Sometimes I forget to take advantage of being my own boss. The 9 to 5, Monday to Friday structure is still so deeply ingrained that the idea of going to a museum on a Tuesday to avoid the crowds still feels like I’m playing hooky. So when Frances Janisch, the über talented photographer, food blogger, Many Kitchens producer and now dear friend asked me to join her on a day trip last week, I jumped at the chance. She had been commissioned to write and photograph a story on Hudson, New York.
I can’t think of many such beautiful towns (though technically it’s a city) that you can get to so easily from New York City (but would love to hear about them if you know of any!). Frances and I caught an early train and the ride itself was stunning as we hugged the Hudson River almost the whole way and could enjoy the spectacular leaves from the comfort of our Amtrak seat.
We had a full schedule of places to visit before catching a 4pm train home so up and down Warren Street we went with me being pathetically unhelpful except for holding the tripod for a few minutes every now and again. We stopped into the very eclectic Trout & Co antique store (below) on the way to our first appointment at Olde Hudson Deli; a food store to rival any in the city with huge jars of olives, mountains of cheese and freshly baked pies.
We then went from establishment to establishment learning more and more about the history of Hudson from the various owners that Frances charmed. A few of my favorite stores are photographed below: The linens at Rural Residence, the table settings and furniture at Finch and the apothecary jars and mid century chairs stacked high at Hudson Supermarket.
The proximity to the city, gorgeous shops, restaurants and countryside, while no longer offering much in the way of bargains, is a far cry from the Hudson of even 5 years ago when you could (apparently) still buy crack on street corners.
In the 1800’s, Hudson was the 4th largest city in New York State and was one vote away from being the State’s capital but by the late 19th Century, it had fallen on bad times and for much of the 20th Century, it was known for its vices and even nicknamed The Little Town with the Big Red Light District. It was heartening to see a city restored to its former glory days! (Below is a view from the very chic Hudson Merchant House)
I’m definitely going back if only to eat at some of the incredible looking restaurants. Top of my list would be Fish and Game who were setting up for dinner when we arrived. They are housed in a beautifully converted blacksmith shop and have an entirely seasonal and local menu that changes weekly. This Pork Roast turning on the spit, dripping fat onto the potatoes below, had me seriously considering trying to find a bed for the night – it might be the only way to stop me drooling. Sadly, we had heard from the two Inns that we visited that they didn’t have a spare room until January - it seems Hudson is no longer a well kept secret!