New-to-Market Maui Plantation Cottage 499K

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THIS 1939 PLANTATION COTTAGE in upcountry Maui, an area of rolling hills and lush farmland, has just hit the market. It’s near the low-key town of Makawao, 15 or 20 minutes inland. Sweet, is it not?

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Though the listing says 519K at the moment, the price on the 3BR, 2 bath cottage being dropped to 499K, with taxes under $200/month. It’s owned by Cherie Attix, who runs the Hale Ho’okipa B&B, where my daughter and I spent a few lovely days last November.

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Read more about it below, and go here for the full listing and lots more pictures of the interior and the surrounding property.

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The Cutest Plantation home in Makawao is up for grabs! An arbor covered walkway leads to the French doors that open into the living room. The large kitchen features a built in pantry with glass doors, an island with gas cook top, and a monkeypod bar [ed. note: ???] with a pass through to the living room. This 1939 old style charmer has three bedrooms, two baths and new addition. The addition with vaulted ceiling, sky light and hardwood beams makes a great living space, office, art studio, or a private area with it’s own covered lanai and separate entrance and yard. Addition’s bath has a walk- in tiled shower. The lot was landscaped with privacy in mind, is fenced, gated, and planted with fruit trees and flowers. From the porch swing on the covered lanai enjoy the view of the neighboring pastures and grazing horses. Only a short walk to Makawao schools, shops and restaurants. Welcome Home to country living near the heart of Makawao town. Listing Agent is owner.

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MAUI: Upcountry Ramble

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YESTERDAY BEGAN AT 3:45AM — that was necessary in order to hit the road by 4:15, to make the sunrise over Haleakala, the otherworldly volcanic crater that occupies much of Maui’s bottom half, at 6:28. It’s a one-hour trip from where we’re staying at a historic B&B in the upcountry town of Makawao, but we set off at the time advised by Cherie Attix, the inn’s proprietor — and still couldn’t find parking at the summit.

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Sunrise at Haleakala National Park is that popular, that much of a must-do, that hundreds, maybe thousands, brave the early hour and bitter winds at 10,000 feet, and so did we, wrapped in borrowed jackets and fleece blankets.

As the sun broke through the streaky clouds, changing the sky’s colors minute by minute, it seemed as if the world was being born anew. All that was missing was a celestial soundtrack, though the wail of an ancient Hawaiian chant did waft up to where we were perched on an outcropping of lava rock.

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It was only the start of a day’s circuit of activities in Maui’s upcountry, which took us off-highway into unspoiled hills and grazing pastures with frequent glimpses of the sea.

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We did it all. First we sampled goat cheeses flavored with mangoes, jalapenos, lavender and more at Surfing Goat Dairy, below.

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Then we checked out the heavenly-smelling lavender farm, below, at Kula, where varieties of lavender are inter-planted with other flowering shrubs for even greater horticultural ecstasies.

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They do a brisk business in weddings, as does the 9-acre Kula Botanical Garden, jam-packed with eye-popping specimens I’d never seen, including the corncob-like hill banksia from Australia and meyer asparagus fern, below.

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The garden is the life work of Warren McCord, who came to Maui from California with his wife Helen some 40 years ago, and with whom we had the pleasure of chatting as his African gray-crowned cranes, below, preened in the background.

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We finished up our afternoon at Maui’s only winery, sampling sparkling wine made from pineapple in their tasting room, set among mature trees on hills that roll down to sparkling water.

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Terrain near Ulupalakula, above

Our perfect base for two nights is a homey hilltop B&B in Makawao called Hale Ho’okipa, a 1924 Arts and Crafts-style cottage that Cherie, a Bay-area transplant, bought and renovated in the 1990s (I’m sitting in the parlor as I write this, in my pajamas).

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She thinks it may be a kit house, perhaps from a company called Pacific Ready Cut. If so, it’s a top-of-the-line one. Its central space has tapered oak columns, the generously proportioned rooms have high ceilings, and there’s a big, bright country kitchen.

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Two of the bedrooms, including our Rose Room, below, have bay windows overlooking a yard filled with trees that provide passion fruit, star fruit, bananas, and avocados for the inn’s lavish-yet-healthy breakfast spread.

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Yesterday we chatted with guests from Virginia, and this morning from Switzerland, while Cherie told us a bit about the house’s history. Built by Frank and Theresa Gomes, Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii who raised 13 children in the house, it was originally surrounded by open fields (suburban-style houses have since spring up around it).

