You are Invited to a Book Signing!

Please join me at the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market at 10:00 a.m. this coming Saturday, September 22nd  where I’ll be reading from my recently published book, “I Don’t Hang Out in Churches Anymore” and there will be a book signing  for you at that time.

Light Refreshments will be Served!

I hope you can make it to this book signing on Saturday morning.  The author talk will be interesting. The chocolate brownies promise to be delicious!  My pen will not run out of ink.

My daughter, Michele Garner, designed the cover.  My writing teacher, Cullen Thomas, came up with the title.

And, of course, what better location for the book signing  than the Mower’s Meadow Flea Market?

Then, after the author talk and the book signing, you can visit all the booths at the market!

Look forward to seeing you!

Thurman


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Come Celebrate With Me!

It’s OUT!  It’s in print!  The story has been told!  And you can get a copy of the book.  Today!  Right now!  Simply go to thurmangreco.com and order it on paypal.

Or, you can get it at a book signing.  I’m reading my book in libraries and church halls and in  independent book stores.  Check my website to find a time and place convenient for you.

What began as a project, guaranteed to take no more than two hours a month, is a calling.  Proceeds of the sale of this book (and the t-shirt) are going to feed the hungry.

The Book and the T-Shirt:

The book and the t-shirts took more than five years of work.  I went through reams and reams of paper.  Two computers blew up and one copier died of exhaustion.

Get the book, read it, and let me know how you feel about what you read.

And, please share this unbelievably exciting news!

Thank you,

Thurman Greco

thurmangreco.com

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Gender Neutral Restrooms in Woodstock?

psychedelic glasses

On weekends, Woodstock is one crowded place.  This famous little town has much to offer:

Mowers Meadow Flea Market

Gwen’s Gems

Bread Alone

Houst

Maria’s Bazaar

Byrdcliffe

Woodstock Artists’ Association Museum

The Woodstock Drum Circle

Assorted festivals, and other weekend events throughout the year help boost the crowd.

Once you hit town, it helps to know where the restrooms are…especially because there aren’t that many and they aren’t that well advertised.  And, if it’s a gender neutral restroom you’re looking for, you may be disappointed.

The Sunflower has a restroom  located behind the produce department.  It’s used by employees, grocery shoppers, residents,  and tourists alike.   This is one busy place.

There is a public restroom in a cinder block building next to the Chamber of Commerce information stand.  This building is located right at the beginning of Rock City Road.  On busy days, you may miss it because this is where the famous tie dyed Woodstock T-shirts are sold.  The T-shirt display is actually in front of the entrance to the women’s room.

If you’re looking for a restroom during the winter…forget this one.  It closes every year after November 30th  and doesn’t open again until April 15th.

The Town Hall has a  restroom although the location in the building is not that easy to find.  It’s there, though.

The Woodstock Free Library has a restroom located  just past the children’s area.  This is actually a nice one but the library isn’t open everyday.

And, that’s about it.  The whole thing can be a bit discouraging if you have bought into the attitude Woodstockers seem to have about being on the cutting edge of every trend and attitude.

Of course, if you are eating at Landau,  or Oriole 9, you don’t have to worry.  They have facilities for their customers.

But that’s a bit of a challenge for the rest of us.  A good thing to do is to buy a cup of coffee and a pastry at Maria’s and use the restroom there.  While you’re shopping for your coffee and pastry, you just might catch sight of a local celebrity which will make for a good story when you return home.

Another option is to ask to use the restroom at the CVS.  It’s not a public restroom but the employees are sympathetic to your cause and, if the cash register lines aren’t too long, they’ll  unlock the private restroom.

Please note:  Try to leave it as clean as you found it.  If it gets  dirty too many times, they may suspend this service.

I’m really hopeful for our future here.  Trends in the area are toward gender neutral bathrooms and this is just the kind of thing Woodstockers can understand.  Gender neutral bathrooms are turning up in some neat places.The new Honest Weight Food Coop in Albany has a spiffy gender neutral restroom.   The Whitney Museum in New York City has a gender neutral restroom also.

Hope springs eternal here.  And, actually, we’ve got a better chance at a gender neutral restroom  than we have at additional sidewalks.

Thanks for reading this blog post.  The story is true and the people are real.

Please share this article on your favorite social media network and with anyone else you think might be interested.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

Thurman Greco

Photograph donated by Renee Ruwe

 

 

 

 


A Chocolate Lover’s Guide to Woodstock, NY

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Remember now,  Woodstock is a small town.  It’s  the most famous little town in America with  probably no more than 10,000 residents and over half of them are here on weekends and holidays only.

