Hudson, New York is a town that I have been visiting for years. About a month ago, I decided that it might be nice to get out of the city (I know, a novel idea). To distract from the obvious, I recently started working on a number of “home improvement” projects. And the fact that Hudson is well know for its antiquing was a big draw. So were the many restaurants and the dog friendly hotel I found. No need for quarantines and only a two-hour drive from New York sealed the deal.
Hudson, founded by whalers in the late 18th century (yes, really), is located above the Hudson River in Columbia County. The town had money; and there are still many beautiful buildings, including Greek Revival homes, Victorian manses and other diverse architectural styles. In short, the town had lost some of its luster but was rediscovered in the 1980s by artists and antique dealers looking for big spaces at low rents. They were joined by young people of all stripes fleeing the rising prices in Brooklyn, and more dealers, as well as retirees who liked the lifestyle. The current population is a great mix of ages, races and tastes. Its this blended population that gives the town its style.
Our first morning we visited Olana, the 250-acre estate of Frederick Church, the leading Hudson Valley School painter. We were there during the week so the house was not open. The grounds and the views are magnificent. He designed gardens as a living landscape, and there are also miles of trails.
The house sits at the top of the property. The 1860’s house and carriage house are open for tours several days a week. Leashed dogs are welcome on the property and our dog Aggie had a great time exploring. Across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill, New York, you can also visit the somewhat smaller 1815 home of Thomas Cole, Church’s painting instructor. You can go by car, or walk across the river on Skywalk.
The house was designed in the Persian style, with a lot of very exotic and beautiful details. I love the elaborate frieze and the highly decorated chimneys atop the house.
Olana, Cosy Cottage 5720, NY-9G, Hudson, New York
A few miles away, close to the river, is an amazing collection of antique dealers. This huge warehouse above used to be a chair factory. Inside you will find more than 40,000 square feet of all kinds of treasures.
This dealer reinvents stylish chairs that tell a story. Pieces found here come from around the world.
Unusual pieces are around every corner. Looking around can be exhausting, but it is never dull.
Do you need something fun for your country house? Should you happen to have horses to pull it, this painted sleigh could be fun for a snowy winter. That’s the point of The Antique Warehouse.
There are plenty of vintage dealers here, too. I found an amazing Dior men’s tweed jacket that will be a go to piece this fall. If you need lighting — chandeliers, wall lights, table lamps and other lighting abound.
Interesting mid-century modern pieces are all over the warehouse.
If New England cozy is your thing, you will find it. There are also many artisans in Hudson that specialize in restoring furniture and doing re-upholstery. There is a huge community of dealers that care.
The Antique Warehouse Door 21, 99 Front Street, Hudson, New York
We headed back to town, or rather to Warren Street. The mile-long street has a variety of architectural styles. The Greek Revival house on the left is still a private house and we had dinner the night before in the inky 19th century building (above, right). Luckily the town has a protected historic district.
The stylish modern-rustic Hudson Food Studio serves both inside and outside in their garden. The cuisine is the chef’s mix of Vietnamese and Thai specialties. Everything was delicious.
Hudson Food Studio, 746 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Across the street is one of the new hip hotels. The Rivertown Lodge and its buzzy tavern were once the town movie theater. The interesting renovation has a mid-century feel that updates Hudson, New York.
The Rivertown Lodge, 731 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
We decided to start at the top of Warren Street and work our way down. The burgers at the Grazin’ Diner were sensational. They use a proprietary meat blend and make unusual burgers. We were lucky to get an outside table. Inside dining is also available. Hudson is a railroad town now. Amtrak runs along the river and brings people from the city. The station is near the Antique Warehouse. There is another line for freight that runs across town several times a day (you can see the cars in the background). No one we asked was quite sure of where exactly the cars are coming from or going.
Grazin’ Diner, 717 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
There are many clothing boutiques in town, though antique and design stores far outnumber them. Marine Penvern, a French designer, makes modern, cutting edge clothes.
Martine Penvern Atelier, 715 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Make Workshop offers all sorts of ideas and tools of the trade for knitters and other crafters. Malcrame, rug hooking, and dying are just some of the crafts catered to. Witty gifts are also available.
Make Workshop, 711 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
The local hardware store has kept its original look quite intentionally. It is part of the charm of Hudson.
The windows are a clue as to what is inside. The store has been here since 1830. There are four floors of antique hardware and parts. The collection goes way beyond door handles and cabinet hardware.
Rogerson’s Hardware, 615 Warren Street, Hudson New York
This shop is a mashup of things. Vintage clothing, furniture and more. I love the fact that it kept the signage of a previous tenant.
Inside the store are rustic pieces, mid-century modern pieces, and much more.
Furlong, 611 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Many of the stores in Hudson are shared spaces. The different dealers have different tastes, and that is what makes shopping in the blended stores so much fun.
Heads and vases, mid-century mixed with heavy brown furniture. A touch of everything.
Some pieces are bigger than others. The lighting is fun, too.
Arenskjold Antiques, Art and Modern Design, Benjamin Wilson Antiques, and Modern on the Hudson, 605 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Regan & Smith is known for oversized pieces that are very unusual. The store also carries a mix of other types of furniture.
Regan & Smith, 601 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Another paired shop was extremely interesting. At the back of the shop is a smaller space, Pugsly’s Barber Shop. The barber shop was open for business and you could browse (but not buy) the merchandise in Finch Clubhouse.
