We miss you, whatever your name is (will be). – Scott Baldinger
The temporary sign is down and the space at 438 Warren, formerly occupied by Mix, has now finally opened, a chic blend of it own with handsome pieces from numerous periods, save perhaps the Ming, successfully arranged by someone not named George. (She’s a lady.) Pictured here: an eye catching arrangement of vintage 20th century wall paper.
A Horatio Alger story in motion, the delicious bakery formerly called Loaf and soon to be renamed Bonfiglio and Bread has moved up from a display case on the right hand side of Swallow (and, briefly before that, on top of the little freezer counter at Lick between ice cream seasons), into a newly refurbished space all of it own, next to and on a design par with the Crimson Sparrow at 748 Warren. Owner/baker Gabriele Gulielmetti says it will have it all: café tables, subway tiling and that de rigueur Hudson accoutrement: a new, amazingly high tech behemoth of an oven all of it own. Gulielmetti says it will all be ready by Labor Day, but in the meanwhile it’s worth a look to see how it’s being labored on: truly a testament to the power of carbs and youthful determination (and good bread).
A new gallery EB Fine Arts: Curatorium has dared to locate itself where few fine art galleries have dared to go before: 60 Front Street “In the industrial section of Hudson, New York” as the cute little bound pamphlet I received quaintly put it. –Scott Baldinger
What a needed tonic it was to see such witty performers as Loudon Wainwright III and Sandra Bernhard fitting like gloves on to the Hudson scene within a couple of nights of each other at Club Helsinki, right around the corner from my doorstep. Recently I’ve been distracted from these pages, writing about the performing arts for and helping edit Rural Intelligence, an online magazine about the region – doing interviews with the likes of master chroreographer Paul Taylor, reviews of exciting shows such as The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper and Scott Frankel’s musical version of Far From Heaven, with sidelines to the visual arts, such as MASS MoCAS’s Oh Canada show). It’s an exciting job that has taken me out of the shtetl mentality that formed the basis and continuing narrative, such as it was, of Word on the Street, the writing of which I have to admit has become harder for me to get back into recently. Going to other towns in the region on a regular basis – places as exotically kempt as Salisbury, CT or urbanistically up and coming as Pittsfield, MA (with its city financed renovation of the Colonial Theatre and massive public, private and civic support for institutions such as the Berkshire Museum and Barrington Stages), does bring a new perspective to Hudson, with inevitable invidious comparisons on occasion. But being able to just walk out the door and into some beautiful arena to watch two such stellar artists live, is just one of the many things that make coming home the comforting thing it can be. ( I also can’t wait to see Kris Perry’s scrap metal music machine at the Basilica Music Festival next week, the kind of event that seems like it can only happen here.)
While chances are that the posts here might continue to dwindle down to a precious few for the time being, I do get the feeling deep down — not that there’s NO place like home exactly but that maybe this IS home. And for me right now, that’s a major thing. –Scott Baldinger
..other than an odd acronym for something called the Hudson Museum of Photography. Even the lady in the door getting her mail didn’t know, or wouldn’t admit to it.
HUDSON, NEW YORK, 12:50 P.M. I’m standing in line at a small local bank when a person behind me says that there has just been a robbery at Bank of America, less than a block up the street and only twenty minutes or so ago. There’s a moment of panic in the air and Tina, the teller, tells a woman customer with two children that they should leave. They do. The rest of us wait on line; the guy behind me adds that the robber had no gun but managed to walk away towards State Street with 1,000 20 dollar bills, a sum that, according to today’s Register Star, was greatly exaggerated (turns out it was only $500 worth of 20s).
1:00 p.m: Walking up Warren Street toward the scene of the crime, people are doing what they normally do: going in and out of stores, complaining about business, trying to park their cars. A slight buzz in the air of “did you hear…etc?” but no visible sign of panic or further mayhem.
1:05 p.m. I pass BOA, the sidewalk in front of which is now cordoned off with police tape. One policeman and/or security guard standing on duty, one police car parked in front, if I recall correctly. Rick, the hot dog guy, is still there selling hot dogs in and around the barricade — also if I recall correctly.
1:07 p.m. I walk directly across the street on Warren and Sixth Street, in front of Regan & Smith, and talk to a few friends, one of whom said I should be at home reporting this story. I told him I wasn’t normally that type of writer. An unmarked black police car rushes into the no-parking spot right in front of us and an investigator type jumps out and rushes across the street to the BOA corner. He is wearing a formal-looking button down teal blue shirt and dark pleated (we all guessed) pants. We go on to discuss the Furgary Boat Club issue and other bits of business, including the fact that it was all like Odds Against Tomorrow except this was in the middle of the day and there were no guns or injuries, thank heavens.