Woodstock knows how to do chocolate – this small town in Upstate New York.  And, why not?  Chocolate is, after all, extremely nutritious.  It contains antioxident flavinoids  which help ward off high cholesterol,  elevated blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks.

Something everyone in Woodstock knows:   no one should go not even 1 day without eating chocolate.  That’s why it’s   sold all over town.

We begin our tour at Nana’s Creative Cafe, located near the intersection of 212 and 375 – right as you enter town.  Nana’s is in the same complex with Venus Adorned, EvolveD, Ed Dempsey Tattoos, and Fringe.

While Nana’s has no candy bars, it does have a bakery specializing in 10 different  desserts on any given day.  This is a chocolate lover’s dream come true.  The choice is difficult here:

gluten free chocolate dipped macaroons

brownies

white chocolate tarts

flourless chocolate macadamia nut cookies

gluten free chocolate cookies

chocolate chip cookies

chocolate filled sandwich cookies

oatmeal peanut chocolate chip cookies

flourless chocolate walnut cookies

chocolate cupcake with coconut cream cheese frosting

chocolate hostess cake.

There are other cakes and cookies without chocolate also.  You get the picture here.  Nana’s is a real sin palace.

Cross  the street and walk into the Sunflower.  There you’ll find a good supply of chocolate bars…enough to satisfy any need:

Chocolove

Oliver Kita

Organic Necks

Coco Polo

Not Your Sugar Mamas

Lucky’s

Amy’s

Organic Andy Dandy Candy Bars

Endangered Species

Green & Black’s

Alter Eco.

You’ll also find chocolate ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and anything else organic and chocolate you can think of here.

Moving back across the street to the CVS, you’ll find a complete selection of chocolates.  For starters,  Hershey’s Candy Bars are on sale:  12 bars for $7.00.  That actually sums it all up.  If Hershey’s Candy Bars don’t work for you, CVS sells many other less expensive chocolates to include, for example,

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

M&Ms

Kwix.

If you want to bring  a gift to a friend, CVS has gift boxes of

Whitman’s

Lindt

Ghiradelli

Russell Stover.

Chocolates are so important at the CVS that they have their own aisle.  And, truth be told, chocolate bars, and chocolate candies take up as much shelf space as shampoos.  Over in the grocery section of the store, CVS has displays of chocolate covered raisins, cranberries, almonds, etc.

Back across the street again, the Cumberland has its own chocolate candy aisle also.  It’s much smaller than the CVS but the Cumberland store is also much smaller than the CVS.  Inch for inch, the Cumberland is a great supporter of garden variety chocolate candy.

Up the street to Woodstock Meats, you’ll find a small selection of chocolate candy bars:

Hershey’s

M&Ms

They’re more into meat than chocolate.  However, the people at Woodstock Meats know that sometimes when a customer is waiting for a sandwich or a few pork chops, life is easier with a chocolate bar to ease stress of the wait.

Next on the tour is Catskill Mountain Pizza which has not one candy bar.  But, if it counts for anything, the cafe sports a brand new gelato bar.  It’s most popular flavor is  chocolate.

Next up the street is Maria’s Bazaar, an important eating establishment and tradition in Woodstock.  Maria’s is a  watering hole for many famous locals who come  to meet and socialize without anyone being the wiser.  Not even 1 chocolate bar can be found at Maria’s.  Don’t be put off by this.  Her restaurant is famous for its chocolate cupcakes, fudge, and cookies.  One cookie, her chocolate thumbprint, stands out among the assortment as a chocoholic’s dream come true.

Back across the street again, Bread Alone offers a small selection of Fruition bars in addition to their staples of chocolate cakes, tarts, croissants, and muffins.

Moving along  the street about a block is an entire Chocolate Candy Bar store operated by Fruition.  In this lovely establishment  you can find over a dozen different varieties of Fruition bars.  In addition, they have a section of the store devoted to  Curated Craft Collection Chocolates.  These chocolate bars are very special.  You probably won’t see the Curated Craft Collection anywhere else.

About 5 stores farther along  the street,  the Woodstock Emporium sells much chocolate.  Like Maria’s  there isn’t a chocolate bar in the place,  but there are 4 different flavors of fudge and a generous display of gigantic peanut butter cups.

Go along 2 more storefronts and you’ll come to Taco Juan’s.  Again, no candy bars.  But, Taco Juan has a perfectly legitimate excuse.  Taco Juan sells Jane’s Ice Cream which definitely comes in chocolate.  In the summer, crowds form on the sidewalk out front getting their chocolate fix.

