A blog about Hudson, New York

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Hopeful Sign

A while back I reported that a  fellow named Max was serving Indian food at Kennedy’s Fried Chicken.  Well that pretty much came to an end when Max disappeared (for issues unrelated to food).  I’ve just been notified that Asif Qazi, the actual owner of Kennedy’s,  has decided to carry the torch and will be serving dishes such as chicken curry and biryani ($6.99, $7.99) and vegetable samosas ($1.50).  (I put in a request for palak paneer,  a favorite spinach and cheese curd dish, to expand the veggie if not vegan menu.) Qazi, who will be loading up the take-out trays this Wednesday,  is looking for quick community support for his endeavor,  so let’s “all clap our hands and say  ‘I believe in curries!’ ” –Scott Baldinger

Heavy Metal

An earthquake, approaching hurricane, the folding of Rural Intelligence (to which I was a proud contributor of articles and other editorial), a shooting on Columbia Street, and Linda Mussmann throwing her hat into the mayoral ring.  All in all, an unsettling week — just the sort that a nice benzodiazipine and/or dry martini were tailor made for. One little development that did bring cheer: seeing people actually working on a sympathetic restoration of one of my favorite buildings in town, the Diamond Street Diner. As Sam Pratt reported in his blog over a week ago, this is being done by the folks from Grazin Angus Acres, who left the grass fed cows behind and were busy polishing chrome and painting over previous coats of dayglo orange and pink  with no doubt more appropriate Streamline Moderne colors. (They say they are still waiting for a call back from a certain architectural expert in town, who salvaged much of the diner’s original interior detailing during a previous remodeling.) The fare from Grazin Angus–  “animal welfare approved  raised beef, raised  in a sustainable 2,000-acre eco-friendly environment” — is just the kind of enlightened  21st- century updating of the diner motif that this building (and town)  deserves.  I even heard rumors that it will emulate the now -closed Empire Diner in Chelsea and be open 24 hours a day, but that seems a bit of a stretch for our wee little hamlet.                                          — Scott Baldinger

Memo

From: Scott Baldinger

TO:  Anyone interested

DATE: Yesterday

RE:  The library relocation and sale of its current historic building to a developer not known for his sensitivity to authentic architectural detail.

A good case can (and has) been made for moving the library to a less needy locale on Warren Street. But this is a sad and worrisome development for the distinguished building being left behind. What we need here is a landmark’s law with some teeth to it.  This way certain individuals can buy historic buildings if they want but with the understanding that what happens to our genuine architectural legacy is important enough to be enforced. I mean with penalties and stuff:  fines, stop- work orders, the whole kit and caboodle. (The Supreme Court, thirty years ago or so, said this was a perfectly reasonable extension of a municipality’s zoning powers—so why the hesitancy?)  Strengthening said laws should be on the platform of mayoral candidate Nick Haddad, who currently sits on the landmark’s committee and is no doubt more simpatico with its goals than the current mayor or his prospective challenger(s).

RE: Trees

The parallel (or it the converse?) side to preserving venerable trees on private property around town is the proper maintenance of those on public property –newly planted ones in particular but also well established ones that desperately need a pruning, both for aesthetic reasons and arboreal health.  In that mystical way that Hudson has, while taking pics for a post about this very subject,  I ran into one advocate of said plants, Olenka Bachinsky, who was particularly concerned about all the watering not going on. (Even during a rainy summer such as we have been having this year,  she says, new trees need to watered every day, at least until they take firm hold. This was news to me, and I’m passing it on to you forthwith.) Another pet peeve –of mine not hers– is the number of dead trees around town that need to be removed. Dead trees are terrible feng shui, and our shui needs a lot  of tending here, off Warren Street in particular.   Here are some of those said pics:

RE: Opera House Auditorium

I see that some beautiful fire stairs have been installed to the side of the Opera House,  with an absolutely lovely entrance door in a very complementary dark green color. Wasn’t this the major legal impediment to using the grand auditorium for public events? If  yes,  isn’t it time to call up that brigade of volunteers to prime and paint the place?  If not, why? Let us know what’s up, Opera House.  I’m itchin to spackle.

