Hudson, New York is a charming little town rooted in rich history. With new signs of life after the pandemic, upstate New York enters a new phase with plenty to do and visit.
About 120 miles north of New York City, along the east side of the Hudson River, Hudson is a perfect vacationland for a family road trip. The local economy is driven mostly by tourism, services, and retail. Hudson is known for the art scene, stylish hotels, hip restaurants, modern art galleries, and nightlife, much of which are clustered around the picturesque and walkable main drag, Warren Street.
In fact, strolling along Warren Street is a lovely program. A window shopper’s paradise. This charming and trendy enclave is a sort of “Brooklyn North”, buzzing with food and drink establishments, mid-century antique shops, and an eclectic array of boutiques that are now coming back from the Covid-19 lockdown. These businesses miss their customers, and the tourists miss them too.
For many, it’s anything but business as usual. Everyone is wearing masks and adjusting to living in this new normal. The income was suddenly interrupted, and the pandemic took a big hit financially and emotionally. Some stores are open. Some stores are still closed, but everybody is getting back into the swing of things.
The Peruse Art Gallery is a little wonder, given its history as an arts center dating back some two centuries when it attracted painters from the famed Hudson River School like Thomas Cole and Frederick Edwin Church, both of whom resided within a few miles of town and fills the area with history.
Some restaurants are focusing on catering to small outdoor events. Hudson Food Studio is a pleasant option for dinner serving excellent modern Southeast Asian foods. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the noodles and soup are exactly what you want to eat after a long day outside.
At Café Le Perche, you’ll find some of the tastiest croissants, breakfast sandwiches, and hash brown potatoes. This restaurant has been here for a long time and received a makeover by the people behind one of Hudson’s most established restaurants, Swoon Kitchen Bar.
In the early 21st century, Hudson has become a destination for the LGBTQ community. Many have opened new businesses, moving here from larger urban areas and have led the restoration of many of the city’s historic houses.
The community also features the Hudson Farmer’s Market, offering a variety of fresh organic vegetables and artisanal products from more than 30 local vendors.
Among the regional growers and producers, look out for a variety of stalls hocking veggies, fruits, herbs, eggs, meats, fish, nuts, mushrooms, baked goods, bread, honey, pickles, cut flowers and more. During the warm seasons, the market is outdoors; in the wintertime, indoors. These days, the market is spread over two parking lots, with plenty of social distancing. The market is open on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm from late April through mid-November at 6th Street and Columbia Street.
Just five minutes outside of town is the Olana State Historic Site. The beautiful piece of property was the home of Frederick Edwin Church, a great American art figure of the 19th century. In a way, this property is the crown jewel of Hudson. The Olana State sits along the Hudson River Skywalk and includes pedestrian viewing stations on the bridge that allow for stunning pictures of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. Nowadays, the property is owned by the New York State and managed by the non-profit organization, The Olana Preservation Inc. More than 150,000 visitors per year walk the grounds that had been designed and manicured by Church himself. These are the sights that inspired some of the most important paintings in American history. At the moment, the tours are still suspended, but the Olana State offers plenty of room for social distancing.
Cheers to a cautious re-opening, and to a new beginning for Hudson, New York!