up·state ˌəpˈstāt/ tivoli/ upstate new york
An upstate area (of New York)
Of, in, or to the northern part of a state
We’ve been visiting Tivoli for over two years now, ever since our now friends (then aquaintences) moved here. I love it. Each time I come up here my dear friends are always asking, why not move? Leave Brooklyn? It’s SO much cheaper? Life is SO much better. I think they still miss elements of NYC. I do love it upstate; with almost all of my heart… but if I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to say goodbye to the high rent, small un-maintained spaces, smell of rubbish everywhere, chicken bones in all the flower beds.. sirens… it’s just too soon. I’m not quite done with that stuff. I enjoy cramming my weekly shopping into the bottom of a stroller and lugging up the hill.. half caff almond latte in hand.
However, after so long without a blog and too many work commitments of late, last week I went Tivoli once more. This time alone, on a solo prop hunting, head-hunting (my own ‘clear’ one) jaunt. I needed a break from the city craziness. My first mid week trip upstate. I was also extremely curious to try out the recently opened by Brice and Helen Marden, Hotel Tivoli. I’ve been admiring it from afar on our last few visits.
Hotel Tivoli is the newest kid on the block in the tiny and picturesque village of Tivoli. The village lies on the East of the Hudson River about 115 miles north of NYC. With a population of only slightly over a thousand people, it feels quite the retreat from the bustling city. The vibrant hotel; joins other locals such as Tivoli Bread and Baking, whose sticky buns pretty ace, and Murray’s who make a delicious latte, Santa Fe,.. for a tasty taco, (I’ve heard it’s great but why leave NYC for one night only and eat Mexican, right?), and the Traghaven Pub. Good old Irish eatery. (Drinkery). The village also offers tapas, japanese, pizza and is now home to a little general store. What more could you want? My home away from home.
Every time we visit we have such a ball.. and are generally there for one of the annual events like the street painting, the yard sales or the pie contest. This time, I opted for a mid-week break. I wanted to see what it is really like upstate. On a normal day. A rainy grey Tuesday to be precise. To see how it made me feel.
One thing I learnt extremely quickly; is that if you want to visit this area and its surrounding towns for food, experience, shopping, exploring – Tuesday is not the day to do it. Almost everything is closed. Everywhere. Lesson learnt. Do not visit areas of rural beauty and antique foraging, on a Tuesday in NY State. My journey took me to Red Hook, Hudson, Rhinebeck.. with a stopover in Tivoli. Quick squeeze and a cuddle with my pals, a bite at the pub and then back in the car for a mammonth journey East to Milford NY the next morning.
I’d been given inside information about a barn of wonders. Wood Bull Antiques. Luckily, it IS open every day. And when I arrived at the three level (bursting at the seams) barn of antiques.. I knew my trip had been worth every moment alone in the car singing at the top of my voice.
A stylist’s heaven….I spent over four hours in there rummaging around. And came home with two more chairs that I don’t need, but absolutley do love.
Taking a road trip alone.. via a place I love… to look for things I love.. along roads unknown. There is something to be said for just getting in the car, blasting out your favourite music and driving through the sheets of grey rain and misty mountains.
It charged my dwindling batteries.