Hudson Valley Lifestyle


From style to sustainability, Chronogram’s Lifestyles section follows how those in the Hudson Valley live their lives.


4 Unexpected Ways Central Hudson Pays Customers to Be Energy Efficient

Here in the Mid-Hudson Valley, the most cost-effective way to lower carbon emissions is by participating in energy-efficiency programs from the region’s utility, Central Hudson, which is committed to making investments in infrastructure and technology while continuing to provide reliable, resilient, and affordable power.Through these residential programs, Central Hudson is putting money back into the pockets of customers who responsibly steward their home energy usage.

Tags: Sustainability

Businesses United in Diversity Expo on August 8 in Uptown Kingston

Businesses United in Diversity (BUD) will host a one-day expo highlighting more than fifteen Black-and-minority owned businesses in Ulster County on Saturday, August 8th in the parking lot of the DMV office building located at 244 Fair Street in Uptown Kingston. The event, which will take place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., is a partnership with the Kingston Farmer’s Market, and the brainchild of two recent Kingston High School graduates, Maggie Noe (KHS Class of 2019) and Marine Nimblette (KHS Class of 2019).

Tags: Art of Business

Death by Misadventure

Instagrammable Upstate Spots are Danger Zones for Out-of-Towners
Urbanites fall foul of a tricky Upstate environment.

Tags: Outdoors

A Guide to Business Reopenings in the Hudson Valley and Beyond

A list of ten businesses set to reopen their doors post Coronavirus.

Tags: Coronavirus

Hudson Valley Alpaca Farms

Once marketed as “the investment you can hug,” alpacas are both highly lucrative fiber animals and undeniably adorable. These Andean camelids are robust and relatively low maintenance thanks to their rugged natural habitat. Their downy fleece, which is said to be softer than cashmere and warmer than sheeps’ wool, can be sheared and spun to make a range of sustainable clothing and textiles. Plus it contains no lanolin and, thus, is hypoallergenic. Although these fluffy four-leggeds originally hail from Peru, today they can be found all over the world, including at these farms right here in the Hudson Valley. Whether you’re looking to take the kids out for a fun farmy adventure or want to stock up on cold-weather textiles, these alpaca farms are a great choice. 1. Alicia Adams Alpaca | Millbrook The 80-acre Alicia Adams farm is home to over 200 Suri alpacas. This breed is the least common of the two present in the United States (the other one being the huacaya). With their rare alpaca fleece, the Adams family designs and produces homewares, accessories, and clothing. The Adams family sticks strictly to ethical production, meaning that the alpacas are not harmed while being shorn, and any hides are from animals that died from natural causes. Although you can’t meet the alpacas behind the product, you can visit the flagship store in Millbrook to browse the latest from the Alicia Adams collection and meet the makers, or shop online. 2. Clover Brooke | Hyde Park What began as a small, two-goat family farm in 2016 is now home to a fiber-diverse herd of goats, sheep, llamas, and alpaca—and a few barnyard cats for good measure. Clover Brooke is homestead is a haven for animal lovers, who can embark on socially distanced llama or alpaca hikes, guiding their fuzzy buddy through pastures, paddocks, and along trails before stopping at the farm store. The llamas and alpacas also participate in on-farm yoga classes, animalgrams, weddings, birthdays, and animal assisted therapy. The farm also has beehives, a hop yard, a fruit tree orchard, and berries bushes, and hosts educational workshops on homesteading topics like beekeeping and cheese-making. 3. Fluff Alpaca | Hillsdale Home to 15 Huacaya alpacas, a llama named Trixie, a donkey named Lulu, two Icelandic horses, 20 chickens, two barn cats, and two farm dogs, Green River Hollow farm in Hillsdale is a buzzing little ecosystem that produces much of the organic fiber for Fluff Alpaca’s line of handknit products. Although Fluff has welcomed visitors on open farm days in the past, they are currently closed to the public due to the pandemic. Aside from alpaca clothing items and textiles, at their brick-and-mortar in Hudson, this family-run retailer also carries home goods, bath and beauty items, and reusable face masks. Open from Wednesday through Sunday, Fluff Alpaca products can also be ordered online for curbside pickup. 4. Shalimar Alpacas | Warwick The name Shalimar, taken from the beautiful Mughal gardens in Pakistan, was chosen as an homage to the beauty of the alpacas in residence at the Warwick farm. The goal at Shalimar Alpaca is to blend superior breeding with high fashion for humane, wearable textiles. At this farm, alpacas are bred to have good bones and the highest quality fiber. Their luxury fiber is then used to make clothing, blankets, yarn, home goods, and stuffed animals, all of which can be purchased online. To visit the farm and get a glimpse of Shalimar’s baby alpacas schedule an tour for $5 per person. 5. Lilymoore Alpaca Farm | Pleasant Valley The 25 alpacas at the Lilymoore Alpaca Farm in Pleasant Valley not only provide fiber for the apparel and home goods products that are sold at the farm store, but they also participate in group treks around the farm and through the woods. Leads also disinfected in between excursions to maintain the health and safety of guests during the pandemic. Appointments are required to visit both the farm and the store. ...

