A Haiku Day in Hudson, NY.

#haikureview by LA Markuson

This summer we’re touring all over the continent, and doing deep dives into some of the most intriguing, beautiful, and fascinating places we can find. On Tuesday, I spent the day in Hudson, NY, exploring, meeting locals, and intermittently working on a series of 120 haiku for a corporate commission. Typical workday for a run of the mill typewriter haikuist, I’d say.

I started my morning at Moto Coffee, an extensive and impressive motorcycle shop that happens to have a gleaming espresso bar in the front. I was expecting to crank out a bunch of the haiku I owed our client, and maybe whip up a few for passersby in between, but I was pleasantly surprised by the steady stream of friendly and curious passersby. Moto is obviously the place to be on a fresh spring morning in Hudson. The owner is the kindest man, and said his haiku was the best haiku he’d ever read. A lot of people sat next to me over the course of the morning, at least 30, and told be extremely intimate stories about themselves, their struggles, their dreams. And my macchiato was impeccable.

By about 2pm I had made serious progress on my commissioned poems, and was starving. I wandered down the road to Talbott & Arding, where I picked up a shining golden cloud of ciabatta, sweet and savory carrot cumin dip, and a tiny wheel of sheep’s cheese. Picnic in hand, I went down to the river to eat and ponder my existence.

I am researching the most interesting and historic event spaces I can find, and thusly knew I had to visit Basilica Hudson. They set up a time for me to visit right away, and let me in the building to explore to my great pleasure. The space is a huge old warehouse of factory, and they’ve opened everything up so it can take on any feeling the event needs. It’s rustic, but also can feel thoughtfully elegant. It’s enormous, but can be designed to swaddle an intimate group as well. And the light… it’s like what light always wished it was and knew it could be. It’s like an ancient cloud castle.

I should note that in between every stop on my trip I visited antique shops. Hudson must be the capital of beautiful and strange old things. I almost bought a shoe shining throne from a shop across from the train station, but luckily Erick stopped me. Or so he thinks…

As the sun started to drift down the upturned bowl of sky, I wandered the backstreets of Hudson, marveling at the architecture. Federal, Victorian, Queen Anne, and many other styles of home, shack, and manse all nestled up together, in various states of disrepair or immaculate restoration. I had read about the wildly popular The Croff House and stopped by to visit. Their neighbors had three very scary sharpeis, and nobody seemed to be home. I’ll have to stay there next time to do proper reconnaissance.

I met our typewriter repair specialist and local politician, Peter, at Swoon Kitchen Bar for dinner. That turned out to be a very, very good idea. We had a little gem salad, fresh pea risotto, and local mystery mushroom tempura in savory dashi broth, which was my personal favorite. One of us ate almost an entire loaf of freshly made country bread, and it was not me.

I still have so much more to see in Hudson, including other beautiful venues like The Tin Ballroom and Hudson Valley Weddings on The Hill, not to mention the myriad galleries in town that tend to only be open on the weekends. I’ll return again before the leaves turn too, to see what else is in store.

the host at swoon’s topic was “native plants”

Overall Score: 8.8

Much love.

(Have a town you want us to visit this summer? Email us at bark@thehaikuguys.com and we’ll try to make it there)