Category Archives: Tivoli

Not Available for the Holidays: Amazing Italianate Mansion

I’ve driven by this Italianate mansion in Tivoli, N.Y. for years but never knew that it was available to rent. Oh, my my. Turns out a friend of mine has snagged it for the holidays, so none of us gets to spend New Year’s there, folks. But good to know that we can take turns renting it out the rest of the time. It’s called Ham House, and it’s amazing. Somehow both updated and frozen in time, on the Hudson, river views, walking paths, a fifty-foot pool!

All this glory doesn’t come cheap: $4500 in high season. But it easily sleeps 10, making it fairly reasonable for a week in the country. A very short walk into town from there. I’m going to gather some peeps and try to get it for a week this summer. Who’s in?

Most Delicious Dinner Ever, This Friday in Tivoli

If you have not been to the Burrito Stand, incredible burritos from the back of a trailer on Route 199 in Red Hook, then you have something to look forward to for next summer. In the meantime, the team behind the burrito stand is cooking an indoor dinner this Friday. Here’s the menu:

  • organic salad with bosc pears and walnuts
  • curried coconut soup with cauliflower and leeks
  • braised lamb over potatoes
  • flan
  • hot rum punch

Make reservations by wednesday evening: 845 514 4066. I was supposed to be there this weekend but I’ll be downstate instead. Dang.

Where to Stay When House Hunting Upstate

The Tivoli B&B

We had a reader request for upstate accommodations, places to shack up when out house hunting or just getting fresh air for a weekend. Below you’ll find a starter list, places we’ve stayed, visited or just heard really good things about, to suit a variety of budgets. We’ve broken then up by county. Please help us compile a master list by adding your own, in the comments or by emailing us.

Hudson Merchant House
Four rooms to let in a restored, modernized Federal-style brick home, three blocks from the train station
$165 to $295

The Inn at Hudson
A restored, grand 1903 Mansion
$200 to $225

More Hudson options here.

The Roxbury Motel
Super hip-ified motel with spa
$99 to $345

The Rhinecliff
Fancy and tasteful hotel, delicious restaurant, steps from train station
$259 to $359

Madalin Hotel
Fancy inn, center of town, delicious food

Suminski Innski
Amazing restored mansion filled with art, on the Hudson
starting at $125

Round Top
The Winter Clove
Wonderful family mountain house with pool and bowling alley, stuck in time
starting at $95 per person

Rebounded borscht belt holdout
Starting at $145

Minnewaska Lodge
Poor man’s Mohonk, rooms like a Target showroom, but great locale
$169 to $225

High Falls
Clove Cottages
Adorable, affordable, pet-friendly, recommended by a reader. They bring hot scones in the morning!
$110 to $180

Mt. Tremper
Kate’s Lazy Meadow

Airstream trailers and cabins, tended to by a former singer from the B-52s.

Simpler Times Cabins
Pretty self explanatory
$60 to $125

Upstate NY Edible Sculpture Party, July 23

If you have not yet eaten a bust of Kim Jong-Il made out of ham, then you haven’t really lived. Or at least you haven’t lived upstate. Or at least you haven’t lived upstate with my brother, who started this little party about five years ago with his wife, friends, family and fellow artist pals. It’s now grown big enough to warrant its own write-up in Travel+Leisure and a new home at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies.

Past entries include a shit-shaped sushi roll, a severed leg made of meatloaf, a folk art mask crafted of tootsie rolls and Christopher Hitchens’ head made of spam (not exactly edible, but close). My last entry was marshmallows in the shape of the Shmoo. I’m not sure I can top the earthship I made out of chocolate donuts the first year, but I’ll try. You don’t need to make anything–just show up, gawk and eat, and meet some nice folks on the east side of the river. Photos of past entries here, as well as on the jump, and a video on the jump, too.

If that’s not enough upstate culture for you, check out my bro’s latest show, The Upstate NY Olympics.
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Hudson River-Front Fixer-Upper in Tivoli, N.Y., $515,000

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First, a word about Tivoli: shh. I’m not allowed to say anything about Tivoli. The people who live there don’t want anyone else to find out that it’s one of the coolest little towns north of New York City. Of course, the New York Times already dubbed it Brooklyn on the Hudson, but that didn’t make it overrun with second homeowners, and that description doesn’t do it justice. Hipsters, professors, Bard students, artists, townies, suburbanites and residents of grand estates all peacefully co-exist in this town of 1,000. I have family here, and I love it.

The problem is that it’s hard to find a house for sale in Tivoli, N.Y.–they’re coveted, and usually the only ones for sale are the pre-fab Cape Cods in the suburban subdivision section, which most New Yorkers don’t covet as a getaway. This grand old lady, set right along the Hudson River, poses an interesting opportunity. It needs a facelift, for sure, but the views! The location! Heck, I even like some of that old wallpaper and flowered linoleum.

Here’s the skinny, though: there’s a waterfront redevelopment plan [warning: pdf!] in the works, meaning ongoing construction, and we don’t quite know how the reinvented shoreline will affect those views or whatever privacy one might have here. It’s right along the railroad tracks, so the Amtrak comes rattling through several times a day, but some people like that. You’ll have some kooky neighbors and a steep walk up the hill into town, but town is heavenly: a few restaurants, a yarn shop, a bookstore, a laundromat, post office, great bakery and a pizza place, among a few other amenities.

One possibility for this property: a B&B. I think the town can take it, even though one just opened across the street in another formerly dilapidated mansion. I personally think 11 Friendship Street is overpriced, considering the shape it’s in (they’re pretty keen on that mental institution shade of green) and its uncertain future, but it’s worth dreaming about, if not taking a look.

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