Tag Archives: Woodstock

Hudson Valley Dog Boarding

Dennis with Phoebe, Marco, Penny, Charley

Dennis with Phoebe, Marco, Penny, Charley

Since November 2012, we’ve been bringing dogs up to our cottage near the Catskills on weekends and occasionally weekdays depending on our availability/ability to get away! Here are some highlights!

3 stooges

Mo, Qwerty, and Phoebe walk by the lake

country

Hike at Falling Waters on the Hudson River Susie with Penny, Zeke, Phoebe

field

Qwerty & Mo enjoying the back yard

goob comet

Comet & Phoebe frolicking

mo & qwerty creek

Mo & Qwerty in the Kaaterskill Creek behind our cottage

pile on

Christmas weekend pile on Susie Phoebe, Oscar, Willis, Sampson

Falling waters hike

Hike at Falling Waters with Zeke, Penny, Phoebe

For more fun photos please check our facebook page!

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Filed under Brooklyn, dog training, Dogs, Upstate

Neon Grlz go to Woodstock…

Me in Terset circa 2005

There’s that cheesy old saying “If you love something set it free, if it comes back it’s meant to be.” Or something like that. Anyways, I grew up loving and playing music despite the dark places it took me. Music has really saved and almost destroyed me.

In middle school in the early nineties, when I first got into Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr and all the other great bands of that era, there was a sense of finally hearing what I was feeling inside. It made me feel less alone and connected to something bigger than myself. Then high school came and in the underground music scene in Florida I got really into drugs and alcohol. This lead to me running away, getting locked up, finding and losing love, hurting people and myself, friends dying, and then me almost dying. I had various attempts at getting sober throughout my teen years and a brief stint in the Hardcore Straight Edge scene. I also got into writing zines and feminism mid nineties with the whole riot girl movement listening to Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and later Spitboy. Through my struggles music was there for me in various forms putting words and sounds to the complicated feelings I was having growing up until I finally got clean for good in 1996. I’m currently working on a Young Adult novel about all of this (more on that later)

I played in a few bands, Miss July in college in Florida (1999), and then Terset (2005-6) and Wu Wei (2007-8) in New York. While it felt amazing to work creatively on music with other people, it was also rife with difficulty. I’ve always been a super independent person so working with others can be really challenging for me. As anyone knows playing in a band is like being in a romantic relationship with 3 or 4 other people, schedule conflicts and different ideas and ambitions are just the tip of the iceberg. One of my favorite music documentaries is Some Kind of Monster about Metallica’s relationship problems. It’s kinda funny to see a bunch of tough metal guys talking to a therapist about their feelings, but I’m sure that movie is something any band can relate to.

Wu Wei circa 2007

So I quit playing in 2008 after Wu Wei broke up. It was just too depressing to invest so much time and energy in something and then have it fall apart. The truth was I really had a lot to do with things going awry. See, I needed music to fix things, to make my life better, to be my everything. It wasn’t just fun to me, I needed it to go somewhere or it felt like I wasn’t going to be okay. I alienated my bandmates and it was like watching a car crash that I couldn’t stop ’cause I new I was out of line. I’ve never been so close to losing my sobriety  Walking away sent me back to therapy. I was so confused about what my life was without music at the forefront. So much of my identity was invested in it, it was like losing a limb. I stopped going to shows because they just made me sad. It was heartbreaking, but the hiatus turned out to be a good thing. It made room for other things in my life.

I focused back on my writing, interviewed and bunch of poets, and wrote Dogs of Brooklyn. I built a dog walking business and got certified as a dog trainer. I traveled to Prague, Berlin, Mexico, upstate NY, and France. I fell in love and got married to a wonderful non-musician. None of this would have happened had I still been so hyper-focused on playing music. There just wasn’t room for anything else. But I still listened to and missed it a lot.

About a year ago, I started fooling around with world music loops and my guitar and started recording things in Garage Band on my computer. It felt good to play again but it was hard to motivate without anyone else involved. Then a few months ago I reconnected with a girl I knew from another band in New York, Kelly Irene Corson from The Art of Shooting and Sleepwalker. She was in a similar place with music as I was so we started talking and playing together using loops, drum machines, guitars, and vocals. It feels so good to be playing again. I don’t know where it will go but I’m finally at a place in my life where I can just enjoy playing and not need it to save me. I have a great life with or without music.

Neon Grlz circa 2012

We’re in various stages with several songs and have started calling ourselves Neon Grlz. Hopefully, we’ll have some recordings up soon and maybe even start performing again. But its so good to be in the creative cave just writing again. We just got back from a few days upstate in Woodstock playing music all day in a house up there. Don’t worry it’s not any wimpy folk stuff, we haven’t lost our angst! I am so grateful there’s more to come…..

