Up The Hudson

November 11-13, 2017

This trip started on November 11, 2017--but really it began a few weeks earlier when I had discovered that my art student, graphic designer, photographer roommate had not yet been up to Dia:Beacon after more than a year living in New York City. Her birthday was coming up, and we'd both been complaining about getting out of the city for a long weekend, and suddenly it seemed like the universe was telling us to haul our asses upstate. We decided that there were three vitally important things to accomplish in as many days: see Dia:Beacon (obvious, but important), take advantage of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, and drive. As two Los Angeles transplants, Kiana and I loved driving to the nth degree, and we both missed it terribly. Around the same time, we had been kicking around ideas for building a publication or a brand together. On our trip up the Hudson, we began to build up a strong foundation, a mission statement, and coalesce a clear vision for what would become Break.

We caught the 5:32 Metro North from Grand Central and got off at Beacon where we took a car to our hotel in Fishkill. We could have planned it infinitely better--we almost missed our dinner reservation because we had to go out to Fishkill and back to Beacon to the restaurant. We also got drivers who were so excited to tell us about the prison we were driving past and play Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" on repeat--it was a super fun time. 

Dinner was at The Roundhouse in Beacon. I love me a prix fixe. The food was incredible and the panoramic view of the low peaceful waterfall was offensively romantic. I told Kiana she was wasting this on me while her boyfriend was way out in California. 

The next morning we went back to Beacon for breakfast and museum shenanigans. Dia:Beacon was beautiful, and we got there early enough that it was quiet for most of our visit. 

Kiana and I make no secret of our absolute passion for diner food. One day, there will doubtless be an entire post dedicated to our favorite diners. Probably multiple posts. But even diner food is ridiculously expensive in New York City, and so we try to reserve it for special occasions, or especially stressful moments (we spent the morning that the Skirball Fire put our families on evacuation notice in our favorite booth at a nearby diner). 

We got breakfast at a delightfully mirrored diner in Beacon and walked through the town down to the museum. It was a superbly chilly morning, and neither of us were fully prepared for the wind, which was vicious despite the bright and beautiful sky. Down at the museum, we warmed up in the bookshop, where Kiana found mentions of her professors in typography books. We wandered, sat, admired, sketched, and photographed the museum for a couple hours before heading down to the train station and catching a train to Cold Spring. 


Cold Spring looks like it belongs in a movie set. We got off the train and walked down through trees that were still green and lush despite it being November. The main street is dotted with antique shops, general stores and cute restaurants. It's abundantly clear that this has become the trendy weekend getaway from the city. After lunch at Hudson Hills Cafe (we wandered around a few antique shops as we waited for a table to open up), we walked down to the Cold Spring General Store where you can buy ridiculously beautiful, locally-made goods for painfully high prices. It was getting really cold, but we headed to the river as dusk grew nearer and took some super cute photos to prove that we'd been there. 

After our fingers started going numb, we stopped in at the sweetest coffee shop, Rincon Argentina, for hot chocolate and churros. We caught the train back to Beacon and had the panicked realization that we had forgotten our Zipcar fob to unlock the car we'd reserved. A few phone calls later we cancelled the Zipcar without penalty, and had decided that the Enterprise in Poughkeepsie was our best bet. By then it was pretty late and we started worrying there wouldn't be anywhere left open to grab dinner, but we shouldn't have worried. We walked over and got burgers and shakes at the Red Line Diner in Fishkill, where Kiana began her sketches for the logo and branding of this publication. We sat in our booth for hours and started really building out what Break was and wasn't going to be.

We went back over the next morning for breakfast before going up to Poughkeepsie when Enterprise opened. There was some concern and logistics issues with the fact that we were 19--usually there was an approval process that took a few days for anyone under 21. The staff there were incredible (we love you guys! special thanks to Pietyr!) and managed to get approval in less than an hour and hooked us up with Genoise, our trusty Hyundai. We made a quick stop to pick up water and a couple disposable cameras at a CVS, and headed up Taconic State Parkway. 

Our drive had two initial goals: to get back behind the wheel of a car (we're from LA, taking our cars is like ripping off a limb) and to see the changing leaves. Without much of a plan (but a kick ass playlist compiled over the previous two days) we set our destination as Taconic State Park and decided to go from there. Our drive took us up to the state park, over into Connecticut (the town that Stars Hollow was based on!) and back to Beacon, where we said our tearful goodbyes to Genoise and got on our train back to Grand Central.