Friday, December 2, 2016

A Sanford R. Gifford Discovery

On Thursday night, Walter Ritchie presented a lecture at the Hudson Area Library about 59 Allen Street and its original owner, Charles C. Alger. As part of the lecture, Ritchie talked about Alger's extensive art collection. Among the works of art he owned was a painting by Sanford Robinson Gifford called Lake Nemi.

Alger did not just own the painting, he helped finance Gifford's trip to Europe, from 1855 through 1857, during which Gifford painted Lake Nemi. In his biographical sketch of Gifford in An Artist's Legacy and a Dealer's Admiration: Paintings by Sanford Robinson Gifford, Donald J. Christensen writes:
During these critical years of European travel, Gifford saw the great art of Great Britain and the Continent, current and past, including that of J. M. W. Turner, who had died in 1851. . . . This trip had been financed in part by a business partner of Gifford's father, Charles C. Alger, who had an important collection of American and European art in his home in Hudson. Alger commissioned the painting that cemented Gifford's mature style and fame, Lake Nemi. Gifford spent the winter of 1856-57 in Rome working on this painting, which would become his breakthrough achievement. Without the financial support from Alger at that critical moment in Gifford's life, the artist we admire today may not have blossomed.
Earlier today, by amazing coincidence, in my ongoing page-by-page perusal of issues of the Hudson Daily Star from 1851, I discovered this item, which appeared on June 4.

The article is evidence that Alger was not the first Hudsonian to commission paintings by Gifford. Nathan C. Folger, who commissioned the two paintings of Mt. Merino and the Catskills, was born in Hudson in 1810. In 1830, Folger left Hudson to seek his fortune in New Orleans, where he became involved in the retail clothing business. His first clothing store in New Orleans failed, but after retreating to New York City for a few years, Fogler was, in 1851, the owner of an obviously successful clothing store in New Orleans.

Sanford Gifford had not yet achieved fame in 1851, but he was not unknown either. He exhibited his first painting at the National Academy of Design in 1847, and in 1851, he was admitted to the National Academy as an associate. A painting by Gifford called Mt. Merino on the Hudson was part of the National Academy exhibition in the spring of 1851. Is it possible that this was one of the two works Gifford "painted to order" for N. C. Folger?

Gossips cannot answer that question, but more information about N. C. Folger, his business in New Orleans, and his continuing ties to Hudson will be provided in future posts.

Indoor Market Starts Tomorrow

Now that Thanksgiving leftovers are only a memory, it's time to go back to the market for late fall crops, greens, breads, eggs, meats, and cheeses, as well as prepared soups, sweets and savories, tarts and pies, and flowers and boughs to deck your halls.

The Hudson Indoor Market begins its December run tomorrow at 10 a.m. Every Saturday this month, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., thirty vendors will offer their wares indoors at Hudson Lodge, 601 Union Street. For the market's opening day, Sauerkraut Seth will be providing musical accompaniment for shopping and socializing. See you then! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Much Ado About House Numbers

Last week, Gossips published a post, based on evidence found in 1851 issues of the Hudson Daily Star, about Hudson's idiosyncratic way of not using actual addresses to indicate the location of businesses and homes: "Our Ever Quirky Little City." This prompted a reader to send me an email informing me that in the 1851 Hudson City Directory, a facsimile of which was published in 1985, "all the residential and business listings include house numbers." She concluded, "Hard to believe that in a planned city, numbering houses would be overlooked, but easy to believe it [i.e., describing location by reference to well-known houses or businesses] was just the local manner of speaking."

Responding to the email, I suggested that the problem in 1851 was not that properties did not have numbers but that the owners of those properties didn't bother to display the numbers on the buildings. A letter to the editor published in the Star on May 30, 1851, offers evidence that this was indeed the case.


