FAQ

Basics

What is this area like, from a social perspective?

There are neighbors on 3 sides of the house but they aren't within shouting distance. It’s country up there but you are not “in the middle of nowhere”. 

When we bought our home from our neighbor, the Starobin’s, 16 years ago we were the youngest of a group of mostly Italian families from NYC boroughs who for generations have been using this area to summer away from the city. Prior to that it was the site of the famous Mamakating Hotel.

Our side of the lake is a hamlet of maybe 12 or so homes inhabited by people who’ve been here for generations and they are really nice people, concerned about the quality and safety of our co-op. These are city people who also want to get away from the city. It’s pretty family oriented at this point and we do have some new neighbors who are younger couples, mixed in with the families who’ve been here for a long time. 

Is your home suitable for children and infants?

To keep little ones safe we have baby gates in the basement for your use. We normally put them around the stereo and at the bottom of the stairs. Or if you are outside, we put one around the downstairs going to basement or on the porch across the front stairs. Both the laundry door and kitchen door can be closed to keep toddlers safe (and contained) in the living area. :)

We have a box of childproof latches in the laundry in the far left cupboard (beneath first aid). We also have a bottle sterilizer, and plenty of toys suitable for a toddler that you are welcome to borrow. Our very active 1 year old has tested nearly every nook and cranny, but if you have any concerns do not hesitate to alert us.

I don’t want to just sit at home all the time. Anything to do?

Niether do we. Check out the area map on our hostfully page to get the lay of the land: https://v2.hostfully.com/gfphshr/recommendations/attractions

I don’t want to just cook at home all the time. What's to eat around there?

It’s gotten better over the years. Also, this is not Brooklyn. Check out your options here: https://v2.hostfully.com/gfphshr/recommendations/places_to_eat

What’s up with the water?

We at the top of a mountain, on our own private well and have been drinking very clean, odorless, awesome water out of the ground since we bought the house 17 or so years ago. This is at your own risk. Be sure to read more in our water section and we will post some links to water info from the area here soon.

How is the Internet connection?

We have Frontier DSL and that’s the fastest option up here. It’s just enough to get by, watch Netflix and a zoom call with some quality issues. We sometimes go into the town of Wurtsboro to the Red Dot kitchen and take zoom calls there. Really good vegetarian food and a nice outdoor porch to sit and enjoy. At the time of writing, Red Dot is open for dining in so this is a great fall back for those who really need a reliable connection. There is also CRUST, the Italian eatery in the town of Rock Hill. They have really good internet there as well so that’s our fallback no. 3 spot for zoom meetings. 

What do we do with garbage?

Plastic and tin go together. Cardboard boxes separated from cereal boxes and junk mail. Stored on the back porch in closet. Do not ever leave garbage bags outside, animals will rip them open. We do compost but the composting bin is decaying. Will get back to you on that matter. 

Typically we have to take our garbage to the transfer station every Sunday and drop off. 

https://www.mamakating.org/251/Mamakating-Transfer-Station

At the time of writing this, we are working on trying to get weekly pickup.

What is the home entertainment setup?

We have a Home Stereo that runs through to the bathroom, porch, patio and kitchen + a Projector and screen.

Should we bring anything up there with us?

We have most of what you will need in terms of furniture, sheets, towels, etc. We happily provide towels (located in shelving in laundry room). Please be mindful of your enviro-footprint and use the same one during your stay here. We will do a supply check before renting and notify you of things you might need if we think of anything. Oh, there is a hairdryer plugged in the upstairs bathroom drawer. A second hairdryer is located in the downstairs first aid closet. We will add stuff to this section as we think of it!

Is there house cleaning service available? 

Yes, we have an amazing woman who does a remarkable job and knows our house inside and out. We can arrange for a weekly cleaning if you'd like but you'd have to cover that expense. We'd have the place very clean for you on arrival.

Do you have a hiking trail?

Yes, just keep walking down Columbian road! Just don’t get lost out there. 

Can we build Campfires?

Heads up. One of our neighbors (across the street) really gets bothered by campfires. If you do really want to have one, just make sure it’s mellow and it’s not blowing towards his house (across park road, not the red house you see across from the kitchen.

We go through periods in our area when campfires are prohibited. Please review the DEC website for the latest information. When open burning is allowed, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter are allowed.
  • Small cooking fires are allowed.
  • Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
  • Only charcoal or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
  • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed.

Please be mindful of the smoke blowing towards the road / driveway. If the wind is in this direction it blows onto our neighbors property and he will be sure to tell you to put it out. Please be mindful of this and use with discretion.

We use the fire pit to burn excess tree / yard waste durning periods that allow for controlled burning.

I don’t like bugs, is this place for me?

You are in the country. There will be bugs! Keep the doors closed and adjustable screens on any window that's open. There are a lot more ticks around these past few years so be sure to check often! https://www.americanforests.org/blog/tick-checking-101-steps-take-every-hike/

We have extra bug spray in the cabinet near the back kitchen door by the garbage and recycling. Ticks have been spotted in the area so be sure to check yourself!

Adjustable window screens are in most rooms so when you open windows be sure to use them. We have a screened in a section of our porch for your enjoyment!

Also there is bug spray in the kitchen cabinet by the recycling closet when you walk out to the back porch. Will you see insects? Most likely because: Mother Nature, you are in her house now too!

We saw a pizza oven in one of your photos, can we use it?

Unfortunately, the pizza oven was damaged in a storm early 2019. May s/he Rest In Peace. Please let us know if you are interested in rebuilding one on the stone platform that is on the edge of the porch. It's a fun project for sure and we could possibly compensate you for materials and labor if you provide us a design and method for working through it.