A Guide to Hudson Valley Towns

HV Towns

The Hudson Valley Region
Numerous towns and cities call the Hudson Valley region home, from Newburgh to Kingston to Rhinebeck. With its distinctive balance of nature and culture, there’s no shortage of things to see, do, and experience in the Hudson Valley area. Hudson River towns, like Beacon and Poughkeepsie, enjoy waterfront views and activities, and scenic hikes and bike trails are readily available to the towns that are nestled among the Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains, like Woodstock and New Paltz.

Beacon: Post-Boom Town

Beacon: Post-Boom Town

Beacon kicked off an era of gentrification in the Hudson Valley. Now it’s trying to lead the region out of it.

Tags: Beacon

 

Dirty Bacchus: This Natural Wine Store Might Send You Into Ritual Ecstasy

There's No Booze in this Beacon Wine Shop, Just Natural and Low-Intervention Wines, Meads, Ciders, and Sake
“I wasn’t that big into wine,” says Steven Ventura, owner of Dirty Bacchus in Beacon, “until the natural wine thing started, I just wasn't really moved by it.” Ventura was more partial to spirits. His whisky obsession led to a blog on independently bottled Scotches called The Maltfreak and a gig curating the brown liquors for Palate Wines in Newburgh when it first opened over five years ago. “I ended up just doing the wine too,” Ventura says. “That is really my only previous work experience in this line.” A fellow employee began introducing Ventura to low-intervention wines. “We were never really able to convince the owner to go in that direction,” he says, somewhat ruefully. But his own interest had been piqued. Ventura kept learning, reading, and tasting, and last June he opened Dirty Bacchus, dedicated exclusively to low-intervention, organic or biodynamic, sustainably farmed, vegan wines, as well as a selection of organic ciders, meads, and sake. “This was kind of a retirement project, but now I’m working six days a week,” says Ventura, who also co-owns the restaurant, bar, and music venue Quinn’s in Beacon. “I’m really enjoying myself and I’m meeting a lot of great people.” Ventura conceives of the store as a farm stand for products sourced directly from small, independent producers whenever possible. “Wine is an agricultural product first and foremost,” he says. “Wine made from organic or biodynamic grapes, and made simply, with few or zero additives, is more healthful, more healing and beneficial, than conventional industrial wines, and better for the planet and for humanity’s future overall.” The shop carries a wide range of wines from around the world, including Western Europe, the US, and a slew of under-explored winemaking countries like Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Greece, and Mexico. Given the unfamiliar provenance of many of these wines, Ventura does a good amount of customer education. “People don't just walk in and buy a $50 bottle of wine from Quebec,” he says with a chuckle. “But once they do, they come back and buy more. I haven't based this store on any kind of market research. Everything in here is wine that I love. This is like my private collection and I let people buy bottles from it. That’s the beauty of having my own store—there are winemakers I've always been curious about but never been able to find them before. Now I have them. I’m learning more all the time.” Ventura opened the shop with about 75 wines and now has 392, among which are a number of “unicorns” you can’t find elsewhere. “I haven't taken a penny out yet. I just keep building the collection,” he says. “At the moment, I’m staring at 21 cases of wine that I have no place to put. My enthusiasm is getting a little out of hand.” The shop is designed to be accessible to both new and seasonal natty wine drinks, and includes a section of $20-and-under picks, another of guzzleable wines dubbed “Glou Glou, Oops I Drank the Whole Bottle,” and another titled "You'd Never Know," of low-intervention wines that taste like their conventional counterparts. "I love the extraordinarily broad spectrum of aromas and flavors and styles that natural wine as a category encompasses," Ventura says. "One can get so specific when pairing these wines to foods!" All the wines he carries are vegan, organically or biodynamic farmed, wild fermented, made with as little SO2 as possible, unfined, and largely unfiltered. He tends to avoid new oak, which masks terroir. “The ideal of natural wine is that nothing’s added, nothing’s taken away,” he says. Ventura estimates that about 95 percent of the wines he stocks are hand-harvested, another thing that contributes to the higher price tags. “It's incredibly labor-intensive to make wine this way,” he says. “That’s my one problem with natural wine: It’s wine for the people, but most people have a hard time affording. I have a $20 and under section that has about 60 bottles—that is my hardest section to keep full. If it's going to meet all my other criteria chances are going to cost more than $20.” Still Ventura’s doing his best to democratize access to natural wines. Ventura had trouble picking a favorite wine, but he is a fan of wunderkind winemaker Francois Saint-Lo. “He lives and makes his wine in a cave in the southern Loire Valley,” he says. “And his wines are just fabulously alive and full of energy. His sister does the labels and they’re crazy.” Another top contender was Verre de Gris, a natural wine from Quebec produced by Pinard et Filles. "It smells and tastes of wild strawberries," he says, "but there is also something about it that is reminiscent of waking up on a cool morning camping in the open deep in a north woods pine forest. Hard to put into words." Dirty Bacchus is open Monday through Wednesday, 12-6pm; Thursday through Saturday 11am to 7pm; and Sunday 12-5pm. ...

