Friday, June 30, 2006

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log

"Going, Going, Gone!" -Cambridge’s First Balloon Festival was my first exposure up-close to hot air balloons. I, like most others who have experienced these delicate behemoths, was enraptured with awe and fantasy. For one of the first times in my life I experienced the meaning of he words "breath-taking" as I stood in the presence of this gay embodiment of sun and sky colors, watching it take off, wishing with all of my heart it was carrying me away within it’s inviting basket as it rose over my head and passed beyond the tree tops. I chose to digitally turn this photo into a painting to express the separateness yet one-ness in the relationship between the balloon’s material, the lush pillowing of the trees below it and the immense unfolding sky behind it.(Photo: Copyright Mohan 2006) To contact the artist please send email to:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market

Artist Paul Gower at his booth in the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market (Photo: Debra Pearlman)

Every Sunday from 10 AM - 2 PM people come to purchase locally grown produce and original art from the various vendors of the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market. Much of the success of the Market is due to the efforts of Market Manager and vendor, artist Paul Gower.

Paul is a native of Troy, NY and is an active participant and patron in supporting the growth of the arts in the Capital Region. Paul's art is inspired by what he sees in and around the Cambridge Valley.

(Photos: Debra Pearlman)

Whether a still life of fruits or a watercolor of a scene, Paul's eye is able to capture what we love about this area. I love his pen and ink cards.
(Photos: Debra Pearlman)
They are perfect for sending a note to a distant friend...bringing back the dying art of letter writing. You should try it. In this age of computers and electronic communication, it's so nice to receive a hand written note on a beautiful card via "snail-mail."

The Cambridge Farmers' Market also has entertainment each week.

(Photos: Debra Pearlman)

Sunday, July 2nd, Deena Smith and Nathan Knowles will be under the music tent. We have picnic tables, lots of space for dancing, great eats, and friendly vendors. Come to the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market this and every Sunday through October.

See you at the Market.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jack’s Outback Rendezvous # 17 Jack’s Outback Rendezvous # 17

Alphabet Game Board Patented Feb 16, 1886. All wooden alphabet game board. Jack he has one from the 1930's in an all-metal version that he arranged the letters to spell Jack's Outback and he has it hanging up at home. Jack says, "This game board could very well be the precursor to Scrabble."

Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #17 Treasures of Cambridge #17

Treasures of Cambridge is an ongoing essay of photographic portraits of individuals in our community holding a prop of their choosing that they identify themselves with. As long as I have access to Bean Heads (where these photographs are made) I have an active call out to one and all Cambridge, NY area residents to contact me to be a part of this project. Be a part of this exciting community project, contact me at to schedule a time to be a part of Treasures of Cambridge.

Gabi Moore pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House, has lived in Cambridge, NY for nearly five years now.

Formerly from Chester, CT. Gabi loves the peace and quiet of the village of Cambridge and the fact that nature and wonderful people surround her in all directions. Gabi spends her days raising her family, gardening, reading and fine art painting. "My painting takes place in my studio, it is always a part of my life, and now my son, James, helps me. I have been doing a lot of finger painting lately," she laughs.

One of her fondest memories happened in nature; "I was lying down beneath this tree on a breezy day, I closed my eyes, I could hear the leaves rustling in the wind and it seemed like time stopped. It was very satisfying."

Gabi, an active village coop member, thinks that the community has what it takes to maintain its peaceful beauty while still allowing it to grow. She would like to see it as a center for more art, reading and conversation.

Her prop is a book that belonged to her late father, "I grew up surrounded by books, shelves and shelves of new and old books, I love to read." She has inherited all her father's books and they have a spot in her home here in the village.

Gabi would like to be remembered as someone who made people feel good and joyous.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cambridge, NY Happenings Cambridge, NY Happenings

The Battenkill River

My apologies for the lack of information from me to you about the happenings of Cambridge as of late. My excuses are good though and ones that you can all relate to - LIFE. Husband Geoff just finished his Lacrosse coaching season of 5-8th graders, the boys school activities and we've been pretty busy here at the Rice Mansion Inn. Every Sunday from 10-2 is the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market. I made an amazing Fathers day dinner with Rib Eye Steaks from Reggies Veggies - he has beef too-, Mesclun salad from Happenchance, grilled Spring Onions from Free Bird Farm, and soft sweet bread from West Village Market. For dessert I stopped at Hand Melon and picked up fresh picked strawberries...oh the heaven of food!! We sat on the front porch of the Mansion and enjoyed a warm evening of food and family conversation. Prior to our yummy dinner we canoed down the Battenkill with a rental from Battenkill Valley Outdoors. Don and Lisa dropped us just over the Vermont border and we floated down the river for about three hours - absolutely lovely and much needed relaxation. Consider it for you and yours.

