Showing Off. I love it when friends who've never been to Peekskill come to visit, so I was very excited to host my best friend from high school, Ann Szypulski, who lives in Laurens, SC. She was up north to attend a library conference in Philadelphia and decided to train it up here for a few days. I wanted her to see why I love living here and Peekskill came through.
She got here on Sunday evening, and we walked a block to Birdsall House for dinner. The next morning we walked two blocks for breakfast at the Beanrunner. Then, since she's a library director, I thought Ann might enjoy seeing the Field Library (two blocks away). We walked in, and although I hadn't called ahead, I asked if Sibyl Canaan, the library's director (and a friend), might be available to say hello to a librarian visiting from South Carolina. Not only did Sibyl say hello, but she graciously took us in her office and she and Ann talked for a half hour about all sorts of library stuff.
After lunch at La Villetta (half a block away) we went to see Brooke McGowan's show of her Occupy Wall Street-influenced paintings and photographs at Brooke's loft (one block away). While some might consider Brooke's work politically extreme, you can't deny her passion and her artistic skill at expressing it. As a democrat living in an extremely red state, Ann found Brooke's work very refreshing and said that you would never see anything like it in SC.
We left Brooke's and crossed the street to SoundPainter Studios, where my friend Brian D. Taylor played us demos of new music he's written and arranged for Daisy Jopling and for singer/songwriter (and Salvation Army Director) Chaka.
After that I had four patients, so Ann had to entertain herself for a while. I cooked dinner and we made an early night of it because we had big plans for the next morning - a hike! But in the morning it was raining, so instead we drove up the Hudson, stopping in Garrison and Beacon and finally ending up at the FDR Library and Museum in Hyde Park. We came home via the Culinary Institute of America, where we had a late lunch. We got back in time to hang out for a while with Alexis Cole before heading to the home of Inge Dube, of Driftwood Gallery, for an intimate dinner party.
I put Ann on the train the next morning, after a nice stroll along the riverfront. It was a whirlwind couple of days. I wish she could've stayed longer. She only got a tiny slice of what Peekskill has to offer. After she got home she told me that while Philadelphia was nice, the best part of her trip was PEEKSKILL!