Just beyond the bridge, cross back over to Peace Love and Cupcakes where you’ll find special chocolate cupcakes with a very Woodstock flair. They have other flavors, too but the chocolate ones are always popular.  Four of the most popular chocolate cupcakes include:

Jimi Hendrix

Richie Havens

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Janis Joplin

Back across the street next to the liquor store is a new delicatessen, Provisions.  Again, there are  no candy bars but there are house made, sinfully delicious chocolate cakes and cookies.  The choice is difficult here in this new establishment open only a few months.

One block farther up the street is  Village Apothecary which, though smaller than the other pharmacies carries its share of upscale chocolate bars:

Earth Circle Organics

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Organic Nectars

This may not be the largest selection of chocolate in town but the quality is superb.  That’s how Village Apothecary works.

Moving up the road toward Bearsville, Upstate Films opens daily with excellent movies and the usual picture show snacks…with a twist.  The popcorn is made on the premises and, among the movie theater candies is a nice selection of Lucky’s chocolates.  You can now go to the movies or the Sunday morning Jam in Woodstock confident in the knowledge that, if you have a sudden yen for chocolate, you won’t go wrong with Lucky’s.

Right at the entrance of  Bearsville  lies  the Cub Market.  This tiny island of perfection sells only the best of anything it offers.  Produce, cleaning products, baked goods, breads.  Whatever it is, it’s the best available.  You can buy with confidence at the Cub Market.  Does the Cub Market offer chocolate bars?  Of Course!  Here, you will find:

Oliver Kita

Coco Polo

Green & Black’s.

Theo

Madecasse.

The Cub Market also has a bakery department with mouth watering cakes.

There’s got to be a moral to this story somewhere.  And, here’s my take on it.  Woodstockers love the good life.  They love good food, good  music, good books,  anything that is special.  That definitely includes chocolate.  In Woodstock, chocolate is its own food group.

So, my question is this:  Why don’t we have a Chocolate Festival?

http://www.oliverkita.com

http://www.Vitacost.com

http://www.thrivemarket.com

http://www.notyoursugarmamas.com

http://www.luckyschocolate.com

http://www.madecasse.com

Thank you for reading this blog.  The story is true.  The people are real.

Please share this article with your preferred social media network and your chocolate loving friends, relatives, neighbors, and enemies everywhere.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

Thurman Greco


Konrad Ryushin Marchaj – Woodstock Hero for Hunger

prayer flags

It seems only yesterday that we sent you an appeal for support.   We were a band of 4 people who barely knew each other, embarked on an adventure, a quest.  None of us mentioned it, not even to each other…but you were our only hope.

We were processing a 501(c)3 to open the Reservoir Food Pantry.  And, until it came through, we needed a sponsor willing to share theirs.  So, you got the letter, and invited us to lunch at Zen Mountain Monastery so we could meet and make our appeal.  We joined you at your table on Sunday, October 27, 2013.

We begged, really, but you never let on.  We went away that afternoon energized by your openness, professionalism, interest, concern.  Eventually you did what you did and we received the support from your group.

You gave us a raft on which we floated until we got our own 501(c)3 and gained acceptance with the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

So, today, as a result of your efforts, there is now a pantry on Route 28 in the Ashokan Reservoir area of Ulster County in New York serving over  area households every Monday afternoon at 2 and every Tuesday morning at 9.

The majority of these people are seniors.  For the most part, they have worked and lived all their lives in this area.  They paid their taxes, raised their children, and contributed to their community.  And now, in the 21st century they are finding  they don’t have the resources to feed themselves.  They constitute the senior citizen faction of the new 21st century Struggling Class.

The pantry volunteers  look forward to serving the hungry for many years to come.   They’ve had the last year to become a very dedicated and close knit group.  The community appears to accept the services offered by these very special people.

IN CONCLUSION:  Thank you Konrad Ryushin Marchaj for all you have done for yourself and your fellow man.  I saw you change the world around you for the better.  That counts for a lot in my book.

I wish you well on your continued journey of spiritual growth.  I am proud to have been touched by you.  On behalf of all the hungry people volunteers feed weekly, I offer gratitude.  It is an honor and a pleasure.

I cannot thank you enough for your trust, your support, and your confidence in our humble venture

http://www.zmm.mro.org

http://www.reservoirfoodpantry.org

Thank you for reading this blog.

Please send a comment.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.  And, please forward this article to your interested friends.  More people in this world need to know about the goodness of  Konrad Ryushin and the volunteers of the Reservoir Food Pantry.

