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Cultivate // Inspire // Kingston, New York.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The New York Times Article: 36 Hours in the Hudson Valley, New York

36 Hours in the Hudson Valley, New York

The Hudson Valley is vast and varied. With hundreds of miles of sandstone and granite cliffs, cattail-lined riverbanks, former factory towns, orchards, farmland and forests, the scale of its geography and the scope of its history are daunting. To spend a weekend dropping into its musty bookstores and sizable art institutions or idling between hilltop castles, divey small-town bars and doily B&Bs is like skipping a stone into a river: you bounce along, but barely break the surface. From New York City, it’s a one-hour train trip to Peekskill, at the doorstep of the mid-Hudson Valley, but the region can be fully explored only on the kind of road trip that skirts one side of the river and winds down the other, hopscotching between historic estates and detouring for farm stands, roadside diners and seductive swimming holes.
4 p.m.
1. Peek Into Peekskill
Escape the city early and arrive in Peekskill in time for “hoppy hour” ($5 per 20-ounce pint; $1 raw oysters) atPeekskill Brewery, in a 7,000-square-foot space two blocks from Metro North. Equally worthy, the Birdsall Housetakes its name from a local boardinghouse frequented by George Washington; it has an antique cash register, live music on weekends and an excellent craft beer list. While in town, drop into Bruised Apple Books, with a section devoted to the Hudson Valley’s past and present, a pulp mystery reading room and a vinyl record listening station.
7:30 p.m. 
2. Merci Beaucoup
In February, the Culinary Institute of America — a prestigious cooking school housed in a former seminary — opened the Bocuse Restaurant, replacing the institute’s original teaching restaurant, Escoffier, which closed last year after 39 years. The space has been reborn with a new name (a homage to the Lyonnaise chef Paul Bocuse) and an airy, bistro-style interior by Adam Tihany, who designed such celebrated Manhattan restaurants as Daniel and Per Se. The French menu includes Paul Bocuse’s 1975 recipe for black truffle soup with a puff pastry lid ($12), roasted rack of lamb with sunchoke purée and glazed vegetables ($28) and, Tuesday to Thursday, a three-course prix fixe dinner ($39) that’s an exceptional bargain.
10 p.m.
3. Folkies and Newbies
After dinner, backtrack to Beacon, home to the folk icon Pete Seeger, who founded one of the area’s largest music events: the Clearwater Festival (clearwaterfestival.org), staged in Croton-on-Hudson each June. A newcomer to town, Dogwood, opened in December in a wedge-shaped brick building near Fishkill Creek, serving adventurous cocktails like the Dutch’s Moonshine- and Luxardo Maraschino-based “Moondog” ($12). The combination cocktail bar, restaurant and music venue has fast become a local hangout to rival the house-made pirogies and charms of the vintage Main Street pub Max’s on Main. Alternatively, eat early and devote the night to music. Though the Band’s former drummer, Levon Helm, died over a year ago, the Midnight Rambles he held at his Woodstock studio endure as once- or twice-monthly hootenannies, which start at 8 p.m.
9 a.m.
4. Cold Spring Comfort
For breakfast, dip south to Cold Spring and the pale-yellow-walled dining room at Hudson Hil’s Cafe & Market, where there are comforting mounds of biscuits with sausage gravy ($10.25), raspberry cornmeal pancakes with orange zest (from $6.75) and specials like chocolate babka French toast ($10.95). Then, walk down to Hudson Valley Outfitters for advice on local hikes, like the not-for-novices Breakneck Ridge Trail (nynjtc.org/hike/breakneck-ridge-trail), and guided kayak trips (weather depending; from $110), including a three-mile paddle to Pollepel Island to tour the surreal ruins of Bannerman Castle ($130 including lunch).
12 p.m.
5. To the Border and Beyond
Route 9 seems an unlikely location for Texas-style dry-rubbed, hickory-smoked brisket (marbled or lean), sausage (spicy or mild) and ribs so tender the meat barely clings to the bone, but Roundup Texas Barbeque is the real deal. It is housed in a trailer parked alongside a former gas station, and serves smoked meats, Lone Star beer ($4) and classic sides like Frito pie, and jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese. Combo plates (two meats, two sides) start at $16.50. For another relative rarity in the area, take the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge across the river to Uriel Tacos, which sells a half dozen or so kinds of tacos, including chorizo and oreja (ear), and specials like slow-cooked goat barbacoa and shrimp caldo (soup) on weekends.
2 p.m.
6. Tasting Trails
