Frankly, it’s hard to keep track of all of the sophisticated, sharp-looking products by local craftspeople being sold in Hudson. In just a one -block radius (the 400 block) there were more than enough to fit into the confines of a simple blog post; to make the task more manageable, at least for now, I’ve limited selections to smaller items that one can carry out in a shopping bag (but not so small as to get lost in one).
Culture and commerce’sSherri Williams, devoted to furnishings and lighting by gifted Hudson Valley designers such as Rob Williams, Steven McKay and Jules Anderson, turns out also to have lots of smalls on hand. Softest and most pliable are hand-knotted netting and leather handbags by Moe Nadel, who lives up the street and who was recently featured in a Register Star article. Williams also has a whole table of nifty easily transportable items such as wooden candle holders, ceramic vases, and trays, all made in these parts. “I never even heard of the word ‘smalls’ until I came to Hudson” she says, “but it’s pretty much what it’s all about this time of year.” (The store is at 428 Warren Street, 828-9219.)
Close by at Mix (438 Warren Street 828-1707) pottery by Jane Arnold and cutting boards made of cast concrete, acid finished steel and butcher block by Joshua Howe are among many locally produced offerings. At Hedstrom and Judd (401 Warren Street 671-6131) mugs in cooly mod colors were fired up in the farther reaches of Columbia County (Spencertown to be exact). –Scott Baldinger
In 2008 and 2009, but skipping 2010, Sam Pratt gave the town of Hudson a terrific gift: Hudson Under $100. A compendium of cool, relatively inexpensive stuff to buy in town, with great photos, it’s like a whole section of a slick city magazine put together by one person. Happily it’s returned this year, better and more voluminous than ever, with 70 plus items so far and more to come in the next few days.— Scott Baldinger
Yet another Helsinki Hudson wonder on an otherwise quiet weekday eve, David Jacobs-Strain (who played to a small but appreciative audience last night), brought tears to my eyes so often with his beautifully modulated, exquisitely played and arranged folk/blues songs that I had to put a tea compress on them (my eyes) when I got home. Evocative of woodsy Oregon vistas and funny encounters with girls, Strain’s music is peppered with a nippy wit and a true showman’s sense of how to deliver a song. I admit it, I left the club verklempt.
With this revelation, as well as the upcoming Duncan Sheik and Steve Earle performance dates coming up, it’s becoming evident that Helsinki is really hitting its stride. Once again, much thanks and appreciation for bringing such talent, be they famous or less well known, to our modest little hamlet.–Scott Baldinger
The rumor du jour is that Ian Schrager, the legendary hotelier and real estate developer who once reportedly offered Holcim a tidy sum for their waterfront property, has purchased the Warren Inn (terrific photo above by Tim Heffernan). Could Andre Balazs, another fab frequenter of these parts, be next–either with the St. Charles or the still vacant hotel project on Warren and 4th , currently the cornerstone of a mystifyingly blighted corner of Warren? And will Schrager be keeping the free HBO? —Scott Baldinger