Store hours Woodstock style

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Filed under Brooklyn, Music

Hurricane Irene Adventure

I’m getting back on the proverbial Blog-horse after a long break, getting married, honeymoonin’ etc (more on that later) with a rather dramatic post—My brush with Hurricane Irene. I was scheduled to go to a dog training intensive up at Sue Sternberg’s Roundout Animal Shelter in Accord, NY the last week of August. The week before everyone starts freaking out in NY about Hurricane Irene coming. They started evacuating parts of the 5 boroughs that were near the water. We were next to an evacuation zone in Brooklyn but not necessarily in it. On Thursday 8/25 (I’m supposed to head to Accord 8/26), I get an email that they’ve cancelled the dog training course. I already prepped to take the week off work and put a deposit down on a cabin on a farm upstate so I email the people to ask them about it and if their property is in a flood zone, safe if there is a storm etc. They reply that the deposit is not refundable and that it should be safe up there—no flooding. So since everyone is freaking out in NYC we think, maybe we’ll be safer upstate so we go to Accord.

When we arrive in Accord we go to the farm. We drive on a little bridge over a creek onto the property. It’s a nice little cabin decked out in cowboy style décor. When we get there the owner is chasing chickens out of our yard, there are horses grazing, dogs, cats, and rabbits running around. Things are great Friday and Saturday. We go to Pizza Barn in Accord which is good Friday Night and hang out on the property with our dog and all the other animals they have on the farm. Phoebe our dog is psyched to chase the chickens and rabbits around. Saturday we go to Sweet Sues in Phoenecia for pancakes and we wind up going to Shandaken Day in a big field in town.

Pre-Hurrican Chaos, Shandaken Day

There were all kinds of booths set up and we wind up getting our pictures taken by this wild Parrot Lady. Then we drive to Woodstock. We head back to Accord for a while to rest. Then go to Saugerties to Fez for dinner and Lucky Chocolates for desert and had a nice chat with Rae the owner. Then the rain starts so we head back to the cabin thinking it’ll just be a bad rainstorm.

WE WERE WRONG! In the middle of the night the power, water, sewage goes out. We have no ability to flush the really full toilet that is backed up from all the water. There are crazy sounds outside and we and the dog are freaking out but can’t see anything because it’s so dark. We wake up early when it starts to get light out. It’s still pouring rain. We go outside. A tree fell crashed through our fence and just missed the cabin.

Tree in front of cabin

Outside Cabin

Another fell up by the main house and took out the main power line.

Power lines

The horses are running around the property. Then we look down towards the road we came in on. The small creek we went over is now a rushing river that has covered the bridge and is inching up the property to the barn and our cabin.

Road into and out of farm

Road into and out of Farm

I’m freaking out that we’re basically trapped and I want to get in a fistfight with the farm owners since obviously the property floods and they lied to me to get my deposit instead of letting us out of it due to the coming storm.

Property Flooding

We start talking to people in our building in Brooklyn on our cell phones, they haven’t even lost power but our basement is flooding. They are taking shifts sweeping the water out. We ask them to go upstairs and check on our apartment and cats and everything is fine there. Only one small leak we already knew about and it’s not too bad.

We hang out in the cabin and try not to freak out more even though we have to go to the bathroom in the yard next to the fallen tree since the toilet is screwed up. Periodically, we go to the car to listen to the radio news. Apparently, the city is fine but upstate NY (where we are) and New Jersey are getting slammed with flooding. I’m keeping my mouth shut and not fighting with the people on the property even though they have a generator running in their house and we’re in the dark.

Finally, in the afternoon the rain stops. The water goes down enough for us to wade through and walk to “town” to see what damage has been done. The main roads are flooded and no one can get anywhere. We make it through another night hoping the water will have gone down enough for us to drive back to Brooklyn Monday morning.

On Monday morning, we get up and pack the car. The water has gone down enough for us to at least get off the property. I go up to the main house to try to get some of our money back since clearly we aren’t going to be staying here with no power, water, toilet for a whole week. I have to fight with the people to get our money back, but I’m from Brooklyn and I don’t take no for an answer! What assholes! We get out of there and drive back but instead of 2.5 hours to get home it takes 6 because there are all these roads closed and the news isn’t reporting it so we don’t know it till we hit traffic. When we finally get back to Brooklyn I want to kiss the sidewalk. I’ve had occasional thoughts about living upstate but I think after this I’m happy to stay in the city with my working toilet and electricity for the rest of my days.

The Catskills area got really messed up by the storm. More info can be found on how to help here.

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