Letter From New York 12 05 15 Winter Walk in Hudson…

Hudson, New York.  Winter Walk. The Red Dot. James Linkin.  Mat Tombers. Mathew Tombers. Nutcracker. Columbia County, New York.  Warren Street, Hudson.  Old Chatham Kettle Corn.  Alana Hauptman. Brooklyn North. Hamptons.

It is the first Saturday in December and that means that tonight was Winter Walk in Hudson, an event I have attended faithfully for fourteen years. 

Hudson has one of the most magnificent collections of late 19th Century buildings in the country and each year on the first Saturday in December decks itself out for a winter party. 

Carolers line the streets and sing traditional carols while people in costume meander the street.  Shops decorate themselves for the day and there are probably 30,000 people who show up for the party.

It is Hudson’s kick-off for the Holiday Season.

For me, it reached its culmination when I returned from wandering the streets to go to The Red Dot to meet my friend James Linkin.  You couldn’t move in the place and it was the most festive of the places I had visited.

Alana, proprietress of The Red Dot, goes full tilt every year to transform her establishment to some Christmas theme.  This year may well be the most spectacular she has created.  It was all about The Nutcracker. 

She did an amazing job and it, alone, put me in a festive mood.

It was a local night.  The conversations were about decorative windows and great themes and neighborly conversations.  It was a celebration of local joy.  Tonight was about hometown.  Hudson is the county seat and the heart of Columbia County.

While I don’t live in Hudson it is the center of my life in Columbia County.  It is for almost everyone who lives in the county.  Hudson has a life of its own.

It is the last suburb of New York and the first suburb of Albany.  It has attracted a number of people who are economic refugees from New York, people who are connected to the city and who can no longer afford to live there.

It is a haven for those who are artistic, many are the artists who once made SoHo, SoHo.    

The creative energy that has found itself here that is amazing. 

With humor, people have called this Brooklyn North or SoHo Redux.  And it is true, there is a creative energy that flows through the county that is quite amazing.

The weekenders are people who cannot afford nor want to be in the Hamptons; looking for something that is more tangible and real.  We are also inhabited with those who could afford the Hamptons but don’t want it.

I have been to fourteen successive Winter Walks and each year find something new to wonder at.

Tonight I wandered through almost all of Warren Street while eating some of the best popcorn in the world:  Old Chatham Kettle Corn.  In a kind of popcorn ecstasy I walked the streets, not buying but looking for gifts for the folks on my list for which I have not found the perfect item.

Tonight the trials and the tribulations of the world were far way.  I was in my own place, my own world and allowed myself to be drenched by it.

  It was so good to celebrate my time and my place.

Since parking was impossible I hitched a ride in with young Nick after we had finished our weekend chores.  And I called Riverview Taxi to bring me home. 

Andy, the driver, came into the Red Dot to find me.  He was early and he wanted to be sure he found me and got me into his cab. 

It is the kind of personal touch of small town America that is seeping away in the world of Uber but one that I appreciate as I appreciate my place in this special place.

I’ve witnessed the growth of Hudson, seen it change a bit and know it will change more.  But it is a special place as is this whole county which is my home now.

I am lucky and am lucky enough to know I am lucky.

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8 Responses to “Letter From New York 12 05 15 Winter Walk in Hudson…”

  1. Bruce Thiesen Says:

    Relish your luck.

  2. tombers Says:

    I do, every morning when I wake and survey the creek and every day when I offer my thanks to the universe…

  3. michelle locke Says:

    Nice post. I was at the Winter Walk – it was really great! I am trying to find out where on earth I can buy more of that Old Chatham Kettle Corn. Would you happen to know?

  4. tombers Says:

    Deal. Glad you stumbled into the blog… 🙂

    • michelle locke Says:

      I may have a lead on the Kettle Corn…not sure yet..but stay tuned..

      Your blog is very cool by the way..you have a very impressive background and resume. It’s really great how you are able to stay connected Columbia County. I do not live there but absolutely love so many things about it.

  5. tombers Says:

    Please let me know about the Kettle Corn and thank you for t thinking my blog is cool. I love Columbian County. It is the most at home I have ever felt in my life…

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