Friday, June 25, 2010

Paperback thrifter

In the heart of Soho, on sleepy Crosby street, lies one of the most unique thrift stores in the city. Unbeknown to the hordes of tourists on the neighboring Broadway, lies a thrift book store haven complete with its own cafe. Housing Works book store is in a beautiful building of typical Soho architecture. The store is very large and has a great book collection - all second hand.

For the casual browser, the books are curated into helpful sections at the front of the bookstore, wittily described:

As well as being a fabulous bookstore, Housing works bookstore is also a great place to work, study and meet friends. It has a fabulous cafe, complete with Wi-Fi, and a great cafe where you ca grab a coffee or a cold beer. Housing works bookstore has an action packed events programme, with readings, discussions and Moth sessions (competitive story slams) - I highly recommend.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hudson treasures

New York City has a way of sucking you in and keeping you busy for weekends on end. However, even the most hardcore of New Yorkers need to get away from the City once in a while. It feels good to get away from the buildings, crowds and sirens and be reminded of space and silence.

Whilst chatting about weekend getaways, a friend recommended Hudson, a little village not too far away and apparently an antiquer's paradise. I didn't need any more convincing and the boyfriend didn't need much persuading. We were off that Saturday morning.

The train trip to Hudson is a beautiful 2 hour ride up the banks of the Hudson river. Just being on the train, with newspapers and sandwiches, already felt like an adventure. Once we got to Hudson, we headed to the Bed & Breakfast that I hastily booked online, the Croff House. A beautiful house, impeccably decorated and with attentive friendly owners looking over every single detail. To be honest, the room was so wonderful, I could have happily hibernated there for the weekend, what with the fireplace and the claw footed bathtub... I'd love to return in the Autumn when the leaves must be spectacular and we have an excuse to stay inside.

When my friend had said that Hudson was an antiquer's paradise, she was quite right. Hudson is a beautiful, lovely, small town with over 65 antique shops over 5 blocks. A shop owner told us that in the 60s the city was in dire straits as there was little employment and people migrated to NYC and Albany. However, in the 80s, one antique shop opened. Slowly, many followed and the city flourished to become an antiques hub, with art galleries, restaurants and cafes, and summer homes.Much to my chagrin, I managed to miss the city's one thrift store - it closes on Sunday. However, the antique shops kept me very busy. There are antique stores for all tastes and covering all periods. Some look similar to art galleries - with prices to match - whilst others are nicely junky and cluttered.

Besides the great antiquing, Hudson also has some nice cafes, restaurants and a bar in a bookstore, where you can have a beer whilst enjoying a book.

Among all the antiquing we found a $40 industrial looking iron office lamp, a bright shade of blue. After all the antiquing and relaxing in Hudson, we boarded the train back to Manhattan, the lamp tucked under my arm.