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Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
It’s Spring, despite the evidence. We know … Memorial Day Weekend required slogging through ankle-deep mud into the teeth of horizontal rain, like characters from The Road, in order to warm your frosty digits round a bowl of Nettle Soup. But that’s behind us now. Promise.
It goes like this. Hades, God of the Underworld, is noodling along a trail on the slopes of Mount Olympus, all sprightly in lederhosen-mit-alpenstock, when he spies Persephone, daughter of Demeter (Goddess of the Harvest), picking wild flowers: Tess of the D’Urbervilles meets The Sound of Music. He abducts her, naturally. Demeter, distraught, wanders the face of the earth seeking her stolen child: it is revealed to her by Helios, the Sun, that Hades has Persephone duct-taped in the basement. She appeals to Zeus to intervene. He refuses (it’s messy). Demeter downs her trowel and secateurs and the concept of Harvest vanishes, plunging the world into famine, jeopardizing the existence of mankind. Zeus relents; Hades is compelled to release his captive, Demeter and Persephone are reunited, eternal Winter ceases. Only later does it transpire that Persephone, peckish in the Underworld, ate one of Hades’ pomegranate seeds; an act which (rather astonishingly) grants him first dibs to take her as his wife for a third of every year. During which Demeter mourns, nothing grows: Winter. When Persephone trots back upstairs: Spring.
Delaware County appears to have tweaked the myth slightly, keeping Persephone locked up for two thirds of the year. But imagine the carnival of ecstasies when she emerges onto our rolling, grassy meadows.
With Spring comes change. And Table on Ten is burgeoning with it. Some green shoots are those we’d hoped for; others, exciting and unanticipated.
We have rooms. Sweet, comfortable spaces for you and your people to stay in. Two beautiful, bookable rooms, above the café. The biggest is the entire attic floor of the building, windows on all sides. Some look out on the life of the village, others at the hills. Then there’s a cosier room on the second floor, facing north and east. Both come with a good bottle of wine, glasses and hand-made beds. Both afford guests the unique opportunity of staying in a small, unpretentious Catskills village, dipping their toes into the unique stream of life that rolls alongside Table on Ten. The food and wine, the events, workshops, spontaneous happenings, comings and goings of friends, neighbours, producers: be the first to munch on Burnett Farms greens, plucked moments before, just two miles up the road. Sample the special pizzas, soups, pies before they’ve even hit the table. Offer up new tunes for the Table iPods. Or just sit in the café and watch the slow world turn. We can point you at hiking trails, swimming holes, farms and farmstands, places to ride horses or bicycles, dawdle downstream in a tube or kayak, antique shops, yard sales, other places to eat, drink, run, skip or just sit and stare. Many ways to be part of the community of Table on Ten whilst still being able to retreat up the stairs, like Persephone.
Lucky, this point in time and space
Is chosen as my working-place,
Where the sexy airs of summer,
The bathing hours and the bare arms,
The leisured drives through a land of farms
Are good to a newcomer.
Equal with colleagues in a ring
I sit on each calm evening
Enchanted as the flowers
The opening light draws out of hiding
With all its gradual dove-like pleading,
Its logic and its powers:
That later we, though parted then,
May still recall these evenings when
Fear gave his watch no look;
The lion griefs loped from the shade
And on our knees their muzzles laid,
And Death put down his book.
Summer is a-comin’ in. You can hear it on the tiny lips of blackflies as they burrow into the hairline at the back of your neck. We have gorged on ramps and swum outdoors in early May: auguries of the glorious months to come.
The journey along Route 17 to celebrate the launch of OSMOS Magazine was like a reverse time-lapse offensive through the Northern Front of Spring. What began with branches in Bloomville ended with teeming, emerald foliage in Crown Heights, as we unloaded buckets of Table-made wild ramp, chicken and mushroom pie filling from the VW and muscled them up the stairs to Emily and Melissa Elsen’s test kitchen.
Because what better way to celebrate the unveiling of our collaboration with Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Henrik Knudsen and Christian Rattemeyer – the ‘How To Make a Pie’ story – than, well … to make a pie. Or better still, a hundred of ’em. 100 hand-made, hand-numbered (by lamplight till 2 in the morning) Catskill Pies set on a bed of Delaware County moss. With our friends at Four & Twenty Blackbirds and a couple of bottles of rosé; shot like a bolt of love to the heart of the Lower East Side.
We even made it into the catalogue. Because there’s $4500 Art that thrills the eye and there’s free Art that fills the belly. Make way for the backwoods homebirth of Art You Eat ©. W.H. Auden lived at 77 St Mark’s Place for 19 years and spent much of his time padding round the East Village in carpet slippers. It’s warming to imagine him wandering into OSMOS Gallery, lighting a cigarette and resting his lion griefs for a few minutes, their muzzles flecked with the buttery crumbs of Catskill wild ramp, chicken and mushroom pies.
May 12, 2013. Posted in Events, Inspirers, Journeys, Press. Tags: Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Christian Rattemeyer, Emily Elsen, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, Henrik Knudsen, Melissa Elsen, OSMOS, W.H. Auden, Wild Ramp Chicken & Mushroom Pie.