The Catskills Feature
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The Borscht Belt
Liberty and Monticello are jumping-off points for the legendary Catskills resorts. The cool, dry atmosphere of the region and its proximity to New York City historically attracted sufferers of tuberculosis and other lung ailments. Later, Russian and Eastern European Jews flocked here to escape the heat and disease of New York City's immigrant ghettos. Over time, this network of vacation spots came to be known as the Borscht Belt, and served as boot camp for innumerable entertainers who later gained national prominence. (The Catskills churned out comedians Milton Berle, Freddie Roman, and Danny Kaye, to name a few.) Not many of the old-time resorts are still standing, although a few remain as popular golf destinations. The influence of the resorts era has faded from the landscape, but the Yiddish sayings uttered by the local high-school kids are remnants of this period of Catskills history.
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