The 30 Activities: Hudson Valley

You may remember this past winter, when I vowed to complete 30 activities in my last 30 days of living in New York City. For the most part, I chose things that I love to do, that can only be done in the city, and in most cases could be accessed by a quick trip on the subway. In my new adopted home turf, the Hudson Valley, there are many unique activities. Thirty to be exact. This time, I don’t have to get them done in 30 days because I’m not moving out for a long while. So, over the course of this summer, I plan to tackle each and every one of these things:

1. In my New York City adventure, I chose to cross the George Washington Bridge because it was so close to my old apartment, and my favorite bridge ever. This time, I crossed the Mid-Hudson Bridge because the YMCA stages an annual 5K race over it.
DONE on May 6, 2006!
2. I chose to shop at Century 21 because it’s a New York institution, and one place you can consistently get a bargain. Up here, we have the outlet shops at Woodbury Commons, and I’m going.
DONE on August 6, 2006!
3. Last time, we went to Panna II, a restaurant in the Lower East Side’s little India. This time, I’m going to the only Indian place I know in Poughkeepsie. It’s just like Panna II, except that instead of the staff being Indian, they’re local kids who also work at Borders. And instead of being in the middle of a city block of Indian Restaurants, it’s in the mall.
DONE on August 2, 2006!
4. New York City has Jamba Juice. Yeah, it’s a national chain, but there are no locations within 20 miles of here. I have to find an alternative to get my fresh juice and smoothie fix, and I’ll find that… Crap. I can’t find a singe comparable place here. But… I do own a juicer, and I’ll get some fresh fruit at Adam’s Market and do it myself. Damnit. Every Thursday as I drive from work to kickball, I see a farmer’s market by Vassar College, and someone there must sell juice.
DONE on July 27, 2006!
5. At one time, I thought it would be neat to run the length of Manhattan. I’m glad I did, and I hope to never do it again. I’ve just learned that the Greenway we ran along is slated to connect Manhattan to Albany. While we wait for that to complete, I’m going to walk the Greenway.
DONE on August 14, 2004!
6.Poughkeepsie Journal, or the PoJo as I like to call it, and I’ll spend a Sunday reading it in my backyard, heated by none other than the sun itself.
DONE on July 30, 2006!
7. Cram two million people in 23 square miles, and you’re bound to find vegetarians everywhere, and some open restaurants. Up here, not so much. There’s a place that keeps coming up on Google searches called Luna 61 in Red Hook, so I’ll give it a go to see if we can’t support a local veggie restaurateur.
8. Almost every movie that comes out is at sometime screened for free in New York City. Free movies up here are not so easy to come by, but as soon as I find one, I’m going. Five dollars is so cheap it might as well be free, and that’s how much it costs to see the Hudson Valley Renegades play the Brooklyn Cyclones at Dutchess Stadium.
9. Chinese food showing up 20 minutes after ordering was a bitter disappointment last time, especially when that’s exactly how long my new local place took the other night. I think I’ve cornered the market on instant food, though, with tomatoes grown in my own backyard. I will eat them within minutes of picking them off the vine. If I wanted food any more instantaneously, it would have to grow inside my body.
DONE on July 31, 2006!
10. New York has Tasti-d-lite, and the Hudson Valley has Debra T’s Ice Cream a.k.a. the place at the end of my street that I will walk to and fro thereby burning all the calories in said ice cream so who needs that lo-cal stuff anyway?
11. The Staten Island Ferry is a marvel of free transportation, but no transportation is freer than my own two feet!
DONE on August 8, 2006!
12. The Hall of Fame terrace is a totally unique place. I don’t have anything up here to compare it to. Samuel Morse had a bust there, and he has a house here, so I guess that will suffice. No, the Morse house will not suffice, it’s B-O-R-I-N-G! Since I happen to be going to a wedding in Mohonk in the coming days, I think that will do it for my historic place requirement, ’cause it’s like 137 years old.
DONE on July 29, 2006!
13. NYC has mighty institutions like the Met, but they’re SO BORING. Up here, we have fun, accessible museums like the Dia:Beacon, where I will go and get my art on!
DONE on August 13, 2006!
14. Riding the length of the A Train was a truly butt-numbing experience. And where did it get me other than right where I started? This time, I’m going to take on the much less formidable task of riding the Hudson line train the whole way, from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Station. Yes, I know some commuters do it every day but, well, it’s an excuse to end up in Manhattan!
DONE on July 24, 2006!
15. Ah, Burittoville, how I miss your gigantor foodstuffs full of Mexican delights. We’ll see how your Northern counterpart, Mole Mole does, considering it’s run by actual Mexican people.
DONE on July 25, 2006!
16. If you were plopped into the middle of Times Square, you could walk a few blocks in any direction and see almost any movie in current release. But could you see them from your car??? No, of course not. That’s something only folks in the Hudson Valley can do. Ha!
17. It’s scandalously easy to sneak into one movie when coming out of another when a theater has 25 screens. Can I do it at the 12-screen Poughkeepsie Galleria? Chall-onge.
The problem with this activity was finding two movies I actually want to see this summer, and I am so negligent by not including a trip to the Ulster County Fair.