Tags: General Food & Drink

Hit the Reset: The Games are Back On at Happy Valley Arcade Bar in Beacon

The Happy Valley Arcade Bar opened on Main Street in Beacon last August with the intention of bringing the best of '80s and early '90s arcade gaming back to Beacon: NBA Jam and Ms. Pac-Man, a Salt-n-Pepa-themed vending machine with the words "Push It Real Good" painted on the dispensary flap, and enough Day-Glo graphics on the walls to make you feel as if you've stepped inside your favorite Trapper Keeper. A week later they had to unplug the games due to pandemic regulations. But now, the vintage games are back on, the cocktails are flowing, and the patio is open.

Tags: Bars

3 Beacon Breweries Offering Craft Beers and Scenic Views

At roughly 13,000 residents, the City of Beacon isn’t exactly a sprawling metropolis. But as the early poster child for Hudson Valley revitalization (and later gentrification) it makes sense that Beacon would have its fair share of craft breweries. Three to be exact. Get into summer mode with these three taprooms offering craft brews and an outdoor space to sip and take in the mountainous beauty. Two Way Brewing Hudson Valley resident and founder of Two Way Brewing Michael O’Herron wanted his brewery to be a place where nature lovers could enjoy a craft beer with a scenic view of the mountains and river. He accomplishes this with Two-Way’s outdoor patio in front of the taproom, which is an ideal spot to hang out under a red umbrella or out in the sun with a pint, flight, or can of beer. The full service taproom, open Thursday to Sunday, is a cozy and rustic space recalling the outdoors with wood signs on tree poles that read “Trail to the Patio” and “Trail to the Bar.” Some beers on tap right now are the Two Way Climb High-PA, their flagship IPA recipe with some additions for a rounded taste, and the Two Way Devils Head Red, is a red ale brewed with roast barley for a toasted and mellow flavor. They also have a Hesperides Hard Cider made with Empire, Fuji, and Gala apples sourced from O'Herron’s family farm. All of their beers are brewed in-house in the facility right next to the taproom. Industrial Arts Brewing Located a bit outside downtown Beacon, Industrial Arts Brewing is housed in a large, once-abandoned factory building. It’s worth the trek, though, for the views alone. OUtside the taproom, a deck offers panoramas of the Hudson Highlands. Industrial Arts specializes in all things hoppy. In addition to their selection of limited releases and seasonal options, the brewing company has seven core beers that are always available in creatively designed and colorful cans: the Wrench Northeast IPA, Pocket Wrench Northeast pale ale, Metric Pilsner, Tools of the Trade extra pale ale, Torque Wrench double IPA, Power Tools IPA, and the Impact Wrench triple IPA. Their Farm and Philanthropy lines are created in support of causes, such as the Spring Landscape Helles Bock: a light lager with hints of honey, citrus, and mint for which 100 percent of profits go towards the Rockland Farm Alliance to connect local communities to organic food. The Yes Farms, Yes Beer is a 100-percent New York farm IPA with pineapple and lemon meringue flavors promoting local agriculture. Their State of the Art Series has small-batch experimental beers such as the Coffee Porter––brewed with Sumatra Coffee from Beacon-based Trax Coffee Roasters, and a Raspberry Lemon Lager with tart citrus notes ideal for a hot summer day. The brewery is currently under construction, and is taking to-go orders on Thursday to Sunday. Hudson Valley Brewing Hudson Valley Brewing’s 10,000-square-foot brewing space in downtown Beacon specializes in barrel-aged sour beers and tropical-fruit flavored IPAs, sometimes combining the two for specialty sour IPAs. Inside the brewery, one wall is stacked with barrels used for aging the beer, while more modern looking silver vats and brewing equipment dominate the area behind the bar. Bluegrass and American music plays over the loudspeakers and there is often food available from pop-up kitchens on site. Outside of the cinder block taproom, an outdoor patio with string lights offers a perfect spot to try their beers Fridays through Sundays. Some of their brews currently on offer are the Demiurge––a tiki-style sour DIPA with raw wheat, flaked and malted oat, milk sugar, blackstrap molasses, pineapple, lime puree, and almonds, and hopped with Mosaic and Azacca at $22 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans; and the Curtains VII, a sour DIPA produced in collaboration with Veil Brewing Company and made with raw wheat, flaked and malted oat, milk sugar, pineapple, blueberry and Pinot Noir grapes, and hopped with Citra and Mosaic for $22 a four-pack. Hudson Valley Brewery is offering online-ordering with in-person pick-up Friday-Sunday, 12-5pm, and the patio is open Friday 3-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm; and Sunday 12-8pm. ...