Housed in a former grist mill, the Tuthilltown Distillery became New York State’s first post-Prohibition whiskey distillery in 2007, selling its four-grain bourbon, Manhattan rye and single-malt whiskey under the Hudson Whiskey label. On weekends, tours are offered at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. ($15, including a three-spirit tasting). If wine’s your thing, the Shawangunk Wine Trail (shawangunkwinetrail.com) highlights 14 wineries, includingBenmarl Winery, which claims to be the oldest vineyard in the country. The Hudson Valley Cider Alliance (cideralliance.com) is yet another beverage-centric option.
4 p.m.
7. Walking on Water
In 2009, after years of abandonment, the fire-damaged Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge was restored and reopened as the Walkway Over the Hudson, a State Historic Park and one of the longest elevated pedestrian bridges in the world. Walk its 1.28-mile expanse in the late afternoon, when the Hudson’s celebrated light is at its most captivating. Then, take a drive through New Paltz and out on Mountain Rest Road, past the 144-year-old Mohonk Mountain House lake resort, to the Mohonk Preserve. Continue through the hamlets of High Falls and Stone Ridge, and over the Ashokan Reservoir, one of New York City’s pristine water sources. Along the way, stop in at the Last Bite for a cup of Catskill Mountain Coffee or kitschy, 1970s-era Egg’s Nest Saloon for a Sicilian egg cream ($2.75) or a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie ($4.50).
6 p.m.
8. Old World Redux
Take two-lane back roads to Gunk Haus Restaurant, sit on the biergarten deck and look out over apple orchards and “the Gunks” — the Shawangunk Mountains, one of the country’s best-known rock- climbing ridges. Try the German breaded pork loin jaeger schnitzel, served with wild mushroom ragout and spaetzle ($19) or the addictive obatzda ($3), a Bavarian cheese dip that’s a potent mix of Camembert, Gorgonzola, beer and spices, and served with a chewy house-made pretzel.
10 p.m.
9. The Kingston Trio
When Stockade Tavern opened three years ago, selling sophisticated cocktails in a one-time Singer sewing machine factory in Kingston’s 17th-century Stockade District, the bar’s arrival foreshadowed changes for New York’s former capital. Since then, the decade-oldBSP Lounge has gained enthusiastic new management and has become a sort of musician’s living room, hosting local and touring bands in a former vaudeville theater. Near the waterfront, the casual Rondout Music Lounge has a maritime aesthetic that evokes the nearby Hudson River Maritime Museum and the casual welcome of a neighborhood coffeehouse. For a more subdued evening, catch an indie movie in an old, white-steepled Methodist church building, now Upstate Films’ newest theater, in Woodstock.
9 a.m.
10. Vintage Catskills
Go for a light breakfast at {outdated}, an antiques shop and cafe where mod furniture and paint-by-number paintings are sold alongside pastries and egg sandwiches. Then, drive into the hills behind Woodstock to the 900-acre Overlook Wild Forest. Look for the parking lot of the Overlook Mountain Fire Tower trail across Meads Mountain Road from the Tibetan Buddhist monastery, strung with prayer flags (there are free tours at 1 p.m. on weekends). The hike follows a wooded former carriage road to the eerie ruins of a 19th-century Catskills resort and onto the 60-foot fire tower; climb the steel structure for views that extend from the Berkshires to the Catskills.
11 a.m.
11. Hudson on the Hudson
With dozens of showrooms selling midcentury furniture with five-figure price tags, Hudson feels incongruously cosmopolitan. For brunch, sit in the backyard patio at Cafe Le Perche, a bistro and boulangerie with a bar and blazing fireplace (in season) that serves spiced brioche French toast with poached pear ($10) and a roasted four-mushroom tartine with melted Brie, baguette, micro greens and truffle oil ($11.50). Then, spend a couple of hours coveting antiques on Warren Street. The Hudson Antiques Dealers Association (hudsonantiques.net) has a guide to the 40-plus artfully curated shops. Built in 1855 as the city’s first City Hall, the restored Hudson Opera House has been transformed into a lively cultural center with a an ever-changing event calendar, a gallery that’s open noon to 5 p.m. daily and guided building tours (free).
2 p.m.
12. Far From Old School
Heading out of town, stop at the Olana State Historic Site, and the 250-acre estate of the 19th-century painter Frederic Edwin Church. The property, which is crisscrossed with trails and planted with Church’s “designed landscape,” is crowned by an elaborate Persian-style home that now holds a collection of works by Hudson Valley School painters. Back in Beacon is the sprawling, contemporary museum DIA Beacon — equal parts amusing, bewildering and bizarre. Don’t be surprised to turn a corner and meet an erotic hangman figure flashing in hot-pink neon in the distance.

