It is easy to want to live in the town of Hudson, especially for people, notably New Yorkers, drawn to the surrounding verdant hills, meandering country roads dotted with orchards and their farm stands, but who also want to return to the feel of a town bursting with sophisticated dining and shopping, and humming with youthful energy without the pressure of a big city. That’s Hudson: a sort of rural, gentle Brooklyn untethered from a bigger, grueling metropolis.
Everyone has heard of Hudson, and with good reason: Warren Street, the 10-block long main drag and an antique-seekers paradise, so well-regarded that it garners global attention. Restaurants, lots of restaurants, whether high-brow or low, offer quality more expected where skyscrapers reign. Example: Grazin is the first Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in America. It is also farm to table. It is also a diner. A classic, no frills diner housed, as a diner ought to be, in a 1940’s diner car. Moto has coffee, better than any I’ve had in NYC (aside from Box Kite), shared space with a motorcycle retail/repair shop. The list of where to shop and dine is way too long to list; it is not uncommon for visitors to spend the entire weekend on Warren Street alone. They will miss the eclectic mix of Victorian, Greek Revival and Queen Anne homes that line the streets to the south of Warren.
Many buyers now shy away from Hudson because they hear prices have skyrocketed, which leads them to nearby Catskill or Athens. Catskill is now enjoying some attention from hipsters and is just on the verge of gentrifying. There is now a successful theater and a large dance company that has made a significant improvement to the downtown. There are several new restaurants and a lot of people are restoring the historic beauty of Athens, the setting for Steven Spielberg’s “The War of the Worlds.” A wonderful bakery, Bonfiglio and Bread, moved from Hudson and opened last fall to rave reviews and much business. Forward-looking buyers, shut out of Hudson by either price or inventory, now have their eyes on Catskill and Athens.