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Wednesday, January 29, 2020


The Borscht Belt revisited

By Autumn Schanil - staff writer

Contributed Photo by Marisa Scheinfeld
A lounge chair at the indoor pool of Grossinger's Catskill Resort and Hotel in Liberty.
LIVINGSTON MANOR — Between the 1920s and the 1970s, thriving summer resorts and hotels in the Catskill Mountains of New York in Sullivan, Orange, and Ulster counties were popular vacation spots for the Jewish of New York City. They became known as the Borscht Belt of the Catskills.
Today, the Borscht Belt resorts that once buzzed with human life are mostly abandoned, defunct, delapidated and overgrown with nature.
Marisa Scheinfeld, born in Brooklyn and raised in the Catskills, has a passion for photographing ruins or sites with histories embedded in them, hence her book “The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the remains of America's Jewish vacationland.”
Scheinfeld will be speaking about her book and showcasing a selection of photographs at The Laundry King in Livingston Manor (65 Main Street) on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m.

“The Borscht Belt” presents a contemporary view of more than 40 bungalow and hotel sites, abandoned properties, drained swimming pools and other remains of an era now forgotten and vacant.
“On the deserted grounds of these former retreats I have found an enchanting solitude--a seclusion that is empty and uncontrolled. Yet the stillness is deceptive,” Scheinfeld states in the prologue of her book. “What appears to be abandoned is actually full of life and activity. One act of animated history has ended, but, as any visitor to these sites quickly learns, new acts have begun. Guest rooms have become sanctuaries for birds. Leafy ferns have pushed their way through foundations and floors. Overgrown shrubs and tangled weeds have swallowed staircases.”
For those interested, Scheinfeld's book will be available for pre-order on Saturday. For more information you can visit her website

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