Brewster's HamletHub Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:10:15 -0500 Bagels & Books at Keeler Library

First Thursday of each month from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM at Keeler Library. Copies of the books are available at the library for checkout. No registration is required.


Wednesday, December 19th - Love Medicine by Louise Edrich; Discussion Lead by Heather Ostman (Please note the change in date)

With astonishing virtuosity, each chapter draws on a range of voices to limn its tales. Black humor mingles with magic, injustice bleeds into betrayal, and through it all, bonds of love and family marry the elements into a tightly woven whole that pulses with the drama of life.


Thursday, January 3rd - Judas by Amos Oz

Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, feels adrift when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. Meanwhile the beautiful Atalia Abravanel entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.


Thursday, February 7th - Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.


Thursday, March 7th - The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge who presides over cases in the family division. She is called on to try an urgent case: Adam, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, is refusing for religious reasons the medical treatment that could save his life. When Fiona visits Adam in the hospital, the encounter stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.


For questions, you can email the library at or call at 914-669-5161

To learn about other programs we offer at the library, please visit our website:

This program will be held at Ruth Keeler Memorial Library: 276 Titicus Road, North Salem, New York

]]> (Keeler Library) Neighbors Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:27:24 -0500
Brewster, Visit a Connecticut Christmas Tree Farm for a Joyful Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us! Get into the spirit of the season by visiting one of Connecticut’s picturesque Christmas tree farms. For a complete list of Christmas tree farms closest to Brewster, please see below.

Connecticut’s some 500 Christmas tree farms are officially open for business, offering customers fresh Connecticut Grown trees. Not only is searching for the perfect tree a festive and time-honored family tradition, but it supports our state’s economy, the hardworking farmers, and our agriculture.

According to the Connecticut DEEP, nearly 4,000 acres of Connecticut farmland are planted with Christmas trees – the 13th largest acreage in the U.S. “The Christmas tree industry in Connecticut has grown significantly in recent years and now contributes about $10 million in annual economic activity,” they say.

Here is a list of the farms near Brewster from Please make sure to call ahead, as HamletHub did not call each farm to verify the information below.

High View Tree Farm
Christmas trees-you choose and you cut, Christmas trees- you choose and we cut, Living Christmas trees (to plant later), trees tied, tree shaking provided, trees baled, free tree trimmings, saws provided, winter wagon rides, 
95 Turkey Plain Road, Bethel
Phone: 203 313-9556. Email: Open: Monday to Friday 12 pm to 5 Saturday to Sunday 9 am to 5. Directions: Rte 53. Payment: Cash, Check. 
Staib Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, pretagging allowed, 
49 Walnut Hill Road, Bethel
Phone: 203-748-1610. Email: Open: the first 2 Saturday and SUndays in December from 10 am to 4:00 PM. Directions : From Route 84 West take exit 9 and make a left at bottom of the ramp onto Route 25 South. Next turn right ont..please see website for details
Four Corners Farm
Choose and Cut Christmas trees, saws provided, FREE greens
55 Hattertown Road, Newtown
Phone: 203-426-5532. Email: Open: Thanksgiving Till Christmas weekends only; from 9 am to 5:00 PM. Directions: Route 302 from Newtown. 5th Left on to Boggs Hill Road. Follow 3 miles to end. Trees are on Right. House on othe..please see website for details
Bob's Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, 
66-68 Turkey Plain Road, Rt. 53, Bethel
CAESAR'S NURSERY & Christmas Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, 
883 Federal Rd., Rt. 7, Brookfield
Waidelich's Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, 
35 Silvermine Rd, Brookfield

Many Christmas tree farms also offer more joys of the season including hayrides, Santa visits, hot cocoa, and a local market.

The Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association Department of Agriculture’s website has a brochure with more information on tree farms.

For a comprehensive list of tree farms in Connecticut, visit here.

]]> (Tara Daily) Life Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:59:28 -0500
HamletHub Holiday Highlights to Celebrate the Season Locally

It's the most wonderful time of the year! As 2018 comes to a close, enjoy Hamlet Hub's Holiday Highlights. Discover a variety of things to do, people to see, places to visit and food to eat! Below is a listing of the amazing featured businesses, organizations and events that are offered in our neighborhood. Celebrate the season with your friends and family.