A Gossips Book List

Over the years, Gossips has made a practice of mentioning novels that are either set in Hudson--or a fictionalized version of Hudson--or whose characters spend time, however brief, in Hudson. Recently, motivated by the post about Byrne Fone's work in progress, Utopia Fallsa reader suggested that a list of all these books might be a helpful guide for people seeking gift ideas. The requested list follows, which includes both new books and rather old books, in no particular order.
The Spirit of the Place, by Samuel Shem, a.k.a. Stephen Bergman (2008). This novel by a Hudson native son is set in an only slightly fictionalized Hudson, which the author calls "Columbia," in 1969, during the struggle to save the General Worth Hotel.
The Horse Whisperer, by Nicholas Evans (1995). This novel, much of which is set in Chatham, begins with the description of a late-night cab ride from the train station through Hudson as it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Dragonwyk, by Anya Seton (1944). The primary setting of this historical novel, in the tradition of Gothic romance, is Dragonwyk Manor, a fictional Hudson River mansion somewhere north of Hudson. In the book, the main characters make a journey to Hudson.   
Executive Actions, by Gary Grossman (2012). Central to the plot of this political thriller, written by another Hudson native son, is an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate during a primary stump speech delivered in our very own Seventh Street Park.
The Illusionist, by Dinitia Smith (1997). Described as "fiercely erotic," this novel about an amateur magician and master of seduction and charm is set in a fictionalized Hudson of the mid-1990s called "Sparta."
The Boy's Garden Club, by E. D. Pujol (2013). This novel, set in Athens in the summer of 2012, is rich in local history and character description and peppered with references to Hudson--usually in comparison, not always favorable, with the village across the river.
The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz (2016). The novel is a thriller "about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past." One of her stops along the way is Hudson--identified by its real name, as are some of its streets and places.
"Zombie Hookers of Hudson," by Maggie Estep, in Marijuana Chronicles (2013). This story, in a collection of short stories having to do with pot, draws from the seamier side of Hudson's rich history.
Death at Olana, by Glenda Ruby (2013). This murder mystery begins with the discovery, during an Olana Christmas gala, of the slain body of the historic site's director. Taking some jurisdictional liberties, the investigation into the murder is carried out by the Hudson sheriff.
Love Is a Canoe, by Ben Shrank (2013). In this novel, set in Millerton and New York City, Hudson is more talked about than actually visited. The main character, who is a novelist, owns a failed inn in Hudson which he is thinking about reopening.
All Things Cease to Appear, by Elizabeth Brundage (2016). This book, which is described as "a classic 'who-dun-ut' that morphs into a 'why-and-how-dun-it,'" is not set in Hudson but rather in some anonymous "impoverished town" in upstate New York. The main characters, however, visit Olana and afterward take a stroll on Warren Street.
There is news for those who want a real book to stuff in someone's stocking or just prefer holding a real book and turning pages to reading a book on a device. The first installment of Byrne Fone's Utopia Falls: A Jeremy Hudson Mystery will soon be available in paperback.

A Holiday Performance Not to Be Missed

In honor of Hudson’s 20th Winter Walk, Diamond Opera Theater and Hudson Opera House are presenting again this year the beloved opera for children, Hansel & Gretel. Two performances are scheduled: on Friday, December 2, at 6:00 and on Saturday, December 3 (Winter Walk Day), at 2:30. Both will be at Christ Church Episcopal, Courthouse Square and Union Street.

The opera, sung in English, is by Engelbert Humperdinck--not the rock star, but the 19th-century German composer. It is based on the classic fairy tale of two children lost in the woods, who encounter a witch living in a gingerbread cottage. She is determined to turn the children into gingerbread cookies, and the opera tells how they outwit her evil scheme. Lovely melodies and lively action bring the old tale to life.

All the singers are professionals who have worked in the US and Europe. Hudson's favorite mezzo-soprano, Mary Hack sings the wicked, charming, outrageous Witch. Hack also directs the production. Emilia Donato, last year’s sparkling Dew Fairy, will bring Gretel to life. Her stalwart brother, Hansel, will be sung by a newcomer to Diamond Opera, Ariana Stultz. Nina Dante will make her Hudson debut in the double role of Sandman/Dew Fairy. Music director Noah Palmer will once again accompany the production on the piano.

A wine and cheese reception with the singers follows the Friday performance. A donation of $10 is requested from adults; admission is free for children. On Saturday, all ages are welcomed for free. It will be a festive kick-off for the biggest, best Winter Walk yet, but sadly, for fans of Diamond Opera Theater, it will be the company's last production.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1851 Recommendations Heeded and Unheeded

Last week, Gossips published a little item from the Hudson Daily Star for April 30, 1851, which explained why Promenade Hill had recently grown "steeper and more frightful" and called for an iron railing to be erected to prevent people from tumbling down the precipice. A month later, the call for a railing was taken up by a visitor to Hudson, identified only as "Iron Pen," in a letter to the editor that appeared in the Star on May 22, 1851. The railing was one of four "improvements that are necessary to the welfare of [the City's] affairs" recommended in the letter.