Men’s clothing, grooming aides, and curated home goods were all entertaining.
Finch Clubhouse and Pugsly’s Barber Shop, 558 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Another mixed owner store is across the street. Ida’s Eyes and the other dealers offer a completely different mix. I could lounge in the French daybed-cum-sofa for hours.
The midcentury and oriental pieces at the back of the store are of note, too.
Ida’s Eye, Upstate Rug Supply, The Modern Exchange, 557 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Stair Galleries is an auction house. Founded in the early 2000s, it is one of the better regional auction houses. They do Thursday morning auctions. What is featured here is from a grouping of different pieces from different owners. But they also do special auctions, such as the Jayne Wrightsman auction several weeks ago, which featured smaller items from her estate.
These days you need to make an appointment to view the pieces in person. Everything is available online. Leave a bid, bid on the phone or online. You don’t have to be here to shop.
Stair Galleries, 549 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
White Rice is a very colorful store. The store is full of casual clothing and accessories like hats, bags and jewelry. Much of the stock is private label produced in Indonesia.
The store is quite large and furniture, home accessories, objects and textiles are for sale.
White Rice, 531 Warren Street, Hudson New York
Artemesia is a women’s clothing store that is filled with minimal basics in good fabrics.
Cozy socks and gloves, totes, bags, shoes and self-care and wellness products are also available.
Artemesia, 502 Warren Street, Hudson New York
The Quiet Botanist is an oasis of calm. You enter the store through an alley filled with dried flowers and plants. The store is on the ground floor of a house that is full of goodies.
The beauty and wellness products are sourced from around the world. From face scrubs, candles and soaps to teas, cacao and Vermont maple syrup, there is a wealth of items to choose from.
The store also specializes in taking the dried plants and creating bundles, wreathes and many different sorts of bouquets and arrangements. When the virus retreats, they will reopen their treatment space.
The Quiet Botanist, 445 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
The Spotty Dog is a Hudson go-to. Before the pandemic, the bar in the left hand side of the picture was functioning — serving beer and wine and small snacks. They specialize in hand-crafted beers and ales. Now you have to browse on their website, preorder your books and come by to pick them up.
Outside the store there is a small selection for curbside shopping. RGB and other witty socks sit beside a small selection of books and games.
Spotty Dog Books & Ale, 440 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Not every store is full of antiques. TK Home & Garden carries a wide assortment of home goods, things for children, home scents and grooming products. When another customer asked the owners what they did, the owners joked that they were retired — somewhat ironically.
Upstairs they have a few antiques, and some colorful photos of vintage cars and pick-ups.
TK Home & Garden, 441 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
John Doe Records and Books exudes a Brooklyn hipster vibe. The large space is packed with all sorts of vinyl, cassettes, books and vintage. Before the pandemic, Hudson had a vibrant music scene. Hopefully it will be back soon.
John Doe Records and Books, 434 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
We stayed at The Hudson Millner, on the left. What was once an office building was bought and renovated by a couple from, you guessed it, Brooklyn. The rooms are suite-like as they all have full kitchens with vintage appliances and intriguing decor, mixing antiques with rustic industrial touches.
This is the door to our suite. The wife is a painter and owns a restaurant in Bed-Stuy, and the husband is a photographer and renovator/designer. The husband’s studio is in the store front, which also shows more of the wife’s paintings. She has a large studio behind the house.
The Hudson Milliner, 415B Warren Street, Hudson, New York
The White Whale has a little bit of everything. Fancy a framed bat, beetle or butterfly? Interesting primitive art, oriental and Polynesian pieces? Feel like rummaging through mismatched silver? There is a little bit of everything here. You never know what you will find.
White Whale Limited, 410 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
The Moto Caffe/Machine is indeed a cafe and a boutique filled with motorcycle accessories, themed clothing and bikes. A biker’s heaven with good coffee.
Moto Cafe/Machine, 357 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
UNRACKED is a small boutique full of clothing from up-and-coming designers. There are a few vintage pieces for sale as well. Think original pieces for a contemporary lifestyle.
UNRACKED, 356 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
This clean boutique offers a mix of crisp vintage mixed in with new clothing, hats, shoes and accessories.
Nina Z , 345 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
Magic Hill is full of mid-century everything. Furniture, home goods, lighting, art and clothing. They also offer re-upholstery and wood restoration services, as well as home decor and staging know-how.
Magic Hill, 307 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
The Maker is a luxury hotel that opened over the summer. The hotel spreads over several buildings, and is in the midst of adding a gym in the building next door. The 11 luxurious rooms are bespoke and bohemian; no minimalism here. The atmosphere is moody and sophisticated.
After dinner, drinks are a must in the Lounge. Small plates or deserts must be ordered with the drinks, and they are delicious. Located in a carriage house behind the hotel, soaring ceilings and a warm decor make this a grand room. Social distancing is easy to do here.
The Cafe is located in a wooden building on the corner. Open for breakfast and lunch, it is a chic spot with both healthy food and fried chicken sandwiches. While there is indoor dining, it was warm enough to eat outside while we were visiting.
The Maker, 302 Warren Street, Hudson, New York
There are many more shops, restaurants and boutiques in Hudson, making it impossible to fit all of them into a single column. The town also has many art galleries with all genres of art. Most of the restaurants are closed Monday and Tuesday, as are some of the stores. The weekends tend to be busier and more crowded than the weekdays.
Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.