Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn in the valley

*I guess I don't get out of the house enough on weekends. I'm not always clued in to what people are doing in the great outdoors. For example, a Sunday drive to New Paltz to entertain the granddaughter found what seemed like half the world there either picking apples, taking hayrides, gathering pumpkins, hiking near Minnewaska (parking lots were filled by midday) or otherwise enjoying a spectacular autumn afternoon by just looking at the leaves. A band played and old-fashioned sack races were going on in Hasbrouck Park in front of the old Campus School. Traffic on the main drag in the village was backed up for about a mile. A farmer's market was going on down by the river and the streets were filled. It had been so long since I headed up across 44-55, I wondered if the Mountain Brauhaus, a favorite restaurant dating back three decades, was still in business. I should have known better. It was packed. Up and over to 209, the story was the same: apples, pumpkins, hayrides, leaf-peeping. What a glorious day. And I didn't even get to the free Levon Helm concert at Gill's Farm. It takes an afternoon like this one to remind me why I settled in the Hudson Valley.

*I'm late on a couple of TV recommendations, so keep your eye out for repeats. One is the reality series Jockeys on Animal Planet, the other a two-hour documentary on the family that built the Los Angeles Times (and the city of Los Angeles by extension), called "Inventing LA."

*Hard to imagine a baseball announcer worse than the Yankees' John Sterling, but TBS' Chip Caray gives him a run for his money. What a terrible job he did calling the Yanks-Twins series. And this from a guy with an exceptional baseball broadcasting pedigree: His late granddad was the legendary Harry Caray and his late dad was the solid Skip Caray. Wasn't Chip paying attention?
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