We know from the 1878 History of Columbia County, by Franklin Ellis, that the practice of lighting the streets in Hudson began in 1798. On October 6 of that year, the Common Council passed the following resolution:
That the City be lighted during the Dark Nights, and that the Recorder and Mr. Kellogg be a Committee to Direct the construction of, and the place for, the Lamps, not exceeding Twenty in number, and are to provide Oil, and agree with Suitable persons to light the same.
Although today we think of every night as a dark night, it seems that in 1798, "Dark Nights" were determined by the phases of the Moon. Apparently only those nights when the moon was new qualified as "Dark Nights," and it appears this practice may have continued in 1851.

In 1851, Hudson was probably on the brink to pursuing the letter's fourth recommendation that "a City Hall should be erected, one that Hudson city would be proud of." As we know, in 1855, construction of the building that was originally City Hall, which we now know as the Hudson Opera House, was completed.

The recommendation that Universalist Hill should be made a "pleasure ground" raises the question: Where was Universalist Hill?  A letter to the editor of the Hudson Daily Register, dated October 7, 1881, and signed simply M., explains what part of Hudson was called Universalist Hill, or Universal Hill.
[Universal Hill] was a broad, beautiful green, fronting the bay, extending from the old church edifice on Third street, which was the only building upon it, nearly to Second street, Allen street, between these points was then little more than a rough road, known as Federal or Church street. . . .
Universal Hill was the great resort for circuses and shows of every description, with an occasional militia "training." By affording as it did a beautiful outlook upon the broad bay and river, it was especially popular as a play ground for boys, an after tea resort for mothers and children, and as a summer evening resort for scores who seated upon the green grass until a late hour drank in the pure, cool breezes wafted from the bay, with no fear of malaria to molest or make afraid. It was a point, too, which was always crowded to watch the incoming and outgoing whale ships. There was a movement at one time made to preserve this as a city park, but it encountered great discouragement from each end of the city as a central project and never got beyond the period of "talk." Third Street was not yet extended when this hill is remembered as in its best condition. Only a cow path led down to the South bay road.
Henry Ary (1802-1859), View of South Bay and Mt. Merino
The reference to malaria is explained elsewhere in the letter, where the writer, in 1881, bemoans the degradation of South Bay.
During the last few years the South bay has often been noticed from a sanitary point of view. Dr. P[orter]'s pleasant article calls it back to my mind as I remember it in the days of my boyhood, a bright feature in the landscape, whose charms so thickly cluster about our city. Looking at it to-day, unsightly, overgrown with rank vegetation, what is left of it filled with mud and filth, fringed with railroad tracks and breeding malaria, only they whose memories go back over a considerable period can realize that is was ever a "thing of beauty.". . . . 
No description given of the South bay to-day will convey to the reader an idea of its beauty as seen from the hill described when the rays of the setting sun fell, as they often did, upon an unruffled sheet of water unbroken from the western shore of the river to the road which skirted it on the East. Mt. Merino was then much more densely wooded than to-day and the road leading thence into the city, around the bay, thickly fringed with elms and willows. On the hill, at the end of Second street, the spacious old Presbyterian Church looked gravely down upon the scene, and the town clock sent its echoes over the quiet waters.
View of South Bay and Mt. Merino from the vantage point of what is now the southern end of Second Street, where the abandoned Kaz warehouses now stand. Painting by Henry Ary (1802-1859)


Another Holiday Market

This Saturday, the Hudson Farmers Market reopens for the month of December in a new location: Hudson Lodge, 601 Union Street. Today, Hudson's other farmers market, the Upstreet Market, which in the warmer months sets up in Seventh Street Park every Wednesday afternoon, begins its pre-holiday run in HFM's former winter location: the Fellowship Hall of Christ Church Episcopal, 431 Union Street.

From 4 to 7 p.m. today and every Wednesday between now and Christmas, vendors will be offering diverse and unique food and craft items. There will also a table of "gently used" household items, the purchase of which will benefit the church's outreach program. So, brave the dink and the dank of this last damp, drizzly November day, and come out to shop for your holiday giving and entertaining needs at the "Upstreet Market" Holiday Craft and Market Fair.