Thurman Greco


The Woodstock Farm Festival and National Farmer’s Market Week

vegetable soup

The Woodstock Farm Festival is quite an event.  In typical Woodstock fashion, the town wrangled over the market before it finally became a reality.  Every improvement in our community seems to take ages before it happens.    But, now it’s a tradition  and people come from miles around on Wednesday afternoons to  shop for fresh produce, baked goods, and listen to the music.  They feast on the efforts of:

Abas Falafel

Black Eyed Susie’s

Catskill Fungi

Clove Valley CSA

Four Winds Farm

Just Good Eats

Lenny Bee Productions

Marilyn’s Roadside Eatery

Medicine Gardens

Migliorelli Farm

Northwind Farms

Oliverea Schoolhouse Maple

Rick Reilingh

Sow Good Bakery

Wright’s Farm

On Wednesday evenings, a  heat hovers over the Market.  Shoppers, some wearing the least amount of clothing possible in an effort to get comfortable, hurry from booth to booth finding   greens, tomatoes, herbs, cheese, baked goods for tomorrow’s meals.

The first full week of August is special  for the market because  it’s  National Farmer’s  Market week.  Farmers bring together communities and food to offer us all healthy, nutritious, locally grown and raised products.

Music is scheduled  every market afternoon in 2 venues:  on the main stage and in the market itself.  Woodstockers  love to shop for fruits, veggies, baked goods and cheeses accompanied by music played by local area musicians.

Just as the Good Neighbor Food Pantry closes,  pantry volunteers  ignoring the promise of a summer moon  scurry around the Migliorelli booth with empty boxes. Quickly, to avoid being seen, they load some of the unsold Migliorelli produce into a vehicle  and   take  it back to the pantry  for distribution on Thursday.

What a gift!  Migliorelli offers a real  boost to the pantry  shoppers in the form of  delicious, nutritious food. Many of them have absolutely no $$$ at all.    Migliorelli feeds the body as well as the soul.  This is a real gift for people, many of whom are in the process of losing so much.  This gesture means more than the people at Migliorelli Farm will ever know.

When the pantry shoppers receive this special food, they not only get the food they could never buy, they have a connection to their community – this has a spiritual, religious layer, the value of which cannot be calculated.

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.

Please leave a comment.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

http://www.BlackEyedSusiesUpstate.com

http://www.clovevalleycsa.com

http://www.Migliorelli.com

http://www.hungerisnotadisease.com

http://www.northwindfarmsallnatural.com

http://www.odbefree.com

http://www.eatsapples.com

Good Luck to us all.

Thurman Greco


Woodstock’s Best Kept Secret

http://www.meredithsbread.com

Woodstock is really a very special place.  But…not how yo think.  There are several places in our fair U S of A where you can drop me off blindfolded and I’ll know exactly what town I’m in.  The places, in alphabetical order, are:

Austin

Boston

Miami

New Orleans

New York City

San Antonio

San Francisco

Woodstock.

The sounds and smells tell the whole story just the way it is.

Each of these places hold secrets.

I really shouldn’t be publishing this article so soon.  After all, this is a brand new blog and I shouldn’t be giving away the goodies up front.  I should, instead, publish articles for at least a year or 2 before I begin to spill the beans.

But, I can’t wait.  I never could keep either a surprise or a secret forever.  So, here goes…

The best kept secret in all of Woodstock is  not who’s sleeping with whom, or who has the best dope, or if I think so-and-so is going to try to run against somebody special this year in the election or anything like that.  Or why…oh well…I could go on forever.

The best kept secret in all of Woodstock is…ta DAH…where the best place to eat in Woodstock is.

There is this little place located on 26 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock.  It’s upstairs in the educational building behind Christ Lutheran Church.  This restaurant is the creation of Victoria Langling and has been open continuously since May 17, 1993.

It’s open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The menu at this restaurant is simple…as is the decor.  Renee Englander sets up the tables in the afternoons before the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen opens.

About 3:15, a volunteer from one of the local churches goes to a local area restaurant and returns with a large container of a specially prepared hearty soup.  Volunteers from the local religious congregations take turns in the soup kitchen monthly.  They set the tables, serve the soup and clean up after the kitchen closes.

The donating restaurants vary with each soup kitchen day so that it’s possible to eat at the soup kitchen every day it’s open for an entire month without eating the same soup twice.

Donating restaurants include:

Bistro to Go

Bread Alone

Catskill Mountain Pizza

Hickory BBQ Smokehouse

Hurley Ridge Market

Little Bear Restaurant

Nana’s Creative Cafe

Oriole 9

Mountainview Market

Woodstock Meats

Breads are served with the soups…from Bread Alone, no less.  Real butter is offered also.