June 23-25, is graduation in all of the Battenkill Valley Villages. It is also time for the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department Carnival - Friday & Saturday, June 24 & 25. Saturday evening there will be a rather impressive fireworks display.

The Cambridge area is pretty lively around the 4th of July.

Saturday, July 1 - Salem Art Works, SAW, is hosting a summer social at 5pm. It is a mixer of sorts for the local Chambers and will include a DJ at 9p. It is a community potluck and BYOB.

Tuesday, July 4 - SAW hosts the Salem Volunteer Fire Departments Fireworks display. Ride to the top of their hill in a hay wagon at 9 pm to watch the display again another impressive exhibition and all for a very worthy, appreciated and needed group of volunteers.

I promise to write about the July happenings before September. There is much going on and I'll be sure you know about it.

Be well and be happy that's what life is about.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log

This is my friend’s beloved Black Lab, Aggie. She was about nine months old when I took this photograph. It shows her vitality, intelligence and kindness. Unfortunately Aggie has passed away all too quickly, but she was dearly loved by her doting people. I only got to meet her a couple of times but she made such a lasting impression on me. I just wanted those who might enjoy her to see her picture. She had a dear little heart for the short time she was with us on this earth. I thank God for our pets. What would we do without their warm presence, love and loyalty? Bye, Aggie. Thanks for the photo sessions. It was a pleasure meeting you. -June Mohan
(Photo: Copyright Mohan 2004) To contact the artist please send email to:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Life in Cambridge, NY Life in Cambridge, NY

The long and winding road that leads to Cambridge, NY (Photo: June Mohan)

Happy official start of Summer. It could not be a more perfect day here in Cambridge, NY. The heat and humidity of the past week are gone and big cottonball clouds dot a perfectly blue sky. It's the kind of day that makes me want to hop on my bicycle and peddle one of the many beautiful backroads around Washington County.

My best friend is a motorcycle "nut" and she often takes day rides up from New York City just to cruise our rural country roads. My Mom enjoys driving through the hills and valleys and I do some of my best birding while driving to visit friends that live along these roadways.

We have some of the best bike riding in the northeast. You can find great roads to ride with fabulous natural destinations to ride to like the Battenkill River where you can fish, swim under a covered bridge or go for a tube ride.

tubing down the Battenkill River with Battenkill River Sports

Swinging on a rope into the Battenkill River is just one of the many things I like about summer in Cambridge, NY.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Jack’s Outback Rendezvous # 16 Jack’s Outback Rendezvous # 16

The Cambridge region has a colorful and interesting history conveyed by the objects that have survived through the years and find their way into the numerous area antique shops. Here we meet Jack Metzger, the proprietor of one such establishment, a man with many stories to show and tell through the artifacts of those bygone days.

1850’s Millstone Crank This implement is fashioned from “tiger maple” (Acer Rubrum, Red Maple), which is a very desirable and durable wood (weighing in at 3.3 Lbs. per Board Foot). There would be two millstones, one on top of the other and a hopper above them where you would pour your grain in. Jack explains, “You would have a gentleman, usually two of them, one on each side of the stones, pushing against this crank, walking around, walking around grinding the grain.” This was a time when manpower was put to use as much as horses, goats and dogs, and later, and on larger scales, water, electricity and oil. Jack marvels at the rich patina of the wood, where years of human hands can be witnessed as a deep rich polish on this curious millstone crank.

Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market

The Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market (Sunday's 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM) is not your typical farmers' market. Yes, there are produce vendors selling a variety of locally grown vegetables, plants, herbs, and flowers; but you can also purchase delicious lunches or enjoy a wine tasting while you shop, find beautiful pottery, original art, alpaca wool, handmade soaps, and so much more.

