Catskills Conversations: Christine Panas of The Village East Cafe, Fleischmanns

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“In New York City, when I decided to abandon my PHd and my years of academic training, I had to rethink: what am I going to do? I’ve spent all these years studying to be a professor, but it just wasn’t for me”. Christine Panas, co-owner of the recently-opened Village East Café in Fleischmanns has always loved food. “My thesis was on the Romanization of Southern Spain in the pre-imperial period. Very esoteric – but my thesis still included food. When I was working abroad as an archeologist in places like Turkey, I was only ever thinking about food. I was more interested in the local food and the local people”.

And Panas certainly digs in to her responsibility to the grateful people of Fleischmanns who have longed for a year-round café like this for years. “I’ve done a lot of openings in the restaurant business in New York and other parts of the country and I never felt that kind of love where people came in and hugged me. Usually the feedback is about the mistakes that you’ve made”, says Panas. Here, in Fleischmanns, residents appreciate the fact that she cares enough to have set up shop here where during the week, off-season especially, life was excruciatingly quiet for many years. 

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Catskills Links & Events, Fall 2021: Free Fishing Day, Gondola Rides, a Harvest Festival and more.

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The foliage is just starting to turn in this part of the Catskills: Dry Brook Valley. We have splotches of red, a dash of yellow, and the green is beginning to fade. Go to our Instagram page to watch the fall colors.

The I Love NY fall foliage map that details fall’s progress in New York State gets updated every Wednesday.

The Farmers Almanac explains autumn, the equinox, the foliage and more in this Fall article.

Saturday, September 25th is a Free #Fishing Day in New York, so residents and non-residents don’t need a fishing license to go fishing. Plan your fishing excursion here.

Fall activities at Belleare Mountain. Ride the scenic gondola until October 11th, 2021 or go hiking on one of the many trails over the mountain. Plus get your lift tickets and equipment in advance of 2021. 2021-22 winter season ski pass holders can ride the gondola for free anytime during normal operating hours, excluding special events.

Saturday 25th, September in Halcottsville, The Catskill Forest Association is hosting a Cider Making Demonstration.

Saturday 25th September: the Delhi Harvest Festival in Court Square in Delhi.

For art lovers, The Thomas Cole National Historic site is hosting “Art in the Garden” on October 2nd.

Daily Catskills: 09/21/21 The Last Day of Summer Hay

The last day of summer: a gorgeous morning, cloudless except for the odd wisp overhead and a swathe of stretched gauze on the horizon. Overcast for a few hours late afternoon, clearing before dusk, with a light breeze and a high of 70F. The last day of haying at Lazy Crazy Acres takes place under the full harvest moon.

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Daily Catskills: 09/05/21

Another bleak day like the movie set of a British, 19th century novel adaptation that ends in heartbreak. A morning of rain and an afternoon that’s overcast with layers of weather like someone couldn’t decide what set to use. A high of 66F, humid and highly cinematic.

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Live Music Jam in Halcott Center: Saturday September 11th, 2021 1 – 7pm

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Enjoy an afternoon of live music at Jim Rauter’s Farm in Halcott Center on September 11th, 2021 from 1pm to 7pm. Suggested donation is $20 per person which will be donated to WIOX Radio in Roxbury, NY. Each band will perform a 45-minute set with a 15-minute break in between. All musicians are donating their time and talent to support WIOX!

“This happens to be the 20th year after 9/11, and we will pay due respect,” writes Jim, “but it is also our 11th year of community radio in the Catskills on WIOX”. The radio station is planning a live broadcast of the event. They are hoping to raise $3,000, and would like to see attendance exceed 150 people. 

Bring a chair and pack a picnic. There is plenty of room. The stage will be built off the barn and there will be a lot of parking on the 11-acre hayfield adjoining the barn.The line-up includes the following: Sue’s Garage (classic rock, blues, country); Josh Roy Brown & Friends (country dobro); Adam Ippolito Quartet (used to play with John Lennon, Kool & The Gang); Loren Daniels Trio with our own Andy Cahill; The Unmentionables (original rock from Jersey), and Flannel Jam (90’s covers, also coming up from NJ)”.

Address: Pleasant View Farm, 741 Route 3, Halcott Center, NY. Directions: approximately 4 1/2 miles north of Fleischmanns, take Lake Street off Main Street at Sam’s Country Store in Fleischmanns.