I will be interviewed by Michael Singer this Saturday at 4 pm at Spencertown Academy, on the topics of Columbia County politics, land use and environmental issues, as part of their Conversations With Neighbors series.
Columbia County resident Barbara Krauthamer, the author of Envisioning Emancipation which was featured here last month, will be speaking today at the Hudson Opera House at 4 pm.
Krauthamer’s book has been featured in The New York Times, ABC News, C-Span (above, at left) and numerous other media venues since its publication. The Opera House notice says that:
Krauthamer will discuss and read from her book and illuminate what freedom looked like for black Americans in the Civil War era. From photos of the enslaved on plantations and African American soldiers and camp workers in the Union Army to Juneteenth celebrations, slave reunions, and portraits of black families and workers in the American South, the images in this book challenge perceptions of slavery. They show not only what the subjects emphasized about themselves but also the ways Americans of all colors and genders opposed slavery and marked its end.
Thursday through Sunday are the last four days to see Laetitia Hussain’s three-story elevator shaft installation, Sycamophology, at John Davis Gallery in Hudson (362 1/2 Warren Street) before it comes down—along with the rest of the excellent group show of which it is a part. The gallery is open from 11 am to 5 pm.
Six years ago this fall, PBS aired Two Square Miles, a one-hour documentary about Hudson in the tumultuous years around the turn of the 20th Century. The film is not readily available on DVD, nor found on Netflix, Hulu, etc.
But on Friday at 7 pm, Basilica Hudson will screen this film about how the Hudson of today was forged in the kiln of of the cement plant struggle. After appearing to have a “done deal” in place, Swiss-owned St. Lawrence Cement spent $60 million to impose its will on a small community, and failed.
Afterward, the Basilica folks have asked filmmakers Barbara Ettinger, Sven Huseby and yours truly to discuss the documentary and take questions.
For those who were not around during these endlessly trying times, the screening is a rare glimpse into the making of the Hudson of today, whose steady improvement is easy to take for granted. And with much pug mill water down the sluice since the fight ended in 2005, those who have seen it before may see some of the events and characters in a different light.
One sees former Alderman Quintin Cross in combative, charismatic and reflective modes—above saying “I dislike you, Sam”. (The local viewer now knows that Cross’s path of transformation was soon disrupted by a conviction for stealing from the City via credit card, and by a new arrest more recently for allegedly breaking into City Hall.) Red Dot owners Perry Cooney and Alana Hauptmann getting into it with 5th Ward Alderman Doc Donahue. Rick Scalera talks about his “sputtering political machine.” The Walthours talk movingly about their ambivalent family history with the Atlas cement company, which went out of business here in the 1970s.
And Linda Mussmann of TSL engages in what now looks an awful lot like situational ethics, taking her then-nemesis Scalera to task for accepting campaign support from the cement company while negotiating contracts with them. (Mussmann of course went on to lose her hard-won position as Democratic chair after negotiating in private with St. Lawrence to hand them the keys to the Waterfront, and eventually even to get married by Scalera himself.)
Basilica Hudson is located just south of the Amtrak Station near the Hudson waterfront on the east side of the tracks.
The promoters of Bacon Fest are offering an apology following widespread complaints about last weekend’s first-time event in Hudson. “We apologize if we inadvertently left people feeling disappointed. That sucks and we are sorry,” says the unattributed statement on the event’s website.
Many attendees who did not arrive at the event’s 9 am opening bell did not get much if any charred pig fat, apparently due to organizers and exhibitors underestimating popular demand.
“Lots of people came to Bacon Fest and didn’t get any bacon,” confessed one of the judges on his blog.
After boasting that 3,000 people attended—1,000 for free after the bacon ran out within a matter of hours—and that $3,000 was raised for charity, and that “the streets of Hudson were overflowing with people, most of them wearing bacon t-shirts,” Bacon Fest gets around to expressing its regrets:
“It was never our intention to shortchange anyone on food or fun. Where we exceeded in motivation, enthusiasm and dedication, we fell short on experience. We know better now, and from these mistakes we will build a better executed festival for next year.”
(Note: Hudson-Catskill Newspapers reported attendance in the “hundreds.”)
Looking on the bright side, event organizers further posit that “it was an unintended compliment to the day that festival goers, unhappy with the state of the event, took to the streets to search out other food options and poured into the businesses of Hudson, many for the first time ever.”
But “all that being said,” the statement continues, “the day was not a total success.” Indeed, the one-day festival has been getting raked over the coals on its Facebook page...
“What a disappointment... no bacon smell and some of the vendors didn't even have bacon.”
“I was very disappointed in this festival. I will not attend again. Troy’s Pig Out is much more worth the trip than Hudson. There is NO cover charge and goes for two days without running out of food or Bacon.”
“Very disappointed that when I was in line at 1:00 with advanced tickets , was only offered a 50% refund if we entered.”
We showed up at 10am and were disapointed by the size of the event for the $10 entrance fee. We left and went to the Chatham Fair which was HUGE and fun. I run an event for 1,000 people and use the same tent company and your tent was a 1/4 of the size of our tent. It's such a beautiful location and I expected so much more.”
“Still so angry over this.”
... and in the comments on the Albany Times-Union’s various food blogposts:
Personally, I think that would be a great release for a public relations professor to take and give to a class to rip apart.
This was a complete waste of time; not enough vendors, not enough samples, not enough to make me go back again.
We went to the garlic fest on Saturday, in Bennington. That was AWESOME! Note to baconfest organizers: just copy them.
Vowing to return, Bacon Fest says that “we know better now, and from these mistakes we will build a better executed festival for next year” to continue their stated goal of “work[ing] together to build a better world, especially one fueled by the power of bacon... never underestimate the power of bacon.” *Grunt.*
... are what Ricky Aldrich asked to be served at the reception for Rubi Rose’s project of photos of Rokeby’s abiding “peasant and patroon”—this Saturday from 3-5 pm at Bard’s Woods Gallery. The full invitation can be downloaded hereas a PDF. (Among many other things, Ricky provided a number of pieces of rusty farm machinery to Laetitia Hussain’s Aurum show.)
Roy Volkmann is sharing his album of Halloween costumes from last Saturday’s Witches’ Ball, organized by Dini Lamot and Windle Davis (with help from a host of volunteers) to benefit The Valley Alliance. There’s also an album of party pictures here. Roy is selling prints for the very affordable prices of $15 for a 5" x 7", $20 for an 8" x 10... Call (518) 828-2512 for details, or visit his website.