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Town of the Week: Stone Ridge

From time to time we have guest posters who write about upstate New York towns in a way we never could (since we’re part-timers and free-floaters). And before you get on us about the lack of impartiality of this week’s guest poster, who happens to be a real estate broker in the area, let me point out this: he’s also a native of Stone Ridge. He’s almost got as much reason to protect it as promote it! (By the way, if you’d like to write about your town, drop us a line!)

We happen to love Stone Ridge. While it’s downtown isn’t the most walkable or picturesque — head to nearby Rosendale if you want a real walkable downtown — it does have a range of services, from a decent grocery store to any number of healing arts/massage places. Perhaps a tad on the ritzy side, but that’s the case with most of these sweet little towns close to the river.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what local and real estate agent Dylan Taft has to say about it:

Stone Ridge is the quaint, colorful, and quiet little upstate NY community that wants to keep it that way. Which may be why even the esteemed New York Times couldn’t get it quite right a few years ago when they “discovered” this historic little hamlet in a travel article, and gushed about the picturesque and unspoiled upstate haven called Marbletown. (Well, stone . . .  marble . . . maybe they were just in a hurry. But for the record, Marbletown is a town. It just happens to include the hamlet of Stone Ridge.)

Quiet, yes. Both the natives and the people who move here want it that way. But just beneath the serene surface of picturesque stone homes and that postcard-perfect “downtown” beats the heart of an active, sophisticated, and remote-feeling settlement that is paradoxically as convenient as you’ll find in all of Ulster County. As close to the center of rural Ulster as it gets.

Cradled in the majestic Rondout Valley and backdropped with jaw-dropping views of the jagged limestone cliffs of the towering Shawangunk Mountains, Mecca for rock climbers, Stone Ridge is often overshadowed by nearby bigger and brassier brethren—household names like the university town of New Paltz, NY or the tie-died nostalgia festival called Woodstock. Stone Ridge stands proudly apart from all that, in fact, feeling no need to compete with places that are famous for being famous. Look all you want, you’ll find no front-lawn peace signs, 60’s rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, or that large strip of bars on every university town’s Main Street where students flock in large and boisterous numbers when they should be at the library. What you will find is a community rich in venerable and well-maintained stone homes and farmhouses, and very nice people.  A well-managed, well-tended, well-preserved haven. Read the rest of this entry

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