Read the full entry here on our website:  www.TheSaintJamesNY.com

The New York Times article: Kingston, NY, A Rest Stop On The Hudson

Kingston, N.Y., a Rest Stop on the Hudson

FROM its menu of pre-Prohibition-era tipples concocted with house-made syrups to its setting in a painstakingly restored 1880s sewing machine factory, the year-and-a-half-old Stockade Tavern is the epitome of cocktail chic. But you won’t find it in downtown Manhattan or across the river in Brooklyn; instead, head about two hours north to Kingston, a modest-size city in the Hudson Valley of New York.
Although home to some of the state’s most beautiful and historic architecture, Kingston has been a mostly sleepy spot since I.B.M. closed its plant there in the mid-1990s. But that’s changing, thanks to a fresh crop of bars and restaurants inspired by the city’s old-time charms, as well as its growing population of young artists and its farm-rich location.
“We just felt like country people could use a decent drink, too,” said Giovanna Vis, who owns Stockade Tavern (313 Fair Street; 845-514-2649; stockadetavern.com) with her husband, Paul Maloney, and their business partner, Don Johnson. The bar is named for the Stockade District, also called uptown, which dates back to the mid-17th century.
Another recent addition is Boitson’s (47 North Front Street; 845-339-2333;boitsons.com), a stylish American bistro with leather banquettes and marble-topped tables, which opened uptown in June 2010. Maria Philippis, the owner, named it for its benefactor, her former Brooklyn landlord, who died in 2007 and left Ms. Philippis money to pursue her dream of opening a restaurant.
“Mr. Boitson was a sailor in World War II, and I wanted the restaurant to look like the kind of place he would have hung out in,” she said. It offers comfort foods like fried chicken and steak frites, and has an all-New York State beer list and a wide selection of American wines.
Then there’s Elephant (310 Wall Street; 845-339-9310; elephantwinebar.com), a wine and tapas bar around the corner from the Stockade in Kingston’s uptown, and a pioneer of sorts: it opened five years ago in the former recording studio of the cult-indie band Mercury Rev. When the space became available, the landlords, Joe Concra and Denise Orzo, a couple (both are artists), called their friend Rich Reeve, a chef. At the time, it seemed like “the middle of nowhere,” recalled Mr. Reeve, who now runs the business with his wife, Maya Karrol. But the rent was low, so they took a risk. “We just decided we would do what we wanted, and play punk rock and serve beef-heart tacos and pig tails,” Ms. Karrol said.
The restaurant is kept in offal by Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats (307 Wall Street; 845-338-6666; fleishers.com), the locavore butcher across the street, which opened a second shop in Brooklyn last month and plans to open a burger place in Kingston called Grass next spring.
On a Saturday night last spring, Jesse Van Note, a local musician, was enjoying a drink at Elephant after a local band had finished its set. “We’re in a tapas bar where you can hear surf rock,” he said. “Where else are you going to find that?”

