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Fall in the Valley
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Well, it’s official: Fall has arrived, its inevitable transition affecting both the natural and human spheres of the world. Thanks to the seasonal harvest and the turning of the leaves, people do seem to find this a good time to pay a visit to the Hudson Valley, to enjoy the bounty of a region rich with agricultural, scenic, and cultural gifts.

So, this month we at Roll wish to provide a dual service with this, our “Fall In the Valley” special feature. First, in giving a broad overview of what is happening all over our coverage range—from Peekskill to Hudson with all points in between—we hope to provide a handy guide to out-of-town guests, as well as locals, who just might be curious as to what else is going on up here other than the “color riot” Mother Nature provides.

But hopefully, this feature truly fulfills our primary year-round mission: to remind our loyal local readers of the multitude of possibilities that surround you on an almost daily basis. We present to you one month of very cool stuff going on within 50 miles of your present location . . . and we’re not even getting everything here, not even close. (Please be sure to check the listing section of Roll for more complete coverage.)

We’ll start this lively autumnal jaunt in Peekskill, work our way up Rte. 9 to Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck—with a few side trips—all the way up to Hudson, where we’ll cross the Rip Van Winkle bridge to Catskill, and make our way down the west side of the river, with stops in Woodstock, Kingston, New Paltz, on down to Newburgh and Cornwall. Four bridges, one ferry, and now a walking bridge connect the two oddly symbiotic sides; it helps to think of the Hudson River as a binding agent as opposed to a divider.

EAST SIDE OF THE HUDSON, FROM THE SOUTH

So maybe you hopped on the train from Grand Central, and tumbling north, decided to see what kind of place might possibly be named “Peekskill.” Or, perhaps you found yourself hugging the coast of what looks more like a fjord than a river, rolling south on 9D. Either way, PEEKSKILL feels like the last possible stop coming out of New York City; one foot in Westchester, one foot in Upstate.

Not at all far from the train station, you find yourself in what feels like a cultural hub. 12 Grapes Restaurant, Music and Wine Bar (www.12grapes.com) offers a classy Neo-Italian fare with an impressive international wine selection, in conjunction with some great live music from both the Hudson Valley and New York City, leaning towards blues, R&B, and singer/songwriters. The Paramount Center for the Arts (www.paramountcenter.org) offers nationally touring theatre and music performances: One Book, One River: an evening with T. Coraghessan Boyle (10/17), Lily Tomlin (10/22), the movie Frankenstein, with live music by BQE Project (10/31), Rick Springfield (11/7), and Kicking & Screaming: The Musical (11/8).

The BeanRunner Café (www.beanrunnercafe.com) provides eclectic fare ranging from hummus and Caribbean chicken to fruit smoothies and soup, with great jazz, latin, and acoustic groups on the weekends. Art lovers need only go a little way east to find the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (www.hvcca.com), where a special Quadricentennial—the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s first visit to the valley that now bears his name, in case you’re wondering—exhibition featuring sixteen contemporary Dutch artists awaits, titled “Double Dutch,” alongside a special showing of works by Amsterdam’s Fendry Ekel.

Heading north, you have the choice of 9D—the scenic route, or Rte. 9, which takes you directly to I-84, the main highway traveling either to Beacon and over the river to Newburgh, or east to Danbury, CT. Should you be so inclined, take 9D on up to GARRISON, the next train stop north, where the Garrison Art Center (www.garrisonartcenter.org) will be holding its “Photocentric,” a photography exhibition juried by Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Malcolm Daniel and well-known independent photography editor, Alice Rose George (Time, Fortune, Granta). A little further, and the quaint town of COLD SPRING awaits, with many lovely shops, coffeehouses, and galleries.