Tags: Outdoors

Sustainable Body Care: Design It Yourself and Buy It in Bulk at the O Zone

Bringing Sustainability into Your Personal Care Routine
At The O Zone in Red Hook, the O stands for zero waste. The Hudson Valley's first filling station for bulk household cleaning and personal care products is in an education center in a vintage red barn, a business model designed to make it easier to walk lightly on the earth whilst saving money, feeling healthy and smelling delicious. We are so in.

Tags: Sustainability

What Does It Mean to Defund the Police?

A talk with Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing, on alternatives to our current police framework.

Tags: The Future Is Now

Nature & The Outdoors Winners

The 2020 Chronogrammies winners in the Nature and Outdoors category.

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Weddings Winners

The 2020 Chronogrammies winners in the Wedding category.

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Retail Winners

The 2020 Chronogrammies winners in the Retail category.

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Fashion/Design Winners

The 2020 Chronogrammies winners in the Fashion/Design category.

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Grocery Store Spotlight: Adam's Fairacre Farm

A spotlight on Adam's Fairacre Farm, Chronogrammies winner in the Retail category.

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Remote Work Outpost Spotlight: Rough Draft

A spotlight on Rough Draft, Chronogrammies winner in the Retail category.

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Officiant Spotlight: Pastor Tobias Anderson

A spotlight on Pastor Tobias Anderson, Chronogrammies winner in the Wedding category.

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Wedding Venue Spotlight: Red Maple Vineyard

Whether you’re going to be showing up early in sweats to do your own floral arranging or you want a seamless, stress-free wedding package where you don’t have to lift a finger, our readers concur: Red Maple Vineyard is a fabulous place to tie the knot. “It’s definitely a magical spot,” says Shay Stone, who came home from wandering the globe to help her parents transform the West Park winery, a one-time dairy farm operated by the Christian Brothers, into a boutique wedding venue. “It’s a breathtaking spot in the first place, and we’ve renovated and transformed it.” Stone’s parents, Gary and Liz, met as students at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. “They started their own catering company when I was five, so I grew up around events and hospitality,” she recalls. “As they got into doing weddings, they were looking to expand. They found this lovely old dairy-farm-turned-winery where a guy named Lou had been growing Chardonnay grapes for 20 years and breathed new life into the land.” The family replanted the vineyard and added a three-acre vegetable garden, which supplies much of the produce for catered onsite events. “We source as much as we can from right here on the property, from side dishes to the eggs for the wedding cakes,” Stone says. “This year we’re launching our wine and cider. We’re excited to see what people think!” The cider is made onsite with apples from neighboring Maynard Farms. And maple sap from the property’s trees is made into craft beer at Kingston’s Great Life Brewing and then served at events. Full circle. The ideal wedding is about so much more than the sum of its parts, and the hospitality at Red Maple Vineyard is all sincerity, sweetness, and warmth, letting couples feel fully at home on their special day. “We’re all about giving people the freedom to create,” says Stone. “We’ve got the venue, the catering, the rentals and the talent to make it all seamless for you. It’s a labor of love, and it shows in every way.” Future couples will enjoy a new reception center designed to “bring the outdoors in,” along with the venue’s commitment to zero food waste and their superb Hudson Valley rustic-chic backdrops. “Our whole philosophy, from gardening to hospitality, is regenerative,” says Stone. “It’s all about positive creative energy. We’re so grateful to our team and our couples and glad to be part of this community.” ...

Tags: Chronogrammies

Green Business Spotlight: Bread Alone Bakery

A spotlight on Bread Alone Bakery, Chronogrammies winner in the Food category.

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Picnic Spot Highlight: Vanderbilt Mansion

A spotlight on Vanderbilt Mansion, Chronogrammies winner in the Nature and Outdoors category.

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Campground Spotlight: North/South Lake

A spotlight on North/South Lake, Chronogrammies winner in the Nature and Outdoors category.

