The artistic upstate retreat of New Paltz, NY, has all the time hosted summering city slickers and SUNY college students. But because the pandemic, New Paltz is being rediscovered as a full-time vacation spot by scores of transplants. The Post’s Sunday Editor, Margi Conklin, is certainly one of them.
On a pristine Labor Day six years in the past, my husband Chris and I cycled via the quaint upstate city of New Paltz.
Afterwards, we stopped at a pub, our pints of beer goldening in the solar. “Let’s buy a house here,” I blurted out.
Chris raised his eyebrows.
“Really? I’d love that.”
Wait, had it been the alcohol speaking? Soon there was no turning again, Chris already looking properties round New Paltz, a handy 90-minute commute from our New York City residence. We discovered an reasonably priced outdated farmhouse and positioned a bid.
When I began to fear in regards to the work the property required, Chris reassured me.
“We need some green space to escape into. Let’s call it ‘The Bunker.’ ”
For 4 years, we loved our home as weekenders. Then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. Our jokingly named “bunker” turned the actual factor.
While the pandemic raged, we sheltered upstate, grateful for some outside space. But then I began noticing different issues: Namely, the city of New Paltz itself.
This historic group, based by 12 French Huguenots in 1677, boasts a singular mix of nature and tradition. With its four-year SUNY college students (7,800) and modest native inhabitants (7,300), the village has one of many youngest median ages (22) in the nation.
“Fifty percent of our population is young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed students,” stated Harry Lipstein, founding father of New Paltz’s progressive Denizen Theatre. “They are artistic and creative, leading to a unique cross-pollination between the generations.”
Melanie Cronin who, with artist husband Ryan, runs the Cronin Gallery in Water Street Market, agreed. “You can find a kid standing in line with a tattooed face and a company CEO right behind him,” she stated. “New Paltz has never worried about being cool. People here can feel comfortable no matter who they are.”
During the pandemic, many individuals like me, weekend hikers and climbers on the close by Mohonk Preserve, began involving themselves in the group.
“It’s become more vibrant,” stated Cronin, 48. “COVID has given more life to our cultural scene.”
This summer season, the Denizen hosted play readings to packed audiences in the market courtyard. In October, it should stage its first in-person manufacturing because the pandemic, “Apples In Winter,” in which a mom bakes an precise apple pie on stage, the final meal for her son on dying row. It stars Jennifer Delora, a former Miss Ulster County.
Lipstein stated a lot of his performers and crew come from the world.
“It’s no coincidence that Robert de Niro lives in [nearby] Gardiner. Like Provence, which attracted van Gogh and Monet, you find that same magnetism in the Hudson Valley. There’s lots of artistic talent in them there hills.” (Former mayoral candidate and presidential hopeful Andrew Yang can be a resident.)
Meanwhile, new eating places catering to city and robe have not too long ago exploded, together with Main Street eateries Apizza!, serving wood-fired pies, and Burger Box, providing grass-fed beef and craft wine and beer. You can even style native brews at Arrowood Outpost housed in a stone grotto on Church Street.
Meanwhile, apple selecting season will quickly deliver much more guests to the world. Twin StarOrchards (N. Ohioville Road) is my absolute favourite. Set amongst 200 good acres of apple bushes, you’ll be able to get pleasure from pizzas, burgers and free tastings of their ciders. The mind-blowing “Raw” selection was impressed by Basque nation cider.
Olivia Yi, who helps father Peter run the cidery, stated the Raw “is a magical product, with a fermented, high-acid flavor. It’s really alive.”
The similar may very well be stated of my adopted hometown of New Paltz. A vibrant group that welcomes anybody, “We feel like it’s the center of the universe,” Cronin stated. “You can’t beat the enthusiasm here.”
New Paltz highlights
This Victorian fortress resort based in 1869 sits in a valley beside an beautiful lake, the place you’ll be able to canoe, kayak and paddleboard. A full-service spa makes it the last word in luxe rest.
After a protracted hike, lounge by your personal personal log hearth exterior this charming pub, and luxuriate in a quinoa burger with an area ale.
Since 1947, this Main Street sports activities bar has been the New Paltz hangout. Everything on their copious menu is scrumptious and generously portioned. (The Tommy I’s crab cake soften is a favorite.)
Designed as a European-style promenade, this pedestrian avenue of eating places, bars, boutiques, vintage shops, the Cronin artwork gallery and extra is a treasure trove of delights.
Book a tour inside the attractive stone homes constructed by Huguenot settlers in the 18th century, a delegated National Historic Landmark. (The Boos & Brews Haunted Tour is especially enjoyable.) And the reward store is a should at Christmastime.
This strolling/biking path brings you from Wallkill River to the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains (aka “The Gunks”) with its iconic Skytop Tower. The Rail Trail, connecting New Paltz to different Hudson Valley cities, can be good for a stroll or an entire enjoyable time out.