St. Lawrence O'Toole Church

Christmas Story time, Advent Wreath Making, FREE Christmas Movie Night, Bethlehem Market Place, Advent Series: Presence and Heart, Body, & Spirit

St. Lawrence O'Toole Church

31 Prospect Street

Brewster, NY 10509

Kim Santerre


Schech's Hot Tubs for the Holidays!

Schech's Pool Spa Patio is Putnam County's first pool and spa store! We have 50 years of experience helping our customers create their dream patios! Shopping for the holidays can be exhausting. Shopping for a new hot tub from Schech's is the perfect gift for the whole family that will provide endless hours of relaxation and family fun!

Schech's Pool Spa Patio

61 Old Route 6

Brewster, NY 10509


Magical Vacations Travel

I am a Disney Destinations Specialist. I help plan and book all Disney vacations, including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani in Hawaii, and Adventures by Disney. I will work with you to create a customized vacation, that works for your family and your budget. Our agency also has many exclusive rates that are lower than the Disney rack rates. I will monitor new Disney discounts, to make sure you pay the lowest possible price for your Disney vacation. Best of all, my personalized planning services are COMPLIMENTARY!

Magical Vacations Travel

White Plains, NY 10605

914-414-3593 and

Wills & Trusts, Elder Law

Its finally time to prepare your estate plan – is a will or a trust your best option?

Are your assets protected if you need to go into a nursing home?

$12,428.00 – monthly Medicaid regional rate for Westchester private pay residents. You must pay five years before it’s free!  

Advanced planning can protect your assets from nursing home liens against your home and property.

Age at home! You can also receive government assistance from a home healthcare aide in as little as 30 days!

Law Office of Paolo Conte PLLC

118. N Bedford Road

Suite 100

Mount Kisco, NY 10549


In-house visits, Complementary Consultations

CK4Health Shaklee Distributor

This holiday season, give a gift that truly can change lives - a gift certificate with the personal touch truly shows you care. It is my passion to share what Shaklee products can do for you and those you love.   I invite you to easy online shopping on the Gifts of Shaklee..

CK4Health Shaklee Distributor

914 490 8614

Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC

The Hudson Valley’s Premier DWI Defense, Veteran Assistance, and Estate Planning Firm. Established by a Service Connected Disabled Combat Veteran of the Global War on Terrorism and Former Assistant District Attorney in Putnam and Bronx Counties to provide thorough, detailed, and cost-effective representation with compassion and dignity for our clients.

Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC

973 Route 22, Suite 3

Brewster, NY 10509


New Means of Customer Engagement and No Junk Payment Processing

I am local. My business is to increase your net bottom line and Grow your business by at least 5% year over year. First, by eliminating all those junk fees on your Credit card Merchant Statement. Second, by utilizing our Customer Engagement platform to provide value and increased awareness of your business with your customers. There are no contracts.So I earn your business every month. The analysis is free. Most often, the upfront to being is just for FEDEX, depending on your business needs, of course.

Will Cuevas SpotOn

292 Towners Road

Carmel, NY 10512


SOPHIA Natural Health Center

SOPHIA is hosting "Acupuncture Happy Hour" every Tuesday evening from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. Receive a relaxing 20-minute stress reduction treatment using gentle ear acupuncture or acupressure techniques. Cost: $10 per treatment. Military Veterans are FREE! (with a military ID card or DD-214). All proceeds donated to charity!

SOPHIA Natural Health Center

31 Old Route 7

Brookfield, CT 06804


Cheff's Italian Deli and Market

Whether you're looking for Cold Cuts,Wedges, Hot foods or Desserts, Cheff's has you covered.We offer catering for all your events, family, corporate or any other occasion. Call us @ 845-200-7643 or visit us at 13 Fair St. Carmel ,N.Y.

Ask for a sample.... Check us out on Facebook ( Cheff's Italian Deli and Market)

Cheff's Italian Deli and Market

13 Fair St.

Carmel, NY 10512



Happy Holidays from Aversano's! Book your holiday party or catering orders now! Complete party set up - We bring everything. Aversano's Gift Cards are the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Redeemable in the restaurant, bar, and pizzeria.


