By Kelly Spicer
Hudson is one of the top destinations in the Hudson Valley for great vintage and antique shopping, and is home to over 40 businesses that make up the Hudson Antiques & Art Dealers Association (HAADA). HAADA credits Hudson’s antique stores with “saving Hudson’s main street” and resurrecting the “largely boarded-up Warren Street of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.” Over the last few decades what started as a small group of stores has grown into a renowned antique and vintage shopping destination.
Upon arrival, I ventured over to Rivertown Lodge for a delicious brunch of hazelnut granola, with cardamom greek yogurt, and rhubarb jam, a Rivertown Mary (their version of a Bloody Mary) and a cup of Tandem coffee. Rivertown Lodge also serves as a hotel and is conveniently located in the center of town on Warren Street. Opened in 2015 after owner Ray Pirkle and Kim Bucci purchased and renovated the 40-year-old Warren Inn Motel, the space is inviting and impeccably designed. Pirkle and Buccie brought together a team of local artisans to craft the space: Hudson resident Rowland Butler built the kitchen space, Rhinebeck furniture maker Sawkille provided lobby and guest room furniture, and artwork by Warwick-raised artist Gordon Hull adorn many spaces throughout the hotel.
After a relaxing breakfast, it was time to hit the shops!
First up on our excursion- Sideshow Hudson (707 Warren St). Owner Meri Avratin opened Sideshow in 2009 in Sheffield, MA, before moving to Hudson in 2010. Avratin was inspired to name her store for the circus sideshows of the early 20th century, hoping to create a store where “people who are different or on the fringe could find community.” The interior of Side Show is vibrant and fun, with brightly colored garments contrasting against the retro black and white checkerboard floor. The vibe is alternative, with rockabilly and punk influences- think hats and t-shirts with tongue-in-cheek phrases, cowboy boots, lacy Victorian and Edwardian undergarments, 30s, 40s, and 50s gowns, and ornately embroidered pieces from the 60s and 70s. Meri is extremely knowledgeable of store inventory and was quick to recommend other items similar to my own selections. An added bonus? Avratin’s dog Arrow was an adorable on-site shopping assistant.
Two doors down from Sideshow, husband and wife duo Ian and Marie Chambers run Look Apparel (703 Warren St). The pair met on eBay in 2002 after Marie sold Ian a Yohji Yamamoto shirt, leading to an in-person meet-up, followed by a few dates, and finally marriage! In 2010, they opened their storefront after running a successful eBay store together since 2003. The store is light and airy with a “highly focused selection of men’s and women’s clothing” and color-coordinated displays of “funky and unusual vintage jewelry and accessories.” Ian has an extensive collection of early Reggae records, and as such the sounds of Millie Smalls, Desmond Dekker & The Aces, and Dave & Ansel Collins fill the space. In the wintertime, they frequently offer hot apple cider to warm customers from the cold. Look Apparel specializes in archival and vintage clothing from the 1980s to the present, focusing on a very specific niche of designers such as Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Dries Van Noten, Jil Sander, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Katherine Hamnett. Marie jokes that they could be considered a “Barney’s archive,” and their penchant for high quality and limited edition pieces reflects that.
The third store of the day was Red Chair on Warren (606 Warren St). Jocie Sinauer founded the first iteration of Red Chair on Warren twenty-three years ago in Peterborough, New Hampshire “with a concentration in Swedish, Belgian and French antiques,” before relocating to Hudson in 2010. The interior of the store smells lightly of lavender and is a calming palette of grays, whites, and beiges, punctuated with the occasional hint of green from an assortment of plants throughout the store. Sinauer stocks the store with hand-selected furniture, linens, and dishware from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries that she purchases on frequent buying trips to Europe. Outside a small courtyard garden hosts a myriad of additional finds, including wrought iron and marble outdoor furniture, ceramic sculptures, and various plants each in unique terracotta containers. Sinauer is most inspired by the history of each item she selects and loves to speculate about the previous owner’s use of each piece she sells.
A few doors down, Andrew Arrick runs Finch Hudson (555 Warren St) alongside his husband Michael Hofemann. The pair founded the store in 2012 after deciding they wanted to move to the Hudson Valley full-time and leave behind “crazy schedules in the city.” Finch is a lifestyle store that sells “Scandinavian mid-century furniture and artwork, with a mix of tabletop, bath, and body, and locally sourced objects for the home.” The space feels like a series of different living areas, each seamlessly designed. A line of sleek black bar stools against a counter with ceramic dishware displayed evokes a kitchen, while a low-slung blue velvet couch facing a 9 drawer credenza topped with local candles gives the impression of a cozy living room.
Next, we headed to the riverfront to Riverfront Arts and Design Center (RADC) and The Antique Warehouse Hudson (99 S 3rd St, Door #21). The shared space is the former home of the L&B Chair factory and has over 200,000 square feet of antique and vintage wares. At the front of the space is RADC (pronounced Rad-Cee) which is a collective of “antique dealers, designers, and entrepreneurs operating their showrooms and featuring their unique items under one roof.” The group is comprised of “Bardin Palomo, Charming Antiques, Vintage & Whimsey, Chrome, Larry’s Back Room, Looking Glass Events, Mad Era Antiques & Reproduction, Mark’s Antiques, Red Chair Antiques Annex, Terry Fugate-Wilcox Art, and Tongue In Chique. Each shop is independently operated and offers an assortment of different antiques, vintage clothing, and artwork. At the back-end of the space is The Antique Warehouse Hudson. With 40,000 square feet, they are the largest owner-operated antique and vintage store in the Northeast. Paul Dorman and John Frederick founded the business in 2014, after successfully running Cottage Treasures in Long Valley, New Jersey since 1998. Their inventory is vast and diverse, stocking items including wrought iron outdoor furniture, massive embroidered wall hangings, props from past Broadway shows, ceramics of all sizes, and a variety of lighting fixtures from massive chandeliers to small wall sconces. Stephanie Lloyd also works alongside Dorman and Fredrick and brings her own “distinct, eclectic mix of country, industrial, mercantile, and eccentric to the store.” The Antique Warehouse also rents furnishings for stage, film, weddings, or any other event.
The final stop of my Hudson excursion was 3FortySeven/Backbar (347 Warren St). Housed in a former art deco garage,3FortySeven/Backbar is a bar and antique store all in one! I sat at the counter, basking in the neon glow of the colorful overhead glass lights and ordered a Bee’s Knees (Citadelle gin, honey, hand-squeezed lemon juice), and sweet potato curry. Post-dinner I browsed through the eclectic inventory. The pieces were a mix of mid-century furniture, East-Asian art pieces, brightly colored woven textiles, and carpets, as well as a wide array of handmade jewelry and accessories. Owner Michael Davis says that he “imagines the future of Hudson through embracing its past,” a perspective that I find rings true through the thriving, vast culture of secondhand, vintage, and antique that flourishes in Hudson.
Join me next time, as I voyage for vintage in Newburgh, NY!