Susan’s Caffeine Tour June 2019 – Franklin

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Bea’s in Franklin

Could there possibly be better news than when a great new coffee shop opens in your own home town?

No. There really couldn’t.

Bea’s opened its doors in Franklin right after Memorial Day and it’s already hard to imagine how we got along with it until now.

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Bea’s has another location in Bovina, but the opening of two new shops in Franklin also brought along a Franklin version of that well-loved cafe, and Franklin has become even more wonderful because of it.

No longer need we drive to Delhi for a great cup of coffee and a scone. We’ve got ’em right here at Bea’s. I’d have taken a picture of the scone when it was all pretty and stuff, but it looked too good. I ate it.  Scones are irresistible.

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Scones….ahhhhh.

KB, who likes scones but not to the level of addiction, had an egg sandwich. Freshly baked ciabatta bread, a buttery egg, your choice of add-ons. He was very, very happy.

Who else is new in town? Sean Scherer’s Kabinett & Kammer  for one. It’s a very hip, very cool curiosity shop – vintage items displayed in unexpected combinations. Think antique meets artistic sensibility. This isn’t your mom’s antique shop.

And right beside them all at 422 Main is Gary Graham at 422, a place you have to explore and investigate to really begin to understand. Graham is a fashion designer, I suppose, but in reality he tells stories with clothes. And they’re my kind of stories. A bit macabre, a little melancholy. He combines historical fact with fictional characters, uses vintage fabric patterns  and fabrics, or newly woven copies of vintage fabrics, to create clothes that evoke an event or a mood. That sheer overdress made out of what looked, to my untrained eye, like organza, had a price tag on it that seemed out of place away from Graham’s former Tribeca location. But then I read what inspired it….a double suicide in the Delaware River known as the Ophelia drownings…two young men persuaded to dress up in diaphanous gowns and drown themselves by a charismatic madman. Graham has another collection inspired by the Bedheads…a group of young locals who terrorized their neighbors and may have committed a murder.

I admit it — I have a macabre streak. So I’m loving this stuff.

If you have a macabre streak, too, come visit Franklin. Check out Gary Graham at 422.

And after you grab coffee at Bea’s go next door to Franklin Durable Goods at 438 Main Street. Neil and Tom currently have a truly disturbing collection of wax death masks for sale. Disturbing in the best way possible. Or perhaps you’d like a collection of porcelain baby doll faces. I have twelve, and I have not yet decided what to do with them. They creep me out in a very good way.

And then you can explore racks and racks of vintage clothes to create your own slightly dark fashion statement.

When you’re done, it’s a short walk back down Main St. to Blue Farm Antiques and Letterpress Printing. Whatever you find there won’t be there long. Phil has an amazing eye and things fly out of his shop.

And if it’s time for a serious meal, never forget The Tulip & The Rose, Franklin’s creative and welcoming food hub. The menu is varied and delicious and if you want to meet this town’s artists, here’s where you’ll find them at meal time.

Franklin – come for the New England-y charm, stay for the weirdness.

 

Don’t Sell Until You’re Ready

Preparation is everything. If you want to sell your home and you want top dollar, you have to do some work first.

I have a story to tell you.

What you see below are pictures of a very sweet old farmhouse in Davenport that went on the market in very early spring. It was listed with another agent for a year and it didn’t sell. It didn’t show much, either.

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When I met the owner and toured the house, I saw a ton of potential, but it was buried under stuff. One main room, the one pictured on the right below, was full of furniture but clearly was used for storage. The downstairs bath had no door, just a curtain.

I went through, room by room, and suggested rearranging furniture, removing excess items. He promised he’d do it.

This seller was as good as his word. He rearranged even that extra room to look open, bright and livable. He hung a bathroom door. He spruced up the outside and the pictures we got looked warm and inviting. It’s not fancy, certainly, but it looks about as good as it can look in its current reality. It’s charming.

We got a lot of showings, fast. We got an offer, too. It’s still in negotiation, so we shall see if we get to closing. But I’m not worried. This is a sweet place, a perfect little Catskills homestead with outbuildings and lots of land. It shows well. It’ll sell.

I didn’t train as an interior designer, but I’ve shown and sold enough houses to know what looks good and what photographs well. It’s an added value an experienced Realtor brings to a seller…a lot of us have picked up that skill.

But some places need even a bit more of an expert eye. This place, for example.

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It’s a stunner, no doubt about it. It sets on a hillside, looking a bit like a luxury liner. Designed by a prominent architect for an equally prominent writer, the interior was intended to be reminiscent of a Swedish farmhouse. A really big Swedish farmhouse.

That meant long, long expanses of natural wood wainscotting. A palette of browns and tans.

It was on the market for years. When I got the listing, I knew we needed color. But this one needed my expert – Kate Burnell Interiors and Design. Kate came in and proposed a soft palette of blues and greens in a couple of rooms that softened everything, made it more welcoming and warm.

She also swapped out some blah overhead lighting for something updated and interesting.

It sold.

If you want to sell your home, look at it critically. Look for the flaws. Look for the assets. And ask yourself how to minimize the first and maximize the second. Shortcuts here are shortchanging only you. Call in an expert if you just aren’t sure. But do it.

Remember that buyers walk in a property hoping to fall in love. But they’re not easy. You’ve got to win them over. Wow them and you’ve got a sale.

Do the work. Make your home irresistible.

 

Want to see what’s for sale in the western Catskills and beyond? Come visit my website at upstatecountryrealty.com. Sign up for our monthly newsletter and don’t miss a thing!

 

Susan’s Upstate Caffeine Tour- Stop One

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This is Hoppie’s. It’s in the little town of Oxford, overlooking the village square. It’s a cafe/diner/community gathering spot.

It’s great. Let me explain why:

First, let’s talk about colors.

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Hoppie’s gets colors. They have got the most glorious selection of blue and red and etched glass I’ve seen in a long time. And they augment with some very cool blue light bulbs. So right off the bat, you know these people have a personality.

Next, let’s talk about pies.

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I really like pie. A lot. I don’t eat a ton of it, because I’m always trying to be conscious of what I’m eating (and is that ever tiresome!) but I never fail to delight in a place that has an assortment of pies.  Look at that picture. Hoppie’s does pies.

And then let’s talk about the setting. Oxford, NY.

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This is Chenango County, between Binghamton and Albany, northwest of Delhi, for you Hudson Valley types. It’s not booming. But this town square is something really special, the setting for the Oxford Academy, their town school, is glorious, and there are little parks and boulevards scattered all over town. It has charm.

Yes, reader, I am smitten. If I wasn’t already madly in love with my own town (Franklin) and my childhood crush (Cherry Valley) I’d be wondering why we didn’t live there.

Prices are incredibly good, too. Good news for buyers, even if it’s a bit sad for sellers. But we know where we are, here in central New York. Brooklyn, for the most part, hasn’t found us yet. They’re going to be wild about us when they do.

Now — on to the coffee and the food. Breakfast all day, people. Need I say more? My sweetie ordered a pancake and was warned that it was as big as a plate. “Bring it on,” said he, and proceeded to polish it off along with eggs and home fries.

The coffee comes in a mug that the waitress dubbed “too small”, so she visited frequently for free refills. And we sat at a table by the window and played peek a boo with a toddler who found us pretty intriguing.

Hoppie’s rates a five out of five on the Caffeine Tour rating system I just invented. Hey, it’s my tour, I get to set the system and do the scoring.

Ambience, friendly folks, great setting, great coffee and good food. The stained glass put them over the top. I admit it.