1620 Route 22

Brewster, NY 10509


Arbonne International

Our Limited Edition Holiday Products make a great gift for yourself or for those that you care about! Pure, Safe, and Beneficial for the entire family.

Arbonne International


Jar Worthy

Are you looking for the perfect gifts for everyone on your holiday list? Jar Worthy has something for everyone. Candle gift sets, lotions, jewelry and stocking stuffers! Let us customize your holiday candles with your favorite picture or business logo!

Jar Worthy

14 Fair Street

Carmel, NY 10512


Headshot Photography with Mima Photography

A professional headshot can polish your image and make you stand out to potential clients and employers. I believe that your headshot highlights the person you are. An updated headshot image can be used for

  • Social Media ( Facebook, Linked, Twitter)
  • Website use
  • Corporate marketing material

 Contact me to schedule your session today!



UnWined Wine Bar & Kitchen

Unwined Wine Bar & Kitchen is co-owned by long time local Westchester residents, Stephanie Small of Waccabuc & Brian Moss of Somers. The pair, who also opened Uncorked Wine & Spirits next door to Unwined three years ago, teamed up to create a totally unique space and dining/bar scene unlike anything else in Westchester County. The result is an extensive and varied menu, fabulous bar scene, over 30 interesting wines by the glass to choose from, an event space for private & special events all housed in a modern and stylish space with many different seating options to suit customers mood or preferences. UnWined is open 7 days a week for dinner beginning at 3pm and serves Sunday Brunch 11-4.

Unwined Winebar & Kitchen

Somers Commons Shopping Center 80 US 6

Baldwin Place, NY 10505


Brewster Shell

Thinking about a Christmas gift idea for someone you love this year ? Well, Brewster Shell has you covered. Gift someone a VIP membership. A yearly package valued at over $500 includes inspection, fluid changes, towing and more for only $300.00 Give us a call ask for Kim or Barb and we will get your Christmas shopping started today.

Brewster Shell

1450 NY-22

Brewster, NY 10509

(845) 279-1500

A Holiday Night with Cher, Lionel Richie, Barbra Streisand & More - The Edwards Twins

Remember all the wonderful Holiday Variety shows we all grew up on in The 70’s & 80’s? Now is your chance to see them live and re-created by Las Vegas’ number one impersonators of all time. All your favorite legendary Superstars come alive in Christmas with The Stars.

The NBC Today show says “it’s one of the most extraordinary shows we have ever seen.” Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Tom Jones, and many many more all in one show. All live vocals.

Harmon-Marino LIVE

Southeast Comedy & Cabaret 63 Fields Lane

Brewster, NY 10509

(844) 214-7469

Buy tickets online


Firewood for Sale - Contact Six Diamonds Tree Service & Landscaping

Seasoned, hardwood firewood for sale while supplies last! Call for delivery and details (845) 878-7888. Six Diamonds provides reliable, professional and quality tree services including take down and removal, trimming/pruning, land clearing, stump grinding and landscaping. Fully licensed and insured. We work all year long!

Six Diamonds Tree Services & Landscaping, Inc.

2180 Route 22, Patterson, NY 12563

(845) 878-7888

New Fairfield Parks & Recreation’s Holiday Light Parade & Tree Lighting

On Saturday, November 24, New Farifield held their annual event. Click here to read more about it.

Activities throughout the day from 12:30-6pm

Click here for more details.

Caroling and Tree Lighting in Brewster

The Southeast Museum held the annual Holiday Caroling and Tree Lighting event on Saturday December 1 at 5:15pm. Click here to read more about it.

Holiday on the Lake Parade and Tree Lighting in Carmel

On Saturday, December 1 2018 The Hamlet of Carmel Civic Association held their annual event. Click here to read more about it.

Town Menorah Lighting & Christmas Tree Tradition in Somers

The Town Of Somers held their Sixth Annual Town Menorah Lighting at the Elephant Hotel on Route 100 and Route 202 Opposite Bailey Park on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 6PM.

