We get it. The standard 3 bed/2 bath 1500 square foot split-level Ranch isn’t going to cut it for you. You want something unusual. You want to pull into the driveway and gasp with delight at the house you own. Your friends and acquaintances will invite themselves over just to catch a glimpse of the inside of your house, the coolest house on the block. You want a place that you never, ever, ever want to leave on Monday morning. In that case, cast your discerning eye this-a-way and behold a former Catholic oratory, an eclectic tower, and a geodesic dome, all located in Ulster County, west of the Hudson, approximately 3 hours from Brooklyn.
It’s not too late to find your perfect upstate New York summer escape. The Brownstoner Upstate rental listings include a bumper crop of seasonal, short-term rentals as well as longer leases. Don’t want to commit to a purchase? Maybe you want to try the Hudson Valley and Catskills on for size before you take the big plunge? Considering spending some quality time up north in one of these rentals from Columbia and Ulster Counties.
Why Woodstock and Willow, you ask? If you’re asking, then you’ve probably never been. Woodstock’s charms have been widely disseminated throughout the land, but the wee hamlet of Willow, located just outside of Woodstock has charms all its own. The woodsy kind. Not a walkable, artsy, and famous village like Woodstock. Willow is for nature-lovers, looking to hide away. Woodstock and Willow do have one thing in common, though: Both are on an NYC bus route. The Trailways stops in the middle of Woodstock village, and it also picks up here in Willow hamlet. Would we suggest living in Woodstock and Willow without a car? Probably not. But the option to ride instead of drive is nothing to sneeze at for some trying to reduce their car usage. So, this week, we’ve handpicked properties in Woodstock and Willow, all convenient to public transportation.
Few things spark our fancy like the thought of a rambling farmhouse upstate. Luckily, such properties abound in the Brownstoner Upstate real estate listings, too many to post all at once, in fact. So we took the liberty of paring down the list to four of our favorites, ranging in price from $450,000 to $299,000, located in Columbia and Ulster Counties. Now, we understand that some of the handier among us prefer the fantasy of fixing up and refurbishing a farm house in the country. The reality of a project like that, however, is far more laborious and time-consuming than some want (suggested reading: Country Matters by Michael Korda). For those who like their farmhouses turn-key, this one’s for you.
That Friday afternoon drive to the country is long enough. Why add an extra hour along windy back roads at night just to get to your upstate abode’s driveway? We think you shouldn’t. Get home faster by sticking close to the main thoroughfares.
This week, we’ll be doing just exactly that by looking at some fabulous housing situated 10 minutes or less from the Taconic State Parkway, which runs east of the Hudson River, passing through both Dutchess and Columbia Counties.
Think Ranch-style homes are boring and lackluster? Think again. You never know when the most nondescript exterior is concealing a classy arrangement on the inside, maybe even a Mid-Century Modern gem in a plain brown wrapper. We’ve excavated a mother load of attractive traditional one-story and split level versions in Ulster, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties, ranging in price from $189,500 to $799,000. Continue to plumb the depths of all the Brownstoner Upstate listings here. Perhaps you’ll discover your own buried treasures.
Close proximity to the Hudson River doesn’t necessarily mean you have to drop a small fortune on a house. If you know which river towns to explore for more bang for your buck, you might find yourself living in a sweet deal not far from the area’s most famous water body. This week, we’ll be looking at four properties listed for less than $300,000, all located in Hudson River towns.
This week, we pose the following question: Why be satisfied with just the house and some land? Why not look for a two-fer? Or a three-fer? Or a six-fer? That’s exactly what we’ve done this week on Brownstoner Upstate. We’ve scoured the listings in search of properties that come with a little something extra thrown in, like a guest house, or an extra apartment, or a barn or two. Our offerings hail from Woodstock, Kingston, Copake and Accord. Copake is located in Columbia County, east of the Hudson River. The rest are in Ulster County, west of the Hudson.
Hankering for a little piece of land in addition to your dream Catskill Mountains cottage? We’ve got you covered this week with four properties spread throughout the Catskills from Shandaken, Ulster County to Margaretville and Roxbury in Delaware County to Bovina in Sullivan County. All are situated on at least an acre of land and include some privacy making them perfect options for part-time or full-time living.
On July 4th, 1902, the bands marched, politicians waxed poetic, and the people celebrated on this, the grand opening of the Warren Hill Park, on top of Mount Ida, overlooking downtown Troy. The year before, after a few positive voices of agreement, along with the usual contentious wrangling and pompous posturing, the City Council of Troy voted in favor of purchasing the parkland to create Troy’s newest and most important public park.
After debating the issue for several years, the city finally owned the land. Now it was time to hurry up and wait. People wanted to see the view that had made Mount Ida famous, a panoramic vista that on a good day, allowed people to see for miles around. Troy lies in the Hudson River valley between the Catskills and the Adirondacks, and the view from the top of the mountain would allow you to see both ranges. It was a great place to take in the summer breezes and escape the hustle and bustle of one of the nation’s busiest and wealthiest cities. The only problem was that in the rush to get people in the park, they hadn’t yet gotten around to finishing it. In fact, it was barely begun.
That was not the fault of the city’s parks landscape engineer. Garnet D. Baltimore had already scoped out other cities and their parks, including Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, and had great ideas on how to make Warren Hill Park a masterpiece. But first he needed to have his plans and a budget approved. Mr. Baltimore was a scrupulous record keeper, and the Troy newspapers faithful commentators, so we know what he had to go through to get the job done. For more background on the park and the man, check out Part One and Part Two of this story. (more…)
After the great successes of New York City’s wonderful parks, such as Manhattan’s Central and Riverside Parks, as well as Brooklyn’s Prospect and Fort Greene Parks, every city in the country was envious. Cities are judged by their public buildings and public spaces, and by the beginning of the 20th century, almost every municipality and its civic movers and shakers wanted to have exemplary parks. Parks were places that every citizen, high and low, could enjoy the beauties of nature, fresh air, and room to relax.
For many urban areas, that was key to a better quality of life and a happier populace. Thanks to the philosophies of the City Beautiful Movement, city fathers also thought that parks, like great public buildings, would inspire the lower classes to civic pride, and therefore industrious behavior, better citizenship and moral uplifting. Parks were also a chance for city fathers, committee heads, wealthy donors, and ambitious landscape designers to shine. They all knew they were creating places that would live on after they were long gone. (more…)
We had a grand time finding this week’s batch of hot listings. All of them are located in Columbia County east of the Hudson River and north of Dutchess County, and all of them are simple, sophisticated, classic, and mostly affordable, ranging from a contemporary 1990s Ranch to a mid-19th century farmhouse. Which one do you think is our favorite? Which one is your favorite?