Every few weeks I feel the urge to hit the road and seek out other artists, visit new locales, and get away from the ever-present work of having my office-in-home. NatureStage ultimately benefits from these occasional physical flights of fancy which always spawn new networks of people who inspire me, who are excited by the work of NatureStage, and who refill my well with their ideas, artwork, courage and sense of humor.
Within a span of four days, I managed to visit a farm sanctuary, take a boat ride down the Hudson, visit the Vanderbilt “summer cottage” with a tour guide who should be in theater (maybe he is), make new friends with people at the B and B in Kingston, hear Strauss in the Frank Gehry concert hall at Bard College, learn a new, albeit take-no-prisoners card game, play through some beautiful Chopin Mazurkas I’d never seen before, catch up on sleep, rediscover an old children’s book about the emperor and the nightingale which I hadn’t seen since I was six, visit the Kingston colorful farmer’s market, talk to Peter at the B & B about the ins and outs of editing for radio, and forget about the debt ceiling debacle for at least 24 hours.
One of the motivations for this recent trip to the Hudson River Valley in NY was to see my old friend from Manhattan who is a wonderful baritone and in residence at Bard College for much of the summer. The google searching started…Bed and breakfasts near Bard…When I saw the listing for a Bed and Breakfast in a renovated church, hosted by an abstract expressionist painter and a composer and pianist, I knew my search was over. The deal was sealed when they mentioned that they liked to cook omelettes in the morning with herbs from the garden and, “was I ok with dogs?”
But, where exactly IS Kingston?
It turns out that Kingston is a short ferry ride away from the train station in Rhinebeck on the opposite side of the Hudson, and a mere 20 minutes by car from Bard College. It is a remarkably diverse town which has yet to be gentrified, and probably never will be, according to my host (infrastructure challenges). The town is home to many artists who have done time in New York City and want space and quality of life that is more affordable. Apparently there are several churches in Kingston which artists have renovated into live/work spaces. I look forward to my next visit, hopefully this fall…Thank you Julie and Peter!
To see some of Julie’s work, you can visit her site at www.juliehedrick.com
Peter’s radio show of composers talking shop is on http://www.wgxc.org/schedule/75
And for more information on other artists in Kingston:
The following photos are all taken with my new lens which I am getting used to, a 50 mm 1.8. Music is by my friend Jed Parish.