The Annual Town of Somers tradition to take a photo of your children in front of the town Christmas tree with a 6 foot ruler watch your children and the trees grow each year.

Photo may also be taken with the ruler by appointment during town office hours, call 914. 277. 3637.

Town of Somers

336 Route 202, Somers, NY, USA

Click here for photos and more information about the event.


Walter Brewster House Celebrates the Holiday

Click here for information on the Winter Holiday Party at 

Walter Brewster House

43 Oak Street

Brewster NY 10509

Programs at Kent Library

12/15/2018 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Gingerbread House Workshop

12/17/2018 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Kent Public Library

17 Sybil’s Crossing

Kent Lakes, NY 10512


Programs at Brewster Library


Gingerbread Architects

12/15/2018 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Midwinter Bingo Bash

12/22/2018 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Stories and Songs with Miss Lynn!

12/24/2018 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Brewster Library

79 Main St.

Brewster, NY 10509

Programs at Patterson Library


12/18/20184:30 PM & 5:30 PM

Patterson Library

Route 311

Patterson, NY 12563


Programs at Somers Library

Winter Holiday Art

12/14/2018 3:15 PM

Cupcake Decorating for Kids in Grades 3-5!

12/17/2018 3:45 PM

Model Magic- Winter Wonderland

12/27/2018 10:30 AM

Winter Story Time & Hot Chocolate with Doris Jane Smith

12/28/2018 1:30 PM

The Somers Library

Route 139 & Reis Park

Somers, NY 10589



Programs at New Fairfield Library


Santa’s Workshop

   Saturday, Nov. 24, 12:30-3:30 pm. 

New Fairfield Library 

2 Brush Hill Road 

New Fairfield, CT 06812


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]]> (Margaret Carey) Life Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:50:39 -0500
The Edwards Twins Holiday Show THIS weekend ONLY at Southeast Comedy & Cabaret

Remember all the wonderful Holiday Variety shows we all grew up on in The 70’s & 80’s? Now is your chance to see them live and re-created by Las Vegas’ number one impersonators of all time, The Edwards Twins.

All your favorite legendary Superstars come alive in Christmas with The Stars. The NBC Today show says “it’s one of the most extraordinary shows we have ever seen.” Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Tom Jones, and many many more all in one show. All live vocal. 

USA TODAY and THE BOSTON GLOBE raves “A Must see show” Each Star sings their #1 hits as well as a few of your favorite Holidays Songs.

Check out their video for a sneak peak

General Admission $40

VIP Preferred Seating $60

 Get tickets online or Call (844) 214-7469

Saturday, 12/15 8:00 SPECIAL HOLIDAY SHOW Tickets

Sunday, 12/16 1:00 SPECIAL HOLIDAY SHOW Tickets

We offer Pre-Show dinners & drinks at Players Sports Cafe & Restaurant, plus lite fare & full bar service in our showroom during the show.

Southeast Comedy & Cabaret
63 Fields Lane, Brewster, New York 10509


]]> (Southeast Comedy & Cabaret) Events Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:38:03 -0500
Wreaths For Our Heroes

We would like to invite those that have donated to this program and those that are local VFW, American Legion, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Fire and Law Enforcement Departments to help place wreaths this Saturday, December 15 at Noon beginning at St Lawrence O'Toole Cemetery in Brewster and moving on to Milltown Cemetery and Raymond Hill Cemetery in Carmel, NY. We will also place wreaths in Patterson & Pawling NY cemeteries as well. If you can join us please let us know. Your presence will make it all the more special and meaningful for us. Please dress for the weather, cold and possibly rain boots. Thank you

For more information: 

]]> (NY Riders) Charities Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:39:03 -0500
E-Waste Center - Closed Effective Immediately

E-Waste Center - Closed Effective Immediately The County Sponsored Electronic Waste is closed to all electronic waste. This is effective immediately. Residents are not allowed to drop of any electronics at this time.