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Men's Shop Spotlight: Last Outpost

A spotlight on Last Outpost, Chronogrammies winner in the Fashion/Design category.

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Outdoor Apparel & Gear Shop Spotlight: Kenco

A spotlight on Kenco, Chronogrammies winner in the Nature and Outdoors category.

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The Future is Now: Toward a Better New Normal

Business as usual is no longer an option.

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The Future of Food & Farms

Groups in the region are working on creating a more just and equitable food system.

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Farmers & Chefs Grows Greens in a Shipping Container in their Parking Lot
John Lekic of Farmers & Chefs is growing greens in a shipping container in his parking lot.

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Pause, Pivot, Reimagine

Now is the time to follow through on ideas we’ve had for years but not acted on.

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Basic Income Guarantee: A Pilot in Hudson

A pilot program in Hudson associated with Andrew Yang’s nonprofit is going to give away free money.

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Remote Work: A Home-Based Climate Solution

The benefits of remote work extend beyond workers and employers to the environment.

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Free Stimulus for the Hudson Valley

The community economics visionary explains how to move our money from Wall Street to Main Street.

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Pandemic Pivot: Educators Re-Examine Long-Held Assumptions

Schools across the region—from kindergarten to higher ed—are questioning long-held assumptions.

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How to Join the Antiracist Future in the Hudson Valley

White people must turn listen to the pleas of Black and non-Black people of color.

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Who Watches the Watchmen?

The repeal of 50-A, which concealed police records from the public, was just the start of reform.

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Statues of Limitation: The Commemorative Justice Movement

Monuments in Academy Green Park in Kingston spark a call for commemorative justice.

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Why Abolish the Police?

All the nonabolitionist reforms to policing have failed. What about neighborhood pods instead?

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Just Transition

The Good Work Institute believes the way forward is by aligning around a clear framework of values.

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Taking Back the Streets

Between March 5 and May 31, 260 cities on six continents had expanded municipal public space.

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Fossil Fuels on the Brink

The renewables sector has shown that it can be an engine of well-paid, community-based jobs.

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Threshold Moment: Q&A with Ned Sullivan of Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson’s initiatives across the region present a model for collaborative engagement.

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Healthcare Reimagined

Three local changemakers explain their ideas for responsive, resilient, hyperlocal wellness.

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Future is Now 2020 Sponsors

A big thank you to the 2020 sponsors of our Future is Now section. Architecture + Construction, PLLC / A+C A+C is a NYC and Hudson Valley New York based architecture firm founded by Joshua Pulver in 2005. We pursue work of varied size, type and aesthetic. Clarity in communication, precision and creativity are constants through our process of managing and exceeding client expectations. Ashokan Architecture We are a full-service architectural and interior design firm located in Woodstock, New York, in the heart of the Hudson River Valley. Our work brings state-of-the-art design and building technology to the practical challenges of getting good buildings completed on time, and on budget. We aim for subtle and playful sophistication using American vernacular forms and local traditions, but 21st Century ideas and tools for living, working, and using our buildings. Both our residential and commercial work tend to be literate, friendly, livable and generous in detail, our design approach practical rather than conceptual in nature. Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing The Dharmakaya Center is a haven for those who want to open their hearts, awaken their minds and revitalize their bodies. In a natural spiritual setting, the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing provides a wide range of practices drawn from ancient wisdom, for all levels of interest, in order to cultivate physical and emotional wellbeing in the greatest number of people. Healing Path to Health Healing Path to Health discovers your balance from within, in a more holistic, organic and intuitive approach that taps into your own resources. We’ll start with your own internal compass and see where the journey takes you to healing. Discover your wellness from within. Reflexology | Reiki | Raindrop Treatment | Medical Intuitive Healing | Hypnosis | Integrative Wellness Consultations | Past Life Regression H Houst & Son Start your projects off right with quality tools, products and expert advice from our True Value Hardwarians. We have the know-how to answer your questions, assist with projects, and find ways to make your home maintenance and improvement ventures a whole lot easier. Whether you tackle projects weekly, monthly or yearly, True Value is your one stop destination for all your hardware needs. Kerns Landscape & Nursery In 2020, we now have a large and very unique nursery, where the environment you shop in is like a well cared for garden – not a supermarket. More than that, we are a nursery for gardeners because the plant selection we offer makes it worth coming from a good distance away. Ryan & Ryan Insurance Brokers, Inc. Since 1958, one family of insurance agents in Ulster County and the Hudson Valley has become synonymous with putting the customer first; the Ryan family. Ryan & Ryan Insurance continues that 60 year tradition by being your hometown, independent insurance agent. We put the needs of our "Customers First". We respect and value each other. We work as one team. We are committed to building lifetime relationships with all of our customers. Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art Located at the State University of New York at New Paltz, The Dorsky Museum comprises more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries. The museum was launched more than 65 years ago by a dedicated committee of faculty members to enhance the teaching mission of the university. Originally known as the College Art Gallery, The Dorsky Museum was dedicated in 2001. The opening of The Dorsky Museum transformed the original College Art Gallery into one of the leading art museums in the region. Stacey Schaffer Reiki Master Teacher ~ Holistic Health Coach ~ Whole Foods Chef ~ I’ve been a Holistic Health and Reiki Practitioner since 2002, but have been around alternative medicine my whole life. Throughout my childhood, both my parents instilled in me the important values that I apply to my treatments, such as the importance of integrity for well-being. Every day, I strive to both educate and heal my patients, empowering them to live better and healthier lives. ...