Tags: Craft Beverage Industry

Upstate Films to Close Woodstock Cinema and Hit the Road with a Projector

Now under new management, Upstate Films is rolling out a series of changes, the biggest of which is closing the Woodstock location. The flagship cinema in Rhinebeck is set to reopen early summer for regular screenings, and in the meantime you can rent out the entire theater with your pals to screen one of the five Best Picture Oscar nominees. This July will also see the launch of the Hudson Valley Picture Show, Upstate Film's new traveling outdoor theater, popping up at locations like Opus 40, and Kaatsbaan through early fall.

Tags: Film

Rest & Heal: Curated Care Packages to Support Women through Life's Challenges

“With the pandemic, people have taken stock of their lives,” says Anna White, founder of the Chatham-based brand Rest & Heal. “People are thinking more deeply about what they want their lives to be about.” For her that meant moving upstate full-time with her family to their Chatham home and starting a business based around supporting women through life’s big challenges. “For over two decades, I battled chronic fatigue along with a host of other issues,” White says. “In my case, Western medicine offered little relief—healing required a great deal of research, experimentation with different healing modalities, and self-examination.” She originally conceived of Rest & Heal as a sleepwear line, but ultimately realized she wanted to showcase the books that had supported her in her darkest hours. “These are books around our shared humanity,” she says. “Trying to understand why we face the struggles that we do, looking at our lives in a more holistic and spiritual perspective, like ‘Why was I given this set of challenges,’ and ‘What should I take away from this?” Some of her favorites include Elizabeth Lesser’s book Broken Open, and Brene Brown’s Vulnerability and Shame. After finding a storefront on Hudson Avenue in Chatham, White’s idea crystallized: curated care packages featuring these books, designed to help women through life’s heartbreaks, hurdles, and rites of passage. Through her brick-and-mortar and online shop, she currently offers five options: heartbreak, grief, new motherhood, and illness, plus a limited edition Mother’s Day package, all in the $100 to $200 range. Each care package comes with a book, a garment, and other treats. “There are a lot of mysterious diseases and ailments out there that the medical community has had a hard time helping people with. There is no cure, no protocols,” says White, who experienced this first-hand with her own chronic fatigue diagnosis. “A lot of people feel dismissed and diminished. Their pain is not recognized. Nobody knows how to help them. And beyond that, people are facing all kinds of struggles, depression, anxiety. There is a lot that is not working in the system. Thankfully, mental health has become more of a focus, less of a stigma.” White conceived of Rest & Heal as a way for women to support each other in trying times, a more lasting and, hopefully, transformative gesture than sending flowers. “The feedback so far has been really positive,” she says. “I think people are really touched to receive them. We do a hand-written note with every package, and it’s lovely to see what people say to each other. It is moving—sometimes to tears. There is just so much love out there.” The products included in the packages—robes, sleepwear, tea, bath salts, body scrubs, alpaca blankets—are sourced from sustainable and women-owned businesses. In addition to the themed care packages, you can also design your own—either for yourself or to gift. “The idea is to keep it relatively simple,” White says. “I’m not going to add tons and tons of products to the point where it gets confusing for people.” White has also begun hosting some events in-store, which she hopes to do more of post-pandemic. Recent topics include overwhelm and meditation. “I think women coming together and educating ourselves is also very healing—being part of a community discussion and learning from each other,” she says. “I think there is a universal way of stepping back and looking at these challenges,” White says. “Not seeing them as random things that just happened to you, but maybe finding some bigger meaning. There is the ability to really learn something, and really change something if it needs to be changed.” White will be opening the brick-and-mortar to the public on weekends in the run-up to Mother’s Day on April 25, May 1-2, and May 8 from 11am-4pm. The limited-edition Mother’s Day care package ($120) includes Kae Kimono robe, a clothbound journal, and a bath bomb. You can also browse the Rest & Heal care packages online at any time. ...