Preparing for the Future

As Donald Trump continues to announce his nominations for cabinet members and plans to embark tomorrow on a "victory tour" to such places as Ohio and Indiana, the media struggles with the question of whether or not Trump's tweets constitute news, and the re-count effort in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania moves ahead, many of us are still stunned and uneasy about the future. If you need a place "to decompress and get debriefed on where we are, what it means, and how we can move forward," tonight's gathering upstairs at Helsinki Hudson may be just the thing. Called Where Do We Go from Here? The Future of the Hudson Valley After a Trump Victory, the event offers a lineup of speakers:
Zack Smith, from the Bernie Sanders Network, who will provide an update on Our Revolution in New York
Virginia Martin, Democratic Commissioner of Elections for Columbia County
Jody Bolluyt, owner/manager of Roxbury Farm, who works closely with the Rural Migrant Ministry
Joseph Best, immigration attorney whose practice currently handles primarily potential deportees
Martha Harvey, executive director of the Hudson Pride Foundation and City of Hudson Police Commissioner
Jan Storm, educator and outreach coordinator for the Columbia County Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby
Devin McConnell, who will speak about nonviolent resistance education and organization
The event begins at 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Final Count on Fair & Equal

All the absentee ballots from the November 8 election have now been counted, and we now have the final word on the overwhelming success of Proposition One, the proposition to adopt wards of equal population and do away with the weighted vote in the Common Council. The chart below shows how votes were cast in each of the existing wards.

With both ballots cast at the polls and absentee ballots, Proposition One passed in every ward, but the margins were greater in absentee ballots. Eighty-two percent of the voters who submitted absentee ballots voted yes on Proposition One as compared with 67.5 percent who voted yes on Proposition One at the polls.

And Hudson Shall Have a Lodging Tax

Gossips has just received word, which originated in Assemblymember Didi Barrett's office, that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law the bill authorizing the City of Hudson to collect a lodging tax. 

Thanks to former Common Council president Don Moore for sharing the news

Following Up: As we know, Governor Cuomo had 133 bills on his desk to be signed or vetoed before midnight last night. The Times Union reports on which he approved and which he vetoed: "Cuomo vetoes more than 70 bills, signs roughly 60." Happily for Hudson, our lodging tax bill was among those he approved. 

An Explanation and an Announcement

There were no new posts yesterday because Gossips got completely distracted reading a new novel by Byrne Fone, author of Historic Hudson: An Architectural Portrait. Back in the early years of the 21st century, many people said they were writing murder mysteries set in Hudson. More than a decade later, Fone is the first--probably the only-- one to follow through.

Gossips learned early yesterday morning, from the author himself, that, in the esteemed 19th-century tradition initiated by Charles Dickens, he had published the first installment of Utopia Falls: A Jeremy Hudson Mystery on Amazon Kindle. For a mere 99 cents, anyone who has any kind of electronic device--it doesn't have to be a Kindle--can read this book in progress. Here's a quote from the author's description of the book: "When a series of brutal murders rocks the calm of the small upstate town of Utopia Falls, where native inhabitants--'Old Falls'--who have lived in the Falls for generations bitterly resent 'New Falls' residents--straight & gay antiques dealers, artists, actors, musicians, celebrities and wealthy newcomers--who have made the once sleepy town an elegant and chic destination, Jeremy Hudson, a young writer recently arrived from New York, is determined to discover the source of this animosity and who has chosen murder to further set 'Old Falls' against 'New Falls.'"

Utopia Falls is, of course, fictionalized Hudson, and a big part of what makes the book entertaining and engaging for us Hudsonians is the challenge of matching the people and places of Utopia Falls with the people and places of Hudson. Intriguing, too, is the way Fone weaves the history of Utopia Falls, discovered by his protagonist in ancient newspapers and manuscripts in the rare book room of the local library and clearly inspired by Fone's own research for Historic Hudson, into this tale of grim and brutal murder. 

What has been published so far is just the first installment. Fone invites readers to let him know if they want more. After reading the 216 pages now available, this reader earnestly hopes that Fone will finish the book.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Little Coincidence

Soon after mentioning the Hudson Iron Works in the post about Walter Ritchie's upcoming lecture, I came upon this little item in the Hudson Daily Star for May 22, 1851. Both the iron works, which were designed by Charles C. Alger, and Alger's home at 59 Allen Street were being constructed in 1851.