DONE on August 1, 2006!
18. I added a trip to Moby’s Teany Cafe last time, despite its scary Lower East Side location. Up here, wussy techno hipsters don’t open cafes, hard core biker guys open coffee shops, and the one I’m going to is the GroundHog.
DONE on August 3, 2006!
19. Max has been a standby hairdresser for me for years. I love what he does with my color. However, I’m not loving the cut right now. I’m thinking about cheating on him with a local hairdresser. Probably with Edgar By Appointment. I cheated on my blog! I went to Edgar two weeks ago. He proved to be sufficently gay and shockingly expensive. I’m going back in September. So for the purposes of this blog, I’m going to get my nails done at Marlene Weber. It’s a kind of cut and color
DONE on July 28, 2006!
20. When going to Two Boots Pizza in the city, I almost always get the Earth Mother. On the other side of the river, near Woodstock, there’s a restaurant called the New World Home Cooking, and they’ll indulge my inner goddess.
DONE on August 7, 2006!
21. I thank my lucky stars that my ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram didn’t result in getting stuck for hours and hours culminating in a daring rescue mission. Thankfully, there aren’t any trams over here, so the best thing I can come up with for a coordinating, yet safe activity is a visit to Roosevelt’s House.
DONE on August 17, 2006!
22. In New York, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a Thai restaurant. Up here, if you want to eat Thai, let me direct you to the “international” section of Stop & Shop, and you can cook it your damn self. Conversely, you can drive to Beacon and try out this place which I will. Yummy Phad Thai.
You know what? I’m not driving to freaking Beacon to get Thai food. I’m throwing up my hands because it’s not available in a 15-mile radius from my house (except for the outrageously priced Osho, which I do not count because it’s a Japanese restaurant trying to pass off some Thai food.) This is completely unrelated, but I’m going to play some kickball at the Red Rooster, a much more Hudson Valley-esqe kind of place.
23. I chose skating as an activity in New York simply because it was winter. If I had moved in the summertime, my site would have just become 29 activities in New York City. I need to come up with a corresponding activity, so why not try rock climbing at the Y?
DONE on August 15, 2006!
24. I never made it to Essex market during my last jaunt, so I went to the local diner instead, and it was awesome. I’ve got a local diner here, and it’s open all night, so why not see what the action’s like at 3AM?
So the local diner just came under new management and they’re no longer open all night. My only other option is dinner at the Culinary Institute of America.

DONE on August 4, 2006!
25. I’m so glad I got to walk on the High Line while it was still considered trespassing. We actually have something similar here, called the Poughkeepsie Highland Railroad Bridge. It’s closed, and people want to turn it into a park. I wonder if I could find my way on to it before it officially opens? Walking the highline is kinda like tresspassing, but walking on the Bridge is really tresspassing, and potentially way to dangerous. If you fall off Bannerman’s Island, however, you only plunge 2 feet into the dirty, dirty Hudson, instead of 200.
26. I never actually made it to the Brooklyn Museum for first night. Is it worth it trying to go again now that I live up here? Eh, I can’t think of anything better to do with my time! I found something better! At least, I think I did. A bookseller in Kingston told me they have a first night art festival on the first Saturday of every month. However, the interweb is refusing to cough up any information about it, so I may just go kyacking instead.
DONE on August 5, 2006!
27. The Cloisters were a really cool place to leave near in the old days. Really old art in a park setting. Just like the Storm King Art Center. Except not really at all like that.
28. I totally pooped out on going to the Empire State Building. It’s just so touristy! You know what else is touristy? Paying full price to see a Broadway Musical. That’s something only the bridge & tunnel crowd do.
DONE on June 26, 2006!
29. Vinyl diner is a really cool place that just can’t be replicated. But, food’s food, and while they don’t have an alcoholic drink made with grape soda on the menu, The Daily Planet is a comparable joint.
DONE on August 9, 2006!
30. Ah, Vintage. A bar where everybody knows your name, and they always have good wine. Makes you wonder, where did that wine come from? Was it… The Hudson Valley? Let’s take a tour and find out!

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