HudsonNicole Hitner | April 15, 2016 | Comment
Once the husk of a manufacturing town, Hudson is now enjoying what New York Times columnist Penelope Green recently called “a boomlet as a cultural hub.” With over 50 antique dealers and almost as many art galleries occupying its five-block Warren Street thoroughfare, the town has become a perennial destination for collectors and creatives from all over the Tri-State Area.
These past 20 years, Hudson has enjoyed an influx of artistic talent from Brooklyn and other urban neighborhoods in the region, resulting in a staggering 10 percent self-employment rate (the highest in New York State!). From jewelry, fabrics, and textiles to perfume, furniture, and food—Hudson’s storefronts deliver on artisanal quality.
Weekend itineraries to Hudson would do well to include a trip to OMI International Art Center, an outdoor sculpture park just a short drive away in Ghent featuring 60 acres of installations by internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists. Pack a picnic lunch, or begin your afternoon stroll down Warren Street at one of Hudson’s inspiring lunch spots. On one end, you’ll find Grazin’, a farm-to-table burger joint that has been praised far and wide for its flavors and integrity. At the other end, there’s Café le Perche, a French bakery and bistro with a serene garden patio and decadent plates.
Whether or not you make it all the way down Warren, do not miss Hudson’s new antique warehouse, which features over a dozen antique collections under one roof. After a tavern steak at Wm. Farmer and Sons, the new taproom and boarding house in town, or a locavore’s feast at Fish & Game, run by Zak Pellacio of Fatty Crab fame, there’s live entertainment to be enjoyed at Helsinki Hudson. This high-end club hosts performances by big names like Yo La Tengo, but there’s also Basilica Hudson, a glue-factory-turned-event space run by Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, and site of avant-garde music and art performances.
Hudson’s cachet as a shopping destination is hard to understate, and it takes its hotels and boarding houses just as seriously. The new Rivertown Lodge plays with early Americana décor while maintaining a modern crispness. Also new to Hudson is the delicious and adorable Talbott & Arding cheese shop on Warren, where connoisseurs can splurge on locally procured cheeses cut to order.
Flowerkraut: We specialize in custom floral design and sauerkraut veggies! Everything; ceramics, candles, papergoods and gift items, are selected largely from NY-based creatives. Beautiful and sustainable! • 722 Warren St Hudson (518) 821-6716 flowerkrauthudson.com
Hudson City Bed and Breakfast: Historical home featuring king beds, private baths and delicious breakfasts. On Hudson’s best block, a three minute walk to downtown attractions. 326 Allen St Hudson (518) 822-8044 hudsoncitybnb.com
Millinery Treasures: Hand sewing and couture techniques take hat making to a different level. Somewhere between art and magic. Let Millinery Treasures create a special hat for your occasion.• 739 Warren St Hudson (646) 286-3092 millinerytreasures.com
Kasuri: Kasuri is a luxury boutique in Hudson selling curated cutting-edge runway fashion “We opened the doors in spring 2014,” says Kasuri owner Layla Kalin. “What’s happened since has been breathtaking. These days I’m working with the crème de la crème, the designers who inspired me into fashion: Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Rick Owens.”Kalin knew it would take a little friendly persuasion to get Kasuri off the ground. “We had to knock on a lot of doors,” she says. “Doing this level of fashion upstate didn’t make sense to a lot of brands at first. But I knew. Hudson had a ton of antiques, and antiquing is great, but for a woman with a little money to spend, there was nowhere to satisfy that certain itch. And with the second-homers and young creatives here, there are people who appreciate really high-quality fashion.” Kasuri also markets online, with great success.Kalin had a blue-collar childhood. “For back to school, it was Target or thrift shops. I wore jeans for 25 years straight,” she says. She attended Los Angeles Trade and Technical College and set up up dressmaker’s equipment in her garage, finding her products popular with the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Trent Reznor.“We can work with designers you couldn’t connect to in New York or Los Angeles, where the market’s saturated,” she says. “Rick Owens approached us—I didn’t think we were ready for them yet, but his commercial director approached my buyer when we were in Paris last June.” And the response is growing. “We have impeccable, world-class customer service,” Kalin says. “We had a great Christmas. And people are welcome to come in and just browse and be inspired. If you can’t afford $2,000 pants, I get it. I haven’t always been able to either.” 1 Warren St Hudson (518) 249-4786 / kasuri.com