Red Hook, N.Y.: A Farming Town With a Welcoming Community

The supply of some apples, eggs and radishes at farmers’ markets in New York City, based on indicators, could be one thing of a head-scratcher. Isn’t Red Hook in industrial Brooklyn?

Far from it. The produce hails from a Dutchess County city about 100 miles north that scatters simply 11,000 individuals throughout 36 sq. miles — which implies a lot of further room for rising vegetables and fruit.


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Tivoli Bay Wildlife

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Greig Farm

Bard College

Town of RED HOOK

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Tradition at Red Hook

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By The New York Times

For some latest émigrés, differentiating between the 2 Red Hooks is straightforward. “I feel more optimistic about connecting with people in Red Hook than I ever did in Brooklyn,” mentioned Luke Schneiders, 39, a social employee who relocated this spring after a decade of renting in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint, the place his railroad-style house had a sink-less lavatory. “There’s a much higher quality of life than I’m used to.”

That sense of group appears onerous received. For years, Mr. Schneiders and his spouse, Karen Alsen, 35, the schooling director for an environmental nonprofit, would take weekend “reconnaissance missions” to scout potential future houses. Then 2020 hit, bringing two occasions that put a plan into motion. One, clearly, was Covid-19, which allowed Ms. Alsen to work remotely. The different, final June, was the start of a son.

Quickly, the couple whittled their listing to 2 finalists: northern Vermont and the mid-Hudson Valley. The latter received out as a result of it was nearer to household and work.

In May, regardless of intense competitors, the couple snagged a three-bedroom home with three loos and radiant-heated flooring on greater than seven acres, for $559,000. There’s additionally a barn, “which makes me feel like I need to take up a hobby,” Mr. Schneiders joked.

If that pastime includes agriculture, he’ll be in good firm. Much of Red Hook’s light terrain is checkered with farms, particularly between Routes 9 and 9G, the place the pairing of pastures and Catskills can appear worthy of a portray.

Little Pickles is a nearly-seven-year-old toy retailer and sweet store on North Broadway in Red Hook. A longtime resident described the city as “a little bit Mayberry.”Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

All informed, crops sprout from greater than 200 properties, mentioned Cheryl Kaszluga, the city’s tax assessor. Some farms personal a number of parcels, and the variety of working farms in Red Hook is substantial, with about 70 massive ones, Ms. Kaszluga mentioned.

Newcomers additionally assist preserve the scene rustic. Under a 2006 legislation, consumers fork over a tax equal to 2 p.c of the portion of a house buy that exceeds the annual median for the city ($330,000 this yr), to fund conservation. The cash goes towards creating easements, paying farmers to not construct housing on their land. As of 2019, officers mentioned, deed restrictions by the city and not-for-profits have protected farmland representing about a quarter of your complete city, or 5,700 acres.

Still, Red Hook doesn’t really feel like a museum piece. The aptly named Old Farm Road is the location of a 52-acre, 102-unit growth known as Tradition at Red Hook, from Kirchhoff Development and Bonura Hospitality Group, that’s among the many largest new housing initiatives within the space in years. In some ways, it breaks with custom. Unlike the 1960s subdivision on next-door Cambridge Drive, blocks listed below are dense and lined with sidewalks. A grassy central rectangle that recollects a city inexperienced ensures open house (along with the 33 acres that may stay undeveloped).

“There is always an idea, when something new comes to a small town, that the flavor of the town will change,” mentioned Karen Giek, 74, a retired academic marketing consultant and 41-year city resident who purchased a house at Tradition in April, for $650,000. The single-story, two-bedroom home has an open flooring plan and customized finishes, together with granite counters.

“But change is inevitable,” Ms. Giek mentioned. As a city, she added, “we are happy to share what we have.”

12 WEST BARD AVENUE | A four-bedroom, four-bathroom home with an hooked up three-car storage, inbuilt 1980 on 1.eight acres, listed for $975,000. 917-685-8575Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

What You’ll Find

Rolling upland from the Hudson River to hills to the east, Red Hook is just not named for tomato-colored fishing deal with, though an illustration displaying that picture seems on many indicators.

Instead, the title is derived from the Dutch phrase for “red point” — how the Hudson’s Cruger Island peninsula seemed to explorers one autumn day within the 17th century when its sumac leaves had been ablaze, based on historic accounts. Today, Cruger is a part of the 1,722-acre Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area and Research Reserve, which permits mountaineering, kayaking and looking alongside inviting shoreline curves.