Read the full article here: http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/travel/kingston-ny-a-rest-stop-in-the-hudson-valley.html

Book your weekend vacation rental at The Saint James Kingston, New York. Enjoy Kingston in style at this Hudson Valley retreat. An entire home for rent upstate. Visit The Saint James Kingston website at: www.thesaintjamesny.com

Looking to sell or buy a home upstate in Kingston / Ulster County / Hudson Valley? Meet Westwood Realty & Frank Macagnone


If you're looking for a house upstate whether it be in Kingston, Hurley, Stone Ridge or anywhere in Ulster / the Hudson Valley- we have your man!  Frank Macagnone, helped us find our beautiful home in Uptown Kingston.  He has also helped our other friends find their dream home as well.

Frank has devoted his career to real estate and to his company, Westwood Metes and Bounds. He offers perspective home buyers a wealth of knowledge about the area and the different communities that make up our world upstate. He has a passion for looking for the right home for his clients and not stopping until he does just that. As a former weekender, he also understands and appreciates a weekender’s needs for the right home that will fulfill and enhance their busy lives. If you wish to list your home with Westwood Metes and Bounds, he can also offer you a plan that will get your home sold as quickly as possible with his extensive network. 

Please visit the following link to his current properties or to learn more about Frank and Westwood Realty: http://frank.westwoodrealty.com/

Frank Macagnone

 845-687-0232 ext 123

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Saint James: Fun in the Sun for Sidney Auerbach

The other weekend we spent some time with the whole Lesser family at the Saint James.  Poppa, aka Grandfather Sid, was planning a trip to NYC to visit Julian and I at our home in July with the rest of our family.  Poppa Sid was there for our closing and saw our home before we had remodeled our home.  His wish was to see it in person and to spend his birthday weekend with his family, he would have been 95 this July.  This post is for our loving grandpa, Sidney Auerbach.  He will be truly missed for his great smile, amazing stories, and loving personality.  I've never known a man so kind, so gentle and with so much spirit and life!  The man drove better than me and he was 94!  This post is for Sid, we will miss you greatly!! XOXO

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Saint James Kingston: Where to Eat, Drink, Shop, Stay in Kingston?

We're updating our Saint James Kingston website for more fun things to do in the area visit: www.thesaintjamesNY.com

This website is our and your local guide to where to eat/drink and shop in the Hudson Valley focusing primarily in Kingston!!

We just added to the following categories:

Food: Cucina restaurant in Woodstock, Sissy's Cafe in Kingston, Global Palate in West park

Activities: More swimming holes, Headless horseman haunted house and hayrides

Shopping: Zaborski Emporium in Kingston

Check it out and let us know if we should add anything on our website! 

Book your weekend vacation rental at The Saint James Kingston, New York. Enjoy Kingston in style at this Hudson Valley retreat. An entire home for rent upstate. Visit The Saint James Kingston website at: www.thesaintjamesny.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Saint James- Where to Stay & Hotels in Kingston / Hudson Valley / Ulster County.

If you're looking for a hotel in Kingston, or a house to rent in the Hudson valley for your Spring / Summer / Fall weekend or longer getaway look no further!

Book your weeekend vacation at The Saint James today. Enjoy Kingston New York in style at this beatuiful hudson valley retreat.  The Saint James is located at 97 Saint James Street in the historic Stockade district. We’re conveniently located in uptown Kingston-  about one and a half hours from NYC.  

Driving: Take 87N from NYC straight up till you arrive at the Kingston exit (Right after the New Paltz exit).

Why choose Kingston New York- NY
We're conveniently located in uptown Kingston, so you're just walking distance from all the great spots and a short driving distance from many great activities & events in the Hudson Valley.  We're also close to all the great hamlets (Woodstock, Rhinebeck, High Falls...) and to all the upstate activities in the Hudson Valley including rock climbing, hiking, swimming / swimming holes, skiing, snowboarding, hiking and the best the Hudson Valley has to offer!

