The Fight to Bring Oysters Back to the Hudson River

New York nonprofit Billion Oyster Project works to repopulate one of the Hudson River’s keystone species. Imagine strolling down to the river late one afternoon, wading in and scraping up a handful of oversized oysters, then sitting by the riverside, watching the sun set behind the Highlands, shucking and slurping and tossing your shells into…

A Hudson Valley Chef Pilots His Own Course to Seafood and Serenity

By Mike Diago (originally written for Hudson Valley Magazine) This spring, Chef Serge Madikians of Amenia-based restaurant Serevan took Hudson Valley on a stratospheric grocery-shopping trip via “Serge Air” — the small rental plane he flies to Cape Cod on sunny days for seafood. He pulled up to the Great Barrington airport in his red SUV on an early…

Chicago Style Hot Dog Recipe & Hammond Organ Jazz

Good Hammond organ jazz oozes at mid tempo, like mustard out of a bottle. You can hear the instrument’s memory filling the room; the weeds growing through the sidewalk cracks of the industrial wasteland where it was born; the soundtrack it provided for games of kick the can played under a rattling L train; the…

‘Aunt June’s Candied Yams’ Recipe & Little Richard

The music Little Richard Penniman made in the mid-fifties was a crazed jittering sugar rush—sweet candied yams with marshmallow eyeballs popping. Tutti Frutti, Lucille, and Rip it Up turned the heads of every would be flamboyant front man or woman to follow: James Brown, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Elton John; they all looked up at…

Plan the Perfect Hudson Valley Picnic

*Written for Hudson Valley Magazine Picnics are deeply ingrained in the American psyche precisely because they pair perfectly with so many of our leisurely cultural touchstones; a road trip, a Little League game, or a date in the park would fall flat without time spent on a blanket in the grass with food. That being…

Guide to Latin Restaurants in Newburgh During the COVID-19 Crisis (and Beyond)

NOW OPEN: Zulimar, Honduran Cuisine,286 Washington Street, 845-569-4742, During COVID hours are in flux so call ahead. Usually hours are: Tues-Thu 6am-7pm, Fri-6am-10pm, Sat 7:30am-10pm, Sun 8:30am-9pm Tacos Uriel, 49 Mill Street, Newburgh, NY, (845-542-8112),Open for take out and delivery. during COVID hours are 10-10, normally hours are: 6am-10pm daily. Los Portales, 295, Broadway, Newburgh,…

Moons Over My Hammy Recipe & Wacko

A punk rock tornado ripped through a Denny’s in Long Beach, CA last December causing two thousand dollars in damage. Because the Algorithm knows me so well, a video appeared on my social media feed. I was supposed to be working but I clicked. It begins with a baby boomer in a cowboy hat pacing…

Pataconas w/ Hogao Recipe & Gaby’s ‘El Meneaito’

Menaito Mania hit Colombia hard in 1992. By the time my family arrived for Christmas vacation that year the Reggae en Español thumper had the whole Magdalena River percolating. In Honda, Tolima at my Abuelita’s nochebuena party, young and old were sliding to it, at a friends hacienda my uncle was drinking aguardiente to it,…

Iowa Cheese Sandwich Recipe & Bob Dylan’s New Morning

July 19, 2019 It’s my last day at the Iowa City Writing Festival. I’m inflamed—brain and gut—from seven days of suckling on Iowa City’s greasiest spoons and absorbing writing guidance till saturation. I arrived last Friday, July twelfth, and spent the evening searching for authentic Iowa City. There are nine central blocks with eighty-two places…