A blog about Hudson, New York

Monthly Archives: March 2015

The State of State


The catastrophic impact of the inferno at 336-338 State Street, their burned-out shells a hideous reminder of the lives disrupted and the severity of the incident, might have given a push to Housing Resources of Columbia Country to finally start work on renovating its neighbor across the street (above), which a sign on the property has implied is about to happen for quite some time now. Recent peeks while passing by the building revealed workmen (two) inside, suggesting that something actually might be; there are also wooden studs dividing its void of  an interior – a hopeful sign?

As a longtime resident of State, I’ve always felt that, sans vinyl/asbestos siding, the houses located there are the neglected treasures of Hudson and, once stripped of their dreary coverings, will reveal themselves to be of true historic and aesthetic merit. Down between Second and Third Street, a big chunk of the block escaped the  so-called “improvements” made to other buildings on the street over the last few decades –due to economics from way back when to now, and is a sight to be seen. (Up the block, the arid concrete park just built by David Deutsch, adjoining the Housing Resources building between Third and Fourth,  is just what the doctor didn’t order.)

IMG_1198Recently Carole Osterink advocated that the blocks on Fourth Street that fall outside the historic district boundaries be so designated, a no brainer of an idea since the street—with the glorious Warren and Wetmore-designed courthouse at the south end and the venerable library capping the north—is the closest thing, design wise, we have to a planned civic center.  Additionally, I rather wish that it wouldn’t get so many people riled up to also suggest that other sections nearby — part or even all of State Street but particularly those blocks that remain miraculously intact at the moment — be given landmark consideration also. If these buildings — with their abundance of Nantucket-style and Hudson Vernacular originals — don’t qualify….what does? –Scott Baldinger

Collective Style



Even though there’s still an icicle firmly lodged somewhere above my sacroiliac, the second coldest winter in recorded history seems to be showing signs of  coming to an end ….enough to warrant more observant strolls up and down Warren Street and environs.

A number of such ambles this relatively balmy week revealed at least one springlike bud worth noting. Two accomplished fashionistas from New York City, Valerie Wray (pictured above) and Shawna McBean, have just opened a new boutique, Collective 23, in the spot that the cafe Swallow (now the minimalist industrial chic MotoCoffee/Machine at 357 Warren)  once occupied at 433 Warren. Wray is a founding partner of LimeLightTattoos and is the human resources director at a major music label; McBean is a former model turned fashion designer, the original founder of the clothing company SistahsofHarlem NY, and is currently the owner of Vibe Jewels. They have described their new brick and mortar enterprise in Hudson as a “combination of Henri Bendel and Etsy,” offering a  mix of accessories, jewelry, and clothing from local designers to McBean’s and Wray’s personally designed accessories, tulle skirts, and luxury metallic tattoos. There are also racks of resale Escada, Christian Dior, and Dolce & Gabbana.

Although the shop isn’t completely finished and the lighting is currently rather dim (they hope to have everything done in mid-April), its appearance continues the stretch of stylish clothing and accessories shops now marching down the upper half of the south side of the 400 block, turning it, as I mentioned ages ago (about a month) into Hudson’s version of Saville Road. — Scott Baldinger


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