Events/Activities in Kingston and the Hudson Valley New York- NYCheck out our "Events" page for all the local events and activities to do in the area.

Shopping in Kingston and the Hudson Valley New York- NY: Check out our "Shopping" page for where to shop.

Food & Drink and the Hudson Valley New York- NY: Check out our "Food & Drink"page on where to dine and drink.

If you're looking for an AirBnB house for rent in Kingston New York or in the Hudson Valley New York area, please check out our AirBnB page:

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Saint James Kingston: Newly remodeled 2nd floor formal sitting room and study

We just finished painting and restoring the walls to the 2nd floor formal sitting room equipped with 2 formal arm chairs and adorned with mid-century original oil landscape paintings.  The room has a very whimsy but rustic character to it.  There's a pheasant/eagle motif throughout the room with the pheasant oil lamp converted to an electric lamp, eagle desk lamp, and copper eagle book ends.

2 walls of the room have original plaster walls that have been stripped down to its original distressed color, the other opposing accent wall is painted in a hunter green (Historic color range from Valspar).

This room is perfect for a private sitting room upstairs for 2 but can accomodate 4 persons.  It can also be converted into a 4th bedroom.

Check out the photos below of the room!

Book your weekend vacation rental at The Saint James Kingston, New York. Enjoy Kingston in style at this Hudson Valley retreat. An entire home for rent upstate. Visit The Saint James Kingston website at: www.thesaintjamesny.com

The Saint James Kingston: Blue Stone & River Rock Patio adorned with Clumping Bamboo and Clumping Birch

Over the weekend we just planted another 25 trees on our property.  We lined the sidewalks with trees and purchased clumping bamboo and clumping birch to line the back yard of the house and fencing along our newly finished patio.  We chose clumping bamboo because it can get quite tall but it's non invasive like its' sister bamboo.  Would hate to see all that beautiful blue stone ripped from down under!

It's very zen and a bit of tropics and woods all mixed into one look!  We love it.  Check out the photos below:

Book your weekend vacation rental at The Saint James Kingston, New York. Enjoy Kingston in style at this Hudson Valley retreat. An entire home for rent upstate. Visit The Saint James Kingston website at: www.thesaintjamesny.com

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Rated in Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the best swimming holes in NY-  Peekamoose Blue Hole is about a 40 minutes away but way worth the drive. Roundout Creek dumps off into the huge watering hole.  Do your favorite dive or jumping move right off the above cliffs from the swimming hole.  

The water is gauranteed to always be chilling cold even in 110 degree weather!

Read more at:

It's a little tricky to find but worth it: Park in the lot off of Rt. 42, 10 miles from the intersection of Rt 42 and 28A. 

To find out about more swimming holes and other great outdoor activities to do in the Hudson Valley / Catskills / Kingston, visit our website's activities page at:  http://www.thesaintjamesny.com/#!events/cfqy

Here is a list of the best swimming holes in the Hudson Valley / Ulster County (Also on The Saint James website): 


See the complete list with location and videos at: http://www.visitvortex.com/magazine/Swimming-Holes-In-The-Hudson-Valley  


New Restaurant in Uptown Kingston, NY: Opa! Gyros Greek Grill and Creperie / Opa Kingston Menu

Wall street has a new neighbor, Opa Gyros & Greek Grill.  We checked it out after the farmer's market and this little spot has all your favorite Greek staples.  They have a few tables inside as well as outdoors.  We tried the falafal and the gryo pita sandwich ($5.75) and the Falafel pita sandwich ($5.95) they both hit the spot, mmmm mmm delicious!

Located in uptown Kingston, this new Gyro shop is one of the few hidden gems for a quick Greek bite!

Opa! Gyros Greek Grill & Creperie
333 Wall Street Kingston NY 12401
Kingston, NY

CALL AHEAD: 845-338-4976

See more places to eat and drink in Kingston by visiting our website and checking out Opa and other great hot spots at: http://www.thesaintjamesny.com/#!activities/c1a4e