Escape The Everyday
Find Enchantment in Chichester, a Hamlet in Ulster County NY
There’s a hamlet in the Catskills that people from beyond the park’s borders haven’t always heard of. No, it’s not Phoenicia, the cat’s out of the bag on that one. It’s closethough. A bend in Route 214 on the way out of Phoenicia protects the special hamlet of Chichester from the gaze of the outside world. If you come around that bend, and slow down long enough to notice, you might find yourself pulling over to get a better look at this unique little enclave. Chichester was founded by the sons of the builder of the famous Catskill Mountain House, as a place for their furniture factory employees to live and work. They built 44 buildings in a style that might be unique to this little village, and regardless of its singularity, is simply enchanting.
Adding to the magic of the place is the constant sound of the Stony Clove Creek that runs along the main road, and the sight of the giant pine trees that have seen the rise, fall, and the budding rebirth of this little spot over the past century, and keep all its secrets. The hamlet is quite small. There’s a post office which shares a building with the yoga studio and a couple of artist’s shops. If you are truly looking for an escape, you may not find another spot within easy driving distance to NYC that feels like a such departure from “real life”. With Phoenicia in one direction and Hunter NY in the other, Chichester residents have easy access to great restaurants, events, skiing, hiking and biking.
Chichester is the fitting setting for Bear Cabin at 33 Grubman Road. Indeed, Bear Cabin is so special it may cross the line from magical into downright bewitching. It’s accessed via two private bridges which serve as a transition from the world outside to the world of Bear Cabin - how lovely is that? If you’re arriving on foot, you should take the romantic (and sturdy) footbridge that stretches across the Stony Clove Creek. If you’re coming via horse, bike, or car there’s a new bridge, constructed two years ago, that will take you up to the Cabin. Once you’ve arrived you may never want to leave.
Bear Cabin sits on a level 2.39 acres with really spectacular stream frontage. You could spend days on end outside, sitting on the bluestone patio reading a book to the accompaniment of the sounds of the Stony Clove Creek, tossing stones in the water, imagining you are a wood sprite who resides in the gazebo, or exploring the woods, without ever getting the urge to check Facebook. It’s that spellbinding. Inside it’s no different.
So many times when a Catskills’ cottage has been augmented it loses its flavor and charm. Other times growing pains result in an incongruous jumble of styles, and the home ceases to be the relaxing escape, and instead becomes….well….a bit unsettling. Bear Cabin is full of many flavors that have melded into a joyous elopement of style. From the clean-lined traditional kitchen to the living room with walls of windows and a warming woodstove, all the way through the river stone fireplace and live-edge wood walls, the parts of Bear Cabin add up to a whole that provides serenity and a sense of freedom. The screened-in garden room is absolutely delightful and the stone floor in the dining area is not only charming, but practical! Spill all the wine and homemade tomato sauce you like. If you are an artist, hobbyist, or telecommuter Bear Cabin even provides a means to maintain its own purity as an escape. There’s a separate studio building that can provide a space for creative endeavors, working, or working out.
Bear Cottage at 33 Grubman Road in Chichester, NY is a special place that needs to be visited to be believed. For all the details or to make an appointment to view it and be enchanted.
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