Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 Market Update and Stat’s 3rd quarter 2011

Peekskill, NY 10566 Market Update and Stat’s 3rd quarter 2011

Montrose, NY 10548 Market Update and Stat’s 3rd quarter 2011

Cortlandt Manor, NY, 10567 Market Update & 3rd Quarter Stat’s 2011

The House Whisperer

Grand Street, Croton on Hudson

Grand Street, Croton on Hudson

Sometimes it only takes a few minutes.

Sometimes it’s a gut feeling from simply seeing photos.

Yet, when a buyer knows it’s the home for them, they start getting that fall in love, heart pounding, stomach a flurrie buzzy feeling, and of how this is the perfect home for them and even, momentarily, believing in that old cliché of American dream. It’s the truth; I am not getting carried away here. And, it’s a nice feeling buying into the American dream even if it’s just for a moment.

Though, occasionally, I’m the one with the intuitiveness, and can match people to homes.

Earlier this year I met a Brooklyn couple through friend’s, (who I have helped sell and buy their current home here in Croton, and yes, I had a gut feeling of their home,too!). Well, these Brooklynites were looking for an older charming home and seeking to look more south of Croton in the Irvington/Hastings area, and for their price range they could definitely get an older home there, yet with no property or sq footage, and no updates whatsoever. So, we looked and I listened, and heard them quietly question how can they ever leave Brooklyn? Let me share with you this particular couple have young twins, and also a son who is not school age yet; these people needed space to grow into, big time!

Yet, I had a feeling, whoaaaa, did I have a strong feeling I knew the perfect home for them here in Croton. And, no, I didn’t just walk up to the door of the home and say, “Want to sell? I have the perfect buyers for you!”, but it went something like that. The thing is I did it a few years back and got to know the home owners, their story of how they came here from Brooklyn in the late 60’s, looking for a home and space for their twins and slightly older child, and how they would ever survive in the suburbs?? Funny stuff, eh? On a side note, these particular people came to Croton because the husband’s friend lived here and suggested they look here; that person was the former owner of my current home.and, yes, and another lovely couple!

As we texted, emailed and talked with the Brooklyn clients, and heard their story it was obvious to me both buyer and seller’s stories had a shared story line, and I started to tell them about this home in Croton that I wanted them to see. It’s one of those homes in Croton that stands out in a stately manner on Grand Street, a lovely older home that feels like It’s a Wonderful Life, and has those positive vibes as soon as you enter.

Well, it was love at first sight for everyone. The initial tour of the home (“it’s so bright, it’s so spacious, look at the details, access to river and the village (!), and it has four bedrooms!”) and both couples meeting was pure kismet. The second meeting I couldn’t pry them as I listened to the parallels of both families and felt the spirit of kindred souls coming together.

It feels great bringing these two families together; it was much more than brokering, and it made me realize when you really know the motives, the needs and desires of your clients, it all just falls into place. And, another chapter begins for both couples…love it!

Peekskill Ramblings of Homes, Happenings and History

Rocking Chair Front Porch Colonial

Rocking Chair Front Porch Colonial

I just listed a charming home in the very cool city of Peekskill. My love for older homes, gastronomy and local history is sated here in Peekskill; put me down at the river at sunset, with a bottle of red, and I am quite satisfied.

As I was driving home last night from a new listing at 311 Depew Street, one of those charmed filled colonials Peekskill is known for, and hey, by the way, did you know Depew Street is named after Chauncey Depew a US Senator in the 1860’s? Well, it got me thinking about what is so great about living in the 10566 area code.

There are so many interesting aspects to Peekskill, and if I was just to mention the magnificent views and sunsets along the riverfront with the gentle mountains that not only change seasonally, but also through the course of the day, it would entice you to see for yourself the depth of history here that provokes you to seek out much more.

What is so cool is the resurrection of a city that got lost in the shuffle, and the loss of the industrial business that flourished and died, but now, again, has come to be a place to live, love and create. The art scene here has been going on for years now and if you have not been to a Open Studio weekend put together by the Peekskill Art Council and the City of Peekskill put that on your list of things to do!

Maybe I am being dramatic in using “resurrect” to describe the revitalization of Peekskill, because there has always been a scene here, that dates back to the 1600’s, with even some free lovin’ going on…say what ? Okay, Okay, let me back up a few hundred years or so, Peekskill dates back to the 1600’s and was a headquarter during the Revolutionary War, as well as an active underground Railroad station during the Civil War, that assisted refugees from slavery. Not too shabby, eh? An early American industrial center, and later big on manufacturing and mills, it was bustling in the later 1700’s. After several raids by the British, the army went a bit north to Westpoint.

