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The third time was a charm for the Rye YMCA’s Togetherhood Committee, which had planned community service projects at the Rye Nature Center in May and June only to have them cancelled due to weather and other factors.

On a recent sunny and mild morning, 12 adults and 12 children gathered at the Nature Center to help prepare the garden for winter. Led by A.J. Johnson, Associate Director of Outreach Services and Volunteers, and Togetherhood Committee member Lisa Urban, families enthusiastically cleared the beds and covered them with straw. Several children also helped build frames for new garden beds, taking turns hammering nails and measuring the space.

Togetherhood is a YMCA social responsibility initiative that engages Y members and local residents in community service projects. Through Togetherhood, the Y has partnered with Don Bosco Community Center, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Bread of Life Food Pantry, the American Cancer Society, and The Sharing Shelf.

The next Togetherhood project — making holiday cards for the organization Cards for Hospitalized Kids — will be held December 1 during Santa’s visit to the Rye Y.


Photos by Hannah Blake


It is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone knows which religious service they’ll be attending and where they’ll be the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. Families are planning gatherings and feasts, pulling out old recipes and placing their orders for Yule logs, gingerbread houses, country hams, oysters, salmon tartar, sparkling wines, and chocolate anythings.

Meanwhile, everyone is trying to find that special something for that certain someone.

If you’re in the mood for a Blue Christmas, you’ll find a lot of ways to accessorize it — furry, quilted, or otherwise — at Clutch. And picture Christmas morning with mother and child cuddling in Roller Rabbit pajamas.

He will brighten up if he finds a Breitling Hurricane wristwatch in his stocking. Either of the Woodrow brothers will be happy to model one. While you’re there, any woman would take a shine to the Mikimoto hombre South Sea pearl necklace and bracelet, or the diamonds by the yard collection from Roberto Coin.

Barbour jackets have a long lineage but most of them are boxy not foxy. Not so the new Helsby model with the faux fur-trimmed hood and quilted lining. Head to Parkers — and soon — if you want to wrap yourself up in one this winter. For the girls, nothing beats a Better Sweater in oasis blue or craft pink from Patagonia.

For stylish days and nights, Angela’s is the standard bearer. In a gray Fabiana Filippi sweater and slacks outfit, along with a felt hat with fox pompons from Lola in Paris, she’ll turn heads everywhere. If she was born to be wild, she’ll be the leader of the pack in a patent leather and faux fur biker jacket from Shrimps.

Great Stuff lives up to its name. They stock just what you need for every occasion. While it’s a super sweater spot, it was an off-the-shoulder black velvet evening dress from Ulla Johnson that garnered our attention. A Herno fur-trimmed jacket will spice up a country girl’s look. Put the finishing touch on any outfit with a Faliero Sortie scarf and a navy bucket bag from Go Dash Dot.

For a multitude of whims, think Lola. Their offerings are as splendid as their windows.

Royal Jewels has a number of striking one-of-a-kind pieces designed by the talented Mr. Givelekian. In addition to those, we took a sparkle to the selection single diamonds on white, rose, or yellow gold chains. They work as a solo or many-layered look.

Vintage never goes out of style, and the place to find it is Joan’s Antiques & Jewelry. At the top of our list is a pair of Van Cleef & Arpels diamond drop earrings. Everything in her cases sparkles.

We find uncommon treasures every time we venture into York Antiques. When we asked owner Frank Rotondo about the pair of striking blue ceramic ginger jars — from Rembrandt’s blue period! — we settled down for a long winter’s chat about their provenance. We also admired some fine period furniture, Oriental rugs, bar sets, and a great variety of costume jewelry.

There’s no place like home for the holidays and we’re blessed to have two home design shops in town. This time of year, Nest stocks a host of trimmings — from ornaments to colorful table dressings. And they have the perfect tray for the ski crowd. The Open House is the place to find that mostess hostess gift.

With book in hand, you can never go wrong. If Arcade Booksellers doesn’t have one of those “100 Best” of the year on the shelf, depend on Patrick Corcoran to get it the following day. Among his top picks for grownups are: Ron Chernow’s “Grant” biography, Lee Child’s latest Reacher thriller, “The Midnight Line”, and John Banville’s “Mrs. Osmond”, which follows where Henry James left off in “The Portrait of a Lady. The youngest of readers will take to Patrick McDonell’s “The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)”, a romp through the animal world, and Liniers’ “GOOD NIGHT, PLANET”, in which a stuffed animal takes a leap into the unknown.

For real-life animals, who are more doers than readers, All Paws has toys and chews aplenty to make sure your pup is asleep when Santa arrives.



Heard in Rye, in collaboration with Rye Youth Council In Sync Parenting, invites the community to attend a follow-up to their 

All are welcome. Admission is free.


In 1898, Mark Twain wrote a delightful play called “Is He Dead?” Incredibly, it went unpublished until 2003, but not unnoticed. Rye High School recently put on a first-rate production of David Ives’ rollicking adaptation of Twain’s classic.

Cheers to director Michael Limone and the cast and crew.

— Photos by Anne and Joel Darelius