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Guest Blog: Roving Reporter La Reine Explores the Hudson Valley


Another Exciting Guest Blog From La Reine!

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Since there was not a Notre Dame home game this weekend, my husband The Big Guy (TBG) and I found ourselves at home in New York City instead of jetting off to our alma mater to fill our season ticket holder seats! This meant we had a whole free Sunday to occupy. My husband decided it was a good time to see and photograph the Northeast’s colorful Fall foliage. To see the best foliage in our tri-state area, The Weather Channel was recommending a trip to the Hudson Valley.

TBG asked me to arrange a scenic car trip for Sunday up the Hudson Valley…not more than 2 hours driving time from NYC. SCORE! The NY Times had recently run an article on spending an antiques weekend in the Hudson Valley. Naturally, as every good “antiquing diva” does, I had saved this article which meant we had a great scenic route to follow north. And then we had a different scenic route to follow back to NYC. And even better, I was loaded with shopping recommendations along the way.

We left NYC early after a Starbucks stop, and crossed the Hudson on the George Washington Bridge and went north along the gorgeous Palisades Parkway until we reached route 9W North. From there we took this local road, filled with scenery, restaurants and shops, and shockingly little traffic. After several impromptu pullovers for perfect scenic photo ops, we drove slowly through West Point, the US Military School, to enjoy the beautiful campus. Then we continued north through Hyde Park, home of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and passed many antique stores and markets (not a very pretty town). Here we also drove past the FDR Home and Library, and the Vanderbilt home… we decided next time we’d spend more time in Hyde Park and enjoy both the antiquing and the cultural stops, but since we had another 60 miles to cover, we kept going.

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SPtTdtyUYjI/AAAAAAAACEY/kMHwbjFFMaA/s320/282_banner.png” border=”0″ />We continued slowly up 9W until we came to Rhinebeck and Asher House Antiques. My heart started beating faster: this is my kind of store – loaded with French and English antiques, big and small, expensive and very affordable! As I always do, I started picking out things I already own, to get a sense of pricing for what I purchased while living in Europe, and what I’d have to pay to buy them in the US… thankfully I made good purchases while living in Europe! In the end we only purchased a few small items, an aged French terra cotta flower pot being my favorite. But, after we paid and were heading out, the owner said: “It’s almost 11:00, the antiques fair is opening”.

“Antiques Fair? What Antiques Fair?” I asked!

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SPtTBbd___I/AAAAAAAACEQ/m2oL2vLcLSI/s320/RHNBKANTFAIR_LOGOcolor2%2520%252012.jpg” border=”0″ />The Rhinebeck Antiques Fair was held October 11th and 12th 2008 at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck…less than a mile up the road! Several other shoppers at Asher were on their way… they were just waiting until 11am for the Fair to open.

TBG and I were famished. Deciding to bypass the food court at the Fair, we opted instead to brunch at Calico, a cute little restaurant and patisserie located next door to Asher House. Since we were in CIA territory, we were anticipating many of the local restaurants would have CIA graduate chefs, and we were very pleased with Calico. I had smoked salmon and toast points with crème fraiche, onion and capers, TBG enjoyed a steak panini. Prior to being served we were treated with hot homemade yeast rolls. Throughout our meal we watched the locals practically buying out the pastry counter: we were too late to score the very popular chocolate chunk cookies, but we did buy a few oatmeal-with-raisin cookies for the car. The other pastries were tempting…but looked too sticky for a car ride.

Before we made it back to the car, we took a little walk around Rhinebeck: it’s a charming downtown filled with antiques shops, restaurants and boutiques. I stopped in Cesare + Lili, a women’s boutique, and now own a beautiful new cream sweater cape…I was chilled since it was much colder up north than in NYC! TBG found a pair of khakis on sale… a very pretty, walkable little downtown, we’ll be back!

With the back of our SUV rapidly filling up with bags, and not even being halfway along our route, we headed to the Rhinebeck Antiques Fair. Held entirely indoors, the Fair has a good mix of antiques and vintage, everything from furniture to Christmas ornaments to books to jewelry to dishware, leaning towards a country motif, but with plenty of goodies that even the most urban shopper would enjoy…in short, an antiquer’s heaven. And there were plenty of “mantiques” to distract TBG: he found a booth specializing in antique sports equipment, so found a sympathetic ear to discuss the tragic ND v UNC game the day before. We’re on the mailing list for this fair: the next date is sometime in the Spring, probably May. Check the website. That will be the perfect excuse to return to beautiful downtown Rhinebeck! One last stop: the food court. We had 2 very good, but expensive, cappuccinos to go!

Back in the car, continuing up 9W towards Hudson, another 60 miles north. Along the way, a few more Kodak moments and stops at a few garden centers to buy our fall gourds, pumpkins and mums. Finally, we reached Hudson. This main street is filled with antique and vintage stores and restaurants, but this is not a pretty town. It looks like it was a pretty town, and it could again be a pretty town, but the local Chamber of Commerce needs to put some thought and money into making Hudson a destination spot. We ended up buying only a book (Pierre Deux’s French Country: A Style and Source Book, 1984) at Hudson City Books on Warren, the main thoroughfare. We were both disappointed…I doubt we would make Hudson our destination in the future, although if we were in the neighborhood, we’d happily spend some time visiting the shops again.

