On Saturday, December 12, we hosted an Artist Talk and Dinner in Celebration of Echoes of theBorscht Belt photography exhibit.

For much of the 20th century, the resorts in the Catskill Mountains were a popular vacation destination for millions of Americans, many of them Jews. This area of Sullivan and Ulster Counties was often referred to as the Borscht Belt.

Growing up in Sullivan County, photographer Marisa Scheinfeld visited the area’s resorts many times throughout her childhood. In 2010, she returned to the area to start her documentary photo project. A selection of photographs from Echoes from the Borscht Belt will be on display at Valley Variety from November 16–December 31.

Click here for more details about the Exhibition.

Artist Talk and Dinner 

The evening began with Marisa Scheinfeld leading an engaging conversation touching on her personal history with the area and her discoveries during the process of making the work. She shared her personal collection of memorabilia from the region’s glory days—postcards, menus, hotel ashtrays and matchbooks—as well as images from her “re-photographic” series, in which she used vintage promotional shots of the resorts as inspiration for new photos showing the same settings as they look now.

As Bubbie’s are known to say…EAT SOMETHING!

Celebrating the heritage of the Borscht Belt on the 7th night of Hanukkah called for a tasty selection of Eastern European inspired dishes. Chef Michael Freeman  served Eastern European style latkes with homemade applesauce along with a modern take on a traditional warm borscht. Throughout the evening, we served wine selected by Hudson Wine Merchants.

Chef Freeman is a New York native and a Culinary Institute of America graduate. With his Savory Food Truck, usually parked at 347 Warren Street, he’s bringing “real” deli to Hudson. The Savory menu consists of family recipes and deli staples like pastrami on rye. He refines these classics using his culinary background in the homemade preparation of the meats—cured, brined, smoked, and prepared over days—to hand cut chips.