Tags: Chatham

Raven Rose: Flowers, Plants, & Gifts to Brighten Up Your Life

From floral design to cookbooks, houseplants to tea towels, this lil' Beacon shop has it all
As you reach the end of Beacon’s nearly mile-long Main Street, heading toward the Fishkill Creek, you’ll find Raven Rose perched inconspicuously on the corner. A dog is probably sleeping in one sunny shop window, while the other teems with greenery. Inside, the florist-meets-gift shop is charming and airy, with a layout and aesthetic that continually shifts with the seasons. The boutique, owned by Courtney Sedor, specializes in modern home decor, floral design, and plants along with a good gift selection of jewelry, soap, candles, and books. After backpacking through 20 countries for 20 months, Sedor came to Beacon in hopes of settling down and purchasing the pet shop Beacon Barkery. But when plans fell through, she found the existing flower shop in her current location for sale. “I had no retail background,” says Sedor, who opened Raven Rose in 2016. “Life just takes you to different places and with the timing, it just kind of fell together.” Sedor provides full-service custom floral arrangements for weddings with a starting budget of $4,000, as well as micro-wedding services for events with less than 50 people. She designs with an eye for texture and less common flowers to cultivate an organic, natural, and individual look for each couple. (You can see some of the shop’s work in their online gallery.) But Raven Rose goes beyond the scope of the flower shop that came before it with the curated selection of gifts and home goods. Of the store’s concept, Sedor says it was a “journey of trying to get this existing business to fit more of my personality and what the community in Beacon would be attracted to.” Sedor’s primary goal is to provide people with items they can love at affordable prices. “It’s really important to me that the things in the store feel attainable and not like you’re breaking the bank,” she says. With her selection of stones and minerals, she aims to give people who might not necessarily seek out a crystal shop room to explore metaphysical interests. “Because the shop has all these other things, it’s a way for customers to explore those different elements and feel comfortable doing so,” she says. Open daily, the shop fills a niche in Beacon that locals were happy to support during the pandemic. “I really did see an uptick in people coming to shop during the week,” Sedor says. “And then of course all the people from the city coming up just for an escape.” Some of the shop's floral products include the Designers Choice, which consists of a collection of seasonal flowers in a paper wrap that are perfect for every occasion or no occasion at all for $40-$80. In the Home and Pantry section, Raven Rose stocks candles and diffusers like the Sparkling Grapefruit color block candle for $23 and the Fig and Olive Flora diffuser for $39. In the home decor section, they have an array of interesting and fun vases like the Milky Yellow Modern Glass Vase for $17, Sienna Curvy Stoneware Vase for $30, and the Test Tube Vase––a lab-chic metal and glass construction with five different movable heights for a creative display of flowers for $38. They also have products like patterned dish towels, tea strainers, a marble and mango wood cutting board, a beechwood brush with a leather tie, and cookbooks like Adeline Waugh’s Vibrant and Pure, which includes 80 healthy and exciting recipes taken from her viral Instagram account. And for those with a green thumb, the lush selection of houseplants, ranging from Boston ferns to spider plants and six-foot fiddle leaf figs, is sure to delight. Raven Rose is open Monday-Saturday, 11am-6pm, and Sunday, 11am-5pm. ...

Tags: Shopping

The Millerton Inn: Farm-to-Table with a Greek Flare

At The Millerton Inn, farm-to-table means not only their table, but their farm, as well. Peter Stefanopoulos, a longtime restaurateur in the Hudson Valley/Litchfield County area, has combined fresh, exceptionally well-prepared food with a welcoming ambience that encourages comfortable conversation, all in a historic Millerton building. Stefanopoulos, who also owns Yianni’s in Chatham, NY, The Boathouse in Lakeville, CT, and is a co-owner of the Four Brothers Pizza restaurants, has managed to bring a touch of Greek cuisine to the menu (even the olive oil, which is amply poured and served with locally baked crusty bread, comes from a family grove in Greece), while ensuring that local ingredients and specialties cover a wide range of tastes. The family's Four Brothers Dairy Farm, just a few miles down the road, supplies the restaurant with produce, meat, and dairy, including the menu's all-star feta, chevre, and Greek yogurt. The Millerton Inn occupies a formidable 1860s Victorian in the heart of Millerton, a location that hosted many an excellent dinner when it was known as the No. 9 Restaurant (later The No. 9 Restaurant and Inn). When former chef and innkeepers Tim and Taryn Cocheo headed north to Popolo Restaurant in Bellows Falls, VT, Stefanopoulos bought the enterprise and gave it a tasteful head–to-toe makeover. The results are pleasing on many levels. Eleven guest rooms occupy the upper floors, while on the main level, the restaurant occupies every room, leaving the parlor as a cozy place to await the escort to your table. Under Greek-born executive chef Andreas Hinos, the menu changes seasonally with farm-fresh produce and market catches dictating much of the selection. Appetizers are beautifully presented and offer a welcome variety of options. The steaming clam chowder ($12) appears in a bowl garnished with toast (“charred bread” according to the menu) and sporting clams in their opened shells, as well as pancetta and fingerling potatoes. Local herbs combine with a touch of white wine to make the dish that evokes plaintive “I should have ordered that…” comments from around the table. It’s not the classic New England-style cream-based chowder but a light, flavorful soup that preps the taste buds for adventures to come. The Drunken meatballs are served on a bed of whipped feta with roasted tomato sauce and a drizzle of authentic Greek ouzo ($12). If you're a vegetarian, opt for the pan-seared feta, which comes wrapped in flakey filo dough and drizzeld with honey and sesame seeds ($12). If salads are your interest, then the Millerton Inn Greek salad will delight. Again, the local influence is evident in both the greens and feta. The oregano dressing is a family recipe, and its own special treat. The traditional Caesar salad becomes a highlight with whole anchovies and spicy croutons topped with a tangy dressing. Main courses offer a compact range of selections from market fish to market steak, both of which are offered at the discretion of the chef. The saffron orange chicken is just as lush and substantial as it sounds, slow-cooked in a butter, orange, and saffron sauce and over rice pilaf ($25). Even the Millerton Inn burger carries a pedigree, credited to Meiller’s Farm, and comes with sharp white cheddar and a housemade bacon onion jam on brioche bun ($16). For the vegetarians among us, the baked mousaka ($20/$24) elevates the lowly eggplant to star billing and includes, in the “best supporting ingredients” category, a mushroom ragout (or sub this out for ground beef) and bechamel sauce that announces its arrival at the table with a wonderful aroma. There are pasta specialties, as well, one of which is the peasant’s pasta. Among the listed ingredients is beets, leeks, kale, and a wonderfully mysterious cheese called Kefalograviera. Research will tell you that the cheese is produced in western Macedonia, Epirus, and the regional units of Aetolia-Acarnania and Evrytania. That would be…Greece.  Desserts are no less sumptuous than the appetizers, sides, salads, and entrees. An encounter with the tiramisu ($8) is encouraged, even if your notion is for the “table to share.”There’s a full bar (and well-trained bartenders), and the drink lineup includes signature cocktails—Byzantine Heads and The Horse’s Bath are worth trying for the names alone. The wine list is ample, but not intimidating, and the selection of beers that is supported by craft American brews really finds its stride with imports from Belgium, England, Austria, and Canada. When visiting The Millerton Inn, it’s essential to listen to the specials offered by the waitstaff. During the summer and fall months, as new offerings appear on the farm on a daily basis, the chef’s imagination is piqued and the results are superb. During asparagus season, the chef finds a wonderful way of creating a salad with lumps of crabmeat, fresh asparagus and spring mix that is a true temptation. Since most diners are interested in value as part of the dining experience, the price points are in line with the quality of the dishes and the thoughtful presentation. Appetizers, which some in the research party chose as their main course, are priced in the mid-teens. Salads are in the same range, while entrees are in the $20-$30 range and burgers are priced at $15. And Stefanopoulos has made the place a comfortable destination. The front dining room is decorated with lush figured wallpaper and paint to match. The back dining room is quieter, more subtle. In the rear of the building, the Tap Room is a bit more lively, with several large screen TVs placed in convenient, but not imposing spots. This is where the locals can be found—which is always a good sign. When the residents make a restaurant a regular spot, then it’s a fair indication that the food, the service, the atmosphere, and the welcome are well aligned. So it is at The Millerton Inn. The Millerton Inn 53 Main Street, Millerton, NY (518) 592-1900 ...

