The Hudson River Valley

The Hudson River Valley

After six weeks off the road at my parents house in Rochester, it was time to move eastward towards the Hudson River Valley.  My first stop was at Lake Taconic State Park near Copake Falls. I decided to spend a couple of weeks in the area to meet with friends from NYC who have a weekend place in Hudson, NY.

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My first day was spent in Hyde Park, NY, a town rich in history.

In the morning I visited the Vanderbilt Mansion which is an example of a ‘country palace’ built by American industrialists in the Gilded Age.  The architecture is in the Beaux-Arts architecture style but at 54 room, it’s one of the smaller Vanderbilt homes and used seasonally from May to August.

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From there I went to the campus of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) on the banks of the Hudson River.

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The school hosts for restaurants which are staffed by students (front and back) during the academic year. I was there for the last day before a month long summer hiatus and booked for lunch at The Bocuse Restaurant (French).

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I had three courses staring with a cold yellow tomato soup with a tomato foam, then a Long Island duck dish followed by a nougat dessert which came was presented very theatrically with a dry ice fog.

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After lunch I was off to visit Springwood, the home of FDR.

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When the weekend arrived, so did Mike, Michael, Greg and Tom from NY.  I hosted a breakfast on Saturday morning at the trailer…to date my largest gathering, LOL, I kept it simple and it was a nice start to the day.

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After brekky we did some provisioning in Great Barrington, MA for an evening picnic listening to Mahler at Tanglewood.

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And on Sunday the guys hosted breakfast at their place…fresh blue berry pancakes!

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Before moving mid-week to a state park on the other side of the river, I visited Hancock Shaker Village which was the third of 19 Shaker communities established in the US in the late 1700’s.  I’ve always liked the simplicity of Shaker design but I didn’t know much about the religion behind it.  The Shaker religion started in Manchester, England by a woman Ann Lee who was said have had visions that only by renouncing carnal knowledge would one enter heaven.  The Shaker communities consisted of men and women who believed in pacifism, celibacy, communal living and gender equality. The Shaker communities eventually dwindled due to urban migration after the industrial revolution and the inability to attract new, younger members. They did leave behind a legacy design in architecture and furniture.

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For my second week, I moved across the river to North South Lake State Park in the Catskill Mountains.

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From here I drove down to Beacon, NY to visit Dia: Beacon (highly recommended):

http://www.diaart.org/sites/main/beacon

And again caught up with the Mike and Michael on the weekend where we had another breakfast at the trailer and then a hike to Katerskill Falls nearby.

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