A Catskill Catalog by Bill Birns

Bill Birns presents a weekly essay on history, geography, day-trips, arts and culture in the Catskill Mountain region.

A Catskill Catalog: June 11, 2008

A county is an administrative subdivision of a sovereign jurisdiction. The theoretically sovereign state of New York has 62 of them. Six can lay claim to parts of the Catskills; Ulster, Greene, Delaware, Sullivan, Schoharie, Albany. Give or take Albany.


A Catskill Catalog: June 4, 2008

I discovered the Catskill Turnpike quite by accident. I had passed it countless times on the way to Oneonta, making a straight crossroad junction with Route 28 about eight miles north of Delhi at the top of Meredith Hill. For years, of course, there were no road signs, so when that seemingly anonymous crossroad finally did get identified with a green sign, and it turned out to be named Catskill Turnpike, it took a while for it to register.


A Catskill Catalog: May 28, 2008

When I was growing up in suburbia, Memorial Day was the first day of summer, the day the local pools opened, the day my job at the beach club started. Oh, we watched the President at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on TV, but mostly Memorial Day was hotdogs and hamburgers for the first time outside this season.
Moving to the mountains introduced me to Memorial Day.


A Catskill Catalog: May 21, 2008

Community Theater thrives in the Catskills these days. Margaretville’s Open Eye Theater is auditioning for a couple of summer productions in their new theater building, a converted church, first converted, years back, into a thermometer factory. For a couple of decades, the Shandaken Theatrical Society has provided an active theater program at their wonderful little Phoenicia theater. Seems odd that 30 years ago, we went to the movies in that same building.


A Catskill Catalog: May 14, 2008

Community theater thrives in the Catskills these days. Margaretville’s Open Eye Theater is auditioning for a couple of summer productions in their new theater building, a converted church, first converted, years back, into a thermometer factory. For a couple of decades, the Shandaken Theatrical Society has provided an active theater program at their wonderful little Phoenicia Theater.