1:10 p.m. Walking down past the BOA building, around the still barricaded sidewalk, I notice that Rick, the hot dog guy, is no longer there, and the usual odor of roasting onions is quickly fading. –Scott Baldinger
Having awaken many a morning with the same view on State Street, I think I had probably given up hope of it ever being part of the Hudson renaissance, at least in my lifetime. There’s always been, bless her, Sheila Ramsay’s lush garden, which remains a true gift to the community. But elsewhere on the block long patches of emptiness and decrepitude seem to have remained the same for almost a decade if not more, with the occasional attractive renovation to keeps one’s spirits up.
Recently though I’ve been seeing very nice changes: At 323 Warren a contractor named Kamal Elmasri who lives in a historic house on Rossman Avenue, has fixed up one of those decent looking houses Carole Osterink might label Hudson vernacular. Elmasri has chosen an olive green exterior and done a great job restoring the inside, with hardwood floors and beams. He says he is very anti plastic and I believe him.
Round the corner at 36 Third Street (i.e. Crack Crossroads) something beautiful is happening to the slender but meaty brick pile at 36 Third Street that has been dormant for so long, its renovators even getting the windows totally right, as far as I can see. Another brick charmer, a former church on State between Fourth and Third and its attached dreary seminary buildings, are having LOTS of work done (there’s a whole crane in the back yard)…though it’s hard to see what the end result of that will be (there are cute new plantings in the front of the church, but the other buildings still have their plastic siding on them; time will tell.) At the handsome row of townhouses on 6th and State, No. 558 has had a redo of faulty wood and the facade has been painted a terrific complementary shade that spruces up every other one of the adjoined buildings. The city (or someone) is finally filling in the trench of a sidewalk in front of 445, for so long dangerous evidence that no one really cared about this part of town.
This being me, be assured that I’ve got some quibbling suggestions: SOMEONE at the county level government level should just dig into their pockets and find some extra change to steam clean its building at State and Seventh, as well as remove the hideous awning and plantings that greet visitors there. Eventually a master plan should be put into effect that includes the widening of sidewalks to the former human dimensions of pre-urban development (with more plantings to go with that.) And last but not least, of course, is Eric Galloway, whose work on the Armory Buildings so far still does not include the easiest improvement of all : the removal of the barbed wire fencing surrounding the State Street side that visitors have compared to the ones in Attica or Dachau. It seems like an easy thing to do, and I’d be happy to have a few more Keep Off the Grass signs that Galvan seems to favor for that one improvement alone. In other words, Mr Galloway, tear down this wall!. –Scott Baldinger
As Sam Pratt reported a couple of weeks or so ago , “Bart Slutsky, a collector and dealer of rare, vintage and antique hardware, fixtures and more, is now in the process of moving a dozen or so van loads of handles, locks, latches, lights, pulls, tools and more from his warehouse in Westchester” to Rogersons in Hudson. Here is at least one eye catching example of the wares he’s bringing up. It did bring to mind a time when doctors dispensed diet pills to housewives like candy. –Scott Baldinger
At least until they’re actually taking place, parades don’t get me very excited, I have to confess–unless I can watch large paper mache puppets being made for them by talented artists such as Ken Polinskie and Dan Rupe. (Long after I lost all interest in the Macys Thanksgiving parade, I continued to go to West 81st Street the night before to watch the famous floats being inflated.Talk about fluffing!) The two are busily putting together a brilliant collection of (what else?) Wizard of Oz- inspired ones for the always triumphant Hudson Pride parade, which takes place on June 16. –Scott Baldinger
In other towns, empty- looking, brown-paper-covered storefront windows might be unhappy harbingers. But not in Hudson, where the musical chairs on Warren Street continue unabated. Mark McDonald, top left, has moved one flight above at his own building (555 Warren), the first floor of which will be the new locale for N.P Trent, “one of the country leading dealers in English and Continental furniture, art and decorative accessories,” as the sign on the window says. Pictured to the right of that, at 623 Warren, is the petite space soon to be Steve Izzo’s new gallery, whose name is not yet known (at least to moi ). The former Toggery building at no. 613, home of Richter’s sportswear (center left), has been purchased by John Knott, who can be counted on to do lovely things to it (as he has already been doing to the building he is turning into the Hudson HQ of Quadrille, destined to open at the end of the summer.) On a sadder note, Steven Bluttal will not, as planned, be taking over the store that now says Florsheim Shoes and which was more recently Fabrications, but right across the street, at 602 Warren, BardinPalomo is coming into their space real soon. We’ve heard that Tom Swope’s antiquities gallery is closing but an equally fabulous retail enterprise is reported to be taking its place tout de suite. The only unanswered question right now: Where (and what) is George, still practicing a form of semiotic coitus interruptus with its perpetual sign in the window stating “George Coming Soon.” (to be at the former Mix space on the 400 block)?–Scott Baldinger