As a producer only market, each vendor is the source of the merchandise they sell. You won't find any middleman, or woman, at the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market and the vendors are happy to chat about their products. The market also showcases local musical talent. On June 18th Barry Hyman and friends will be under the music tent. The Market is a family friendly place where you can dance with your children, show off your dog, make new friends and meet your neighbors. Enjoy the music but remember to drop a little something into the hat, because the musicians play for tips.

Our Featured Vendor: Free Bird Farm

Owners Ken Fruehsrtoffer and Mary Ellen Driscoll raise the tastiest chicken I've ever eaten. Folks in Cambridge have learned to get to the Market early so they have their pick of Free Bird's plump free-range chickens.

A visitor from Cambridge, MA (the other Cambridge) Photo: Debra Pearlman

But it's not just chicken that you can find at the Free Bird booth. Mary Ellen has wonderful greens, eggs, salad mix and more. You can find everything you need to magnificent meal. I especially like to make their chickens on a can of beer. Yes, you read it right, "chicken on a can", grilled to perfection is yummy!

Salad greens and scallions complete your dinner (Photo: Debra Pearlman)

Come on out to the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market on Sunday, June 18th and meet your local farmers.

Artist Profile - Leslie Parke Artist Profile - Leslie Parke

Leslie Parke lives and works in the Cambridge, NY area. After completing her BA and MA at Bennington College, she divided her time between making television documentaries with Michael Marton and painting. For the last twenty years she has painted fulltime.

Her work has been shown throughout this country, Europe, and South America. She spent five months at the Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny, France as part of the Lila Wallace Arts International Artist-in-Residence Grant. She was recently awarded The George Sugarman Foundation Grant for painting.

Her work is currently on exhibit at the Gibsone Jessop Gallery in Toronto, Canada, the David Zapf Gallery in San Diego, California, and within a short drive, at The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, until July 11th.

Leslie talks about her current exhibit (which is well worth going to see), “When you enter Gallery 2 - Yester House at the Southern Vermont Arts Center you are stepping into a lot of water. The water is not on the floors, however, it is on the walls -- in the paintings. For an artist water is the perfect element to explore the nature of light, reflection and transparency, and it is all provided for you on a conveniently flat surface. This makes it possible to play with both visual illusion and with paint. For a painter, this is better than a day at the beach!”

“People have said that with my latest painting, "Battenkill Tapestry" I have changed my style. Nonsense. I paint what I see and that is what I saw. Every blade of grass, every branch transformed in the fall colors was reflected in the water that was disturbed by gently rustling wind. Had there been no wind and no color except the reflection of sky, the painting would look like "Lily Pond" -- a large expanse of blue. The quality of light in a painting is always the most important element to me. When it seems as though the light is emanated from inside the painting, I'm happy.”

And so will you be happy, go witness that light!

To see more of Leslie’s work, and contact the artist, go to

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cambridge, NY Life Cambridge, NY Life

You all may be wondering where Cambridge, NY Life has gone. Well let me tell you that 31 days of rain has not dampened the activity around here, and we have been very busy. Last weekend was the annual Cambridge Valley Balloon Festival. Only two balloons were able to launch due to weather, but town was filled with folks walking on Main Street, listening to music, and generally enjoying our shops and markets. One place that was really hopping was our local food co-op.

(Photo: John Carlson)

Our Village Store Co-op is one of the oldest in the area. For more than 25 years, it has been offering locally grown and organic produce. Though the Co-op has a paid manager, the members staff the counters, stock the shelves, and create a wonderful atmosphere for shopping. You can't beat the quality of the spices the Co-op offers or the variety of cheeses you can choose from. Members can order in bulk or buy "off the shelves." As a member you work one, 3-hour shift a month to receive your members discount. The Co-op is always a great place to catch-up with friends, sample a tasty treat, and stock your pantry.

Recently renovated and ready for visitors (Photo: John Carlson)

Another of my favorite places in town is the Historical Society. The Historical Society has a wonderful collection of antiques and memorabilia from the Cambridge Valley. There is much to learn about the history of our town, region, and the people that lived here before us. I highly recommend a visit.

