Pin It

My Woodstock 

click to enlarge Robin_Kramer_My-Woodstock.jpg

We came to Woodstock in 1970, the year after the Woodstock Festival. There were still carryovers from the festival: four head shops, a grocery store that sold bread and butter by the slice, and hippies coming off the bus every weekend.

After coming from Brooklyn, Woodstock was a great place to live. You could buy a house for $26,000, you could get your kid into nursery school with a phone call (as opposed to the waiting lists in Brooklyn Heights). There were hangouts where you could hear music seven nights a week.

The places we went were the Joyous Lake, a cafeteria by day, and a club where musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Tim Harden, and Paul Butterfield played, to meet girls and do lines with owners Ron and Valma. Like the Joyous Lake, the Café Espresso and the Sled Hill Café always had the different musicians who were passing through town to record at the Bearsville Studio, owned by Albert Grossman.

Everyone ate dinner at Deanie’s, Duey’s, or the Bear Café. The only place that’s survived is the Bear Café.
Joshua was an Israeli baker who worked in Kingston. His wife Ellen was a friend of mine. She was reading a book How to Borrow Your Way to a Million Dollars. She bid $23,000 for a restaurant on Tinker Street and got it. They opened Joshua’s in the early `70s. It’s now being run by their daughter, Stephanie, who went to the Culinary Institute of America.

The Joyous Lake is a T-shirt store now, the Café Espresso is the Center for Photography, and Deanie’s (after going through many incarnations) is Cucina.

Now the night spots are the Bearsville Theater, the Colony Café, and the hottest ticket around, attracting an audience from all over the world, the Midnight Ramble, at the studio of Levon Helm.

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Salt of the Earth: Robert Skinner and Dorothy Gaydos @ Orange Regional Medical Center

Salt of the Earth: Robert Skinner and Dorothy Gaydos

Nov. 13-Dec. 19 — Salt of the Earth, presented in collaboration with the Orange County Land...
Word Art with Audrey Gilbert @ Hudson Opera House

Word Art with Audrey Gilbert

Thursdays, 3-4:30 p.m. Continues through Jan. 29 — A visual arts and language workshop for kids 6 and up taught...

View all of today's events

Latest in Woodstock

Related to Woodstock

  • Woodstock: The Spirit Survives
  • Woodstock: The Spirit Survives

    A portrait of the little town that's often mistaken as the site of a famous concert
    • Dec 1, 2014
  • Woodstock: 10 Things to Know
  • Woodstock: 10 Things to Know

    The Cliff Notes's version of Woodstock.
    • Dec 1, 2014
  • Podcast Episode 60: Greg Gattine of WDST
  • Podcast Episode 60: Greg Gattine of WDST

    The DJ and Hudson Valley native talks about the state of the radio business, how music is chosen for radio play, and reflects on a wild and wooly career.
    • Jul 1, 2014
  • The Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Mompreneurs
  • The Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Mompreneurs

    Hillary Harvey talks with women who are juggling motherhood and business.
    • Dec 1, 2013
  • CD Review: Roseann Fino
  • CD Review: Roseann Fino

    Sharon Nichols reviews Roseann Fino's self-titled debut.
    • Dec 1, 2013
  • "No Wave Heroes" Exhibit Extended
  • "No Wave Heroes" Exhibit Extended

    Five artists featured at No Wave Heroes: Xmas 13 through January 12.
    • Dec 1, 2013
  • Podcast Episode 38: Media Critic Jeff Cohen
  • Podcast Episode 38: Media Critic Jeff Cohen

    Jeff Cohen stops by to talk about his recent fact-finding trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories. On Friday, December 6, at 7pm Cohen will be speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Kingston about this trip. Cohen spent 10 days among the growing nonviolent resistance movement in the Occupied Territories, which echoes the civil rights movement here in the 60s and the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa.
    • Nov 23, 2013
  • Short Takes: November 2013
  • Short Takes: November 2013

    Forget Black Friday. Six Hudson Valley authors explore the dark sides of pasta sauce, real estate, family ties, booze, tattoos, and good old-fashioned crime.
    • Nov 1, 2013
  • Book Review: The Virgins
  • Book Review: The Virgins

    Jana Martin reviews The Virgins by Pamela Erens.
    • Nov 1, 2013
  • Zen and the Art of Musical Maintenance
  • Zen and the Art of Musical Maintenance

    Gary Peacock
    • Nov 1, 2013
  • More »

More by Robin Kramer

  • Woodstock Mountain High

    One of the most famous named small towns in America, Woodstock is a cultural, musical, and artistic mecca. Read more to see whats going on these days.
    • Jun 1, 2011
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets