Saturday, August 6, 2022

Hudson Valley: 10+ Artsy & Cool Things To Do in Beacon, New York

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Hudson River from Beacon (photo: JCarnegie)

Art and nature lovers, Beacon, NY--overlooking the magnificent Hudson River--is a great spot for a day trip or weekend get-away. Located in the Hudson Valley's Dutchess County, it's an easy train ride from New York City.


Dia: Beacon (photo: Laura Asaibene)

3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY; Tel: 845 440 0100;
In a beautifully-renovated, 1920's factory building, the Dia Art Foundation’s minimalist art collection, from the 1960's to the present, takes center stage in wide-open galleries with huge, beautiful windows and skylights. On display are works by such renowned modern artists as Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, and Louise Bourgeois. There are changing exhibitions, gallery talks, and other special events (also a café).

Kunsthalle Beacon (KuBe)

Isaac Aden, Rm 300, KuBe
211 Fishkill Ave; (Open: Thurs-Sun, 12pm-7pm & 2nd Saturday) - The galerist Ethan Cohen has turned a huge, former high school into a wonderful space to promote art and culture with galleries and studio spaces for local and international artists. There are also occasional lectures, performances, and film screenings.

Second Saturday ( - Each month on the 2nd Saturday, art galleries and shops stay open until 9pm. There are gallery openings, artist receptions, tastings, and other special events. Beacon Open Studios (April) - Check out all the local talent.

Any day of the week, stroll along Main Street to check out the selection of really nice cafés, shops, and galleries
Dining: Try some of Ethan Cohen's favorites: Kitchen Sink (157 Main St; - Creative gourmet food; Meyer's Old Dutch (184 Main St; - Sophisticated comfort food; Homespun Foods (232 Main St; - Wonderful, organic comfort food, also the café at Dia; Isamu (240 Main St; - Great Japanese & Chinese food. Or, just pop into Scarborough Fare for some gourmet specialties.
ShoppingNext, stroll leisurely along Main Street to browse in quaint stores selling items by Hudson Valley artists such as paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry, fiber arts, etc. Then, check out the antiques and vintage shops such as Blackbird Attic, Dickinson's Antiques & Vintage:Beacon.
Farmer's Market

Weekend Extras: Beacon gets even livelier on weekends with a Sunday Farmer's Market (223 Main St) and a Flea Market (April-Nov; behind the post office in the Henry St parking lot).
Festivals: Strawberry Festival (June), Corn Festival (Aug), & Pumpkin Festival (Oct).
Music: Towne Crier Cafe (379 Main St; - Renowned for presenting American roots, jazz, and world music, plus great food. Quinn's (330 Main St; - Live music & good Japanese food.

The late-great, legendary folk singer, activist, and Beacon resident Pete Seeger, led the charge to clean up the polluted waters of the Hudson River. Here are some ways to enjoy the results. The pier and these riverfront parks are right by Beacon's Metro-North train station: 

Clearwater sloop (photo:Anthony Pepitone)
Clearwater (
April thru October) - Go for a sail on the renowned Clearwater sloop.
Scenic Hudson's Long Dock Park ( - Go kayaking, paddleboarding, or rent a bike in this lovely spot.
Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park - Dare to take a dip in the Hudson (River Pool) or just play volleyball or tennis.

Bannerman’s Castle
Bannerman's Island; Tel: 800/979-3370;
While in Beacon, explore a picturesque island in the Hudson River. In 1901, Frank Bannerman, a zany Scottish-American munitions dealer, built a quasi-castle and residence for his family on Pollepel Island. Today, thanks to the Bannerman Castle Trust, you can check out the ruins. Pack a picnic and enjoy great views of the Hudson as well as the 20-minute ferry ride there & back. On some Sundays, there's also music. (Reservations required for all tours & special events. The ferry dock for Bannerman's Island is a 5-minute walk from the Beacon train station.) 

Bannerman's (photo: JCarnegie)
Stay: There are a handful of lovely inns and boutique hotels such as The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls (2 East Main St; - An historic property overlooking a waterfall, plus a nice restaurant with patio dining.
Getting Around: The Beacon Free Loop (Mon-Sat, 6am-9pm) - Free rides from the Beacon train station to popular cultural sites such as Dia:Beacon, Main St., and the Mt Beacon trailhead.
Getting There: Drive or train from New York (Grand Central), take Metro-North (Hudson line) train to Beacon, about an hour and a half. (The museum, ferry dock, riverside parks & Main St. are all in easy walking distance of the train station.)
While there, be sure to check out the way-cool, yet funkier town of Newburgh, right across the river.

Hudson Valley: Newburgh, New York – Hidden Gem on the Hudson River

Washington's Headquarters, Tower of Victory

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Newburgh, NY is a scenic, Hudson River town 60 miles north of New York City in Orange County. But, it may not be on your radar as it’s overshadowed by the town of Beacon, directly across the river. However, as Beacon becomes trendier, it’s worth exploring Newburgh and its' undiscovered, funky charm.
In addition to fantastic, Hudson river views, Newburgh has history, an array of architecturally-interesting buildings, quaint shops, nice restaurants, and friendly locals. There are restaurants along the river waterfront, but most of the action takes place up the cliff on Liberty Street and beyond.

Newburgh was once an important harbor town and a strategic location during the Revolutionary War in the late 1700s. During the 19th Century, it was a center for agriculture, shipping, and major manufacturing companies. Hence, successful merchants built impressive homes here. But, it’s the range of architectural styles that’s so intriguing:
East End Historic District – Architectural Finds
Download this PDF with map & details, then start walking around. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see:
Warren House, Gothic Revival

Dutch Colonial, such as the Hasbrouck House where General Washington resided; Federal style, some of the earliest US examples are found here; Greek Revival, popular from the 1830s through the 1850s, the Quality Row townhouses on First Street are excellent examples; Gothic Revival, popularized in the 1840s by Newburgh native Andrew Jackson Downing & architect Calvert Vaux (of Central Park fame), along with the Carpenter Gothic & Hudson River Bracketed styles; additionally, there are lovely examples of Second Empire, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Tudor Revival.

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site
84 Liberty St;        
Washington's Headquarters
From 1782 to 1783, the Continental Army was headquartered in Newburgh.
On these beautiful grounds, overlooking the Hudson river, tour the rooms where American history was made. During the time General George Washington spent in Newburgh, he made significant contributions to the American ideal: rejecting the concept of an American monarchy; ending the potential military control of the government; creating the Badge of Military Merit (the Purple Heart); and outlining the key principals of the new republic. There’s also a museum filled with historical artifacts and the Tower of Victory; climb to the top of its newly-restored belvedere for views of the Hudson.

Crawford House
189 Montgomery St; 
Crawford House

Run by the Newburgh Historical Society, this majestic, 1830 home of Captain David Crawford is a mix of Greek Revival and Federal styles. The house showcases the lifestyle of a wealthy 19th-century family as well as the history and traditions of Newburgh and the Hudson Valley. There’s an impressive collection of Hudson River School paintings; 18th-century, New York furniture, including a Duncan Phyfe settee; locally-made silver and textiles; and a wonderful collection of antique, model ships.

After shipping along the Hudson ceased, due to railroads, then interstate highways, Newburgh entered a long period of urban decline. Its current revitalization is due, in large part, to all the artists who came in search of low rents and larger studio space. Another aspect that makes Newburgh special is an emphasis on community. Hence, many of the venues and art spaces focus on local creatives and artists in underserved sectors.
Safe Harbors of the Hudson
Safe Harbors is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming lives by
providing affordable housing & building community by supporting the arts in the City of Newburgh. Safe Harbors runs a community art gallery, an event space, and is restoring the historic Ritz Theater: 
Yvonne Lamar-Rogers, Ann St Gallery
Ann Street Gallery 
104 Ann St - The gallery presents both emerging and established artists through an exhibition program that also supports and encourages local Black and Latino residences.

Atlas Studios
In a beautifully-renovated 1920s factory, there’s now studios for artists, designers, photographers, musicians, writers, etc. The gallery space hosts art shows, concerts, literary and film events for the community. Also housed at Atlas Studios:
Newburgh Community Photo Project
102 South William St;
NCPP, Dutch Reformed Church

This incredible program was founded by photographer, educator, and community-activist Vincent Cianni. NCPP teaches photography and related media skills to underserved Newburgh youths by exploring social justice issues that relate to their lives and community. The current, three-year-long photo project investigates Black history in the City of Newburgh, “Truth Be Told: Uncovering Newburgh’s Muted Legacy.” Check out and support this mind-blowing project.

The Newburgh Pottery
102 South William St; - This ceramic studio does small-batch production and offers classes & workshops.
Holland Tunnel Gallery
46 Chambers St; - In an 1860 warehouse in the heart of Newburgh, Holland Tunnel is a space for art exhibits, performances, concerts, movie screenings, etc. The gallery, sculpture garden, and artist studios augment the lively, local arts community.
Grit Works
115 Broadway; - This is a nice, community, co-working space that also serves as an art gallery and events space for music, etc.
Quality Row, First St
Motorcyclepedia Museum
250 Lake St; - Discover an impressive collection of motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia from the 1860s to the 1960s.
Velocipede Bicycle Museum
109 Liberty St; - Learn about the evolution of bicycles in Motorcyclepedia’s sister location that showcases velocipedes, boneshakers, bicycles, and tricycles from the 1860s to the 1960s.

Terraine Exhibition
Newburgh Art Supply

5 Grand St;
Proprietors & artists Michael Gabor and Gerardo Castro not only run an arts supply store, they organize the Newburgh Open Studios festival, help connect local artists with other creatives, host a variety of arts events, and promote the emerging arts community in Newburgh. (They also run an Airbnb, so stop by!)

These Arts organizations offer additional event resources: Newburgh Arts & Cultural Commission; Orange County Arts Council.

While you’re wandering around looking at all the stunning architecture & checking out artwork, you’re going to work up an appetite. Foodies will discover lots to love in Newburgh because several, talented, young chefs have set up shop here:
Liberty St, shops & cafes
Liberty Street Bistro
97 Liberty St; - This delightful spot offers up imaginative dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the tastebuds!
Mama Roux
96 Broadway; - “Southern cuisine meets country French” meets melt-in-your-mouth delicious dishes served in a lovely setting.

There’s a large Latino population in Newburgh, so try some tasty eats at:
Café Colombia (350 Broadway) & Machu Picchu (301 Broadway) - Peruvian cuisine.
SnacksNewburgh Flour Shop 109 Liberty St; - Some of the yummiest sweets & treats you’ll ever have the pleasure to nibble on!
Commodore Chocolatier 482 Broadway - Old-fashioned, family-owned, chocolate shoppe since 1935 with hand-crafted bonbons.
2 Alices Coffee Lounge
Newburgh Waterfront (photo: JCarnegie)
 117 Broadway; - A great place to hang out, grab some coffee, soup & tasty snacks; see interesting artwork & perhaps hear some music.

Waterfront Dining: Blu Pointe – Seafood; The River Grill - American eclectic cuisine; Cafe Pitti – Pizzas & Italian classics; Billy Joe's Ribworks – Smoked ribs & live music. 

Newburgh Farmers Market (Sat, June-Nov) 
Safe Harbors Green - Produce & Handcrafts!


Newburgh Brewing Company
88 South Colden St; - In an impressive, former steam engine factory, you can try over 70 styles of beer from traditional to eclectic. The taproom menu also offers locally-sourced food, local wine & cider. 
Newburgh Brewing Co
Spirits Lab
105 Ann St; - This distillery, of artisanal spirits and handcrafted cocktails, has a Tastings Room menu to help you decide what you might like to try/buy.

In addition to checking out the historical landmarks, quaint bars and cool restaurants, stroll down Liberty Street to do some local shopping:
Field Trip 113 Liberty St; - Handmade goods from the Hudson Valley as well as their our plant-based, skincare line, "Hudson Naturals."

Cream 101 Liberty St; - Nifty, women’s clothing: “Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day!”
Oliver & Chatfield 42 Liberty St; - A boutique filled with little, nifty gifties.
At this point, you might need some Pilates &/or Acupuncture!

There’s a “Visitors Information Kiosk” (April-Nov) at Unico Park on the Newburgh Waterfront with brochures, maps, & event information.
Safe Harbors of the Hudson (
Offers year-round entertainment: concerts, summer movies on The Green, and dancing, including the popular “Salsa under the Stars” & “Soul under the Stars.”
The Lobby At The Ritz
111 Broadway, - Safe Harbors’ intimate performing arts space for concerts and events.
Downing Film Center
19 Front St; - Shows indie, foreign, and documentary films in an intimate setting.
Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra - Concerts throughout the year in various venues.

Festivals: Newburgh Illuminated (June) – A day of music, art, dance & poetry;
Newburgh Open Studios (Sept) – Visit local artists’ studios; Newburgh Literary Festival (Oct) – Readings & conversations with acclaimed writers. 
Terraine Exhibitions (Oct, biennial) - A month-long exhibit of art installations in front yards, porches, windows, and building facades throughout the city, free to view by all.

Exciting things are happening here. Artists, entrepreneurs, and all manner of creative professionals are now calling Newburgh home. Come for the day; you might decide to stay.

Where To Stay: Currently, there are no hotels in the City of Newburgh, but you can stay in any number of picturesque Airbnbs in lovely townhouses & stunning, 19th-century homes. Or, if you prefer, there are several chain hotels in the Newburgh area: Ramada; MarriottHampton Inn.
And, these lovely inns: Cromwell Manor Historic Inn in nearby Cornwall, NY;
Caldwell House B&B in nearby Salisbury Mills, NY.

Getting There: Drive or take the Train: Grand Central Station, Metro-North (Hudson Line) to Beacon. Newburgh is directly across the river. From the station, either take Taxi: Bob’s Taxi, 845/561-5000; Perusa Taxi, 845/565-8989; All Family Taxi, 845/565-1616. Rent a Zipcar; On Weekdays, Shuttle Bus: Leprechaun LinesFerry: NY Waterway 

Newburgh-Beacon Bridge: Want some exercise? From the train station in Beacon, bike or walk over the bridge for some amazing river views. (Walking, on the protected walkway, takes about one +1/2 hours from the Beacon train station to a Newburgh waterfront café.)
Bus: From Port Authority, Shortline Bus to Newburgh. 

Nearby Places To Explore: It’s so nice up here, you might be inspired to stay longer and explore more of this lovely area:
Storm King Arts Center – A stunning, open-air museum with sculptures by renowned artists. West Point - A military post during the Revolutionary War, in 1802, it became the United States Military Academy. Visit the museum in this beautiful spot to find out more. 
Start Your Vacay: Newburgh is a perfect place to get out of town & relax, it’s also a jumping off point for both domestic & international destinations. Fly in/out from Stewart International Airport.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

10 Artsy & Cool Reasons To Visit Cork City, Ireland

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Cork City (photo: George Karbus)

Everything you’ve ever heard about Ireland is true: The hills are green, the Guinness is flowing, the wind is ever at your back. The pubs are filled with colorful characters and traditional music. You could go anywhere in Ireland and have a great time, but County Cork, on the south-western coast, is a wonderful place to start.

Cork City is the second largest after Dublin. Set along the River Lee, its’ picturesque charm is inviting. Like the rest of Ireland, it’s a very, pretty place with super-friendly people, and it’s also really easy to get around. So, start with a stroll through the center of town:
Cork City (photo: ©Fáilte Ireland)

St. Patrick's Street - This long and winding road has been Cork's main shopping drag (“Pana” in local slang) since the 18th century with fine shops, trendy brands, and practical places like banks and cell phone shops. At the end, you might want to pop into the popular, upmarket department store Brown Thomas
Exploring Cork City Is Easy: Walks - You can download the Cork App; Follow Cork City Walks curated walking tours; Create your own self-guided walks; or take a Free Cork Walking TourBike – Do a bikeshare ride that comes with an App & a 3-day pass. Bus – Get a Leap Card for public buses. 

One of the great joys of a trip to Ireland is hanging out in terrific pubs and Cork City has its fair share. In addition to the Guinness, enjoy a selection of local brews, the “craic”--great company and lively conversation, and “trad”—traditional Irish music. 
Sin É 
Pubs: Check out the Cork Heritage Pub Trail. This should be your first stop:
Sin É Pub (8 Coburg St) - This place is renowned for its’ welcoming atmosphere and great trad music. I
n Irish, Sin É means “That’s it” referring to the funeral parlor next door.
Some other worthy pubs to try, known for their brews & music nights:
The Gables (31-32 Douglas St); Clancy’s (15-16 Princes St); Charlie’s (2 Union Quay) & An Spailpín Fánach (28 South Main St). 
Breweries & Distilleries:
Rising Sons Brewery (Cornmarket St) - Try some craft beers or craft gin at this micro-brewery/sports bar, with a traditional Irish pub atmosphere. You can also book a Brewery Tour & Beer Tasting experience.
Franciscan Well

Franciscan Well Brewery (14 No. Mall) - Take a Tastings Tour at this brewpub, known for its’ delicious craft beers, on the site of a former, medieval monastery. Then, nosh on a wood-fired pizza in the beer garden.
Rebel City Distillery (Marina Commercial Park, Centre Park Rd) - Check out this newly-opened distillery housed in the renovated, former Ford car factory. Take a Distillery Tour to see how a range of spirits are crafted & distilled, then bottled on-site.

Cork is known for gourmet food and Irish sports—an interesting combo! Take a cooking course at Ballymaloe, one of the top “cookery” schools, with a side trip to lovely Kinsale, the “gourmet capital.” And, do whiskey tastings at the world-renowned Jameson Distillery in Midleton. In Cork City:
English Market (photo: Chris Hill)
English Market (Princes Street) - Created in 1788, it’s the oldest market of its kind in Europe where locals shop for freshly-caught seafood, just-butchered meats, local cheeses, breads, and fresh fruits & veggies, etc. Grab a coffee and sample traditional-yet-innovative, homemade fare at the Farmgate Café, or at any one of the many stalls selling freshly-prepared meals and snacks.
Marina Market (Centre Park Rd) - Recently opened, this is more of a Food Court than a market per se with vendors offering an eclectic mix of international favorites such as Mexican burritos, Japanese sushi, and Irish Prátaí (potatoes). Craft & Farmers’ Market on the weekends.
Cork Butter Museum (O’Connell Square) - Now you know: In the 19th century, Cork was the largest exporter of butter in the world! The exhibits illuminate Cork’s dairy history at the center of Europe's important butter trade.

(photo: Inpho/Oisín Keniry)

The Irish have a passion for sports. In Cork, experience a Rugby match and other uniquely Irish sports such as Hurling or Gaelic football. Then, go to the Races—horses (Cork Racecourse Mallow) and/or dogs (Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium).

Nano Nagle Place (Douglas St) - In this beautifully-restored complex of historic buildings, learn all about the 18th-century nun, Nano Nagle, who founded: seven schools for poor children in Cork, an almshouse for women, and the order of Presentation Sisters to carry on her work. The interactive exhibits in the museum depict the life of impoverished Catholics under British rule and Nano Nagle tireless efforts to help the disadvantaged. While this might sound a bit grim, it’s fascinating history and the site is just beautiful, with walled gardens and the tasty Good Day Deli café serving local, seasonal, organic offerings. 
Nano Nagle Place
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral (Bishop St) - Named after Cork's patron saint, St. Finbarr, the Cathedral was built in the 1870s and is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival-style architecture with stunning, stained-glass windows.

Crawford Art Gallery (Emmet Place) - The museum's collection, with over 3,000 works, ranges from 18th-century Irish and European painting and sculpture to contemporary video installations. There’s also an award-winning café, Crawford Gallery Café
Crawford Art Gallery (photo: Brian Morrison)
St Peter's Cork (87A North Main St) - St. Peter's is one of Cork's oldest standing churches, dating back to 1270. Now, deconsecrated, it serves as an arts exhibit space celebrating Cork’s heritage and culture. There’s also a nice café.
The Glucksman - University College Cork (College Rd) - The University’s art collection focuses on modern and contemporary Irish art. These works are placed throughout the campus to give students and visitors a first-hand experience with original works of art. (Book a UCC campus tour to see all the artworks.) The Glucksman highlights contemporary art with changing exhibits in a stunning, museum setting.
UCC artwork on campus (photo: William Murphy)

Ardú – Street Art Project - Several of Ireland’s well-known street artists were invited to create murals inspired by the memory of the 1920 Burning of Cork. The Ardú (Irish for “Rise”) Art Trail can be explored on a self-guided tour with an audio guide & downloadable map on the website.
Festivals: Guinness Cork Jazz Festival (Oct); Cork International Film Festival (Nov). 
Where To Stay: Lots of lovely places to stay. Try Garnish Guesthouse (18 Western Rd) – A super-friendly staff & great breakfasts.

Country Cork is an absolutely beautiful region, so factor in time for day trips or an even longer stay. Some great West Cork stops:
John Kelly “Cow Up A Tree”, Reen Farm
Clonakilty - Even Scally's, the local supermarket, is impressive.
Skibbereen – The Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is just terrific.
Reen Farm (Union Hall, Skibbereen) - The brilliant artist John Kelly and his talented wife Christina Todesco-Kelly have created a sculpture park featuring John’s work and a memorial to the Famine devastation on the South Reen peninsula. (Visits during the West Cork History Festival in August.) 
Of course, there’s always kissing the stone at Blarney Castle.
St. Fin Barre (photo: George Karbus)

Getting Around Locally: It's easy to get around by Bus Éireann & Trains.
Getting There: Depending on where you're coming from, there’s flights into nearby Shannon airport and direct flights to Cork airport.
So, start planning your trip. As the Irish say, Céad míle fáilte romhat!--a hundred thousand welcomes—and they mean it!
Visiting Ireland during COVID: As you know by now, the COVID situation—as well as requirements for travel--is constantly changing. Currently, almost all COVID restrictions have been lifted in Ireland. But, that could always change. Check here for the latest info.