But either way, the roads end up in or near BEACON, home of one of our major heroes, Pete Seeger, and the prime destination for the Second Saturday of any month, where the town becomes the host of the Arts Along the Hudson (www.artalongthehudson.com), a seven-town arts confederation including Kingston (“First Saturday” of the month, www.askforarts.org) and New Paltz (“Third Saturday,” www.newpaltzarts.org), along with Catskill (www.catskillgalleryassociation.com), Newburgh (www.kcomps.com/NbgArt), Peekskill (www.peekskillartscouncil.org), and Poughkeepsie (www.barrettartcenter.org)

Beacon has much to offer the intrepid day-tripper. Just up the hill from the train station sits Dia: Beacon, Riggio Galleries (www.diabeacon.org). A staggering 300,000 square foot riverside space that was once a printing factory, Dia: Beacon allows for enormous works—primarily from 1960 to the present—to be displayed without restrictions. Works on display include Sol LeWitt’s Drawing Series, Imi Knoebel’s 24 Colors-for Blinky (1977), Zoe Leonard’s You see I am here after all (2008), and, through 10/19, Antoni Tàpies: The Resources of Rhetoric. For modern art lovers, this is reason enough to make the trip, or leave the train for a hot minute.

Wine lovers have a great place to reconnoiter at Artisan Wine Shop (www.artisanwineshop.com), where shop owners Timothy Buzinski and Mei Ying So provide the finest local and international wines available, while hosting regular wine tastings (see website for more). But should you find yourself in Beacon Columbus Day weekend, Saturday October 11, make your way to the “back end” of Beacon to the famous Howland Cultural Center (www.howlandculturalcenter.org) where self proclaimed “rabble-rouser” John Pietaro—of The Flames of Discontent—hosts his annual Dissident Folk & Arts Festival. John is unabashedly pro-union, progressive, and politically active, and along with his own band he presents Bev Grant & the Dissident Daughters, Hope Machine, Chris Ruhe, The Hudson Valley Playback Theatre, the Slink Moss Orchestra, Zenote Sompantle, Hip-Hop poet OL SoUL, and radical poets Addision Goodson, Lawrence Soebel, Robert Milby and Sana Shabazz.

Things get a bit thick and frantic working your way north on Rte. 9 out of Beacon; locals know to plan ahead for inevitable delays. First stop is FISHKILL, and you might need a break, so pull off the main drag and check out Colin Rudden’s Keltic House (www.myspace.com/keltichouse), where a good pint can be drawn, and really good bands—including Black 47 and Popa Chubby—can be caught on the right night. In the same cul-de-sac is a nice Indian restaurant, Tanjore (www.tanjoreindiancuisine.com), which also has a new location in Rhinebeck (5856 Rte. 9, 845.876.7510). Not much further up Rte. 9 is a nice old-school Italian restaurant, Gino’s Restaurant and Pizzeria (www.ginowappingers.com). It’s a modest place, but if you like your Italian the way Mama made it at home, go ahead and get off the stupid 9 for a few minutes, and enjoy.

This October is a good time to visit POUGHKEEPSIE. Right off the bat, you had better get over to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (www.fllac.vassar.edu) on the Vassar campus, where an amazing Quadricentennial art celebration titled Drawn by New York: Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings at the New-York Historical Society runs through November 1st. None other than Pete Seeger will be performing on October 10, free of charge—with local musicians and student performers—on the Chapel Lawn (between the Art Center and Main Building, with the rain location in the Chapel) with the show starting at 12 noon. The exhibition itself spans six centuries, from rare mid-sixteenth-century watercolors of European birds—precursors of the work of John James Audubon—to representations of the World Trade Center before and after September 11, 2001, including works by Albert Bierstadt, George Catlin, Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, William Glackens, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, and John Singer Sargent.

Earlier in October saw the grand opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson, connecting the towns of Poughkeepsie and Highland/Lloyd. Once the world’s longest train bridge when it originally opened in 1888, the bridge was a vital link over the river until a devastating fire rendered it unusable in 1974. Thanks to years of fundraising and some timely public money, the Walkway is now open, allowing visitors to fully enjoy the mighty Hudson River up close and personal. Just off the bridge entrance on the Poughkeepsie side, you can enjoy a nice coffee, cuisine, art, and music at Café Bocca (www.cafebocca.net), or the “soul fries” at Soul Dog (www.souldog.biz), where you can also get an array of gluten-free baked goodies, and catch whoever is coming through town (this month, Lucinda Williams and Rickie Lee Jones at the Bardavon (www.bardavon.org).

