A blog about Hudson, New York

The Power of Then

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Time — or rather the stuff that happens or doesn’t happen during it–can seem to move glacially in these parts, especially during and right after a particularly grueling winter. While it’s hard to spot a trend when things are at a standstill, one thing seems to be going on as the weather gets back to normal: Much of the town’s retail is still recovering from the inclement conditions,  just starting to pick up as the weather becomes civilized. While it’s true that complaining about business conditions is a staple activity in Hudson during these periods (and even during other ones), this time things do appear more difficult than normal. Which would logically be the case during months of sub-zero temperatures, but, according to anecdotal remarks from a number of purveyors of  the antique sector of the decorative arts in particular, perhaps the first and most important catalyst in the town’s revival, there seems to be something more worrisome happening and on a broader scale than just locally. The recent folding of the Home & Garden section in The New York Times, for instance, was a shocking event that, in the larger scheme of things, is an example of this trend—a sign perhaps that people, for a variety or reasons, don’t care about vintage design like they used to. If true (and the streams of people visiting but NOT shopping seem to give some credence to this), it would definitely be a hard blow for Warren Street. Whether one could afford its wares or not, the quality and sophistication of the town’s antique and vintage businesses always seemed to contribute most perfectly to Hudson’s oasis-like beauty, and was a perfect complement to its historic infrastructure. While change is inevitable as Hudson becomes more of a food and hotel and B&B destination, one can only hope that its reputation as a decorator mecca remains as strong as always.

One encouraging sign is the reappearance of Benjamin Wilson Antiques at 558 Warren. Wilson (above, in his new shop)  has been opening up in different locations on Warren for years now, but he’s been absent from the scene for some time. He’s been missed: His remarkable eye and original take on home design is as evident as ever, and his new digs is a reassuring reincarnation. –Scott Baldinger

 

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