The Rural We: Eugenia Zukerman
Eugenia Zukerman is a world-renowned flutist, a writer, an arts administrator and video blogger (she is co-founder of NotedEndeavors.com), and a part-time resident of Ancramdale. On top of all that, she’s the new music director of Clarion Concerts in Columbia County’s Leaf Peeper Concert Series. Her first trip to the area was many years back when she traveled to Tanglewood to play a concert. “The view of the Stockbridge Bowl with the mountains behind the lake simply blew me away,” she says.
Years after my first visit, I met a dashing man (Dick Novik) at intermission at a Tanglewood concert. We tangled. We married in 2010. And going back and forth from New York City to his farm in Ancramdale, NY is a privilege and allows me the best of both worlds. There are so many fascinating people in the Ancramdale area – farmers, artists, art dealers, heads of organizations, writers, teachers, inventors, musicians — I feel so lucky to be up here!
Our weekends here are busy. Besides working full-time at New York State Broadcasters Association (where he is senior vice president), Dick takes care of the farm — jokingly named Free-Range Tomato Farm — entirely by himself. On weekends he’s on a tractor or out in the barn, and I’m in my cozy workroom practicing or writing. With six grown children between us, we enjoy their occasional visits and we do often go to HD live broadcasts from the Met Opera at The Mahaiwe, Bardavon and the Millerton Movie House.
The Farmer’s Wife in Ancramdale is like the village town green. Not only do we go there to eat Job Yacubian’s fabulous breakfasts and lunches, but we also get to chat with all our neighbors. Mercato in Red Hook New York is another “home” for us. Francesco Buitoni and his wife Michelle have created a charming ambiance and Francesco’s Italian cooking is simply fabulous.
We also love to attend the many wonderful concerts that are available in the Hudson Valley area. In fact, I’m honored to have been chosen the new music director of the Leaf Peeper Concert Series. Founded 36 years ago, it’s the oldest chamber music series in Columbia County.
There is a very special sense of community in Ancram and Ancramdale. We have a Town Supervisor, Art Bassin, whose daily emails keep us all informed of events from taxation to zoning, to pot luck suppers to lost dogs and cats. It’s like a large extended family.