]]> (Town of Southeast) Politics Thu, 13 Dec 2018 08:27:02 -0500
Michael Zeilnhofer Presents The Evolution of Stars: White Dwarfs to Black Holes at the Kent Library

Michael Zeilnhofer returns to the Kent Library to give another stellar presentation about celestial objects on Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30. There are many different types of stars which have been classified in our universe. Some of these stars out in the universe are much hotter and brighter than our Sun, while some are much cooler. Different types of stars also evolve differently, from white dwarfs to black holes. Join me as we explore the cosmos to learn about how stars evolve and what our Sun will evolve into in the next 4.5 billion years! This is a family program for ages 10 and up. The Kent Library is located at 17 Sybil's Crossing off Route 52 and can be reached at (845) 225-8585 or   

]]> (Kent Public Library) Neighbors Thu, 13 Dec 2018 05:13:32 -0500
Night Candlelight Service

Longest Night Candlelight Service at Trinity Lutheran Church on December 21st at 7pm.  2103 Route 6, Brewster.

]]> (Ken Mongold) Events Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:52:03 -0500
Moonlight's 1 Year Anniversary Celebration on December 14

Moonlight Cafe has been open for 1 Year on December 14th! Come celebrate this milestone and our newly opened bar #thebrewroom on Friday, December 14th event is 6-11pm with live music by two great artists, delicious food, as well as a limited edition flavor of CCK Kombucha and our newest house crafted cocktail...THE MOONLIGHT MULE! All our house crafted seasonal cocktails are served in our Signature Adult Juice Boxes! #caprimoon There will be raffles for great items by local vendors and special Death Wish Vodka tasting by Albany Distilling Co. Don't miss out on all the fun!! Hope to see you all there!

]]> (Moonlight Cafe) Events Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:58:00 -0500
Registration Open for Patterson Recreation Winter Programs

Registration Open For The Following Programs:


For more information on these and other programs, visit or call 845-878-7200

  • Ski and Snowboard lessons at Thunder Ridge.  Lessons for grades 1 through adult.  A great family activity or holiday gift!  Sign up soon to ensure the day and time you prefer.  Lessons begin in early January.
  • Winter Flag Football for children in grades 1 to 8.  Registration deadline is December 26th.  Games begin in late January.  Please register promptly as this program fills up quickly.  Volunteer Coaches needed. 
  • Kids Cook Winter session.  For children ages 6-12.  Registration deadline is January 11th.  Space is limited.  Please register early.  Class begins January 25th.
  • USA Karate holds classes Monday through Thursday at Patterson Rec.  Various classes for girls, boys, women and men in boxing, karate and more.  Contact John Carlo at 845-832-3382 for more info and pricing.
  • Patterson Rec Pre-School has limited space available for new students.  Choose 2, 3, or 5 mornings for your 2-5 year old.  Contact us to arrange a visit with Miss Denise and Miss Trish!
  • Patterson Rec's Golden Age Senior Club is looking for new members.  Weekly gatherings at the rec center and a number of trips throughout the year.  Contact Veronica at the rec for more info!
  • Hot Dog Bingo for seniors at Patterson Rec on Thursday January 10th at 11 am. $5 admission includes a bingo card and hot dog.  Please RSVP no later than Friday January 4th to 845-878-7200.
]]> (Patterson Recreation) Places Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:45:03 -0500
Energy Healing & Stress Relief with Rose Christmas at the Kent Library

Rose Christmas returns to the Kent Library on Monday, December 17 at 6:00 to offer a workshop on Energy Healing & Stress Relief. This is an adult program. Registration is required. The Kent Library is located at 17 Sybil's Crossing off Route 52 and can be reached at (845) 225-8585 or  

]]> (Margaret Carey) Neighbors Wed, 12 Dec 2018 12:22:31 -0500
Christmas Services at Trinity Lutheran Church

Christmas Services at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2103 Route 6, Brewster.  Come worship with us.  

December 24th at 4:00 and 8:00pm accompanied by Trinity Brass.  December 25th at 10am.

]]> (Ken Mongold) Places Wed, 12 Dec 2018 08:49:50 -0500
Homer and Harry Potter: Scars, Wandering, and Coming Home

A challenge of researching reception of classical literature is that we cannot always know whether intertextual references are intentional or incidental. Rereading the Harry Potter series alongside The Odyssey, the parallels are striking. So much so that it’s difficult to believe they’re coincidental. As I’ve noted before, though, it may be a case of timeless human experiences and themes—home, identity, etc.—recurring across literary texts. Whether intentional or not, intertextuality can show us that and how we are connected across time and place.