Tags: Restaurants

The Moviehouse in Millerton Slated to Reopen by June Under New Owners

Built originally as a Grange Hall in 1903, the building that houses the Moviehouse in Millerton has been a community hub from the start. In time, it was converted into a cinema with a ballroom upstairs. The only theater for a ways, the Moviehouse showed a wide range of films, 365 days a year since its birth in 1978—until COVID shut it down last March. But now, the small theater is slated to reopen by mid-June, with new proprietors David Maltby and Chelsea Altman at the helm. “When I made the decision to find new leadership for The Moviehouse, I looked for people who shared our passion and enthusiasm for the cinema, art, and community,” says previous owner Carol Sadlon, who ran the Moviehouse for 43 years with her late husband Robert. She found what she was looking for in Altman and Maltby, an energized young New York couple with ties to the Millerton area. Altman and Maltby are well-prepared to take on this new chapter in the Moviehouse’s management, with an ideal, if rare, blend of business and creative experience. Maltby is a founding partner of real-estate investment firm Empire Square Group, as well as an award-winning drummer, music producer, and theater producer. Altman is the co-owner of six Brooklyn bars and restaurants and an actor in both stage and screen productions, with roles on and off Broadway, in television, and film. “I want to get back to some of those artistic roots, and this felt like a good way to join those two things,” Altman says. “Hosting pop-up dinners with a film is a great opportunity to collaborate with local food people and maybe even occasionally bring up one of my restaurants from Brooklyn.” An all-digital theater, the Moviehouse is known for screening first-run and independent films and documentaries on their four screens. The Gallery Cafe has historically showcased exhibits by local artists––voted Best of Hudson Valley in 2018 and “Best Hipster Hangout” by Hudson Valley magazine. Altman and Maltby hope to bring fresh energy to this regional cultural center, getting the local artists, actors, and filmmakers involved in the film and nightlife offerings. “We have a lot of friends around here and people in and out of the film industry, and so we just want to make it a fun, vibrant base,” Maltby says. They have received lots of support and excitement from community members about their plans for the future. “People want more than just a movie. They want an experience, so we're going to offer that as well,” Altman says. With Hollywood's recent move toward releasing films direct to TV, it might be surprising that that there were a whopping 11 bids on the property when the long-running cinema went up for sale. Out of candidates, Sadlon chose the couple with full confidence in their dedication and capability. “They are brilliant, creative people, skilled and successful in their current endeavors, with deep-seated ties to the community, and enthusiasm for the future of cinema arts,” she says. Maltby and Altman are currently doing substantial interior renovations to the building, including installing an elevator and making over the second floor. “We're putting in a bar and applying for a beer and wine license,” Maltby says. “We want to create a lounge environment, and we are redesigning the smallest theater upstairs as well to make it much more comfortable and fun.” Maltby grew up going to the Moviehouse. “It has a special place in my heart,” he says. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue Robert and Carol Sadlon’s legacy and carry The Moviehouse forward.” ...