You may know of Abraham Lincoln’s stop in Peekskill on his rail journey to his inauguration in 1861 which has been commemorated in a statue by Richard Masloski, also the
Lincoln Depot Museum is in the works to restore the former train station into the museum.

I recently wrote a post about Frank Baum author of The Wizard of Oz, Journey Down the Yellow Brick road in Peekskill, and his brief but inspirational residency here in Peekskill.

Yes, l digress but you needed a history lesson and it is my post, but I did mention something hedonistic and that’s what I assume you want, reading this far into my post.

In the 1850’s, Henry Ward Beecher started coming to Peekskill as a summer resident, and he eventually resided here. Beecher was quite prolific; an advocate for evolution, a popular preacher, and renowned clergyman known for being an abolitionist, a social reformer, and highly regarded by many. Also, brother to author of the anti-slave novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, check out this link, Beecher Family History, the Beecher Stowe’s were on top of their game!

In the 1870’s, Beecher was married with 10 children, when he got himself involved in a scandalous publicized trial for having an affair with a friend’s wife. Oy… A highly publicized trial in the 19th century, Wiki says, “The story created a national sensation.. The Plymouth Church held a board of inquiry and exonerated Beecher, but excommunicated Mr. Tilton in 1873.” Tilton being the husband of the woman Beecher had the affair with! It was pretty sensational for back then. And, btw, he is not the one named for the shopping center, that man, Moses S. Beach, was Beecher’s neighbor, and he was a publisher that initiated the Associated Press.

Point being, something has always been happening and many important people have lived, loved and created here.

When you are at a lost to do something, or want to go exploring in your backyard, do go check out the Peekskill Museum at the Herrick House, 124 Union Ave. for anything and everything with the history of Peekskill.

Something new to do is the Peekskill Tolley Tours, a great way to see Peekskill from homes to historical stops.</p?

My fav’s for you to check out:

12 Grapes where I will be guest bartender September 9th to raise funds for the 9-11remembrance.

Craft beer and farm-to-table cuisine Birdsall House

Peekskill Brewery a brewery and a diverse menu that is more than just pub food.

People come from all over for cakes atHomestyle Deserts Bakery

I have to mention the fine dining yet casual atmosphere of Zeph’s

Nellie’s Cafe

Resouled by Bess

Peekskill Coffee House

Bruised Apple Books

Brown Street Studios

Paramount Theatre

For you etymology enthusiasts, Jan Peek, also known as Jan Peake, was a Dutch mariner of the 17th century.The prefix ‘kil’ is borrowed from the Middle Dutch word ‘kille’ meaning riverbed or channel.

Leave a comment and share some of your favorite places in Peekskill.

Journey down The Yellow Brick Peekskill

Yellow Brick Road in Peekskill NY

Last Thursday at a Chamber meeting, I met a local woman, Deb Carlin, who is passionate about the book “The Wizard of Oz”; she spoke to us all about Frank Baum, the author, who lived in Peekskill for several years as a teenager in the 1860’s. This is all pretty recent news, and maps from that time period, backed up by historical facts, show there really was an actual yellow brick road, which currently is a parking lot in downtown Peekskill. From these findings, many believe Baum was inspired by the yellow brick road that became the backbone for the story.

I really love this stuff, but I had to go see for myself, and today I did. West Street comes up if you Google it, but there isn’t a sign; if you go down Hudson Ave. towards the river, make a right on S. Water Street, drive maybe 50 ft and look to your left. It is behind Dylan’s Wine Cellar
(another great find!), you cannot miss it the brick road, pale yellowed with age.

Awesome stuff, eh? Recently CBS did a piece on the many locals who would like to see a commemorative memorial to be home along the Peekskill Riverfront.

I did a little research and found out that John Curran, a Peekskill City Historian, wrote a piece about his findings which were published in The Wall Street Journal:

“In 2005, a Fulbright scholar and artist persuaded John Testa, who was the mayor of Peekskill at the time, to conduct an authenticity study on the road. Mr. Curran uncovered maps showing that West Street, which leads from the steamboat dock up a hill to the military academy, was indeed made of Dutch pavers, a common yellow-hued brick in the Dutch-settled area. The maps showed Mr. Baum had to have walked along the road to get to school, Mr. Curran said.”

Since then many people are coming together to make this project a reality. Plans have been made to create a yellow brick road along the riverfront with life-size sculptures of the book’s famous characters and to be sculpted by Richard Masloski; you can see his work at the Peekskill Lincoln Depot and Rip Van Winkle for the town of Irvington. Google him, very impressive.

The City of Peekskill is supportive but the funds are just not there, there is talk of a fundraiser where one can “buy a brick”, as I get more info I will be sure to share it with you. This could be another reason to come to the lower Hudson Valley; sculptures of everyone’s favorite film characters along the riverfront. And, Toto, too!

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