Garrison Keillor once remarked that Halloween is a holiday in which “good people pretend to be bad,” a paganistic reaction against all of the “bad people pretending to be good” in the world. Which is perhaps one of those mysterious undercurrents that made last night’s fundraiser at the Cannonball Factory, in support of The Valley Alliance to Save the South Bay and on the eve of a possibly frightful election night, so splendidly successful. (The as always spot-on emmceing of Musty Chiffon and live performance by Mother Fletcher didn’t hurt either.) Halloween is quickly catching up to Winter’s Walk as the echt Hudson holiday event, another opportunity for its people to exhibit their iconoclastic humor and wonderful visual skills. (And, with the addition of the petite but adorable Hudson Halloween Parade, a great event for the kids.) To check out more pics of the event, go to http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=94933&id=1433356462 or http://picasaweb.google.com/scottbaldinger/Halloween#
— Scott Baldinger
As a potentially blood curdling election day creeps inexorably closer, the dividing line between reality and the ghoulish revels of Halloween seem to be getting thinner. One of the more chilling events this week has been the endorsement in The Register Star, Hudson’s one newspaper, of all of the Republican candidates running for local office this year, from Congress to Coroner. Among them is Chris Gibson (running against the incumbent Congressman Scott Murphy), who promises to “stand against socialized medicine ”— in other words, for a total repeal of the health care legislation passed this year—as well as other straight- down the line Tea Party boilerplate.
It’s an odd feeling — like of being a stranger in one’s own home — to have a Republican- leaning newspaper reporting and commenting nearly every day in a town that owes its very existence to people Republicans love to demonize: gays, immigrants, environmentalists, community activists, liberals in general. But that’s what 2010 might be all about in the end— unless we all go out and vote. (For a perhaps more representative view of the representative, check out the endorsement of Murphy in that crazy left wing alternative publication, The Times Union.) —Scott Baldinger
Like a lot of people who hail from the “city,” I have an admiring but ambivalent attitude about nature, which is why Hudson – enveloped by the countryside but not isolated in it – offers such a lovely balance. When the going gets rough I usually tip to the urban side. But there were moments this week when a long walk in the woods was the only thing I could think of doing, particularly after hearing of the sudden passing of two loved and esteemed individuals in the prime of life here, Paula Superti and Jareg Barglowski.
Luckily there was the quick refuge of the Greenport Conservation Area, a 714 acre swath of green space off Joslen Boulevard, not more than a mile or so outside of the Hudson city limits (www.clctrust.org/Greenport.htm). The photos here are a couple that I took that day, grateful for the availability of quiet winding paths on a glorious autumn day. – Scott Baldinger
Finally, some sex in Hudson… and at the Hudson Opera House no less. The ArtsWalk Literary lecture series, among its impressive roster of writers both here and at Cady Hall in Chatham, will present Justin Spring, author of Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist and Sexual Renegade. No doubt the steamiest biography of a homosexual English professor ever written, Spring’s book is also a skillfully researched feat of literary/anthropological sleuthing; it recounts with amazing detail the forgotten life and sub rosa times of a man of letters so (privately) liberated and devoted to fulfilling his libido in the gay dark ages of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s that he became one of Alfred Kinsey’s most important researchers. (Pro-bono, of course.) Spring will be chatting this Saturday (at the Opera House at 5 pm) with the perfect person to discuss this nexus of literature and outré sex, the witty Brooks Peters. (Pictured above is Steward’s own method of detailing his encounters.) — Scott Baldinger
For the complete schedule for ArtsWalkLiterary, check our Events page ( http://gotohudson.net/events.php)
You know you live in a small, up-and-coming town when the opening of a falafel/pizza joint is as eagerly anticipated as Martha Stewart on a slow business day. But Park Falafel & Pizza, which debuted this weekend, really turns out to be a cause for celebration — for a whole bunch of reasons. First, located in a nicely restored storefront on the 7th Street Park, it’s an attractively designed addition to an area sorely in need of spiffing up. (This and Reggie Madision‘s new outpost of quirkily handsome objects at Diamond Street Art And Antiques will hopefully get the ball rolling in that regard. Marina Abramovic, where are you?) Second, it’s affordable as hell, its sandwiches (hummus, baba ghannouj, falafel), pizza,and salads (tabbouleh, beet, cucumber etc) priced exactly what they should be. Third, is the most important— the authentic Middle Eastern food, which is kosher and prepared by a guy from Israel who obviously knows what he’s doing. To this day I remember a good falafel I had somewhere in Manhattan in the mid 1980s (not on MacFalafel —ie. Macdougal— Street but somewhere else in the Village) and no doubt I will long recall the first bite of the one I had here as well. (Kudos also to the hummus, the spicy green sauce, and the cucumber salad.) Job well done, guys! — Scott Baldinger
Park Falafel and Pizza /11 N. 7th Street (518)-828-5500