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What to Do in the Catskills

By Rich Rubin

“In the Catskills, every little town presents a different face to the world, and every turn of a corner presents a new delight.”

I start on the western end, and after a three-plus-hour drive from Philadelphia, I’m in Sullivan County and only the Delaware River separates us from Pennsylvania. My first stop: the deck of ECCE Bed & Breakfast, where the river spreads out below me, surrounded by wooded hills on either side, in 180 degrees of majesty. It’s the most spectacular view of any river I’ve ever seen anywhere (and trust me, I’ve seen a lot of river views), and I can just imagine the real estate agent taking Alan Rosenblatt and Kurt Kreider straight to the deck, and them proclaiming, “sold.” I know I would.

The rooms at ECCE are lovely, with comfy beds, large bathrooms, and a nice little writing desk, and the B&B’s breakfasts are amazing. The owners, Alan and Kurt are as welcoming a pair of hosts as you can imagine, and their story is not unusual up here, with both giving up high-power jobs in Manhattan to move to the area that had been a weekend getaway for them. After 25 years, they’ve seen some changes, from a mere “acceptance” of a gay couple to a proliferation of a community that’s made the Catskills one of the most gay-friendly regions in the country. Most of the villages’ governing boards, they tell me, have an LGBT presence. I ask Alan whether, after over a decade full-time here, he’s happy they made the move. He answers “oh yes,” without a moment’s hesitation, adding with a smile, “Did I answer that fast enough?”

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Weddings & Honeymoons in New York

Ecce Bed & Breakfast is truly remote, perched 400 feet high on a bluff over­looking the Delaware River, with stunning, scenic views. While a B&B, it feels more like an intimate boutique hotel. Expect contemporary fur­nishings in all five guestrooms, some of which have private terraces or whirlpool tubs, as well as rotating local art like paintings, sculpture, pot­tery, and some impressive antique pieces.

The 60-acre property (a former private residence from the fifties) exudes romance with a private ham­mock area and a stone cliff etched with initials and names from lovers dating back to the twenties.

Owners Kurtis S. Kreider and Alan J. Rosen­blatt (together for 26 years) are charming hosts who enjoy guests from all over the globe and have already had two commitment ceremonies in addi­tion to hosting their first same-sex wedding this month.

 

Globetrotting – The Catskills of New York

“The Catskills have long provided escape for artists and independent spirits.”

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