I regret that I haven’t made it to Hudson this summer. It’s been busy at home. We also haven’t made it to Kent, Essex, Chester, Litchfield, Stonington and a half-dozen other daytrip locales where we typically spend time and gallery-hop. Thank goodness we made it to the Cape, where even the bad art galleries are pretty good.
We made a brief stop to Hudson, in upstate New York, this past spring, and I’m trying to get something going in October, but room availability threatens to scuttle my plans. It will be leaf-peeping season and the one guest house I found with availability isn’t ready yet to give up a room for a one-night stay. It won’t be the first time I’ve canceled a Hudson trip because I couldn’t get a room.
A city that was more recently known for antiquing, Hudson has a strong community of galleries. I think art galleries are going to be what antique stores were in the 1980s and ’90s. Times are harder for antique dealers, although I say this with only anecdotal evidence. The days when good decorating meant acquiring museum-quality antiques are gone. And the “bare-wall” look that started with the TV show “Nip/Tuck” is giving way to walls filled with colorful and expressive artwork.
Hudson beyond Warren Street is on hard times and has been for 100 years. But an enclave of Brooklynites has been building the downtown for the last 15 or 20 years, rehabbing its inventory of beautiful Victorian homes and reinventing Warren Street. A few good restaurants, and at least one really great one, still operate — I don’t know how well they’re doing. When the economy first tanked, I had predicted a swift demise for poor Warren Street, but so far it’s hanging on.
Somehow, the Warren Street ecosystem of artisans, entrepreneurs and chefs seems so fragile, like it could disappear overnight.