Have you been to Woodstock?!
In the very first class, a question was posed. Remember?
Did someone say Woodstock? We have been there! Last week our first stop was Woodstock. And no, this time we were not at a farm but in a very cool small town.
Woodstock is known for many things. Unfortunately, 1969 Woodstock Music festival is not one of them. It was held in Catskills. Anyways, Woodstock may be the hippiest – or may be the most hippie looking- city in the Hudson Valley.
It was really interesting that almost every store we stopped by was very otantic, hippie and colorful! It is for sure that Woodstock is not mainstream at all. But beside of being georgeous, Woodstock was also artificial in some way. After a while, you sense the commodity culture. It seems like there is a set up for tourists. I think it is mostly because of the souvenir shops. In addition, even everywhere looks as hippie/hipster, there are not so much people who fit into the description. Nevertheless a city which is associated with music can not be boring/dissapointing at all.
This is the very first store we stopped by! Those miniature toys were amazing. But they were also pricey ( about 200-300 dollars)
This was a very nice cafe with very friendly people ! Do you see how colorful it is ?!
And this is the same cafe from inside.
And this was another store “Walkabout” in which we had a chance to talk about Woodstock with the owner [Bryn] of it.
She claimed that Woodstock have been changing since 9/11, new neighbors tries to modernize the city. [ she was not so happy about it.] She also stated that the best thing she likes about Woodstock is its accepting culture.And said
“If we did half the things they said we did we’d all be dead” ~Bryn
After the excitement of Woodstock, we headed over to Kingston.
Kingston is a town filled with a mix of people. There are the self-proclaimed hipsters, the older generation, the tourists, and more. It is not a bustling scene, but it certainly has its attractions. In the center of town there is a street colored with all the colors of the rainbow. Our guide, Alex, took us down the main avenue to a meat market named Fleisher’s. All the meat here is all-natural, “head to tail”, fresh, and local. Though not a tourist destination, plenty of people from the big city are familiar with this small city because of Fleisher’s popularity.
Besides the market, another amenity of the town is the Backstage Studio Production. This run-down yet elaborate theater has been turned around by the up and coming youth. Alex showed us the ins and outs of the beautiful building, including the people who run the place. We learned that a handful of young adults are promoting an alternative lifestyle with their unofficial symbol of the red goat. It’s not a full on rebellion, but a statement of change for the better. A staple of the town’s history can be seen on October 4th, during the biannual Burning of Kingston Reenactment. This three day event chronicles the destruction of Kingston back in 1777, and this year it takes place just a week before the O+ Festival.
Kingston is a small town with a big heart. The people are friendly and hopeful for the future. It has its quirks (murals on the sides of buildings) and its neighborhood charm. And though it might not be on the top of the list when it comes to tourism in the Hudson Valley, Kingston makes my list of places I would love to revisit.