Tags: Film

Build Back Brighter

The Revitalization of Newburgh is Finally Happening...But For Whose Benefit?
Once dubbed "the murder capital of New York," the awaited revitalization of Newburgh is finally happening. But for whose benefit?

Tags: Newburgh

Puppets-on-Hudson

Arm-Of-The-Sea Gets the Green Light for Tidewater Center on the Saugerties Waterfront
The new Tidewater Center will consist of a 99- seat theater and outdoor performance space; a studio for resident artists; a waterworks play area; a kayak launch; and an environmental science lab.

Tags: Theater

Saugerties: Keep On Pushing

Despite the trials and tribulations Saugerties has faced throughout the pandemic, its people and small businesses have proven to be more resilient than ever.

Tags: Saugerties

Hudson & Packard Makes the Case for Detroit Pizza in Poughkeepsie

Chef Charlie Webb Brings a CIA-Honed Palate to His Hometown Pizza Style
This past October, Michigan native Charlie Webb opened Hudson & Packard in Poughkeepsie, where his hometown Detroit pizza style combines with the elevated palate of his Culinary Institute training. Detroit pies are not pies at all, but rectangles with a thick, crust that's fluffy on this inside and crispy on the bottom. Shelf your New York skepticism for a moment and head to the new pizzeria, where you may be surprised by the deep-dish gooey goodness.

Tags: Restaurants

Big Idea: Women & Children First

MacKenzie Scott Donates $1M to the Ulster County YWCA
MacKenzie Scott has given $1 million to the Ulster County YWCA, the only Hudson Valley nonprofit to receive the Amazon billionaire’s largesse.

Tags: Kingston

COLLEGE DURING COVID

Q&A with SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian
A conversation with Donald P. Christian, president of SUNY New Paltz.

Tags: Colleges

Poughkeepsie: Strong at Heart

The Queen City's Economic Resurgence Forges Ahead Despite Pandemic Setbacks
The pandemic has slowed but not stopped the Queen City’s economic resurgence.

Tags: Poughkeepsie

Call BlackLine

Community Care and Liberation on Speed Dial
As established systems of public safety failed them, one group of organizers took matters into their own hands, establishing a hotline for the Black community.

Tags: Poughkeepsie

The Kids Are Online

Jennier Strodl of Liberi School Speaks to her Institution's Transition to All-Virtual Learning
Jennifer Strodl, founder of Hudson’s Liberi School, explains her decision to take her school to an all-virtual educational environment.

Tags: In the Classroom

The Leaf in Beacon: A Haven for Hemp Lovers

Quality CBD from Seed to Sale
At The Leaf in Beacon, the Focus is on Quality CBD from Seed to Sale

Tags: Beacon

Great Barrington: Holding Fast Amid the Pandemic

The challenges COVID brought down upon this Berkshire town are not unique, but the community’s response can best be characterized by optimistic resolve.

Tags: Community Pages

Flower Power

Great Barrington’s Calyx Berkshire Dispensary Is Forging a Path for Women in Cannabis
Great Barrington’s Calyx Berkshire Dispensary Is Forging a Path for Women in Cannabis.

