News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Green Toad Bookstore

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, MAY 18
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, MAY 18

Party For Pridefest

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MARDI GRAS – 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fundraiser for Oneonta Pridefest. Enjoy a fabulous party with appetizers from Humphrey’s, beads and masks, a photo booth, raffles, and more. Admission, $5. Humphrey’s, 437 Main St., Oneonta. Info, www.facebook.com/events/393988020988511/

WRITERS SALON – 7:30-9 p.m. Opens with an open mic followed by a presentation from author of the month, Jake Wolff. Community Arts Network of Oneonta. Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Info, www.canoneonta.org/calendar/

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB. 25
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, FEB. 25

Conservation Training

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CONSERVATION TRAINING – Noon-3 p.m. Learn to map stands of Eastern Hemlock to volunteer with conservation services in the effort to counter the spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Free, registration required. Mohican Farm, 7195 State Route 80, Cooperstown. Info, occainfo.org/calendar/hemlock-woolly-adelgid-finding-hemlock-stands/ or call (607) 282-4087

OPERA – 12:55 p.m. “Rusalka.” The Met streaming live in HD. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Cost $18/seniors, $20/adults, 10/students. Season pass $200. Box Office: (607)431-2080, foothillspac.org/index.php/shows/metropolitan-opera-in-hd/

PLAY READING – 6:30 p.m. Reading of “Memorial Night” by local playwright Jonathon Ward. Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium, 5798 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info, www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOV. 19
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOV. 19

Santa Parade Today

In Downtown Oneonta

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To Learn How You Can Help Area Families This Holiday Season CLICK HERE.

ONEONTA SANTA PARADE – 11 a.m., Main Street, Oneonta. For more info visit the FACEBOOK page.

CRAFT SHOW – 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fox Care Center, 1 Foxcare Dr, Oneonta

GINGERBREAD CONTEST – Noon-3 p.m. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. signedevents.com/united-states/oneonta/gingerbread-contest/ , (607)432-2941

PAINTING CONTEST – 10 a.m. 3rd annual winter windowland painting contest. Enter, vote, or spectate. Main St., Richfield Springs, Info, www.richfieldspringschamber.org/

WORKSHOP – 9 a.m.-noon Learn to Sew a decorator style pillow with $5 fee. Cooperative Extension Center-Schoharie, 173 South Grand St., Suite 1, Cobleskill. Info, registrations, (518) 234-4303, ext. 121, cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2016/11/19/4-h-sewing-workshop

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SHOPPING LOCAL WITH LIBBY: IN STORES, SURPRISES

Shopping Local With Libby: In Stores, Surprises

by Libby Cudmore • allotsego.com

Edition of Thursday-Friday, Nov. 4-5, 2014

Who would have thought a calendar could be such a fun gift? I almost want to keep this  Edward Gorey one for myself! (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Who would have thought a calendar could be such a fun gift? I almost want to keep this
Edward Gorey one for myself! (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

Scoring a bargain online may be a thrill to some, but it’s nothing compared to the fun of going into a shop in downtown Oneonta and finding that perfect gift.

Especially if it’s a gift you didn’t even know you were going to buy.

That’s exactly how I felt when I walked into the Green Toad Bookstore and spotted “Everything I Need To Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book.” It was perfect for my grandmother, who read many, many Golden Books to me and my sisters as we were growing up.

And sure, I could have found it online – if I’d known it existed – and had it shipped to my mailbox, but really, where’s the fun in that?

“Shopping locally is fun,” said Jim Havener, the new owner of the Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main, as he wrapped up my purchase in festive paper. “I had a customer come in earlier and who told me she was buying here instead of at Barnes & Nobel because it made her feel like she was part of the community.”

I’ll confess, I’m not one for planning what I want to buy as gifts. I like to look around, and find something so unexpected that I can just imagine the look on my friend’s face as they open it.

And Oneonta, it seems, is the place to do just that.

At Razzle Dazzle, 248 Main, every inch floor-to-ceiling is packed with nifty-gifties, from kitchen gadgets to wooly gloves to kid’s toys. “We come here for the kitchen stuff,” said Mary Southern, Oneonta. “You find things in here that you can’t find anywhere else!”

Like the cute Anne Taintor “You Be Thelma, I’ll Be Louise” socks that screamed my friend Liz’s name, or the beautiful purses owner Debbie North knits by hand. “I labor over them and each one is one-of-a-kind,” she said. “People ask, ‘why don’t you sell them on Etsy?’ But I want to see who buys them. I was given a gift of creativity, and it’s not for me to hold on to.”

(Is it still Christmas shopping if you buy a present for yourself?)

Handmade, local and vintage are the biggest trend in both Oneonta and across the country. “You can’t find vintage pins like these in stores anymore,” said Cindy Staffin, owner of Transitions Boutique, 4 Deitz St., who had a whole display of vintage rhinestone broaches. “People come in looking for older pieces like this.”

“I have one just like this,” said Kathy Polley, a Transitions’ clerk, pointing to a glittery red and gold Christmas tree pin. “I bought it at Bresees’, and I still have it.”

And although Bresees’ was gone before I arrived in Oneonta eight years ago, I could still recreate some of the experience by going into Theresa’s Emporium, 155 Main, including passing by the old turnstile Chip Klugo, who redeveloped the former department store into shops and apartments, has installed in the hallway.

Much of Theresa Cyzeski’s merchandise is American-made and Fair Trade, and although the Grumpy Cat plush toy I bought my niece Melody isn’t locally made, as Theresa wrapped it up for me she asked about my upcoming wedding. No one at any store in Albany or Binghamton – certainly not at a cyberstore – would know enough about me to ask. It was nice to have a conversation that didn’t consist of just “Sign the receipt” and “Have a good day.”

“Oneonta is for the unconventional,” said Anthony Robinson of The Museum Skate Shop, 201 Main. “We’ve got everything downtown.”

And as I walked to my car, arms loaded with bags, I felt very posh, like I was strolling down Fifth Avenue. But better still, I had been out in my town, talking with friends and neighbors, getting some fresh air, and taking time to explore what Oneonta really has to offer.

And that’s the kind of feeling you just can’t buy online.

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Daryl Brown Speaks at Green Toad

 James Brown’s Son At Green Toad

Promoting Book On Singing Legend

Daryl Brown, son of the musical ledgend James Brown, was at the Green Toad on Saturday promoting his new book My Father The Godfather. (Ian Austin/ allotsego.com)
Daryl Brown, son of the musical legend James Brown, speaks about his fathers’ life and legacy today at the Green Toad Bookstore, where he was promoting his new book “My Father The Godfather.” (Ian Austin/ allotsego.com)
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103