Hudson is an accessible, compact, little gem of a city. It is as edgy, chic, and cool as they come. Once upon a time, it was a whaling port; later a hotbed of sin focused on the brothels and gambling dens of Diamond Street (now Columbia Street). The brothels are long gone, but Hudson remains a sexy, multifaceted sparkler.
Hundreds of historic buildings laid out in a classic grid make an ideal setting for highly creative commerce. Hudson Hall, the 21st-century name of the 1855 Hudson Opera House, now hosts performances, exhibitions and workshops of all sorts. Basilica Hudson and Helsinki Hudson are both former industrial spaces converted into cutting-edge performance venues. Time and Space Limited, a not-for-profit arts organization, thrives in a former bakery.
Antiquing put Hudson on the destination map in the ’90s, and there are nearly 50 flourishing dealers. A Collector’s Eye, for example, explores interesting collectibles from 1895 through the 1960’s. Sutter Antiques is listed by Architectural Digest as one of the top 100 sources for interior designers. And Neven & Neven Moderne has a diverse collection of modern housewares, including seating, lighting, and decor.
Some people journey all the way from Manhattan to do their clothes shopping in Hudson. There’s fine vintage and cutting-edge contemporary, shops specializing in hand-done hats and leather creations. Luxe, eclectic international clothier Kasuri, original designs handmade at Marine Penvern Atelier, classics from De Marchin—Hudson is the place to go for a whole new look.
The cuisine has kept pace. Zak Pelaccio’s Fish & Game is a top wine and farm-to-table restaurant. One of the partners responsible for the exquisite menu at Ca’Mea is a noted restaurateur from northern Italy. And a New York Times food writer said that Swoon Kitchenbar “marries the best of city-based training with the advantages of Hudson Valley ingredients.” It’s a must-see town.
Adapted from an article on Hudson for our sister publication Explore the Hudson Valley.