One of our day trips on our recent vacation in the Catskill region took us to the town of Tannersville, whose main claim to fame is its Main Street full of fantastically painted buildings. Apparently, some tourist bureau honcho had a brainstorm and offered grants to any home owners and shopkeepers who would turn their buildings into artistic statements of gaudy whimsy. The result is actually quite charming. All the gingerbread details of late nineteenth century buildings are emphasized by striking color contrasts. More modern and prosaic buildings painted with the same imaginative abandon don't seem to be so glaringly out of place or painfully drab beside the architectural granddams. As strange as it may seem, the outrageous and wildly varying color schemes are actually a unifying element. The owners of the buildings seem to have had fun with the whole concept, adding imaginative window treatments to the whole mix. The bright blue house below boasts large figurines of Minnie and Mickey Mouse filling the front windows of the second story. And the trompe d'oiel shutters are home to all sorts of strange and surprising little creatures: dragonflies, praying mantises, frogs, lizards and turtles. I suupose the owner choose to include reptiles and insects in the design because the foundation of the building is cheek by jowl with a little stream.
Sadly, once you have wandered around checking out the buildings there is little else to claim your attention ... except a great little restaurant improbably named The Last Chance Cheese and Antique Shop.
It was an amusing way to while away an afternoon and if you are every in Greene County, NY, I suggest you check out Tannersville for yourself.