Heading north through HYDE PARK, it’s impossible to miss the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site (www.nps.gov/hofr), open year round, seven days a week. The grounds themselves are free to visit, but reservations (and a small fee) are required to visit the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, and the Vanderbilt Mansion Historic Site, as well as his Springwood estate, Top Cottage retreat, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage, the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady. Wine lovers can take a quick detour on the Dutchess Wine Trail, featuring Clinton Vineyards (www.clintonvineyards.com), and Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (millbrookwine.com), both of which are situated on beautiful rolling hills and Dutchess farmlands.

Next stop: RHINEBECK. Hopping off the train in adjacent RHINECLIFF, one might take some time and have dinner and drinks at the newly refurbished Rhinecliff Hotel (www.therhinecliff.com), which also features an excellent brunch, live music on weekends, and a nice view of the river. In the quaint village of Rhinebeck, fine dining can be found at regional favorite Terrapin Restaurant and Bistro (www.terrapinrestaurant.com); fine art is available at Gallery Lodoe (www.gallerylodoe.com) and the Gazen Gallery (www.gazengallery.com), and the best in independent cinema screened at Upstate Films (www.upstatefilms.org, 866.FILMNUT).

But the big deal this month will be the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, (www.sheepandwool.com), at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds October 17-18, featuring not only sheep, but llamas, alpacas, goats, and unusually talented canines, alongside food vendors and live bluegrass music.

On to the town of RED HOOK, where one can enjoy chocolate, coffee, and live acoustic music at Taste Budd’s (www.tastebudds.com), and dinner at The Flatiron (www.flatironsteakhouse.com), a classic steakhouse focusing on local ingredients. Just north of town you can pay a visit to Greig Farm (www.greigfarm.com), where you can pick your own produce (October is pumpkin time), or visit Gigi Market, Grandiflora Nursery, and Alison Winery, all of which are onsite.

Continuing north along the river—now on 9G—it might behoove you to check the schedule at the Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College (www.fishercenter.bard.edu) for music, theatre, and dance. Bard College president Leon Botstein—recent recipient of the prestigious 2009 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award—is also the director/conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, which will be performing Beethoven’s First and Second Symphonies (October 16-17). The world-renowned percussion ensemble Nexus will be performing works by John Cage as part of a weekend-long celebration (October 30-31) of the iconoclastic composer.

A little further, and you find the quiet hamlet of TIVOLI, where you can get some amazing vegetarian food at Luna 61 (www.luna61.com), or more highfalutin fare next door at Madalin’s Table (www.madalinhotel.com), part of the refurbished landmark Madalin Hotel in the center of town. From here, we tack to the northeast, over by the Taconic Parkway, to the bucolic town of HARLEMVILLE, home of the Hawthorne Valley Fall Farm Festival, October 10 (www.hawthornevalleyfarm.org,10:30 AM- 4 PM); celebrating the harvest season, while also hosting an open house for the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.

Turn west back toward the river to find yourself in HUDSON, another train stop, and a great town for art lovers. Columbus Day weekend (October 10-11) finds Hudson celebrating its ArtsWalk (www.artscolumbia.org), with performances and exhibits up and down Warren Street, and additional literary events October 15-17, with much of the action happening around the Cannonball Factory, just off N. 4th St., between Warren and Columbia Streets. Folks who like some fresh microbrews with their bookstore will enjoy the Spotty Dog Book & Ale (www.thespottydog.com), and Mexican Radio (www.mexrad.com) serves up Mexican-flavored fare, using the best local ingredients available. Movies, theatre, and music can be found all in one place at Time and Space Limited; please see our theatre/cinema feature this month for more info.

