Alicia Kennedy, Food & Drink Writer

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hudson valley appreciation vacation

I knew I loved the Hudson Valley before I knew the Hudson Valley. That's why, when I fucked up on getting my passport in time to go to Montreal as planned, we ended up staying a wi-fi-less cottage in Kingston on a road with no street lights for 3 days. 

On the way up, we stopped at Storm King Art Center, which is a sprawling outdoor museum with giant sculptures. It's beautiful, but not great for a cold, windy day. After that, it was off to New Paltz, the only place up there I'm very familiar with because CHOCOLATE. $85 well-spent dollars went to Lagusta's Luscious, for, among other things, two incredible caffĂ© cacaos and a mug that says "I <3 Furious Vulvas." We also went to Rhino Records, as is NP visit custom, and I got some Depeche Mode 12-inch singles and Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest on pretty white vinyl. Across the street at another store, I found Haircut 100's "Love Plus One" 45 for $1! Only I am impressed by this!

After a quick stop at High Falls Kitchenette, which makes vegan cake, and which delighted me because such things are rare and special in ye olde Brooklyn, we went to the cottage. And napped. And then Sareen made up a song about a bug

The Instagramming of the cake at Kitchenette set the rest of the trip into motion, as it began our guided tour via a longtime IG friend. She recommended places, such as Rosendale Cafe, where we went that night for dinner. Super vegan-friendly in that "never escaped the '70s" way that I find charming, it was still cute and there was a salsa-dancing class, where we sang "Happy Birthday" to a stranger for the first, but certainly not last, time during the trip. I drank a Maeve's Cider and found its flavor to be quite mild and nice. 

On Friday, we began the day at Outdated in Kingston, which combines a cafĂ© and an antiques store and makes its own NUT MYLKS, so obviously I was in heaven. There's an entire vegan menu. I felt so blessed. Their millet-quinoa porridge and banana bread smoothie are so delicious. The latter has walnut mylk in it. Maybe from now on I'll spell it mylk. It's fun.

Fueled up, we went to Woodstock. I've always wanted to go to Woodstock and then it was stupid, but maybe we were just in the too-touristy center of it. We went to eat at the IG-friendly Phoenicia Diner, drove through Phoenicia, where there's nothing to do if you're not tubing down the river, and then headed back to Kingston. But along the way we did stop at a bizarre indie Ikea on the highway where a man made me a very good Americano. A light Google shows me they used to also have a Williamsburg store, which makes more sense.

After coconut cake at Rosendale Cafe and another long nap, we went to Market Market, where the veggie burger is good and the karaoke is moderately entertaining. It was here that we stepped into "Happy Birthday" for the second time. I drank a Cosmopolitan because I'd never order one under normal circumstances and I had never tried one. It was okay. I'll forever refer to Melissa Etheridge as "Mel Etheridge" because of this night, though; that's what I really took home.

We hit Outdated again on Saturday before a trip up to Mohonk Mountain House, where we hiked a while, I did tree pose in a tree, and we saw the lovely Fran Costigan do a baking demo. Cue "Happy Birthday" number 3 to a man in the crowd with us. She was so smart and uses good ingredients (such relief!) and the pudding and brownie we got to partake of were delicious. I bought her book finally, which she inscribed with "Eat happy." Smart vegan women abounded this weekend! 

Then up we went to Hudson, New York, which is like the Hamptons with the life drained out of it, somehow. It was really awful! But at Sideshow Vintage, I did get a great jumpsuit for a reasonable price. We ate at Hudson Food Studio, where the communal table was like a Portlandia bit because no one could get out. I drank a truly weird cocktail that involved matcha and togarashi and coconut simple syrup. The food was good. I don't need to ever go back.

We went back to Kingston and Rosendale, which along with New Paltz are the chill places to be where real people seem to live. It was amazingly quiet up there and I didn't really want to come back to Brooklyn, but here I am.

Alicia KennedyComment