What have you been doing in town? Let us know. Email me at and I'll add your thoughts about Cambridge Life to this blog. We welcome comments and contributors to share their thoughts of Life in Cambridge, NY.

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log

On June 24, 2004 I was coming home after a long day of shooting and had the sun at my back when I spied this awesome sky in my rear view mirror. The next crossroad was at a familiar farm I’d photographed before, a house and grounds that turn magical at sunset. My decision to choose that old farmhouse as the subject of the fiery clouds sunset was rewarded with this photograph. -June Mohan
(Photo: Copyright Mohan 2004) If you would like to contact the artist and purchase one of her works, send an email to:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Jack's Outback Rendezvous #15 Jack's Outback Rendezvous #15

Mold for Sinkers. Smart, simple design, similar to the one used during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to make mini-balls for muskets. You take liquid lead, pour it into the small holes on top and when cooled, open to nicely formed sinkers for fishing lines and nets.
Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #15 Treasures of Cambridge #15

Sean McEntee pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House has lived in Cambridge, NY since 2002, after visiting friends in the area for many years prior.

Sean’s skills embrace a large spectrum, from carpentry and fine woodworking to photographer and gardening (to name a few) and he gets to practice them all as a part of life here in town. He enjoys the peace and quiet here, and the values of his fellow townsfolk, "it is a small enough town to know everyone, and most seem to be hard working, honest people. I like that."

Sean’s prop is his hat, "I like hats, they keep my head warm." This one has the insignia of the New York Botanical Gardens, where he and his young son visit almost every Saturday.

When asked what the most exciting thing he has done in his life, he laughs and responds with his sharp wit and dry humor, "I don’t know what that is. I haven’t done it yet." Sean admits that he is not a "big memory person", he is more concerned with the present or maybe a day or two ahead, thinking about what needs to get done. "I guess I just do interesting, exciting or fun things and incorporate them into who I am. I don’t keep trophies on my memory shelf".

As far as living in Cambridge, Sean would like to be remembered as the guy who plowed up his front yard and planted a field of corn in the village and kept rotating a good variety of field crops instead of a lawn. “I hate mowing,” he adds. You can contact Sean at;

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cambridge Farmers' Market for 6-11-06 Cambridge Farmers' Market for 6-11-06

If you're feeling down and blue from all the rain of late, let me suggest you make a point to go to the Cambridge, NY Farmers' Market on Sunday, June 11th. Rain does not dampen the spirits of the 22 vendors who bring you fresh, direct from the farm produce and wares. Local musical favorite Bob Warren of Greenwich will be under the entertainment tent this week. So don't fret about the rain, come on down to Railroad Park at the intersection of Main and Broad Streets to put sunshine back on the table.

Market hours are 10:00 - 2:00 every Sunday. It's also Balloon Festival weekend come and enjoy the entire day in Cambridge, NY.

Featured Vendor: Log Cabin Farm Soap

Making soap for every need (Photos: Debra Pearlman)

Mary Urbielewicz of Log Cabin Farm makes wonderful soaps. I first discovered their products last year while roaming the Farmers' Market. Since then, I have purchased many bars of soap as gifts and for my own personal use. Mary makes the soap from sheep's milk so it's mild and good for all skin types. My personal favorite is her garden soap. She adds just a hint of pumice to her soap so it really gets the dirt out from under your nails and off your skin, yet it does not dry you out.

(Photos: Debra Pearlman)
Mary has some of the most wonderful molds and unique packaging for her products. Don't you just love this little bathtub soap dish.

(Photos: Debra Pearlman) You can create gift baskets filled with a variety of scents, fragrances, shapes and sizes. While you're at this week's Market, be sure to stop by Log Cabin Farm stand.

What do you like about the Cambridge Farmers' Market?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log

Old Turkey Farm Pond

September 22, 2004, late Summer at one of my most favorite places to photograph. I have caught some awesome shots at this simple, picturesque little pond. This day was to be no exception as the golden sunlight lit the roadway, trees and buildings just before falling behind the mountains. The tree you see hanging over the pond was a once magnificent weeping willow which has been in it’s death throes for some time now. I’ve been shooting it for several years as it has slowly bent towards the waters, shedding its lacy boughs from season to season like a slow motion Arabian dancer slowly removing her veils.

