Community Day at Hildene, in Manchester Vermont

Note from Sandra: I’m pleased to share with you a piece written by my husband, Mark Frost, which appeared in the June 1 issue of The Chronicle Newspaper. 

By Mark Frost; Photos by Sandra Hutchinson

Last year by chance, my wife Sandra and I happened on Community Day at Hildene in Manchester, Vermont. It was great, and it was free. The 2017 Hildene Community Day is Sunday, June 11, from 9:30 to 4:30.

The Hildene gardens are known for their spectacular display of peonies in June. They were in all their glory during last year’s Community Day.

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Fun at Sagamore’s Glacier Ice Bar on Lake George

By Sandra Hutchinson

Having heard a lot of buzz about the “Glacier Ice Bar” and all the associated wintertime activities at the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing on Lake George, a few of my best friends from childhood joined me in an overnight at the iconic hotel in January, during one of the two “Ice Bar” weekends. Turns out, there’s a whole lot more going on than just chilling out with a cocktail while standing around some blocks of ice.

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Front view of Sagamore Hotel, on a wintry January morning

Although the Sagamore’s foray into the “ice bar” only began several years ago, it has turned into a phenomenon, drawing huge crowds to the hotel on two weekends in January, a time when the hotel has in the past been closed. A number of other bars and restaurants in the region have followed suit, creating their own happening spots and events with the idea that people will stand outside in the cold to drink cocktails and beer if the mood and music is good, the fires are burning, and your friends show up. Continue reading

27 hours in Manhattan — Hamilton!, holiday windows, Pooh bear, Bemelmans Bar and more!

By Sandra Hutchinson

Ten months after finally securing much-coveted tickets to the Broadway smash hit Hamilton, my husband and I finally got to see it last Wednesday evening. We tried to make the most of our short time in the city. Here’s an overview:

1. Hamilton! Does the hip hop historical musical live up to its hype? Yes it does. It’s a work of genius by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of Alexander Hamilton (based on Ron Chernow’s biography). Hamilton, of course, was one of the founding fathers, and was General George Washington’s chief aide during the American Revolution. Hamilton was key in the development of the Constitution, principal author of the Federalist papers that helped it win ratification, and the first U. S. Secretary of the Treasury.

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Hamilton cast after final bows. In front, with arm extended, is Javier Munoz, as Alexander Hamilton.

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Chronicle Classic Photos: 1980-2016

By Sandra J. Hutchinson

I may be just a tad biased, but I think the current exhibit at the Chapman Historical Museum in Glens Falls is a MUST SEE.

The exhibit, which opened October 27, features nearly 100 photos from The Chronicle’s over 36 years of publication — images that illustrate intriguing human interest stories and community events that have defined recent decades. There are many familiar faces and photos of major events that have taken place in our region. The exhibit also includes some of the infamous April Fools front pages (remember the bridge across Lake George?).

Here’s one of the signature photos, taken by me, while aloft at the Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival.

The dragon's view. Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival

The dragon’s view at the Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival

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A visit to Rockwell Museum & lunch at Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Mass.

Although my husband and I have been in Stockbridge, Mass., many times, we never made a point of visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum there until this September. We both enjoyed the museum so much that we wondered out loud why it had taken us so long to get there.

Exterior of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Mass.

Exterior of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Mass.

We also had an excellent lunch at the Red Lion Inn, the classic New England lodging in the center of town.

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Ale or cider? Stopping by Washington County breweries

By Sandra Hutchinson

During the past two weekends, we’ve taken leisurely rides in Washington County and ended up partaking in some local brews — craft ales at R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery in the sleepy town of Hebron, and hard ciders at Slyboro Ciderhouse, at Hicks Orchard, near Granville. In both spots, we ran into some old friends who were doing exactly the same thing we were—enjoying both the glorious late summer weather and the small batch, locally produced libations.

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Our group tried the ale samplers at R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.

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Books & antiques in Hebron, NY—at the 1786 Wilson Homestead

By Sandra Hutchinson

If you’re really looking for a day away from your 21st century demands, technology and chatter, take a drive out to  Hebron, NY, in bucolic Washington County. At 1117 Chamberlin Mills Road, our dear friends Sally and Joe Brillon sell used books and an assortment of antiques in their 18th century barn, which just happens to be adjacent to their impeccably restored 1786 home. Click here for a link to the 1786 Wilson Homestead Facebook page.

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Sally and Joe Brillon have converted a barn at their 1786 Wilson Homestead in Hebron, NY, into a shop chock-full of old books and antiques.

While the book browser will find some fiction among the stacks, the shop’s focus is decidedly non-fiction. Indeed, Sally describes the shop as offering “non-fiction for the curious.” I can literally spend hours thumbing through the books, especially since Sally and I are drawn to similar themes— American and regional history; art, design and architecture; cooking; England and the British Isles; and descriptions of distant lands. It was at the Wilson Homestead where I found books on the history of Petra, in Jordan, before my family visited there earlier this year.

The shop includes an assortment of antiques, including framed prints, small furniture items, hand-woven antique coverlets, ceramics and hand-forged iron items. The Brillons also offer a selection of  architectural salvage pieces they’ve acquired during their restoration projects, in a separate part of the barn.

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Sally Brillon loves interacting with book browsers at her atmospheric shop. She will insist you have a homemade cookie.

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