Tags: Hemp & Weed

Emporium Square: Taking Back Strip Mall America

Local Makers, Artisans, and Vendors Converge Under One Communal Roof in Middletown
For years, the enormous warehouse building at 128 Dolson Avenue in Middletown housed a weekend indoor flea market. But lifelong Middletown residents will perhaps remember it better as Playtogs department store, which occupied the space for 35 years, from 1959 to 1994. In 2018, LGP Capital of Middletown purchased the 200,000-square-foot strip mall that housed the flea market. And last winter the market’s final tenant Orlando Lallave, owner of Fusion Eyewear, made the enormous decision to rent the 50,000-square-foot space from the new owners and renovate it himself. 2020 Vision Orlando's grand vision for the space? An elevated twist on the indoor market featuring the work of local artisans, makers, and food vendors. “He wanted to keep his business location and renovate the entire space,” says Lallave's business partner and Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Martinez. “He knew there was a need for a market in Orange County that really catered to local businesses. There are so many gems throughout the Hudson Valley that he wanted to bring under one roof.” Lallave, who is originally from Brooklyn took inspiration from the city’s many indoor marketplaces. Thus, Emporium Square Artisan Market was born. “He reached out to me in May, and said, ‘I’ve been working on this project. I need to get to the next step of filling it with merchants,” says the well-connected Martinez, who formerly ran the Goshen Chamber of Commerce and whose Facebook Live “Where in the Hudson Valley is Barbara Martinez?” profiles local businesses. “As a chamber executive, I recognized that a lot of small businesses had to close their doors because of the pandemic,” she says. “As an executive my hands were tied. But while I was on furlough, we partnered up and I started reaching out to small businesses that wanted to get their foot in the door but didn’t know if it was possible to do something like this without the crippling cost of brick and mortar.” Lowering the Barriers to Entry Accessibility is at the core of Emporium Square. Sharing costs and space, without the traditional overhead of an individual storefront, removes the barriers to entry for a lot of fledgling businesses. “The goal is to be a brick-and-mortar location for young people who want to start a business but don't know how or don't believe they can afford it,” Martinez says. “Or for local businesses who may have had to close their doors, a second chance. It’s a way for a lot of great local businesses, artisan shops, makers, crafters, and even artists to have a home. It’s like Sugar Loaf, but inside.” Adding to accessibility, the rent is month-to-mont: a flat fee of $300 for a 10-foot-by-10-foot shop, which includes electricity, heat, and wifi. Invested merchants have added their own flooring, painted the walls, and decorated. “It’s really easy, low-risk,” Martinez says. “It really gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to try and see if it’ something they want to do. We’ve had people leave to get a brick-and-mortar. We had one merchant started with a single 10x10 booth, and no expanded to a double, in one month. The renovation got rid of the flea market stalls and replaced them with modular pop-up units that truly feel like a shop. Each Emporium tenant outfits their own boutique with decor and merchandise. “When it was a flea market, it was poorly lit. Everything was all over the place,” Martinez says. “Almost like the Island of Misfit Shops. It was not the quality of shopping Orlando wanted to offer.” With accents of brick, burnt wood, and wine barrels for grazing, the reinvisioned Emporium Square has rustic, rural charm. Lallave added crown molding, soft lighting, lettering on all the shops. Even the food court got a kitchen upgrade. “People have just been amazed by the transformation of the location,” Martinez says. “When they walk in thinking it’s still a flea market they are blown away by the types of merchants. We have totally embraced the artist community.” Shops on Shops The artisan market had its grand opening on August 1. Now there are over 50 merchants, and the Emporium is almost at capacity. The other 40% of the square footage Lallave rented has not yet been developed, as the roof needs to be repaired. Some of the merchants include Stony Woods Gallery artist group, which closed its shop in Beacon; FarmBody, which makes CBD oils and handcrafted body care products, Cakey Candles; ARCC Crystals, which sells crystals, oils, and other things to support holistic healing; Ruff Inspirations, which sells all things graphic from decals and home decor to t-shirts and face masks; Le Blanc Smiles, which does tooth whitening and microblading; KeddiesV vegan food stall; something called Pink Taco Yoni VSteam; and many more. See the full list of 50-plus merchants. Emporium Square is an uplifting story of triumph of the little guys over the big box stores. It is small businesses’ reclamation of strip mall America. A springboard and a melding pot. Like their wares, Emporium's peddlers are diverse. “We’re like UNICEF here,” Martinez says with a laugh. “We have a little bit of everybody. Black-owned businesses, Latin-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, vendors from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mexico, Puerto Rico." These days, the indoor market is abuzz with holiday shoppers buying gifts. If you haven’t been yet, pop in when the market is open Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-6pm, and support local business. Emporium Square Artisan Market 128 Dolson Avenue, Middletown (845) 636-9091 ...

Tags: Shopping

The Thrill of the Chill: Cryotherapy Comes to the Catskills

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Then it’s time to try your hand at cryotherapy. After just three minutes in a chamber that’s been blasting your body with nitrogen gas supercooled to -180 degrees, your brain will think it just snowboarded down a black diamond run. And thanks to the anti-inflammatory and mood-boosting effects of the "fight or response" triggered by cryotherapy, that’s the whole point.

Tags: General Wellness

Big Idea: Uncharted Power Brings Smart Pavers to Poughkeepsie

The city levels up its tech with the Internet of Things in its sidewalks.

Tags: Poughkeepsie

A Village in Flux: Catskill

Residents of this Greene County village are bullish on thriving during the pandemic. As New York Restaurant owner Natasha Witka told us : “I have never felt stronger about the people that are here. No matter what this winter brings, we’ll be able to get through it together.”

Tags: Community Pages

Urban Removal: Kingston’s Housing Crisis

Since the beginning of the pandemic, New York City residents have fled t o Kingston, creating one of the country’s hottest housing markets. The city’s less affluent residents have been collateral damage as affordable housing dries up.

Tags: Community Pages

Barber and Brew in Cold Spring Expertly Pairs Fresh Cuts with Craft Beer

Amid the pandemic, the hybrid shop is making business work for both sides
At first glance, a high-end barbershop and a craft beer bar might be unlikely companions. But when you think about the types who tend to frequent either—folks with discerning tastes who enjoy the finer things in life—it starts to make sense. Barber and Brew in Cold Spring makes the marriage seem effortless, especially considering it was never the original plan.