Just Another Monday Evening

Click here to see and hear:  The Black Mountain Symphony

Granted, the citywide  Hudson Music Fest that just took place this past weekend was good chi for the town.  But you don’t need a Fest to feast on good live music in Hudson. It takes place all the time, and at every price range (including free), particularly at Club Helsinki, where  I happened upon the Black Mountain Symphony on an eerily quiet Monday evening a  full day after the end of the three day event. (The band was playing during the club’s regularly scheduled “local and free of charge”  Monday Showcase, which presents consistently gifted professionals gratis to the community every week.)  Black Mountain’s sophisticated sound struck a chord with me;  how wonderful it is to be able to just happen upon so polished a band on a supposed “off” night. (Check out Ellen Thurston’s This Week in Hudson for her own take on the music scene, and Helsinki favorites.)  It’s moments like these that  you really do marvel at how uniquely fortunate this town is (becoming). My apologies:  The clip here is abruptly truncated  and certainly rough–I’m just starting to get used to the video recording function on my new I Phone.  Things will improve in time.  –Scott Baldinger

In the Groove

Everyone’s doing it … or trying to.  These musicians, inspired by all the tuneful goings-on this weekend,  were looking around for a place to do some impromptu playing.   (The kid on the right is just practicing for next year’s Hudson Music Fest.)  Or perhaps they were hoping to busk in this very spot, only to have had the space usurped by said kid.–Scott Baldinger

De Gustibus Why Not Disputandum?

Sometimes I think I’m the only omnivore amongst the regular Hudson bloggers (but then I remember Trixie Starr’s Gay Hudson.com and Hungry in Hudson –the names of both of which their authors might be willing to exchange on occasion.)  As much as I admire the other ones –SamPratt.com and Carole Osterink’s Gossips of Rivertown— however,  and no matter how often I agree with them and the particular zeitgeist of the town they brilliantly express and report on, I do occasionally feel the need to quibble.  Herewith a compendium of a few gustatory and somewhat related ethical and political differences:

I Confess:

that I very much like the pulled pork sandwich at the American Glory trailer/stand on 5th and Warren (and think it’s a good deal: $6.50). Although initially as perplexed as everyone about the logic for its existence,  I also think that the stand itself is an acceptable use for the spot,  not to mention a far quieter place to have a meal than the main branch a block away. As for the issue of being a consumer of the pork itself:  nolo contendere.

I Confess:

…that I am having trouble with the concept of calling pet owners those pets’ “humans”– as if a reification of our own species will mitigate an implied injustice of our possession of other ones, even those which (whom?) have evolved through the millennia specifically for that purpose. (Dogs, in other words.) Anyway,  the use of the phrase — particularly as expressed in  a recent Gossips post about the happy reunification of one such pet, a Chihuahua named Barbie, to her “rightful human”  or, a sentence later, of  “Barbie and her ecstatic human” — gives me an odd Planet of the Apes feeling.   (Just think of how it would feel if your Chihuahua started introducing you in that way to others–with appropriate Spanish accent of course. I can actually picture The New Yorker cartoon now.)

I Confess:

….that I have succumbed, after resisting for many years now, to a favorite of my parents when they used to weekend up here in Columbia Country:  the all you can eat Grand Buffet Chinese restaurant on Green Street, which is still a good deal at 7 bucks for lunch.  (It was the only reason they ever came into Hudson during the 80s and 90s , back when the price was …what, a nickel? It’s also true that my dad has since died — and  his diet was never a help to his health –but my mom, who also liked dining there, looks fab and is currently kicking up her heels in the Hamptons.)  This despite the fact that the food can leave one with one of the more intense msg buzzes and that everyone thinks the staff is slave labor. (It’s not:  I, at least,  tip fifteen percent.)  Frankly I think the place should be renamed Cherry Pick, the key to enjoying, let alone surviving, a meal here.  Recommended dishes: the salmon and eel sushi,  roast chicken, baby clams with garlic sauce, pork with scallions, chicken with mushrooms,  chow mai fun, the egg drop soup, and  dim sum (at least when its fresh).  Another fillip of eating at Grand Buffet:  you’ll be thinner than anyone else in the room for the first time in ages. Interesting tidbit:  It was given a top rating by the Columbia Country Board of Health.

That’s about it I guess.

Mea culpa, hail Mary and bon appetit!       — Scott Baldinger

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