Labor Day. The end of an exceptional summer in Cooperstown. Dare we say exceptional? Yes we can, despite the ominous glooms of COVID and recent blooms of algae.
Our Main Street businesses are still here. They may not have had their best summer, and they may still be sadly short-handed, but they are proudly displaying their wares and energetically inviting shoppers into their establishments. The Hall of Fame reopened its doors for Induction Weekend, welcoming pre-COVID crowds for a celebratory salute to the national pastime. Baseball fans swarmed the streets, and the Village was clean within hours. Doubleday Field is refurbished and Dreams Park is back. Our Village is alive.
The third floor of The Smithy Gallery & Clay Studio doubles this summer as a time tunnel back to the era of the Great Depression with the magnificent exhibition American Ideals: Picturing Otsego County in 1937, on display through September 3 at 55 Pioneer Street in Cooperstown.
It’s a project that began in 2016 when Dr. Cynthia Falk and students from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Lynds Jones, Kim McCleary, Kimberly Rose, and Alex Sniffen, researched pictures from September 1937, when the federal Farm Security Administration sent young photographer Arthur Rothstein to Otsego County to document the construction of a new lumber mill under construction in Phoenix Mills. Mr. Rothstein was at the beginning of a decades-long career as a photojournalist – one best remembered, perhaps, for his stirring images of the Dust Bowl – but it’s his work from a brief stay in Otsego County that make up the images now on display at The Smithy.
“This is 1937 Otsego County,” Dr. Falk said. “The Farm Security Administration sent Arthur Rothstein up here to document the Phoenix Mills project that many saw as the thing that would save farmers in Otsego County during the Great Depression. Hops were not doing so well and there were a lot of people in need.”
Main Street was the place to be this evening a little around 4 p.m. as the Cooperstown community celebrated the Cooperstown Boys Varsity Soccer team. Cooperstown, Fly Creek, fire department and emergency squads as well as the county Sheriff were all represented in the parade carrying the boys on a circuit down Chestnut St., Main Street, and River Street.
Braving the chilly weather and a delay caused by an afternoon thunderstorm to play in the NYS final 4, the boys nevertheless met a staunch opponen in the Alexander Hamilton boys soccer team and were defeated 4-0.
Larissa Ryan Business Manager Upstate Bar & Grill
Conveniently located just outside of Cooperstown on State Route 28, the Upstate Bar & Grill is an excellent restaurant offering American-style dining.
It’s also a great place to catch a sports game on the televisions throughout the restaurant and bar area.
The food offerings include steak, salmon and everything in between.
I recently ordered the Cobb salad and enjoyed its toppings of bacon, corn, egg, avocado and honey mustard. The egg, corn and bacon made for a rich blend of flavor and texture that I will definitely be ordering again.
Upstate Bar & Grill 5418 State Route 28 Cooperstown www.upstatebarandgrill.com 607-282-4225
Tara Barnwell Publisher Golden Guernsey Ice Cream
The Golden Guernsey in Oneonta is so much summertime fun!
Like eating dessert first, here you have to start with the fries! They are fried to golden perfection. Get them loaded with bacon and cheese sauce.
I tried a hotdog that I’d never had before, the Texas hot, with raw onions, homemade Texas chili and mustard. Great combination!
The ice cream selection is about the best around. They have the best hard ice cream that has bits of coconut in it, but my favorite is still the brownie with vanilla ice cream, then smothered in hot fudge sauce. You can’t go wrong with that!
Golden Guernsey Ice Cream 15 Main Street, Oneonta 607-432-7200
Greg Klein Editor Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative
I wanted to wait until after his primary election was over to say I got to visit the Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative and I am so impressed with what Dan Sullivan had put together.
Sullivan moved Upstate to buy a farm decades ago and Otsego County has been better for it ever since. His venture at 140 Main Street in one of the quaintest parts of the village, is a storefront for local foods and a showcase for local farmers. You can get pretty much anything grown locally, at the RSCFC. I remember marveling at the shelf of locally grown spices, thinking I have to come back with a proper list. You can get proteins, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of jams and local honey.
There’s prepared food, too, with specials based on the season. Watching the RSCFC Facebook page, I sometimes wish I was closer at lunchtime! Plus there are t-shirts and artwork for sale, along with books from local authors or about local history.
As I said, the Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative really blew me away and I wish every small town had something so special. If you love locally sourced food and are anywhere near the northern part of the county, you should make the trip to Richfield Springs and stop in at the food cooperative.
Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative 140 Main Street, Richfield Springs www.rscommunityfood.org 315-858-7023
Kevin Limiti Reporter Danny’s Market
I keep eating the “oh, yeah”
from Danny’s on Main Street in Cooperstown and I continue to love it. It’s a roast beef sandwich with cheese, sautéed peppers and onions, with an awesome garlic pesto dressing. This sandwich is top quality. I’m not someone that usually likes peppers but it meshes really well with their sandwich overall. They also have great Reubens.
Danny’s overall is just one of the best delis I’ve been to. Highly recommended.
Danny’s Market 92 Main Street, Cooperstown 607-547-4053
Kathleen Peters Graphic Designer Red Shed Brewery
Red Shed Brewery in the town of Middlefield is a New York State Farm Brewery, meaning they use at least 60% beer ingredients and hops grown in the state.
The food truck, just outside the bar, makes all the food onsite, also using local ingredients.
One of the best parts of eating here is that you can sit inside if the weather is uncooperative. They also have a large outdoor beer garden with plenty of seating, some under tents, some with Adirondack chairs and small tables out in the field, and great views all around.
Even better, you can bring your dog! (This is true only if they are well behaved dogs, unlike my two.)
Better still, they have live music out there sometimes.
The husband is not a fan of outdoor dining, so we sat inside, which is equally pleasant. He had the shed burger, which is a local grass-fed beef burger with American cheese and shed sauce; and a Bent Nail Black Lager.
I had the Jack’s BBQ, a grilled chicken breast with Jessica’s Red BBQ Sauce, bacon, cheddar and onion rings; and a Weathervane Farmhouse Ale.
The food menu is not all that large, but there is enough variety that you should be able to find something to suit your taste. There are a few vegetarian choices, and a mac ’n’ cheese that sounds fantastic, made with golden ale gouda cheese.
The beer menu is all that large, and there are some local wines and hard ciders as well, even Adirondack sodas, if you’re not a drinker.
Red Shed Brewery 709 County Route 33 Middlefield www.redshedbrewing.com 607-731-6454
Before reacting, the Village Board is waiting to see what the marijuana-legalization bill due to pass the state Legislature April 1 looks like.
But Trustee Mac Benton, who brought the issue before the trustees at their monthly meeting Monday, March 22, is determined to push for pot-selling “storefronts” in Baseball’s mecca, seeing it as an economic-development opportunity too good to ignore.
If the new law doesn’t give the village the authority to make the decision to sell or to manufacture marijuana products, Benton said he will encourage fellow trustees to urge the county Board of Representatives to allow the village to do so.
“It the decision goes to the county,” Benton said in a text, “I’ll urge my fellow trustees to sign onto a letter to the county strongly recommending that Otsego NOT opt out.”
According to Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, there are two bills now under consideration.