15-10:45am
Kids in Motion II Ages 3-5 (drop-off)
Tuesdays: 9:15-10:00am
Fridays: 12:15-1:00pm
Member: Free
NonMember: $10 drop-ins welcome

Gross motor development class that includes activities utilizing an assortment of equipment to fun upbeat music. The focus of this class is on structure, eye-hand coordination and balance and listening skills.

Swimming Lessons Indoor Pool - Registration Oct 8! Fills Up Fast!
For pre-school age and older, swim classes can be drop-off. Call ahead for registration details for Fall II Programs and Swim Lessons! Classes book fast.

Sponsored Page: All Sport Health & Fitness is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog. Please read our Editorial and Advertising Policy for more information. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Secret Gardener Vicki Raabin's Streetscape Project

What's being said more and more about Beacon NY is that the citizens are making it great. While that's a pretty good political slogan, it's ringing true. As one walks by the pleasantries and stops to smell the roses, one may notice they are admiring sunflowers, lavender, basil and other herbs in addition to the potted and hanging floral arrangements that adorn Main Street. What you are witnessing is an "urban streetscape project" by one of Main Street's most known citizens, Miss Vicki Raabin. She is one of several, independently driven, "secret gardeners" that keep the streets looking nice.

Several garden plots started and maintained by Miss Vicki Raabin outside of stores
including Play, Towne Crier, The Pandorica, and across the street from
Poppy's next to Beacon Bread Company. 

In May of 2014, Miss Vicki, most commonly known as the local music teacher and music venue organizer, decided to put some action to her critical thoughts as she walked Main Street and grew dissatisfied with the sidewalk trees. "I got tired of seeing all of the gravel around the trees. My feeling is, if you're complaining about something, you need to step up and do something about it. It bothered me and I felt we could do better." 

Miss Vicki Raabin feeding and watering her plants in her urban streetscape project along Main Street.

Raabin started the project a few years ago with small tulip beds. But this year, she committed to herself to "take over small spaces and make them viable again." Working closely with several local businesses on Main Street, Raabin has received strong support from a growing number of storefronts with beds near their buildings, including Tito Santana Taqueria, Towne Crier, Bank Square, Mountain Tops, Beacon Bread Company, and Key Food.

Donations from the businesses have come in an unusual form: egg shells and water from Towne Cryer; coffee grounds from Bank Square and Beacon Bread Company; bags of mulch from Key Foods, more water from Kamel Jamel, owner of Tito's who fostered a partnership with Green Teen by way of putting in the Common Greens Garden at Tito Santana which has a water collection system. Local residents have given Raabin shubbery when splitting plants in their own gardens which is helpful for acquiring butterfly bushes, creeping thyme, lavender and maybe hostas for next year.

One of many planters designed and maintained
by the Tioronda Garden Club.

Miss Vicki isn't the only one making Main Street beautiful. The potted plants you walk past at major street corners, and all of the hanging petunia baskets are put together by the Tioronda Garden Club, which fundraises for its yearly budget with individual donations and events, like a Wine and Cheese night. In fact, the Tioronda Garden Club gave Raabin some of their flox to act as ground cover for tree plots, as flox is a hearty plant that spreads easily over the years and looks beautiful with masonry.

Hanging baskets on Main Street are put together by the
Tioronda Garden Club and watered by Mayor Casale.

As for the watering of all of these flowers and plantings, you'll see Miss Vicki pulling her red wagon from the Visitor's Center at beginning of Main Street all the way to Towne Crier where she gets another water fill and picks up egg shells to be used as plant food. But who waters those hanging baskets? Years ago, the hanging plants were on the chopping block down at 1 Municipal Plaza during Mayor Gold's tenure. Then council member, Randy Casale volunteered to do the watering, since the Tioronda Garden Club supplied the hanging baskets through their fundraising efforts. He woke up to drive the cherry picker truck in the early mornings when it was still dark. 

As for now Mayor Casale, he still wakes up early to water.  "I do it because it I believe the beautiful flowers that are put together by the hard work of all the volunteers of the Tioronda Garden Club makes our Main Street vibrant and attractive. This is also a way for me to mentally relax. I would like to thank all our volunteers who help to keep our city the city that it is."

Gardening certainly is relaxing. And right now, it's helping Beacon to stay original and special as a train town along the beautiful Hudson River. Secret gardening is offering ways for citizens to dig in, literally into the earth of Beacon to keep it vibrant and ever-changing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rite Aid Gets Upgrade - And Sliding Front Doors!

Rite Aid, in the middle of Main Street, across the street from the wine store and Yanarella Dance Studio and the Dance Bag, has gotten an upgrade. Such an upgrade in fact, that this Rite Aid is unrecognizable from its former self, and is now on par with suburban drug stores that offer sliding front doors, wide open isles, and plenty of walking room. According to a post at Wigam, Rite Aid leased the space next door, a formerly empty auto parts store, and the space behind it near the parking lot for more storage.

No matter what your preference in local business, a fancy Rite Aid is certainly better to look at and walk through. Rite Aid was one of the more challenging stores to get into with a wheelchair or single or double wide stroller. The clunky, crowded, two-door system made getting in to grab something quickly quite a challenge. Not to mention the poles in the middle of the office supply isle, making shopping with a stroller or wheel chair down that isle impossible. Now, the front doors slide open and there is a lot more breathing room.

To spread the wealth, my primary pharmacy remains with Vogel, where I've learned first hand that prescriptions can be transferred within moments of a phone call between pharmacists at different pharmacies in different states.

Stocking the shelves continues, with new surprises on the shelves weekly. The school supply isle leaves room for more, as Walgreens still corners the market on most eye-candy-ish school or office supplies (at the drug store level...Target is the most fun), but as you can see, there are plenty of items to shop for, from diapers to batteries to makeup. Just as there were before, only now you won't be so claustrophobic when you run to the drug store for a bottle of laundry detergent.

Yes, you could pick up breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert at Rite Aid if you so desired. You will find the regular, big name brand items like Ben & Jerry's and Blue Moon. You won't find local names or craft beers, but there are plenty of other options to find unique brands like at The Hop, Beacon Pantry, KeyFood (artisan brands have really increased on the shelves here), and even the convenience store in the Beacon Dental plaza who carries a large beer selection and occasionally organic milk.

 Price-wise, Rite Aid has never been cheap, and prices itself on convenience. This Suave shampoo (the Aveda version), which is on prominent display at the front door, is $4.29, which is $3 more  than it is at Hannaford on Rt. 9. But - the convenience is nice.

The fun isles, for toys, costumes, and greeting cards remain, and have more choices in them, including greeting cards. A lot of greeting cards actually, and now party packaging supplies.

All in all, we're stepping up in the world! It's a pleasure to walk through and shop in the new Rite Aid!