Tags: The Future Is Now

Singularity Botanicals

Self Care for Resilience-Building
Singularity Botanicals is an African-American-owned business producing medicinal plants and multifaceted training programs in their cultivation and use. It was launched in Chester, Pennsylvania, which founder Pamela Boyce Simms describes as “a small city with grit, heart and indomitable spirit that has also been a toxic dumping ground for the Mid-Atlantic region for decades.” The project has developed a network of growing sites in urban church and school yards, as well as rural sites in the Hudson Valley, where Boyce Simms has lived and calls home. Facing the host of environmental and social inequities in their midst, including health care disparities and climate change, the founding group set about taking control of their health, economics, and consciousness with a unified strategy. They noticed the ivy and burdock, plants with purifying value in traditional Chinese medicine, grew abundantly on the outskirts of the city. In 2019, they created the business that helps residents “re-skill” as herb cultivators while promoting “self-care sovereignty.” And they established a business model that is seamlessly connected with personal growth through a sociocratic form of governance. The business operates as a flexible subscription service for monthly bundles—tinctures, teas, exercises and practices, growing protocols for medicinal plants, daily meditations, and recipes. All revenues go toward distributing these goods and services to people who can’t afford them through a nonprofit arm, the African Diaspora Coalition. Hundreds of packages of respiratory detox and de-stress tinctures and teas have already been distributed to help Chester residents withstand the pandemic. When the pandemic hit, Singularity’s urban buildings in Chester were closed to workers. The organization pivoted to expand rural growing including a new site at Seed Song Farm in Kingston. Boyce Simms attributes their pivoting skill to the company’s cultural “emphasis on personal transformation as well as an adaptive business model.” ...