Happening This Week

On Thursday, December 1, as part of the Local History Speaker Series at the Hudson Area Library, Walter G. Ritchie will present his research on 59 Allen Street. The lecture, entitled "The Hudson Residence of Charles C. Alger and His Patronage of Alexander Jackson Davis," will not only explore the history and design of the house but also the life and associations of its original owner, Charles C. Alger.

Alger was the designer of the Hudson Iron Works, and, from his home at 59 Allen Street, he had a commanding view of the blast furnaces at the water's edge. 

Alger's Gothic Revival brick house was built in 1851, "embellished with wood bargeboards, finials, and eared drip moldings." It was a well-known landmark in the 19th and 20th centuries and remains so today, despite its now neglected state. 

Ritchie's lecture will reveal many of the original architectural details that survive in the house today. It will also discuss Alger's Newburgh and New York City residences and the work done at both those properties by the architect Alexander Jackson Davis, best known in Hudson for his work at the Dr. Oliver Bronson House. In his lecture, Ritchie will also detail Alger's extensive collection of works by significant 19th-century American painters and sculptors, including Hudson River School painter Sanford R. Gifford.

The lecture begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Community Room at the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gellert Gallery Revisited

Six years ago, in November 2010, Gossips published an inventory of all the buildings owned by Phil Gellert, the emperor of the notorious (in Hudson. at least) Northern Empire. At that time, there were twenty, and one of them was 718-720 Union Street.

The proposal to demolish 718-720 Union Street, presented recently to the Historic Preservation Commission by the person who intends to buy the building, inspired Gossips to revisit some of the other properties that have in the past six years passed out of Gellert ownership.

The first is 408-410 Warren Street. This building gained some notoriety back in 2011 when a dropped ceiling fell, sending occupants of the apartment below to the hospital.

In  2013, new owners of the building, the proprietors of White Whale, stripped away the plywood and other weirdness obscuring the building's intended design and restored the storefront to its original glory.

Another building that is finding new life after Gellert ownership is 102-104 North Fifth Street, the house that was, from 1893 until 1900, the original Hudson City Hospital.

In August 2015, the house was purchased from Gellert by Kamal Elmasri, who is now completing a remarkable restoration of the historic house.

Another property that has moved out of Gellert ownership and is on its way to better things is 449-451 State Street.

This poor, sad double house was purchased from Gellert at the beginning of 2015 by someone who cleaned up the interior and got it ready for resale.

Now it seems the building has been sold again, and the hope is that the new owner will restore it to its original design, before those dreadful "picture windows" were installed on the first floor. Some guidance in what was meant to be may be found in the background of this picture.

As  far as the rest of the Gellert Gallery is concerned, several of the buildings are currently for sale, notably 432 Warren Street, 221-225 Allen Street, and 29 Eighth Street, all deserving, in Gossips opinion, rescue and restoration.

Our Ever Quirky Little City

Recently, while doing research in Hudson newspapers from 1851, it struck me that the location of houses and businesses is never indicated by an address but rather by its relation to a well known building or business. For example, a house advertised for sale on Allen Street was said to be "a few rods from the Court House." Mrs. Bushnell announced that she had opened a boarding house "in the A. Hammond Building, fronting the Public Square." A barber informed his patrons that "he will continue to SHAVE and DRESS HAIR as usual at his stand in Warren street, directly opposite H. Gage's Crockery Store, and two doors below Bogardus & White's Grocery Store." An advertisement for E. Simpson, Physician and Surgeon, told those seeking his services: "His house can be found a few doors above the Mansion House, and nearly opposite the Presbyterian Church." Yet another ad announced that secondhand pianos where to be had at "Blanchard's, a few doors below Badgley's Hotel, Warren street." 

The reason for this bizarre manner of indicating location is intimated in this little item, which appeared in May 1851 in the Hudson Daily Star.

It appears that in 1851 houses and buildings in Hudson were not numbered. It is not known exactly when house numbers started being used in Hudson. It's entirely possible that the editorializing item in the Star was part of an effort to get Hudson to conform with what was done in the rest of the country. Soon after, in 1854, ads start appearing in the Star that give the addresses of businesses. The following is an example.