In my last piece on hospitality, I mentioned that tokens (trinkets or physical marks) enable abandoned babies to be recognized. In Homer, tokens in the form of physical marks also feature in narratives about heroes returning home from Troy, called νόστος (nostos/returning). Tokens enable heroes to be recognized though they have changed during the many years they’ve been gone. Being recognized can be potentially desirable or dangerous.

In The Odyssey, Odysseus’ token is a scar on his leg. While visiting his grandparents as a child, he went on a boar hunt and was gored. Harry’s token is, of course, his famous lightening-shaped scar, the result of Voldemort’s failed attack on him as a baby.

Parallels and divergences between the two are telling. Harry was the hunted not the hunter. He did nothing to invite violence against him. Odysseus, though a child, was armed and on the hunt, the clear aggressor. This difference remains significant throughout the Harry Potter series. With a few exceptions, Harry typically battles from a defensive position, and even then, he does not attempt to kill. In books five and six, Harry expresses a desire to kill Voldemort, but he never actually attempts to do so. Voldemort dies because his own killing curse backfires on him. Odysseus, in keeping with his warrior culture, goes willingly into battle and sees violence and murder as acceptable responses to perceived threat, affront, or injustice.

For both Harry and Odysseus, their scars are part of their character and identity. As identifying markers, their scars can either harm or help them, especially when they are attempting to return home. Odysseus’ scar becomes a liability when it allows Eurycleia, his nurse, to recognize him before he wants his return to Ithaca made public. Witches and wizards recognize Harry by his scar before he even knows his own identity. In book seven, when Harry is wandering on the wizarding world’s outskirts during his search for Voldemort’s horcruxes, Hermione attempts to mask Harry’s scar to prevent Voldemort’s minions from recognizing him.

As suggested above, nostos in The Odyssey means returning home from Troy by sea. More broadly, nostos can also mean surviving lethal dangers.

Obviously Harry is not returning home from Troy. But it was a war—the first wizarding war that ended when Voldemort failed to kill him—that forced Harry to leave his “home.” Here, home means both the dwelling he shared with his parents and, in the broader sense, the magical world as his true place. After the war and his parents’ death, Harry enters a period of “wandering”: He spends 10 years in the muggle world, as Odysseus spends 10 years attempting to return to Ithaca. Obviously, Harry does not cross a sea to return home to the magical world. But he does cross a body of water to get to Hogwarts, which Harry says in book one feels “more like home than Privet Drive ever had”: Hagrid brings first year students from the train station to the castle across a lake.

The homecoming theme also interestingly reverses in Harry Potter. Each of the first six books begins with Harry returning to the magical world and ends with him leaving it. The final book flips back: It begins with Harry, Ron, and Hermione retreating from the magical world, wandering in their search for horcruxes, then returning at the end. Their quest lasts 10 months—there’s that 10 again! After Harry vanquishes Voldemort (with his trusty and nonviolent disarming spell), he returns to his old Hogwarts dormitory, his first “home” after his return to the magical world. In the epilogue, Harry sends his sons off to Hogwarts.

In Homer, home is a central feature of identity. Odysseus is not the sum total of his personal features—barrel chested, scar on his leg, cunning, brave in battle. Odysseus is also the son of Laertes, the husband of Penelope, the father of Telemachus, the king of Ithaca. These roles define him as much as any of his individual features. Thus to accept Calypso’s offer of immortality and endless youth in exchange for never returning to Ithaca would be to cease being Odysseus. He chooses uncertainty and danger in the hope that he will make it home and recover his true identity.