Tags: The Future Is Now

Popular Hudson Valley Wedding Venues Await Reopening

Stuck in limbo, popular Hudson Valley wedding venues are dealing with their closures by finding alternative income
In the past decade, the Hudson Valley has become a hot destination for weddings, offering venues in every flavor from American pastoral to industrial chic. The industry has become a huge driver of economic revenue for the region, with the average Hudson Valley wedding costing $57,501. In addition to the money that the bride and groom spend on the venue, caterers, florist, and other vendors, the festivities bring droves of out-of-town guests to the area. These visitors often turn the wedding weekends into a getaway, staying in local hotels, shopping with small businesses, and eating out at restaurants. With the lion’s share of 2020 weddings postponed or cancelled, the local economy is poised to take a hit. While venues are precluded from reopening for onsite nuptials until Phase 4, they are preparing to come out of their months-long hiatus in other ways and working to consider what the future of weddings will look like. Lambs Hill in Fishkill and Hayfield in Green County are the only two venues we spoke with that are scheduled to move forward with weddings in August, while the rest have put off events till winter or the coming year. “If we’re legally allowed and we feel like it’s safe and a couple is super eager then we’re always eager to accommodate our couples and their desires and wishes,” says Christiana Arnold, owner of Hayfield, which had 12 weddings postponed and three canceled. Across the river, Lambs Hill has postponed five weddings, one of which switched from spring to fall. “We know how important that day is for couples that plan months, sometimes even years in advance, and we would never want them to cancel if we could accommodate other options,” says Kristen Caputo, director of marketing and communications at Lambs Hill. "We have created different packages for our couples to accommodate their needs and still remain safe and healthy through the whole process. We also have the flexibility to use many of our beautiful outdoor spaces." Repurposing Spaces While these venues have postponed nuptials, many are pivoting to use their spaces for alternative events that comply with social distancing protocols. The cozy Forsyth B&B in Kingston, which usually hosts 10 to 12 events between May and October, has postponed most of this year’s weddings to 2021, with only one outright cancelation. "We will of course be following all recommended guidelines in order to host the safest events possible," owner Tamara Ehlin says. "Our space is a more intimate venue so we may require that the host limit the guest list if social distancing is in effect." This year, the dual purpose bed & breakfast/venue will focus on its roots as an inn. The Forsyth is just a block from the historic Rondout waterfront and guest room has a mix of modern chic and vintage styling. The venue has re-conceptualized their barn to be a guest lodging, which allows them to focus on longer stays of two weeks or more while being safe for both guests and staff. The barn is completely self contained with a private entrance as well as a small kitchenette. Similarly, Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, which has postponed six weddings to the spring of 2021, will return to a focus on wine sales and tastings this year. “When tastings resume, the loft will be used in this capacity,” says Kelly Holliman, marketing and customer relations manager at Millbrook Vineyards. “We will of course, limit the number of people in the loft at a given time, and we have protection shields installed at all the tasting bars.” At Lambs Hill in Beacon, the Equestrian Suite is usually included in event packages as lodging for newlyweds, but with no weddings taking place, the guest room is being rented out through Airbnb. The venue is also using this time off to spiff up the grounds and undertake some construction projects, like increasing the size of their poolside deck and building a pavilion. “We also created two additional stone patio areas and created a swing garden with cedar swings and concrete bistro tables made by the owner,” says Caputo. “We also have a full time gardener who is constantly cultivating her babies (plants and flowers).” Hayfield is a rustic venue that offers pastoral field and barn weddings with charm in the Catskills, with magical views of the mountains. Arnold describes the venue to be more of a passion project rather than a main source of income, so they have been able to withstand the closures. "We are in a more flexible situation than many of the other venues I've talked to. That's why we were happy to give any 2021 to 2020 couples," she says. "We're just really lucky we never max out our season anyway. We always leave some wiggle room, which served us really well this year because we didn't have every weekend to think about, just a handful of events." Looking Forward Holliman, Caputo, and Ehlin believe that future events will likely stray from the average wedding size of 131 people in favor of more intimate events. “The pandemic and social unrest has certainly made all of us re-evaluate our priorities,” says Ehlin. “So many people are and will be planning smaller, less costly events for just family and close friends, from elopements to weddings for a few dozen people.” Arnold, on the other hand, actually believes that guest lists are likely to get bigger as a response to months of social distancing and self-isolation. "I really believe people are going to be eager to celebrate and to get together to see each other and be a part of joyful situations as much as possible," she says. Though it’s been a hard season, venues owners feel hopeful about the future. “Unfortunately, there are people that have had the worst experiences in the last six months, and illness is never something to be taken lightly,” says Arnold. “I’m very hopeful. I believe in science and a vaccine will be developed and hopefully people will be respectful of the community and take precautions.” ...

Tags: Weddings


Hudson Valley Events

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Mondays-Sundays, 3 p.m.-12 a.m. Continues through Oct. 31 — ‘T’ Space is excited to welcome Ensamble Studio, architects Débora Mesa and...
Kingston Multicultural Festival @

Kingston Multicultural Festival

Mondays-Sundays, 12 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11 — The Kingston Multicultural Festival launches ONLINE on June 14th. Celebrate Immigrant Heritage...

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Shopping and Style

Chronogram's coverage of Hudson Valley fashion in the Hudson Valley. Our shopping category contains information about local stores selling everything from antiques to cutting-edge clothing. Chronogram’s beauty and fashion category takes a look at seasonal styles, surveying what’s available in various communities throughout the valley.


Our entertaining coverage discusses how to throw a great party, ranging from informal garden parties to formal affairs. Our wedding coverage focuses on everything involved with that special day, from cake alternatives to entering into matrimony on a budget. Holiday and New Years Eve event listings keep Hudson Valley residents up-to-date on all of the options for celebrating in different communities.

Money & Investing

Our money and investing category reports on ways to spend money and invest intelligently, focusing on the local economy. Recent articles include an interview with mother of localism Judy Wicks, and how the thriving financial field of impact investing offers the possibility for fiscal growth and social change.


Chronogram’s outdoors and sustainability categories emphasize the Hudson Valley’s natural environment—and the necessity to protect it. Outdoors focuses primarily on events in the region, from skiing and snowboarding to hikes in the forest. Sustainability takes a look at green events (like the annual Rosendale EarthFest) and ecologically minded thinkers in our area (like Scenic Hudson’s Sacha Spector).