WEST SIDE OF THE HUDSON, FROM THE NORTH

Crossing the Rip Van Winkle Bridge going west, it’s a good idea to drop in to CATSKILL, especially during Columbus Day weekend (October 10-11). Despite its hardscrabble reputation, Catskill—which is also part of the Art Along the Hudson program—has a seriously vibrant art scene that shows its best with its second annual Catskill Village Artist Studio Tour (www.catskillgalleryassociation.com), a free tour that is a collaboration of eight studios with the Greene County Council on the Arts and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Be sure to meet and say hello to Mayor Vincent “Vinny” Seeley, quite possibly the most accessible public servant you’ve ever met.

Take any road south to SAUGERTIES, and if it’s Saturday, make sure to catch the Farmers Market, on Main St. (9 AM to 2 PM) next to the Kiersted House. And if it’s Saturday the 10th of October, you should drop in at the John Street Jam (johnstjam.net), Steve and Terri Massardo’s monthly singer/songwriter-in-the-round. This is not an open mic, folks: this is eight really good musicians giving you their very best stuff. And if you miss the October 10 show, you’re in luck; the calendar comes around with another show on October 31. Foodies should visit Miss Lucy’s Kitchen (www.misslucyskitchen.com), another inventive local-food restaurant, and on the way to Woodstock, west on Rte. 212, Chef Ric Orlando’s New World Home Cooking Fish & BBQ (www.ricorlando.com), where you can also catch a great Woodstock band on the weekends.

Ah, WOODSTOCK . . . where to begin? We recommend Oriole 9 (www.oriole9.com), the pre-eminent breakfast/lunch meeting spot in town. Operated by Chef Pierre-Luc Moeys—a frequent and valued contributor to Roll—and his wife Nina Paturel, “O9” also does a monthly “family dinner” (see website for dates and times) where Luc and Nina dazzle the locals with a full-course feast. We then recommend a visit to the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild (www.woodstockguild.org), the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum (www.woodstockart.org) and across the street, and further down, the Center for Photography at Woodstock (www.cpw.org). All three are free of charge, and always have interesting—and sometimes provocative—exhibitions. All three members are participants in the Woodstock Arts Consortium's 2nd Saturday events (www.woodstockartsconsortium.org), every month—June through October.

Visitors who are in the area mid-month should take a moment to enjoy another aspect of artwork: the 2009 Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase (October 24-25), at the Bearsville Theater (www.bearsvilletheater.com). You get to meet the builders, discuss custom instruments, and see some amazing classical and steel-string guitars—flattops, archtops, manouche and hybrids—plus mandolins, banjoes, violin and bowmakers, lutes, ouds, and ukuleles, and more. There will also be suppliers of wood, strings, and guitar parts for those inclined to build their own. And yes: live music at both the Bearsville Theater (Vickie Genfan and KJ Denhert on Saturday October 24) and the Colony Café (Ara Dinkjian Trio and Sharon Klein on Friday October 23, www.colonycafe.com), and delicious vintage instruments on display. Clinics and workshops take place at the adjacent Alchemy Café (www.myspace.com/alchemyofwoodstock), which also serves excellent food and has live acoustic music almost every night; the regular Wednesday night open mic is of an unusually high quality. But hey . . . we’re talking Woodstock here.

Speaking of Wednesdays in Woodstock, we highly recommend being around for the weekly Woodstock Farm Festival, which is part farmers market, part food fair and flea market, and part open-air hangout with music, from 4 PM til dusk. Then, before leaving town, you might consider having an amazing Italian meal at Cucina (cucinawoodstock.com), where C.I.A.— that’s Culinary Institue of America, folks—Italian cuisine instructor Gianni Scappin delivers a delightfully contemporary menu based on fresh ingredients, with exemplary yet casual service and hospitality. Our advice: call early for that reservation.

