Merry Christmas from the Lost Tribe of Rudolf

IMG_2195What comes to mind is Naughty? or Nice?…”So long farewell, afweider (never mind, leave it at so long farewell…) the Von Trapp Reindeer….and Little Women gone mad. But they’re our Hilltop House girls…our grandchildren, and they’re here to wish you a Merry Christmas from all of us! We are ever so grateful to have joy in the bed and breakfast in whatever form it’s packaged. Remember to enjoy your holiday, and try to find a little Peace in between the crazy pace that this time of year can sometimes bring on.


Amenia’s Restaurant Renovation … Yea!

We saw it all abuzz down the street, the re-renovation of the corner restaurant. The previous restaurant rendition had not made it long, and Amenia was ready for something snappy to come our way. So along with the good news about Silo Ridge–which we’ll do next time, not this one–we got our own green and red Christmas present in the form of Monte’s Local Kitchen and Tap Room.


Monte'sBarNot a half mile away, down the hill (of Hilltop House) where Depot Hill abutts to Rte. 343; it’s very easy to walk to from our Bed and Breakfast. So now our guests without vehicles have someplace to go for dinner meals!

As merchants in town, with  a following, we were graciously invited to Monte’s opening party, which was filled with lots of city folk friends. (Their other restaurant is in Montauk at the trendy end of Long Island)  Utilizing as much local produce and meat as possible, they serve “Garden” Plates and “Small Plate” offerings. There was a fair amount of seafood too!!  It seemed to us that maybe this would be a great place to park ourselves for a little holiday table. We wish our new neighbors a roaring success. Welcome to the Webatuck Line terminus and the Oblong Valley!!!

Oh yes, they post their menu on line–Open Wed-Sun 5 to 10PM. “Brought to you by the Monte Family and Executive Chef Dafna Mizrahi.”




Triple Scoops (and we’re not talking Ice Cream)

Big News!!!! In case you haven’t heard, we have lots going on in this neck of the woods (Amenia, our home town)! We seem to be coming out of the doldrums of economic tailspin, and this eastern side of the Hudson Valley is going to be hopping in no time. We hope, knock on wood, etc., etc., etc.

For a long time now, Silo Ridge, was a dream of a golf course and resort center that didn’t come true. It lay fallow on the side of the ridge that is topped off by Rte. 44 leaving town and goes up and over west to Millbrook. Every so often a maintenance crew would trim the long grass, or baling occasionally but that was what it was, maintenance. And all of the Amenia-ites were heartened at first, then came to shaking their heads collectively when they drove by.

Let’s go for the history aspect: The old inhabitants hoped Silo Ridge would be a revival for the town. You see, Amenia once was a famous vacation spot—with city folk coming up for their summers—until the dam burst (literally) and the topography around the resort community was changed for good.

According to sources, the old turn to the nineteenth century resort period of Amenia saw crowded streets—how crowed was it? (cymbal crash) Why it was so bad that there wasn’t room for every one to walk. The DeLaverge Farms Hotel was a grand spectacle of a place, and that same said ridge of Rte 44 went by the name of the DeLaverge Hill. Then in the early 20s Lake Amenia—when there was a lake, came and went away, don’t ask me, go to this site for the whole scoop, well researched and with pictures; Lake Amenia was developed, and around it other competing developments sprung up. Subsequently, the 1955 Hurricane named Diane, poured the burgeoning lake water out of the unmanaged dam and all over Wassaic and Amenia. Widespread destruction. People left. Jump ahead; more stuff happened. The movie house burned down, merchants closed up shop, enrollment fell in the school system, the myriad hotels are no more.

Maybe the only good thing in those many calamitous years was that Metro North put the terminus to the commuter train line thru to our Southern border in Wassaic. It’s a good place for us, since many folks come up to visit on the train from New York City. And I think there’ll be a few more people coming–stay tuned for this 3 part story! (And don’t let the season get you down. It’s meant to be joyful, so if it’s bugging you, find a way to be happy in spite of others’ expectations.)

Next segment: The New Silo Ridge Plan—see you in a couple.