Hudson in July offers a cornucopia of cultural events–and just stuff to do–that makes for a place at the top of your vacation plans. We’ve compiled a list of events, but there’s no reason to feel you must see or do these to make the visit worthwhile. A little more than a hundred miles north of New York City, Hudson is the perfect summer getaway. Warren Street has become a mile-long destination packed with world-class shops and restaurants including Cafe Le Perche, Fish and Game (just off Warren on Third Street), White Rice (Asian imports), Moderne (mid-century antiques) and Spotty Dog, a wonderful combination of book store and craft-brew bar in the middle of everything. They also sell art supplies in the back if you feel like sketching!
In addition to what we’re recommending, there are also perennial attractions like Olana, the hilltop perch of Hudson River School painter Frederick Edwin Church and now a museum with extensive, walkable grounds and a mountain view that rivals the best–anywhere (also happens to be across the road from the Manor). Not far from town to the west are the storied Catskills where you can hike in a true Wilderness at Devil’s Tombstone. To the west are the Berkshires, home to Tanglewood and the charming town of Great Barrington. Mount Merino Manor gives you a great accommodation, great views and within a short drive to all the attractions.
The featured composer this week at Christ Church Episcopal is J.S. Bach. Take a bag lunch and enjoy recordings of music by favorite classical composers while enjoying the ambiance of this beautiful historic church. Cold beverages will be available for sale, and docents will be available to answer questions about the music or the building. We will listen to his Keyboard Concertos – Information at 828-1329 – Church doors open at 12 noon – Program takes place from 12:15 pm to 1 pm. For more information, please visit: www.christchurchepiscopal.org
Hudson Cruises Mid-week Sightseeing Cruise – Close-up views of wildlife such as bald eagles and cormorants – Views of the Catskills, Mount Merino, Olana and the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. Boarding at 12:30 pm, cruise from 1 pm to 2:30 pm – City dock behind the gazebo, Water Street, Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, access via Broad Street grade crossing past the Amtrak Station on Front Street. For more information, please visit: www.zerve.com/HudsonCruise/SightSee
Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys – Texas-raised Mexican-American Alejandro Escovedo, the uncle of pop-funk star Sheila E., is a one-time punk-rocker whose music today “ranges from Velvet Underground-style drone rock to classic punk to Los Lobos-like Chicano rock to idiosyncratic, character-based visionary music along the lines of Tom Waits.” For more information, please visit: www.helsinkihudson.com
Join Olana for the fourth annual plein air festival which includes paint-out, “meet the artists” reception, exhibition, award ceremony and live auction. Visitors may walk the property including over five miles of historic carriage drives, and converse with artists as they capture the numerous spectacular vistas on the property. Participating artists, selected through jury, will paint on location throughout the 250-acre artist-designed landscape during this event. The festival culminates on Saturday, July 11 with an afternoon cocktail reception and exhibition at 4 pm, and live auction of wet canvases at 5 pm. For more information, please visit: www.olana.org/calendar/creating-landscapes-within-the-landscape-third-annual-plein-air-paint-out-and-festival-2/2015-07-10/
Tours of the historic 1874 Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, sponsored by the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. Tours also available the second Saturday of August, September and October – 11 am to 2:30 pm – Tours depart from Henry Hudson Riverfront Park on the hour and Athens Riverfront Park on the half hour – In Hudson, board at the City dock behind the gazebo, Water Street, Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, accessed via Broad Street grade crossing past the Amtrak Station on Front Street. For more information, please visit: www.hudsonathenslighthouse.org
Basilica Hudson is hosting an exhibition by artist Jack Walls. Paintings, Et Cetera opens from 6 – 8 pm and will feature vibrant paintings and selected ephemera by the legendary artist. Mr. Walls has been a fixture on the New York creative scene since the early 1980s, working primarily in collage and painting. In addition to his visual work, he is also an established poet and author, most notably for The Ebony Prick of the White Rose’s Thorn, which he will read from on opening night. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, August 2, with a closing party and artist discussion on Saturday, August 1 from 6 – 8 pm. Gallery hours for the show are between noon and 4 pm every Saturday and Sunday, or by appointment which can be made by emailing gro.n1555721297osduh1555721297acili1555721297sab@o1555721297fni1555721297. For more information, please visit: www.basilicahudson.com/jack-walls-paintings-et-cetera-in-back-gallery/
After nearly 50 years in the music business flying just under the radar of popular recognition, Bettye LaVette’s 2005 album, “I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise,” featuring songs by contemporary female singer-songwriters including Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Sinéad O’Connor, Lucinda Williams, Joan Armatrading, and Dolly Parton, introduced the Detroit-raised R&B vocalist to a wider audience for the first time. It also helped establish her new and unique aesthetic as a soulful interpreter of songs from the rock arena, as heard on her 2010 album, “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.” For more information, please visit: www.helsinkihudson.com/schedule.html#150724
The air is fresher, the grass is greener–but the pace is not that slow! In July a movie is shooting on location in Hudson–starring Matthew Broderick and Chloe Sevigny. Maybe you’ll be a background extra! Come up in July and enjoy a unique combination of urban sophistication and rural retreat in Hudson and the surrounding towns.