Now some folks might go on down south of town on 375 to Rte. 28, and go west, taking that road all the way up into the Catskills. And that would be a good thing. You might consider staying at Kate’s Lazy Meadow (www.lazymeadow.com); an awesome little hotel owned and operated by none other that Kate Pierson of the B-52s. You might want to go the whole hog at the Emerson Resort & Spa (www.emersonplace.com), a wonderful spa/hotel/restaurant complex that’s a favorite of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s, and well worth it. There’s the entire town of PHOENICIA, which is the perfect jumping off point for getting up into the furiously colored Catskill hills.

Now if you want to go all the way here, make your way out to the Frost Valley YMCA in CLARYVILLE (frostvalley.org) for the 13th Annual Fall Quilting Weekend, October 30- November 1. Lodging and daily rates are available online, reservations recommended. If you’re serious about quilting, or even just mildly interested, this is not to be missed.

But OK, so you take that left (east) on Rte. 28, going to KINGSTON, a town that was actually at one point briefly the capital of New York State, until the British Redcoats—under the command of Major General John Vaughn—swept in and set fire to every building in town on October 16, 1777 (see www.nps.gov/history/Nr/travel/kingston/revolt.htm). The City of Kingston celebrates this ignoble defeat with a biennial re-enactment on the anniversary that’s part celebration, part historical remembrance of an unfortunate moment, but it’s all in good fun, and folks do enjoy dressing in period clothes, firing musket blanks, and repairing for ale at the old Hoffman House.

The merry olde town of Kingston is also the right place to be around Halloween. Nobody does the haunted hayride better than the Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses (Rte. 9W, Ulster Park, www.headlesshorseman.com). Forty-five acres of property, a one-mile hayride, a corn maze labyrinth, and three haunted houses onsite has earned them #1 Hayride in America, by American Airlines Magazine. They even have toned-down Children’s Days, as well as the John Shaw Pandemonium Midnight Sideshow for the “grown-ups” starting later in the evening, four nights a week.

Most folks that come upstate to this area know about Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles, where the one-time drummer for The Band performs with his recent group—featuring Larry Campbell, Byron Isaacs, and his daughter, Amy Helm—at his home studio for an intimate audience. Tickets for Rambles can be gotten at www.levonhelm.com, but they do go fast. Fortunately, Levon and band are playing a special show in HURLEY, out Rte. 209 towards Ellenville, at John Gill’s Farm October 11, 2-4 PM, free of charge. Gill also has an amazing pumpkin cannon . . . armed and dangerous! Park at the Hurley Town Hall, ride the shuttle to the show.

Make your way east on Rte. 213 through the town of HIGH FALLS, home of the High Falls Café (www.highfallscafe.com), with great food and live music all week. For an inspiring culinary experience, Chef John Novi’s Depuy Canal House (www.depuycanalhouse.net) combines a wide variety of international styles, served in rustic splendor. There’s also a great sushi bar in-house. Then, on to ROSENDALE—home of Roll Magazine.

Like the cement it’s famous for—that’s Rosendale cement in the Washington Monument—Rosendale keeps rocking. The Rosendale Café (www.rosendalecafe.com) keeps serving up fine vegetarian fare, while bringing in quality national acts on the weekends, with Steve Forbert on Friday, October 16. Market Market (www.marketmarketcafe.com), a popular new bistro on Rte. 32 that’s also the new bus stop for the train shuttle from Poughkeepsie, is serving up a varied menu—killer Korean Bi-Bim-Bop, BTW—and also hosting live music on weekends, both local and from the City.

Rosendalians love their local movie theatre, run by the Cacchio family for around 50 years (Rosendale Theatre, 845.658.8989). Not only is it a fantastically non-cineplex place to enjoy first-run movies, but the theatre also doubles as an occasional venue for music and theatrical performances. Local playwright Ann Citron features her premiere of Talking With on October 16 and 17, 8 PM.