Harry also chooses uncertainty and danger in order to maintain his identity as a wizard. This notably happens in book two when Dobby visits Harry at Privet Drive to warn him not to return to Hogwarts—the “home” for children coming into their wizard/witch identities. “I don’t belong here,” Harry tells Dobby. “I belong in your world—at Hogwarts.” In the muggle world, Harry is isolated and friendless, cut off from his community and his family inheritance (i.e. his magical skills). The instance in the second book is overt. But throughout the series, Harry willingly faces danger rather than retreat to safety and anonymity because he is fulfilling his role and responsibility, broadly as a wizard and specifically as “the Chosen One.” (Quite literally: Voldemort chooses Harry as his adversary.)

One last feature of nostos narratives I’d like to mention is the idea, in Homer, that the place you leave isn’t the place to which you return. Heroes change, and the landscape of home changes. In Odysseus’ case, he returns to Ithaca to find his home overrun with aggressive suitors. Ostensibly, they’re vying to marry Penelope. In reality, they’re partying all day, and helping themselves to Odysseus’ provisions in the process. He must vanquish them to resume his place as king of Ithaca. Harry returns to Hogwarts at the end of book seven to find the castle overrun with Voldemort’s followers. He must vanquish them to resume his place in the magical world.

Harry Potter is far from a retelling of The Odyssey. As mentioned above, the differences are as telling as the parallels are striking. This is especially so as regards the questions, “what is justice?” and “how do we achieve it?” (surely a topic for a future post in this series). These questions suffuse the literature of ancient Greece, perhaps most urgently in Athenian tragedy. But it’s there in Homer too, and in Harry Potter.

Perhaps this is what makes researching reception so intriguing. Reading ancient and contemporary literature side by side, seeing where and how they intersect and diverge, provides a history of the human imagination. It shows us, as does history of events, that we have been wrestling the same monsters since literature (and recorded history) began.

There’s Dumbledore proven right: “It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated…”

Also in this series:

Homer and Harry Potter

Homer and Harry Potter: Hospitality and Suppliants

]]> (Sally Allen) Life Wed, 12 Dec 2018 07:43:58 -0500
Team including Elizabeth Kim of Brewster, NY Takes Home Trophy

Elizabeth Kim of Brewster, NY, was on the winning team of seven students who took home the trophy.

This semester, Professor Dr. Edwin J. Portugal challenged students in his "Strategic and Global Management" class to come up with original product prototypes that they created themselves, along with the accompanying business plan. The winning team's product prototype was for a magnetic ID lanyard, designed to help first-year students prone to losing their campus cards.

Forty students in five different teams competed in the competition. Three external judges examined the business proposals and quizzed the teams about the viability, marketability and profitability of their plans.

"All five teams presented original ideas, but the magnetic strap product caught the judges' eyes because they have identified a specific need and came up with a product to fill that need," said Professor Dr. David Kistler of SUNY Potsdam, who served as one of the judges. "I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days, one of the hundreds of entrepreneurial ideas introduced over the past several years will hit the big time."

Portugal started the competition in 1993, and is now in its 26th year. The event showcases the semester-long team projects that require the teams to develop a 100-page business plan and make a professional presentation to external judges.

"It is a real challenge for students to integrate what they have learned in accounting, finance, management, marketing, business information systems, legal environment analysis, human resource management and operations management," said Dr. Portugal. "Students experience the stimulation of working in teams, the exhilaration of coming up with an innovative product and the excitement of competing with other teams."

SUNY Potsdam's Department of Business Administration offers flexible bachelor's and master's degrees in competitive fields, and provides students with an understanding of how for-profit and non-profit organizations function efficiently and effectively. The College offers its business administration programs both at the Potsdam campus and in Watertown, N.Y., at the SUNY Jefferson Higher Education Center. For more information, visit

]]> (SUNY Potsdam) Life Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:04:00 -0500
Yule Ball: Harry Potter Holiday Party at the Kent Library

The second annual Kent Library Yule Ball will be held on Saturday, December 15 from 12:00-1:30. Enjoy wizarding snacks, magical ornament craft, an extreme Harry Potter holiday trivia challenge. Robes, Dress Robes and Weasley Sweaters encouraged. For ages 8 and up. Registration is required The Kent Library is located at 17 Sybil's Crossing off Route 52 and can be reached at (845) 225-8585 or       

]]> (Kent Public Library) Neighbors Wed, 12 Dec 2018 05:10:36 -0500