A trip north up into the Hudson Valley is our economic getaway since our pockets are thin these days and family more than willing to host us for an overnight stay. A quick breakfast and we headed back south a bit to Hudson NY, a town we had visited only last year for the first time.

Hudson is going thru a revival although most of the storefronts along Warren Street have kept their original facades giving it an early 20th century small town feel. But, in an ironic twist, most have been turned into antique stores or galleries with offerings following a more urban taste and wallet. Even a medium iced coffee will set you back a Starbuck-and-a-half although it somewhat pays for the curbside spot to sit and aimlessly wander in image and thought.

The antique stores have their own collection of books to pick thru with one offering titles ranging from art and illustration to architecture and design. There are some dedicated bookstores and we had promised ourselves to return to the Stoddard Corner Bookshop since it had a great antiquarian selection as well as one wall dedicated to lithography and letterpress. We had met the owner on the previous trip and he and I spent time sitting and reminiscing about the old letterpress plants and publishing industry in New York City that we had both enjoyed and grown up in.

But as happens in any gentrification, the restoration pushes the margins out, and those left behind are in shadow and stark contrast to the new arrivals. Walking to the Farmers Market on Columbia and S. 6th Street we saw an impressive 19th century church with a spire that reached to the heavens it sought. The plaque was still on the wall and the exterior the same rich red brick it was originally built in. Yet, this morning, I found out it had been sold, converted, and offered as “extensively upgraded, especially for acoustic and insulation purposes and is now a first-class recording studio.” Don’t rush to buy – it’s apparently been taken off the market

One less (sacred) bell to answer I suppose…

hudson crossing Spire of former St. John’s Lutheran Church
Corner of South 6th Street and Columbia
Hudson, NY
photo © Jeff Kopito

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