Back in the car to NYC, this time taking the Taconic Parkway, again very scenic and shockingly car-free. In all, this perfect day of beautiful scenery, leisurely antique browsing, good food, and fabulous company took 11 hours, covering 230 miles. What a pleasant way to spend a gorgeous Sunday!

Ciao!
La Reine

Guest Blog – Impressionist Giverny Comes to New York

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Today’s blog comes to you “Live From New York”! The Contessa,a New York state-based antiques dealer and Diva reader, has written to The Antiques Diva™ to share details on a stateside exhibition of “American Painters in France from 1885- 1915”.

The Contessa’s conversational writing style is a joy, harking back to her days as a radio personality. I am delighted to say that The Contessa is joining the team of regular diva reporters as she’ll be writing a series of upcoming guest blogs which are sure to daze & amaze! Thanks Contessa!

The Antiques Diva™

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The Contessa – Impressionist Giverny Comes to New York

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>If you can’t afford a trip to Europe this year but happen to be in the New York state capital, there is a fix Francais for you. Impressionist Giverny – American Painters in France, 1885-1915 is currently on display through January 4th at the Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany, NY.

Giverny, the French village where Claude Monet did some of his most beautiful works, attracted hundreds of artists – many American – through the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The beauty represented in Monet’s art attracted so many artists from around the world that it transformed the village from a sleepy hamlet to a colorful and thriving community.

More than 50 of those stunning oil paintings from American artists who lived in Giverny are on display, including “The Terrace Walls” by Will Hicok Low, “The Card Players” by Theodore Earl Butler and “Mabel Conkling” by Frederick William Macmonnies. The exhibit was originally presented by the Musee d’Art Americain in Giverny, France.

Admission to the display also includes admission to the Institute Museum as well. There are gallery talks on this exhibit by a museum docent every Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm.

Head to Albany over the next 2 1/2 months and soak up this wonderful gem of an exhibition!

The Contessa

Guest Blog: Trash The Dress

Dear Diva’s –

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Kelli, The Diva’s Wardrobe Stylist Extraordinaire, is back again for yet another “guest blog” – this time sharing a radical new concept in Wedding Planning & Photography…. Happy Reading!

The Antiques Diva™

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Some of you may be asking yourselves “What is she talking about?” But, my dear Antiques Diva readers… I’m telling you to Trash The Dress!! Your wedding dress that is!

This is cutting edge bridal photography and one of the latest, hot concepts finally making itself known to the general public. Trash The Dress sessions have been around a few years but seems like only dedicated creatives, professional photographers and folks in the wedding planning business knew this idea existed!

I, a rather “newly-wed” myself, personally think the idea is brilliant!! Why suffocate your wedding dress in a box for the rest of its life? You are married now and you have wonderful memories to cherish from your unforgettable day! And ladies, PLEASE, you know darn well that your daughter will not want to wear your dress 20-30 years from now! Why settle for your beautiful gown be stashed away in a closet somewhere when you have the possibility of calling a local Trash The Dress photographer for your very own session!!?? Ladies, bring your dresses out, steam them or have them pressed and put them on for the photo shoot of a lifetime!

I need to mention that I am not talking about posed, everyday, and sometimes rather boring wedding photos. MAIS NON! This concept is all about edgy, editorial type photos. I have been so inspired since my friend and stellar make-up artist Maggie Hansen, owner of Dolled Up Industries, told me all about the shoot she worked on in January that I decided to book very own Trash The Dress photo shoot with tography.com/” target=”_blank”>Chris Austin!! I am so excited about this creative & exceptional opportunity! I am planning a “Vogue-like” shoot at a vineyard in Southern California for early summer. Stay tuned for a photo or two of my Trashed Dress!

While you are here, check out a couple of my favorite Trash the Dress photographers, Chelsea Nicole and San Diego’s very own tography.com/” target=”_blank”>Chris Austin. I, like many brides, feel their wedding photos are pretty, but what about their personality? Why doesn’t it shine through in the photos? Ladies, a TTD session is the time to show the camera, and us, who you are!

There are so many wonderful venues to Trash YOUR Dress. Ladies, Brides-to-Be, Newlyweds… think grandiose and be outstandingly creative!! A vineyard, a château, a pumpkin patch, a strawberry field, an apple orchard, an old mining town, a river, the streets of Paris, London, Rome, a beach, a farm, an old train, Opera Garnier, a beautiful bridge in the Alps… the possibilities are truly endless!!

Many Thanks to my good friend The Antiques Diva for this opportunity to guest blog with her!

Until next time…

Keep the Inspiration, Keep it Glamorous, Be Beautiful!

Your Wardrobe Stylist Extraordinaire,
Kelli (Pre Trash The Dress Shoot)

If you are interested in more information about my Styling & Wardrobe services, please email me at kellimdj@gmail.com.

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