Tags: Craft Beverage Industry

The Summit Is An Inflection Point for Newburgh’s Arts and Cultural Scene

The December 5 online event will celebrate local performers, makers, and artists and engage residents on the initial findings of the Newburgh Arts & Cultural Study (NACS)
Like many towns in the Hudson Valley, the City of Newburgh has undergone a rebirth. A once-thriving industrial hub racked by midcentury urban blight, over the last ten years, Newburgh's residents—both new and old—have poured heart and soul into rejuvenating the city’s small business and arts and cultural landscape. With so much change often comes the need to pause and consider where the future is headed. That’s where The Summit, an upcoming event by the Newburgh Arts & Cultural Study, comes in. On Saturday, December 5, The Summit will bring together members of the community for a free online creative gathering where attendees will learn about and discuss the initial findings of the Newburgh Arts & Cultural Study (NACS). Woven throughout The Summit will be appearances from Newburgh performers, makers, and visual artists. A partnership between the Newburgh Arts and Cultural Commission and the City of Newburgh, NACS is the first comprehensive inventory and assessment of the diverse arts and cultural ecology in the city. After its launch this summer, the study initiated a city-wide conversation about who is participating in or creating cultural experiences for the public; how they impact the city; and what supports are needed to promote equity, increase access and participation, nurture development, and build capacity. "We think of the study like a mirror—it reflects Newburgh back to us so we can see our multiple artistic and cultural identities together. This reflection is made up of data—information which will establish our anecdotal knowns and reveal new ideas," say NACS Project Managers Naomi Hersson-Ringskog and Naomi Miller. "Community members who attend The Summit will learn about the data findings, then make choices about our priorities for moving forward, which is an exciting part of the process. Community conversations held earlier in the study have already connected people and restarted a larger discussion about Newburgh’s cultural future. Our future can be shaped by the study and used like a tool by the city, organizations, businesses, and individuals to make equitable change for those who live and work in Newburgh." “The Newburgh Arts and Cultural Study is the first of many critical steps towards a more equitable future for the City of Newburgh,” says NACS Community Advisor and conceptual artist Vernon Byron. "It is sincerely my hope that the study will provide vital information that will inform much needed changes that will improve life within the city.” NACS’s resulting report, data, and maps will establish a benchmark for the city that offers a rich and in-depth understanding of the city’s cultural assets. With this guidance, stakeholders from NACS and the City of Newburgh can better make decisions and policies that best support Newburgh’s growing cultural landscape and a creative economy that benefits everyone. “The impact of art goes beyond even the economic and social value,” says City of Newburgh's Councilwoman Ramona Monteverde. “The arts provide a means for learning and creative expression, allowing the community a constructive way to give voice to issues that may be controversial or divisive. Through the arts, citizens can engage these issues and emerge an even stronger community." For more information or to register for The Summit, visit Bit.ly/NACSSummit. ...

Tags: General Arts & Culture

Farm-to-Label Cannabis Comes to the Berkshires

The Pass in Sheffield is a vertically integrated dispensary with products grown on-site
With this July's opening of The Pass in the quiet mountain town of Sheffield just outside of Great Barrington, the region’s recreational cannabis consumers have a new name to look to in conscientious sourcing. True to the vertically integrated dispensary's farm-to-label philosophy, there's a sleek retail space, two on-site growing facilities, and a lab for manufacturing its own products from the flowers grown just outside its doors.

Tags: Shopping

Breadfolks Brings Organic Artisanal Loaves and Single-Origin Coffee to Hudson

From Portraits to Pastries, Photographer-Turned-Baker Norman Jean Roy Achieves Excellence
After a long, illustrious career shooting everyone from Joni Mitchell to Serena Williams to Adam Driver for every publication from Vogue to Vanity Fair to Harper’s Bazaar and GQ, in 2014, portrait photographer Norman Jean Roy hung up his camera bag and moved upstate to Columbia County with his wife Joanna Jean Roy. He's traded lenses for leaven as he vies to be upstate's most notable baker at Breadfolks, which he launched in Hudson in August.

Tags: General Food & Drink

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Hudson Valley Events

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"Graham Nickson: Passages" @ Pamela Salisbury Gallery

"Graham Nickson: Passages"

April 10-May 9 — New watercolors and oil paintings....
"Crisis" @ Storm King Art Center

"Crisis"

April 7-Nov. 8 — Site specific installation. Rashid Johnson draws inspiration from combining architectural and organic...

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Hudson Valley Counties

Chronogram’s coverage of the Hudson Valley spans nine counties that line each side of the Hudson River. The northern region of the Hudson Valley extends into Columbia County’s scenic farmland and borders the Berkshires in Massachusetts. The southern Hudson Valley region spans through Putnam County and Northern Westchester, and the mid Hudson Valley includes Ulster and Dutchess Counties, which are connected by the Walkway Over the Hudson, the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.

Hudson Valley Towns and Cities

Every town and city in the Hudson Valley area has something different to offer. From panoramic views to acclaimed restaurants to world-class museums, a trip to any Hudson Valley town is a singularly rewarding experience. Take some time to explore our coverage of the towns and cities of the Hudson Valley, and discover the different cultural elements that they contribute to the region as a whole.