Category Archives: Food

Has This Woman Delivered the Farmers’ Market of the Future to Peekskill?

This article is part of a syndicated series written by Paul Stark and focused on the things that make Peekskill special.

Corinna with a baby chick
Corinna with a baby chick
Corinna Makris has worked hard to give Peekskill a farmers’ market that’s state of the art.

No, there’s nothing high tech about this future – no clothing with built-in internet access, no self-driving trucks filled with fresh-picked produce. Just corporate-trained business savvy, a belief in hand-to-hand capitalism and a deep understanding that a farmers’ market should be so much more than an open-air supermarket.

The Market invites you to “bee” there every Saturday
The Market invites you to “bee” there every Saturday
If you’ve been coming to The Peekskill Farmers’ Market (Facebook, Pinterest), you know what to expect and you’re starting to recognize some familiar faces. But you may not know it hasn’t always been like this, or how it was transformed. (If you haven’t been coming to the market, it’ll be Saturday morning before you know it, so c’mon by)

Market day has been a special occasion since humans invented agriculture. Not only an opportunity for all kinds of buying and selling, but a chance to meet neighbors you haven’t seen all week, or all season. Away from familiar chores and familiar faces, there can be discussions, side deals, gossip, maybe a little flirting, maybe a little celebrating. And, at a more basic level, market day is a time for everyone to celebrate their personal participation in the bounty created by the fruitful and generative earth transformed by human work and ingenuity.

So, all that is old is new again. As Ms. Makris puts it, the Market offers a “revolution in shopping: it’s possible to buy what you need directly from the person who made it.” She calls herself a practitioner of “capitalist activism,” an advocate of what might be called hand-to-hand capitalism.

And you can meet the people on the other side of those hand-to-hand transactions. You can meet some of the Wengerd family and buy produce grown on their Rolling Ridge Farm in Mifflinburg, PA. The unassuming guy who sells the Cooperstown Cheese? His award-winning cheese has been served at the White House. The hilarious guy selling meat down at the end? All his cows have names, and in his spare time he flips (buys, restores, sells) classic cars.

How did Ms Makris, a woman whose mother celebrated her blossoming maturity by giving her Saul Alinsky’s classic Rules for Radicals, pass through high-level corporate capitalism to end up running a farmers’ market in Northern Westchester? She liked her corporate work: she was good at it, a “people person” who thrived within in an environment of clearly articulated rules and goals. But her populist instincts rebelled when she saw wealthy companies looting their employees’ pension funds. How could that not be wrong? How could that not be illegal? Eventually those and other abuses made waiting tables in Hudson the more soul-preserving alternative. She soon found work in community activism, and when the chance came to manage and grow a community endeavor that doesn’t do evil, she jumped at it and became part of the unfolding history of Peekskill.

What she’s grown at the Peekskill Farmers’ Market is a win-win raised to the sixth power.

Marcy B. Freedman colorfully changing the tone
Marcy B. Freedman colorfully changing the tone
It’s marketing for Peekskill’s downtown: it entirely changes Saturday’s tone, and brings people from ever-greater distances to enjoy Peekskill and spend money here. “You have to entertain the customers while they’re here. It has to be fun. You want them to spend the day in Peekskill. Hopefully, you want them to buy a house in Peekskill.”
Peekskill citizens get to buy farm-fresh produce and other good things, while having a market day, making new friends and running into the old.

Corinna is very concerned that every single one of her vendors is happy and making enough money to make the day worth the effort (efforts like heavy lifting and getting up at two in the morning).

The entertainers make it fun for shoppers while earning new fans, maybe selling some merchandise, and leaving with some tips and some farm-fresh produce.

Community organizations (the Cornell Extension Master Gardener, the City of Peekskill 75th Anniversary Committee, HVCCA’s Peekskill Project are visible to a broad cross section of our community.

And there’s even jobs, jobs, jobs. Some vendors hire locally. If you’re interested, Corinna can hook you up with whoever’s hiring. And while we’re at it, volunteering for the market will not only make you feel glad all over, but will look great on your resume.

And the market supports Local Living Economies both here, and in all the places within the 250 mile radius food shed that sends us the fruits of their lands and people. (Learn more about Local Living Economies at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, and around these parts, check out Re>Think Local. And Scott Tillett, founder of Re>Think Local, has also stepped into the stream of Peekskill history, as I detailed here.)