Moving further south, you might notice the Shawangunks Ridge, home to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, with its terrific bike and hiking trails around the alpine lakes of Minnewaska and Awosting, and internationally legendary rock climbing areas. It’s also the base for the Shawangunk Wine Trail (www.shawangunkwinetrail.com), ten family-owned wineries spread out between New Paltz, Marlboro, and Warwick.

NEW PALTZ is your classic college town—home to SUNY New Paltz—full of youthful energy, and eclectic choices of cuisine. Vegans will find their needs met at Karma Road Organic Veg Deli (www.karmaroad.net), home-style Japanese soba and udon noodle soups are at Gomen Kudasai (www.gomenkudasai.com), with Beso (www.beso-restaurant.com) providing a more upscale Manhattan-style elegance, using fresh locally grown ingredients.

On the SUNY campus, the Samuel Dorsky Museum (www.newpaltz.edu,) is showing “The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th-century American Landscape Paintings from the New York Historical Society,” which provides a scenic history of this diverse state, and a reminder of what needs to be preserved. And, this being a college town, live music can easily be found on the weekends. The Oasis Café (www.cabaloosa.com) features an in-house Japanese sake bar, and a special show with local favorites Ratboy backing up Dead Milkmen guitarist/singer Joe Jack Talcum October 24 (10:30 PM). And on Halloween, “Haunted Huguenot Street” (www.hhs-newpaltz.org,) makes great use of the historical section of town, where real ghosts are said to still wander.

Past the town of HIGHLAND—where the Walkway Across the Hudson allows pedestrians to cross over the river to Poughkeepsie—and a little further south brings you to one of the pre-eminent bed & breakfast/spas the area has to offer. Buttermilk Falls (220 North Rd., Milton, buttermilkfallsinn.com,) sits on 70 acres, some tastefully landscaped, some beautifully wild. With a full spa and gourmet breakfast, this is the place to treat oneself; the rooms have their own fireplaces and whirlpools. Also in MILTON is the Heart of the Hudson Valley Farmers Market (www.freewebs.com/hhvfarmersmarket), open every Saturday until October 25, 8:30 AM-1:30 PM, one of the regions bigger and better farmer’s markets.

Soon, you’re in NEWBURGH, a small city presently in the process of rebirth. The waterfront is lined with several fine restaurants, and the ferry to Beacon is always a good bet on the weekend. Up on the high bluff, check out Washington’s Headquarters (www.nysparks.state.ny.us), also known as Hasbrouck House. During the Revolutionary War, Washington chose the location for its access to the strategically important West Point, using the structure from April 1782 through August 1783.

A little further down Liberty St. is a new ‘60s-themed restaurant The Wherehouse (561.7240), with a menu ranging from burgers to vegan, and live music on weekends. Just around the corner are the Ritz Theatre and Ann Street Gallery (www.safeharborsofthehudson.org), part of the Safe Harbors of the Hudson, a non-profit whose mission is transforming lives and building communities through housing and the arts. The recently refurbished Ritz hosts the “Newburgh’s Got Talent” talent show November 8, while the Ann Street Gallery has “Designing Women: A Group Fiber Arts Exhibition” (through October 24) featuring ten fiber artists who employ sewing, knitting, weaving and quilting techniques to create a wide range of contemporary works.

We could continue down to Cornwall-on-Hudson, even make it down to West Point. We also could have taken Rte. 209 southeast out of Kingston, and checked out Stone Ridge, Accord, Ellenville. In Dutchess, we completely missed Pine Plains, Millerton, and Pawling. But you get the idea . . . there’s really no shortage of interesting places and events happening on a monthly basis here in the Mid Hudson Valley.

We could continue down to Cornwall-on-Hudson, even make it down to West Point. We also could have taken Rte. 209 southeast out of Kingston, and checked out Stone Ridge, Accord, Ellenville. In Dutchess, we completely missed Pine Plains, Millerton, and Pawling. But you get the idea . . . there’s really no shortage of interesting places and events happening on a monthly basis here in the Mid Hudson Valley.



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