What to do in the Hudson Valley this week?
On this Saturday night only, an organization that Gina worked with in the states is hosting its annual fundraising party and auction. The Garrison Children’s Educational Fund is a fantastic nonprofit foundation that raises money and provides grants to support educational, artistic and athletic programs at Zo & Leeloo’s old school (the Garrison Union Free School District) back here in the Hudson Valley. The programs the Fund supports go beyond what is offered in the school’s standard curriculums (specifically hands-on activities and classes that enrich the children’s knowledge and understanding of the art, history, science and culture of the Hudson River Valley and their effect on Philipstown and the nation). The reality that parents and local businesses are the folks who are financially responsible for ensuring that our children get exposure to the arts & nature is a blog post for another day; it’s the posters advertising this event that are hanging all over town that have me roused this week…though I won’t be attending the party this year as Stefan’s date as I have in years past. I know that the basis for the design of the thing is the work of my now-Bologna-living friends and it makes them feel closer somehow.
OK. This one is an event that actually ended two days ago, but since its topic is so relevant to the goings-on here on the blog today, I can’t let this post go by without acknowledging what a delightful two weeks this was for the Hudson Valley. Each year over 180 restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley get together to offer fantastic deals on lunch and dinner meals for two weeks during the month of March. (Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2014 featured prix fixe, three course dinners for ~$30(US).) During these cold, dreary, dark weeks of the year it was so uplifting to see all of the windows at the restaurants here in town packed with foodies and regular folks who just needed an excuse to get off their sofas.
Ray and I had thirteen restaurants on our list that we wanted to try, but only managed to make it to one–a local place where we had a delicious lunch with my parents. There’s always next year.
The Jacob Burns Film Center–a wonderful, nonprofit cultural arts center about 30 minutes south of Cold Spring–is dedicated to presenting independent, documentary, and world cinema to the Hudson Valley. For the rest of this month (and into the beginning of April) it will be hosting the Westchester Jewish Film Festival, a 39-film celebration that reflects the diversity, spirit and resolve of the global Jewish community. This year’s lineup of dramas and documentaries includes magic, Israeli history, family secrets, and the most joyous person you’ll ever meet (who happens to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor).
The films I’ve seen at the Jacob Burns Film Center always leave me moved in some way–and inspired to write or read or do any kind of art–and I’m sure these movies will be inspiriting and stirring as well.