A blog about Hudson, New York

Monthly Archives: June 2011

Glutens For Punishment

Never mind the fact that no one eats bread any more; Hudson suddenly finds itself with more baked goods per square mile than any comparable town in the lower 48. (Please, don’t ask me where I got these figures.) In addition to the huge oven about to come online at the great looking Café Le Perche, there are the fabulous loaves at Loaf (worth breaking any diet for), not to mention the sundry yeast and wheat dependent items at Olde Hudson, Bagel Tyme, Nolita, Cascades and the Farmer’s Market. In the meanwhile there is still no Indian (or Pakastani or Bangladeshi or Thai or whatever) restaurant in town, while there are now two of the same barbecue joints within a block and a half of each other. (One is selling out of a van on a vacant lot.)  Who is eating all this risen dough and charred meat?  I want answers.

I was very relieved to discover that the petite new Bruno’s (227 Warren Street)  won’t be  pushing muffins or danishes (or ribs) but appetizing sandwiches and salads, and are planning  to fill one glaring void on Warren Street:  late night meals on the weekend  (from 11-2 a.m.). Minimum requirement for entry:  a slight buzz . –Scott Baldinger

Our Hearts Were Young and…

I’ve summered in the Pines, chilled in Chelsea, and dropped in on numerous raves, circuit parties, and various and sundry clubs, discos and parties through the years (marched in and seen lots of Pride parades too— starting in 1973 with the second one ever held…..will someone cue up the orchestra  for my rendition of “I’m Still Here” please?),   and I’ve come to realize one thing:  To be gay in the original sense of the word and the current one as well is one of the toughest things in the world to pull off, at least on a communal scale. But Trixie Starr and the folks of Hudson Pride (with the help of Helsinki Hudson for its wondrous over-10 hour shindig after the parade) did it —on land and sea and for over two days.  They should all be running the Columbia County Tourism bureau,  if not the entire Chamber of Commerce —or the Summer Olympics as far I’m concerned. –Scott Baldinger

Ode to ShopRite

Frankly, I’m not exactly a food co-op type of guy; in lieu of being able to assemble a meal from the local boulangerie, fromagere, and boucherie on the way home from the offices of Paris Vogue, I most prefer a place like New York City’s popular Fairway market (cheaper than Whole Foods but even more gourmet), if only during off hours, when the impulse to ram other shoppers into the ground is less overwhelming.

But I live in Hudson, and am ready to drink the Ko-Op Aid.  The plan to create one here, as discussed at the community meeting held in the First Presbyterian Church,  is the best I’ve heard yet to ameliorate the town’s seemingly intractable status as a Food Desert (so designated by no less an authority than the US Department of Agriculture itself); the people putting it together, led by New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s Peter Pehrson,  are seasoned hands who will give it their best shot. So sign me up for at least  two hours every other week– to  stock shelves, man the register or do any taste testing that needs to be done.

Even if  it all bears fruit (mea culpa), however, I wonder if I will ever be able to give up my current favored local food source, ShopRite.  During the meeting about the project, I felt a slightly protective pang whenever someone  made a slight dig  or invidious comparison about the supermarket.  I know it doesn’t look like much,  but the selection, prices, and downright perky check- out clerks are things I’ve grown to depend upon over the years.  So I went home and wrote a little ode to it,  in (mostly) Haiku form, with  a nod, as always, to Frank O’Hara.

Your parking lot is

Treacherous to my new car

but once within/

I’m thrilled not only

not to be nibbled on by

the walking dead there/

but also by the prices,

far less than Price Chopper’s, even

counting the cheap gas/

How many fine meals

have I made from you, keeping

me from homelessness

if not penury,

which isn’t your fault at all.

Time to go shopping.

–Scott Baldinger

The Main Event

Photographer Lynn Davis’s panoramic view of Hudson’s very distant past—1994– is the centerpiece of Warren Street, another boldly creative exhibition by Richard Roth at the Opera House, opening tonight. On either side of Davis’s long fold- out display of every building on the town’s Main Street, shot back in the last millennium, are a number of vividly colorful (sometimes trippy)  interpretations by painters and photographers such as Edward Avedisian, Dan Rupe, Chad Kleitsch, and Roger Mason, as well as a happily kooky kaleidoscope dedicated to the Opera House itself by Bruno Pasquier-Desvignes. The show runs through August 14.

–Scott Baldinger

Time in a Bottle

Vestiges of Hudson’s past can appear in surprising ways. Yesterday it popped up in the form of three vintage pharmacy bottles that I found at everyone’s favorite thrift store, The Second Show (519 Warren Street) . The labels were in such good condition that store manager Carole Lavender and I first wondered if they were genuinely old. But the name and address on them, Wardle Bros., 1-3 Warren Street,  belonged to a bona fide Hudson establishment;  assistant store manager Bobbi Bush recalled it being in existence until the mid seventies or so.

Further confirmation took place when I googled the company and found two items of interest:  a label for one of the pharmacy’s perhaps more popular concoctions, below,  and a 1914 article about its industrious founder, Arthur Wardle, published  in the “Notable Successes and How Achieved” section of  The Practical Druggist.   –Scott Baldinger


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