Desserts are baked goods from Meredith’s.  Cookies are also available.

Half and half is offered for the coffee.

There is always a generous serving of peanut butter and jelly so sandwiches can be made to eat in the dining room or take home.

The whole package is delicious, nutritious, inviting.

The soups are wonderful, delectable, hearty.  If purchased in one of the local area restaurants which donates them, they would cost much $$$.

The room has large windows overlooking Mower’s Meadow.

The clientele is consistent.  Woodstock’s Colorful Characters are always in attendance.  An occasional person will come over from the food pantry on Wednesday.  Sometimes people recuperating from a hospital stay will drop by for a take out container.

All are welcome.  The soup is superb.

Thank you to everyone who makes this event a reality.

http://www.hungerisnotadisease.com

http://www.breadalone.com

http://www.catskillmountainpizza.com

http://www.bluemountainbistro.com

http://www.hickoryrestaurant.com

http://www.woodstockmeats.com

http://www.meredithsbread.com

 Thanks for reading this blog.

Please leave a comment.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

Good Luck to us all.

Thurman Greco

 

 

 

 


Woodstock is a Food Desert. Why is that?

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Hard to imagine, isn’t it?  Woodstock lacking in anything.  After all, 60% or so of our residents are weekenders with homes elsewhere, mostly in the city.  They venture to Woodstock on the weekends, hang out,  entertain their friends with foods coming from

Sunflower,

Sunfrost,

Cub Market,

and maybe Adams Fairacre Farms.

The meats for their main dishes come from the well stocked Woodstock Meats.

But, what about the rest of the crowd who live here 7 days a week?  The lucky ones with working automobiles zip over to Hurley Ridge Market on 375, the Price Chopper in Saugerties, or 1 of the other chain supermarkets so prevalent in Kingston:

Shoprite,

Hannaford’s.

The  locals with resources also shop at the

Sunflower,

Sunfrost,

Cub Market.

Additionally, they shop in Saugerties or Kingston at

Mother Earth’s

Fleischer’s.

These upscale shoppers, both locals and weekenders, focus their purchases on organic, Hudson River Valley food:  popular buzz words here are

organic,

non-GMO,

Paleo,

hormone-free,

antiobiotic-free,

humanely raised,

gluten-free.

You get the picture.

Those who are not yet vegetarians or vegans also shop at

Woodstock Meats,

Adams Fairacre,

Fleischer’s,

Smokehouse of the Catskills on 212 in Saugerties.

The point here is that these shoppers participate in consumption  trends associated with their lifestyle and health.  And, with the upscale foods available to them in Woodstock, they’re able to pretty much get anything they want, whenever they want it.

The not-so-lucky live a different lifestyle.  The line is drawn with the transportation. The Woodstock resident without a working automobile shops at the

CVS,

Rite Aid,

Cumberland Farms.

The Woodstock Resident without a working automobile gets Sunflower products with food stamps and/or by diving in the dumpster behind the store and by shopping at pantries located at

Family of Woodstock,

Holy Ascension Monastery, and in the

Woodstock Reformed Church.

Some of the home bound Woodstockers benefit from Sunflower’s benevolency with produce donated regularly to Meals on Wheels.

For many years, the Grand Union was very popular in Woodstock.  Community groups sold Girl Scout cookies, held raffles, and neighbors visited with one another while shopping.  It was an indispensable store for the elderly and those without cars.  In 2001, the Grand Union in Woodstock closed and the space was taken over by the CVS.  In typical Woodstock fashion, residents took to the streets with demonstrations.  On April 11, 2001, Woodstock became a food desert.

The result?  People walking on the sidewalks of Woodstock don’t have enough $$$ to purchase a sufficient amount of nutritious foods.  Food insufficiency is also known as food insecurity.  More people in Woodstock than we realize deal with this situation daily.

Without access to nutritious food, they suffer from over consumption  of unhealthy food.  When a person gets too much of the wrong food and too little of the right food, hunger, poverty, and diseases such as diabetes and obesity overlap and connect.

The reality is that people eat what they have access to.  They don’t eat what they can’t get.

As the wealthy and privileged shop for the best available food and adapt the latest food and health trends to their diets, the lower, less privileged class is left farther and farther behind.  They will probably never catch up.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Please share this article with your preferred social media network.

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment below and check out other posts.

Don’t forget to join the email list.

Good luck to us all.

www.ascensionmonastery.org

www.hungerisnotadisease.com

www.sugarsecurity.com

www.woodstockmeats.com

www.fleischer’s.com

Thurman Greco

 


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