Farm Fresh from Eight Mile Creek
Farm Fresh from Eight Mile Creek
Some important facts. The market operates under the auspices of Peekskill’s Business Improvement District. The theory, borne out in fact, being that the rising tide created by the Market will lift all boats in the district. But the Market doesn’t cost anyone anything: it’s not only self-supporting, but turns a profit. Some people believe City of Peekskill tax money is spent on the market – not true; in fact, the City gets paid by the Market for street closure.
There’s no electioneering at the market, but that doesn’t make it politician-free. “It’s a good place for elected officials to be seen – it’s neutral territory,” Corinna explains, “Everybody wants Peekskill to be a good place to live.”

Another win-win in the market’s six-dimensional win-win universe: Quirk Shop Peekskill (Facebook), a retail co-op for designers is slated to open on North Division in August. It will be curated by Jeorjia Shea, a designer whose work flew off the shelves when she was a vendor at the market. She’ll be representing other independent designers and providing gallery space for local artists.

I’m grateful that the Farmers’ Market is part of my Peekskill, and I see lots of grateful, happy Peekskillians (as many as 1,500 per market day) getting farm-fresh produce and so very much more every Saturday morning. Maybe I’ll see you there one of these Saturdays.

9th annual peekskill jazz and blues festival — July 25, 2015

peekskill-jazz-blues-festivalThere will be dancing in the streets once again as Peekskill presents the 9th Annual Peekskill Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday, July 25th. There are twelve restaurants participating as well as Arts & Craft vendors.
The Main Stage is located on North Division Street at Park & Central.

4:00 – The Lagond All-Stars, from The Lagond School of Music in Elmsford – Jazz with a Funky Groove
5:00 – Ray Blue, Award-winning Jazz saxophonist – Jazz & African Fusion
6:10 – Cocomama – An all-female Multi-cultural Jazz Orchestra
7:30 – Johnny Feds – New York Blues Hall of Fame Inductee
8:50 – Slam Allen – New York Blues Hall of Fame Master Musician

Presented by The Downtown Business Associates (DBA) of Peekskill, sponsored by the Peekskill BID and other proud supporters.

More happenings around town

What’s up Peekskill? — Second to last weekend in July edition.

For recurring events, please scroll to the bottom.

Thursday, July 16th

• Wine Dinner
a special 5 course menu that will be paired with 5 wines from Dylan’s Wine Cellar
@ Gleason’s – 7:00 pm

• Live Band Karaoke
with Host JP Patrick
@ 12 Grapes – 8:30 pm

• Steve Chizmadia
@ Birdsall House – 9:00 pm

• Comedy Night
@ The Hudson Room – 8:00 pm

Friday, July 17th

• Harry Rios, & the Nippy Thieves
@ 12 Grapes – 9:30 pm

• Nelson Riveros Latin-Jazz Trio
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• “An Evening of Spirit”
with James Van Praagh
@ Paramount Theater – 8:00 pm

• Teri Lamar & New Company
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Saturday, July 18th

9th house
• The Ninth House
in the beer garden
@ Birdsall House – 7:00 pm

• Firefly & Fairy Festival
@ Depew Park – 5:00 pm

• STAX of Soul
@ 12 Grapes – 9:30 pm

• Slide Attack
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• Wynonna & The Big Noise
@ Paramount Theater – 8:00 pm

• Little Larry Jr. & The Squall
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Sunday, July 19th

PB Sunday Fundays
• Sunday Funday
outside with live music from The Unfunded Mandate
@ The Peekskill Brewery – 4:30 – 7:30 pm

• KIDS Open Mic Night!
@ 12 Grapes – 6:00 – 8:00 pm

• Simon Boyer
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Ongoing Summer Events:

• Peekskill Farmers’ Market
@ Bank Street in Peekskill – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Every Saturday.

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• Hudson River Cruises on the Tour Boat Evening Star
@ The Riverfront Green – 11:00 am; 7:00 pm Sunset Cruise

• Peekskill Riverfront Summer Concert Series
@ The Riverfront Green

• Downtown Peekskill Music Series
@ North Division Street

• Sunday Funday Music Series
@ The Peekskill Brewery – 4:30 – 7:30 pm

What’s Up Peekskill – The second weekend in July Edition

For recurring envents, please scroll to the bottom.

