A blog about Hudson, New York

Monthly Archives: July 2011

One of the Better Shows on Earth

The usual multitude of indoor and outdoor concerts, art shows, and gallery openings are scheduled to take place in Hudson over the the next few weeks. In addition to the steady fare at Helsinki Hudson, there is also the Hudson. Water. Music Festival (every Wednesday on the waterfront through August 17th);  the world class NADA art show at the Basilica (this Saturday and Sunday); the Belo 3rd Gallery Stroll (also this Saturday 5-9 p.m.), Charles Busch’s funny The  Divine Sister at Stageworks (now through August 7, sans Charles Busch but with Steven Polito, a.k.a Hedda Lettuce); and finally the citywide Hudson Music Fest ( August 12, 13 , 14). But even on busy summer days like these,  my favorite form of  entertainment remains  the town’s architecture; buildings here are  nothing less than 24 hour a day public events all of their own.  The show they put on is sometimes as pleasing as a drawing room comedy, sometimes a whodunnit or other kind of mystery, occasionally a tragedy or in need of out of town tryouts– but it’s always something of  interest to a walker in the city. Just give me a petite brick neo Federal with 6 over 6 wood windows being nicely restored  and I’m good for the night. (OK- and a cocktail at the Red Dot.)

Call me batty but small architectural details on the streetscape can make me happy and/or conversely ruin my day. (This was one of the major reasons for my leaving NYC: If I happened to pass by a Deco- era building whose  original casement windows were being replaced with double paned aluminum monstrosities,  I could hardly shake the sense of dismay that came over me,  a feeling that lingered even after the memory of what was bothering me had faded.) Today I’d like to report that  a casual perusal in Hudson was, for the most part, far less filled with foreboding. Here are some notable highlights.

This Colonial Revival house on Union, formerly a doctors office, looks like something Anne Hathaway would have built for herself  had she lived in the 1920s. The six over six windows here are looking fab.

The planned new headquarters of the Quadrille fabric outlet, in and of itself an exciting development for the decorative arts community, is getting an obvioulsy first-rate redo. Just check out the windows here. (The Pepto Bismol pink, I’ve been assured, is not long for this world.)

David Brown’s redo of Edward Avedisian’s former residence, which he has made into a B&B and pilates studio (26warren.com), looks casually perfect.

The lovely folks of Bodhi have assumed ownership of this Warren Street landmark, formerly The Fresh Farmer’s.

I’m just guessing about this manse (it’s the one on North Fifth with the odd shingling on its lower half) …Dutch Colonial?

One of Eric Galloways’ earlier brick redos ended up looking like a Pizzeria Uno outlet,  so I’m sweating bullets over the progress being made at this one, the very historic General Worth house. What you see here is what I felt safe enough to shoot without being chased away by a handful of Pinkertons.

—  Scott Baldinger

Paradoxically Speaking

It’s true – I had moments of doubt that my memory was serving me correctly when I wrote in a previous blog post (Isn’t It Rick?) that the building of  additional roads for the purpose of alleviating traffic  actually has the opposite effect:  It creates more. Confirmation that I wasn’t talking out of my (admittedly avocational)  urban planner hat was reaffirmed this past Saturday, when I heard the following report on NPR’s All Things Considered:  “More Roads May Pave The Way To More Traffic.”    “As you add roads to a city,  those roads get filled up,” says Matthew Turner, author of a study  for  the University of Toronto. “There are people waiting to use that capacity.  The result on transit is almost exactly the opposite of that.”  (You can read or listen to the full story here.)

In the medical world this is called the paradoxical effect,  applied to the effect of  medicines on some people. In the world of Hudson politics and grandstanding, it will no doubt will be labeled the “who gives a f–k what NPR says” effect.  Still, I urge all of those who  have insisted without substantiation that building a separate truck route directly from quarries east of the city directly to the waterfront will ease congestion on Columbia Street (thereby improving the lives of people living near there) to click  on the link provided above.  Of course, there is every probability that even after doing so, this information will be ignored or shrugged off  and the sanctimonious rhetoric will continue. As Stephen Colbert once said, “I’m not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are.” — Scott Baldinger

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