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The house had fallen into neglect when Cherie bought it, but still maintained its original wood-paneled walls and ceilings, above, claw-foot tubs, and quirky details, like a light switch in our room that twists.

Now, fully restored and decorated with period-appropriate furnishings, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. (Cherie is also a licensed realtor, with local listings starting at 229K. Go here to see them.)

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We had dinner on Friday night at Hali’imaile General Store, above, a serious foodie palace in a converted farm building, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, with a separate vegetarian menu. Who would have thought grilled tofu and greens could make a person so happy?

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Last night we ate at the colorful Cafe Mambo in the nearby hippie enclave of Paia, above, which does a variety of world cuisines from Middle Eastern to Mexican, and does them well.

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Flatbread, another popular Paia eatery

Despite cramming a load of touristic activities into the past few days, I’m probably an atypical visitor to Hawaii. With all there is to see and do, I have yet to get to the beach.

No vember

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WHEN I WAS ABOUT 9, my uncle taught me this ditty:

No birds No bees No flowers No trees

No wonder…November.

I still find it amusing, even though it’s not true. The goldfinches are still at the thistle feeder. I saw bees burrowing in the catmint just the other day. My cimicifuga sent up about a dozen white bottle-brush flowers, and even the rhododendrons, below — which I thought didn’t bloom this year because the deer had eaten all the buds — have a few stunted magenta flowers on them, months behind schedule. The trees are still pretty leafy, and seem particularly brilliant this autumn.

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Perhaps because I’m leaving? Tomorrow I’m heading to Brooklyn to start my experiment in leading a double life — the Hamptons/New York City circuit that so many take for granted, but for me is a whole new chapter.

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On Monday morning I’ll be in my Prospect Heights pied-a-terre, awaiting delivery of most of the furniture I put into storage a year-and-a-half ago, when I came out to live in East Hampton full-time. That was by default, as some of you may remember, when the Brooklyn place I was to have moved into around the same time I closed on this Hamptons cottage fell through at the last minute.

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Above: Awesome sarcococca, male of the species

I feel like I have unfinished business back in Brooklyn. I’m getting excited about volunteering at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, taking $10 yoga classes at Shambala, going to BAM more often, hearing some klezmer music, shopping at Sahadi. But most of all, having a city home again, furnished with city stuff. The orange Ligne Roset chairs, the steel and glass coffee table, the Nakashima-esque side table my son made, the inlaid 1950s Italian cabinet we bought in Tuscany and had shipped home, the 8-foot-long beige chenille sofa with cat-scratched arms. Maybe inanimate objects shouldn’t matter so much, but somehow they do. Even more than memories, I think, they’re about identity. It’s been hard sometimes, these past 18 months, to remember who I am in a new place, new house, surrounded by new (pre-owned, of course, but new to me) stuff.

November will not be boring. After settling into Brooklyn, I’m off to Maui for a week (yes, I know, too bad). I’ll be exploring the island with my daughter, who lives there. I’ve got our itinerary planned out. No modern resorts; we’ll be staying in vintage B&Bs. I’ll visit some botanic gardens and flower farms and historic houses and maybe even go to the beach. Then I’m heading down to Philly to cut a hole in a wall that should make one of the apartments in my Queen Village building much pleasanter and more livable. Thanksgiving will be upstate with lots of cousins.

It won’t be until December that I begin to figure out how this pied-a-terre thing really works.

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Photos by Debre DeMers

HAMPTONS VOYEUR: Art House B&B

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BEFORE I MOVED TO SPRINGS, L.I., I figured the area’s reputation as an artists’ colony — established in the days when Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and their friends made mayhem at local bars and beaches — was a thing of the past.

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Not so, it turns out. The neighborhood is still full of accomplished artists working in various media. Two of them — Rosalind Brenner, a painter and poet who has a longstanding art glass business, and her husband, Michael Cardacino, who makes large-scale art by digitally manipulating photos, among other techniques, spent 3-1/2 years designing and building a sprawling contemporary villa of wood, glass, stained glass, and cultured stone in a highly original style. They’ve recently configured it so they can rent out two of the luxurious bedrooms and baths as a B&B.

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1 Hour in Red Hook, N.Y.

I’m always amazed at how much there is to see when an old-house (and barn) fanatic really looks.  All these pictures were taken Wednesday in the course of an hour’s drive around the Dutchess County town of Red Hook.

Click on any image to enlarge and get a description.