When I asked some of the guys working on clean-up in hard-hit Maplecrest if I could take photos, they bristled at first and then thanked me for “at least asking.” Apparently, lots of tourists have been driving by post-Irene, rolling down their windows to point and shoot, and then driving away. Once I explained that the pics would appear on an Upstate-focused blog to show what damage has been done and how clean-up is coming along, I was readily welcomed.
Most of these pictures are of County Rd 40, which connects pretty Maplecrest to nearby Hensonville. Maplecrest’s town center on Rd 56, some of which escaped the storm, boasts lovely nineteenth-century churches and homes. While small and sleepy, Maplecrest has a growing artistic community and is currently in the middle of converting its formerly bustling, now abandoned Catskills vacation colonies into an arts center.
If you’re a local, let us know how you feel Maplecrest is doing or what you think of all the media coverage. Helping? Hurting? Do you want journalists to move on or do you think sustained attention is a good thing for the Catskills, even if it’s thanks to Irene?