The headline for this ad indicates City Boot & Shoe Store is located at 317½ Warren Street. But old habits die hard, and at the end of the ad, readers are reminded that the store is "one door above Guernsey & Terry's, and directly opposite the Star Office." 

It appears that sometime in the mid-19th century--between 1851 and 1854, when the city had already been in existence for some seventy years--Hudson decided to adopt and use house numbers. Thirty-five years later--from 1888-1889--it was decided to change all the numbers on the city's west-east streets in order to introduce "hundred blocks." All done, we can assume, to make researching a building's history more challenging for us in the 21st century.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Haul Road and Lead Agency

At the Planning Board meeting on November 10, it was announced that the Department of Environmental Conservation had named the Greenport Planning Board as lead agency in reviewing the proposed Colarusso haul road from the quarry to the waterfront. At the time, Planning Board chair Tom DePietro indicated that the choice was made because "more of the project is in Greenport." More than two weeks after the Planning Board meeting, the letter from DEC that informs the planning boards of the decision and explains the rationale is now available online.

The letter explains that three criteria are used in resolving a lead agency dispute. The first is: "whether the anticipated impacts of the action being considered are primarily of statewide, regional, or local significance (i.e., if such impacts are of primarily local significance, all other considerations being equal, the local agency involved will be lead agency)." Discussing this criterion, the letter states: "The City Planning Board argues that the City would be more affected by a change in traffic patterns. The City also argues that the anticipated change in traffic patterns would have a potentially negative impact on its waterfront and at the Basilica--which the City indicates is an important venue for arts, entertainment and weddings. However, the existing truck route is also close to the Basilica and the City is not specific about how changes associated with the haul road project would impact its waterfront differently since the Project Sponsor's trucks already use the waterfront to barge its materials."

The second criterion is: "which agency has the broadest governmental powers for investigation of the impacts of the proposed action." Discussing this criterion, the letter states: "The City Planning Board indicates that there is some question as to whether the proposed haul road is in conflict with the City's zoning. However, the City Planning Board does not offer any specific information on this issue for guiding consideration of the City Planning Board's potential jurisdiction."

There is a third criterion as well: "which agency has the greatest capability for providing the most thorough environmental assessment of the proposed action." The letter does not discuss this criterion because "a designation of lead agency can be made without replying on this third criterion." The designation favored by the first and second criteria is that the Greenport Planning Board be the lead agency.

Black Friday, Hudson Style

Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market opens today at 2 p.m. for a three-hour Early Bird Kick-Off. Following that, from 5 to 9 p.m., is the Black Friday Soiree (with cocktails). The market continues on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. respectively.

In  preparation for holiday giving and entertaining, visitors can shop for handmade and vintage goods, purchase locally made food products, and enjoy farm-fresh food while doing so. Click here for more information. 

Some Things Take Time

Early images of Promenade Hill show the park without a railing along the edge.

Painting by Henry Ary, 1854

Promenade Hill, c. 1860

We  know from Anna Bradbury's History of the City of Hudson that it was 1878 when "the authorities took measures to improve the Promenade Hill, by the erection of an ornamental iron fence along the full length of its dangerous frontage." This little news item, discovered in the Hudson Daily Star for April 30, 1851, explains why a fence might have been required when it hadn't been before and reveals that the need for such a fence was recognized more than a quarter century before it was actually built. 

Twenty-seven years to provide a barrier to prevent people from tumbling down the frightful precipice. By comparison, the time it is taking the City to solve the problem of providing a handicapped ramp to Promenade Hill that is sensitive to the design of the historic landscape hardly seems extraordinary.

Lodging Tax Update

While more and more hotels are proposed for Hudson, the City awaits word on whether or not our proposed lodging tax will be approved in Albany. The legislation authorizing the tax passed in the State Senate and Assembly last summer, but it was only delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk, to be signed into law or vetoed, on Wednesday, November 16. 

According to an article that appeared in the Times Union on Wednesday, it seems our lodging tax bill was one of several that were sent to the governor's desk in the days just before Thanksgiving: "133 bills await action by Cuomo." There is speculation--denied by those involved--that inundating the governor with bills needing his attention just before the holiday weekend was retribution for his blocking a pay raise for legislators. The governor has until Monday, November 28, to act on each bill. If he takes no action, a bill automatically becomes law.

Thanks to Steve Dunn for bringing this article to our attention