Sunday, September 4, 2011

Still "Not Ready"?

Sam Pratt tells the story of how Rick Scalera--mayor then as now--took him to task for writing an article for New York Magazine in 1998 that brought tourists to Hudson, at least one of whom didn't "get" Hudson and was dissatisfied with what he found. According to Scalera, Hudson was "not ready" for tourists, and Pratt shouldn't have written an article that drew people here. Thirteen years later, it may be that Hudson is still "not ready" for some tourists whose expectation is different from the reality. 

Yesterday, William and I were out walking in the late morning. We had just passed Eric Galloway's antebellum manse, near the east end of the 300 block of Allen Street, when we were approached by a woman who wanted to know where Allen Street was. I had noticed her and a man who was probably her husband walking along West Court Street displaying all the body language of people who were seeking something they weren't finding. When I told her that the street we were on was Allen Street, she said, "There are supposed to be some beautiful homes on Allen Street."

"Yes, there are," I said. "This is it." 

As William and I poked our way toward the courthouse, I glanced back to see the two visitors standing with their backs to 342 Allen Street--one of the best houses in Hudson--staring across the street as if still searching for the "beautiful homes." 

I guess there will always be people who don't totally get Hudson.       


  1. You wouldn't believe the number of people I get in the store who don't 'get' Hudson and who ask 'what's the story, here, will it ever get better?'. I have to laugh to myself, thinking back 25 - 30 years, when Marsh's Department Store, Macy's Housewares, O'Neils Flowers, J.J. Newberrys, The Outlet Barn, the Spot greasy spoon (where Ca Mea is now) all looked like something out the Depression and Allen Street's mansions were crumbling and crumbled. The Inn at Hudson was a nursing home, and the large house opposite a total wreck. Oh my, how far we have travelled but he City still has it's gritty edge and I like it that way.

  2. It depends on what one is used to. If one is coming from Millbrook or Litchfield or Lenox or Greenwich or Southampton or Fishers Island, then Hudson is rough by contrast.

    -- Jock Spivy

  3. One thing we - Hudson or Columbia County - do not want to be is the Hamptons or the Berkshires. We like our Gritty Edge - we don't want to be a contender.
    Thank you Jennifer.

  4. I love Hudson because of the diversity of things "to get".I just came back from the waterfront and my grocer's wife just tatooed with Henna my hand at the Bangladesh Cultural Fair. I am going down later to watch their fashion show and a play they are preforming.These are my neighbors and friends,
    as are so many people from different cultures and ways of life.I find a harmony here amongst such diversity, that I have not seen in most
    other places,sophisticated or otherwise.

  5. Dear Ruthm,

    I was responding to Jennifer's story about some customers in her store -- where there are sometimes quite expensive, fine objects for sale, especially the gorgeous Scandinavian pictures -- seeing Hudson as a run-down place.

    It would not surprise me if someone paying, say, $60,000 for a painting came from (let's say) Greenwich; and it would not surprise me if to that person's eye, Hudson looked like a rough place. In comparison to Greenwich, Hudson IS a rough place.

    There is little chance that any sentient being is going to mistake Hudson for Dark Harbor, Pebble Beach, East Hampton, or Hobe Sound. You do not have to worry that Hudson is ever going to be like those places.

    -- Jock Spivy