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Our Very Own Earl

We have been going to Hudson for over 20+ years, long before we had a home in the area. Walking up & down Warren Street is one of my very favorite activities of all time. Amazing vintage shops, places to eat, people watch, pick up a new book, get coffee, more people watching. You get the idea. Super easy to spend the afternoon meandering. Over the years we would spot art being sold in shops and on the street, all signed EARL. Usually painted on boards, some old, some new, always varying sizes. Often people, animals, things. They would catch my eye but for whatever reason, we did not buy one. Until the other day. I had heard the artist of these lovely, quirky pieces, Earl Swanigan, had recently died. At age 54. Something about that struck me. Maybe it has to do with him being younger than me. On our May stay I had heard of his passing and it made me long to have one in homage to him. Art is such an incredible legacy to leave the world when you are gone. Everything we have ever heard or I have read about this man is he lived life on his own terms. I say bravo to that! This sweet little bird caught my attention instantly when I saw it in a shop that has stacks and stacks of his works. It flew home with me as a little surprise to TPS. It snuggled right in on the windowsill between the two green wicker chairs on the front sunporch. A little piece of Earl. A man we did not know but am sure we would have enjoyed breaking bread with and getting to know. His little bird can watch over things while we are away. It can keep the two lions out front company.



 

 

Lunch at The Maker Cafe in Hudson

The Maker, a new hotel, cafe & lounge on Warren Street in Hudson is not to be missed. Created by the talented folks behind Bartlett House in Ghent, no detail is too small to go unnoticed. From the food to the vibe to the furnishings, all done with great care. We had lunch there yesterday afternoon. The cafe and lounge are now open, the hotel portion slated to open this Summer. Being in the business of details, I am hyper aware of them when we are out and about when we shop/dine/meander. Sometimes the music is overly loud or nonexistent, the lighting not just right, or the staff aloof or unwelcoming. When I am in a place that gets it right, I let it wash over me like a welcome hug. Getting ALL the details right is a ton of work, while making it seem effortless is an art. The Maker has this down to a science, as does Bartlett House. I wrote long ago I would not write about a place we dined in a critical fashion. It is just not my style. There is enough criticism in our world. But when I/we like a place, we are all in. One of the most asked questions of me at the shops or in e-mails is where to dine, shop and stay. I am always happy to share the places we adore. For these establishments are labors of love–and to me, you feel that, you sense it, you taste it.



 

 

Breakfast, Farmers Market, Vintaging

Saturday mornings in the Hudson Valley for us almost always includes a stroll through the Hudson Farmers Market to pick up produce and other gems for the week. But before we start the shopping for the day, breakfast at Le Gamin. Always. They seat us at our favorite table in the corner where Bailey in her bag fits perfectly right next to me on the banquette. TPS has his usual café au lait and we watch the world walk by as we enjoy our meal.

Then a walk down famed Warren Street for a little vintage shopping. Sometimes that can be for us but most often we are looking for treasures for the shops. Top of our list this trip is vintage frames. We have close to 50 Hugo Guinness pieces arriving soon that we will need to house in vintage frames, so we are majorly on the hunt. Success! We found so many awesome really old and really beautiful ones. But not before I snapped this grand home on the street. Mister Sive calls parts of Hudson the Charleston of the North. He is so right. The photo of this home could easily have been taken there. So stunningly pretty. Every detail. You can see why we love strolling this street. Historic houses mixed in with shops and restaurants, oh my. It all is truly a visual treat for the senses.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 155

Beauty abounds and can often be found in unexpected places. The grandness of old architectural elements just needs to be noticed to be appreciated. Think of all the history those buildings have lived through. Looking up, looking down, looking all around.



 

 

A Stroll Through the Hudson Farmers Market

One of my very most favorite-ist things to do when we are at Hawthorne is drive into Hudson on Saturday morning and walk the farmers market. The people watching is top notch, the produce is outstanding, and we always leave with bounty for the upcoming week. This post is an ode to the farmer’s that do these markets, not just in Hudson, but all over the globe. I have such immense respect for their hard work and their ability to make what they are selling look like works or art. Because they are. Next time you walk a market, have your eye and your mind-set be like that of going to a gallery and seeing the work of an artist where every detail counts–the weave of the baskets of garlic, the leaves on the celery, the grain of the weathered wood on the bins that hold the fruit, all the varying shades of red in a cart of tomatoes. I promise you will leave feeling inspired.






 

 

A Bowl Full of Seckel Pears

The season may be short but it is oh so sweet, for the diminutive Seckel pear.  Autumn is in full swing when I start to see these sweet little gems pop up.  In a big bowl, on a platter, or just scattered about a table–their beautiful variation of colors & size make for a lovely reminder of the season.



 

 

Farmers Market Bounty 

Happy August 1st everyone!  The Hudson Farmers Market on Saturday was a true visual feast.  With all this heat, things have been growing like mad.  The tomatoes overflowing in so many of the stalls.  Live music wafted about as I went from vendor to vendor filling up our two L.L. Bean bags with bounty for a week of guests and entertaining.  So many of the displays like works of art. 



 

 

Talbott & Arding at Watson Kennedy

20160303-065811.jpg It always tickles me when we get to add something to our shop shelves from our neighbors in the Hudson Valley. Talbott & Arding has become one of our favorite stops on Warren Street in Hudson when we are back at Hawthorne. It is a shop filled with baked goods, cheeses, coffee, jams–all things that are just the very best. Each time we are back we buy a jar of something to enjoy on our stay. They recently started a small wholesale venture with some of their offerings. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. Every fridge would benefit from a jar of this goodness at the ready. The packaging also makes this amazing to give as gifts. Tomato relish has become a new fascination, especially adding it to a cheese board. Theirs is out of this world. The heirloom apple jelly all the best of the iconic Hudson Valley apple distilled into a jar.



 

 

Country Road Meandering

Yesterday felt more like a Spring day, so we hopped on the chance to be out & about vintage shopping and just meandering. The Jonas storm did not reach up this far, so there is not really a flake of snow in sight. There was a slight flurry the other day, which was gorgeous, but it did not stick. We headed first to Hudson for a little breakfast, then a quick run through some of our favorite shops on Warren Street. Then it was hitting the back roads to find vintage for the shops. The Winter sky so clear, the trees bare, the air crisp, made for a stunning day of meandering the hills and dales of the Hudson Valley. We head into the city today where I will walk/buy at the show for the next few days. I think my Bean boots might be needed as pretty sure snow is still in the picture. It is always such an interesting contrast between town and country, in many ways.

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Unexpected Beauty

20151025-084303.jpg There they were, bucket after bucket of them. Such unexpected beauty. Incredible stalks of flowering Brussels sprouts. We went to the Hudson Farmers Market in search of apples of a crisp, which we also found in spades, but this took the top prize for the wow factor. A big stalk came home and was our arrangement on the back porch, where we had a fire roaring the whole day. We feted my friend, author Lisa Birnbach, on the 35th anniversary of her best-selling book, The Official Preppy Handbook. She drove up from the city for the day with her partner Michael, to hang with us at Hawthorne. The flowering sprout looking over our group as we chatted & laughed the afternoon away. Beauty abounds, we just need to keep our eyes open and be on the look-out. Tonight we will roast all the Brussels sprouts from the stalk. Best 4 bucks we have spent in a good long while…

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