Thursday, July 9th

• Indie Pop Rock
with Heather LaRose, and Ryder Stuart
@ 12 Grapes – 8:00 pm

• Don Lowe
@ Birdsall House – 9:00 pm

• Swing Night
@ The Hudson Room – 8:00 pm

Friday, July 10th

• The Soul Man from New York!
with Bobby Harden
@ 12 Grapes – 9:30 pm

• The Gerry Cruz Project
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• Cruise Control
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Saturday, July 11th

• A day of portraits and a music performance by Kristina Koller
@ The Peekskill Farmers Market – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

• The Compact
in the beer garden
@ Birdsall House – 7:00 pm

• Tasty Guitar Playing
with “Tasty Mike” & the Mike Murphy Quartet
@ 12 Grapes – 9:30 pm

• Big Boss Bossa Nova
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• Blues Buddha
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Sunday, July 12th

• Hudson River Cruises on the Tour Boat Evening Star
@ The Riverfront Green – 11:00 am; 3:00 pm Sangria & Salsa Cruise

PB Sunday Fundays
• Sunday Funday
outside with live music from the Kevin Myers Band
@ The Peekskill Brewery – 4:30 – 7:30 pm

• Swing Band Sunday!
with Greg Westhoff’s Westchester Swing Band
@ 12 Grapes – 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Ongoing Summer Events:
• Peekskill Farmers’ Market
@ Bank Street in Peekskill – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Every Saturday.

trinity_1
• Hudson River Cruises on the Tour Boat Evening Star
@ The Riverfront Green – 11:00 am; 7:00 pm Sunset Cruise

• Peekskill Riverfront Summer Concert Series
@ The Riverfront Green

• Downtown Peekskill Music Series
@ North Division Street

• Sunday Funday Music Series
@ The Peekskill Brewery – 4:30 – 7:30 pm

What’s up Peekskill? Independence Day Edition

Thursday, July 2nd

• Open Mic Night
with host Jess Erick
@ 12 Grapes – 8:30 pm

• Dan Lavoie
@ Birdsall House – 9:00 pm

Friday, July 3rd

• Sailing Stone
@ 12 Grapes – 9:30 pm

• Salsa Night with Orchestra Pastrana!
@ Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• Base Camp
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Saturday, July 4th – Independence Day

Fireworks
• Fireworks at Peekskill’s Riverfront Green Park
when it gets dark!

• The Blues Dogs
@ 12 Grapes – 10:30 pm

• David Kraai
in the Beer Garden
@ Birdsall House – 7:00 pm

• Harry Rios and The Nippy Thieves
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Sunday, July 5th

• Drew and Selena Bordeaux Unplugged
@ 12 Grapes – 6:30 – 8:30 pm

What’s Up Peekskill? Lots of great stuff!

Thursday, June 25

• JP Patrick and Friends
@ 12 Grapes – 8:30 pm

• The Gold Hope Duo
@ Birdsall House – 9:30 pm

• Salsa Night
@ The Hudson Room – 8:00 pm

Friday, June 26

• Fred Gillen Jr.
@ The Peekskill Coffee House – 7:00 pm

• Thrown Together Band
@ 12 Grapes – 9:30 pm

• Alexis Cole Ensemble
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• Antonio Ciacca Solo Piano
@ Division Street Grill – 7:00 pm

• Phineas and the Lonley Leaves
@ Birdsall House – 10:00 pm

• Big Onion
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Saturday, June 27

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• Paramount 85th Anniversary featuring The Marshall Tucker Band
@ The Paramount – 8:00 pm

• Trout Cake
@ The Peekskill Coffee House – 7:00 pm

• Shunzo Ohno
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 8:00 pm

• Bucky Pizzarelli & Jerry Bruno
@ Division Street Grill – 7:30 pm & 9:15 pm

• The Flynns
@ Birdsall House – 7:00 pm – in the beer garden

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• Dirty Stay Out
@ The Hudson Room – 10:00 pm

Sunday, June 28

• Lou Urbonco
@ The Peekskill Coffee House – 1:00 pm

• Elaine Romanelli
@ The Beanrunner Cafe – 4:00 pm