Sadly, it was a dance of death that ended this year...but the dance was done most beautifully and artfully, and was faithfully recorded by my lens. Now the tree lays dark and prone in the water. No one passing by would ever realize there was once an enchanted interrelation which took place there between a fading graceful tree and a captivated photographer who recognized and appreciated its beauty to the end. With the passing of the tree the whole character, color, beauty of the location has withered, lessened somehow for me. Seldom do I visit that spot any more. I do so miss that tree.

(Photo: Copyright Mohan 2004) If you would like to contact the artist and purchase one of her works, send an email to:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Jack's Outback Rendezvous #14 Jack's Outback Rendezvous #14

Tin Foot Warmer, late 1700- Early 1800’s. Beautifully crafted tin box with mortise, tenon and pegged, turned wooded frame. The tin was punched with holes in the design of a heart that was a very popular design for the time. Hot coal was put in the box and the warmer would be placed at the users feet with a blanket thrown over it. The resulting heat would keep one’s toes toasty warm in the usually chilly and drafty homes of the turn of the 19th century. Today, a great piece of folk art!

Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #14 Treasures of Cambridge #14

If you are a Cambridge, NY area residence, or have a strong connection with our community, contact me, John Carlson at to make an appointment to be photographed for "Treasures". The goal is to photograph as many people as possible. I have had amazing response so far and is this project is proving to be a valuable historical archive for our community. Remember: everyone is a Treasure of Cambridge. That means YOU! Please contact me soon.

Jean S. Coffman pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House has lived in Cambridge, NY for twelve years.

She likes the small town feel of Cambridge, "it seems like when you make a friend here, you keep that friend". She moved to town in her senior year of high school and, "everyone I met since then and have made friends with are still my friends, we still hang out and I love it!"

Jean owns and operates Chasing Silver, her Studio and Gallery located at 1 East Main Street where she designs and hand crafts her own jewelry. She loves that a person comes to her shop, gives her instructions on what they want and then she makes a piece they will have and love their whole life.

Her props are, a favorite hammer she calls her "heavy hammer" because it gives the deepest indentations into the metal, a hammering block and a small piece of silver… the tools and the raw material of her creative profession.

From about age 16, life has been extremely exciting for Jean. "It is great to live in a place where you can watch yourself and your friends grow up, mature, and move into their own... it is great to see who is doing what now, and to still be connected with them." "I want to be remembered for being a person who is easy to talk to, and a good friend."

Judging by the beautiful work she displays in her shop, Jean is destined to be remembered for her fine jewelry as well! Jean can be contacted at Chasing Silver ,open Wed-Sat (10AM-5PM)- Sunday, by Chance or Appointment, 518-677-3415.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Cambridge Farmers' Market Cambridge Farmers' Market

The Cambridge Farmers' Market is open for business and each week the Market has special guests and/or demonstrations.

On June 4th, the Market is pleased to have Almost Awake entertaining visitors. Almost Awake is troubadour song-stress Casey J. Chapman and Dave Shaver. Come hear this remarkable duo on Sunday, June 4th from 11-2 pm at the Cambridge Farmers' Market.

sumptuous pastries from the West Village Market
(Photos: Debra Pearlman)

The West Village Market, 84 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY, is a wonderful place to stop for breakfast before going to the Cambridge Farmers' Market. Owner Paula Sweeney will make you a tasty omelet or you can enjoy one of the many mouth watering pastries with a cup for freshly brewed java.

Home baked breads and pies are always available
(Photos: Debra Pearlman)

Or if you want to sleep in (and who doesn't on a Sunday) stroll down from the Farmers' Market to the West Village Market for lunch. The WVM specializes in build-your-own sandwiches, hot lunch specials, and a salad bar.

Take out Dinners Available
(Photos: Debra Pearlman)

Paula also has take-out or eat-in dinners to ease your work load. The West Village Market is open Mon., Tues., Wed. 6 AM - 6 PM, Thurs & Friday 6 AM - 9 PM, Sat. 9 AM - 9 PM, and Sunday's until 1 PM. Live music and entertainment is on hand during dinner on Thursday and Friday night.

Visiting the Market is a wonderful family outing. Come meet your neighbors and friends at the Cambridge Farmers' Market