The city’s hamlets and villages — two apiece — have distinct personalities. The quaint and quiet village of Tivoli is a draw for weekenders, because it was greater than a century in the past when New York’s gentry, many related to the Livingston household, summered in nation estates within the space.

Some of these estates survive as non-public houses, whereas Bard College, within the hamlet of Annandale-on-Hudson, has absorbed others into its eclectic campus — amongst them Montgomery Place, a neo-Classical Livingston getaway, and Blithewood, a columned Beaux-Arts mansion.

eight SOUTHVIEW LANE | A four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home with a heated saline pool, inbuilt 2006 on four.53 acres, listed for $925,000. 845-519-7016Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

But Kelly Road, which runs by means of the middle of city, feels no-nonsense suburban, with its colonials and raised ranches.

A extra down-to-earth crowd gravitates to the village of Red Hook, which presents a mixture of eating places, yoga studios and shops on busy Broadway and Market Streets. A Hannaford grocery retailer is tucked discreetly behind bushes, however customers in want of a big-box expertise could also be higher served in Kingston, throughout the river.

What You’ll Pay

As the pandemic raged, housing stock grew scarce. On July 1, 14 single-family houses had been listed on the market, at a mean of $881,000, based on knowledge from the Mid-Hudson Multiple Listing Service, ready by Mondello Upstate Properties.

At the low finish was a bare-bones artist’s studio with a half-bathroom on 12 acres for $395,000, based on the information. The priciest, at $2.6 million, was Migliorelli Farm, a fixture each up- and downstate, that got here with a five-bedroom residence, a cider home and two ponds throughout 210 acres (the itemizing didn’t embrace the farm stands, which line roads within the area).

379 ROUTE 199 |A four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom ranch-style home with a deck, inbuilt 1987 on three acres, listed for $445,000. 973-229-6875Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Sales have been brisk. Through June 30, 61 single-family homes had offered this yr, at a mean of $484,000, based on data supplied by Margaret Niekrewicz, an affiliate dealer with Mondello. In comparability, throughout the identical interval in 2019 (a extra apt level of reference than 2020, which was hobbled by months with out in-person showings), there have been 43 gross sales, at a mean of $327,000.

“It’s been city buyers, local buyers, a little bit of everything,” Ms. Niekrewicz mentioned.

The Vibe

Farms could also be a characteristic somewhere else, however Red Hook turns them into cultural sizzling spots. At the 300-acre Greig Farm, guests can decide blueberries, purchase artisanal cleaning soap and browse oil work. Rose Hill Farm, established in 1798, serves onerous cider in a year-old taproom in a restored, beam-lined barn. Hardeman Orchards holds weekend live shows in an 1850s barn (a reggae band is scheduled to play there on July 17).

Others really feel nearly like sculpture parks. At Heermance Farm, colourful steel items compete for consideration with a circa-1750 stone house.

Greig Farm, which encompasses greater than 300 acres, has turn out to be a cultural hub like many Red Hook farms. It has a market, cafe and artwork gallery, however you may also decide blueberries and feed the goats there.Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

For a soundtrack, there’s WKZE, an unbiased FM station broadcasting from North Broadway. On a latest afternoon, it spun a fuzz-toned cowl of the Grateful Dead’s “Cumberland Blues” into James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.”

Popular annual events embrace September’s Hardscrabble Day, a parade-focused occasion named for an early Red Hook village moniker. “We’re a little bit Mayberry,” Ms. Niekrewicz mentioned.

The Schools

The public faculty system, which enrolls about 1,640 college students, is taken into account sturdy within the area. The two-in-one providing of Mill Road Primary and Mill Road Intermediate serves youngsters in prekindergarten by means of fifth grade, in a advanced surrounded by farmland. Students proceed on to Linden Avenue Middle School for sixth by means of eighth grade.

In 2019, the latest yr out there, 56 p.c of scholars within the district met requirements on state English exams, versus 45 p.c statewide. On state math exams, 49 p.c of scholars met requirements, versus 47 p.c statewide.

Red Hook High School has a 91 p.c commencement charge, in contrast with 85 p.c statewide. Since 2001, it has supplied the International Baccalaureate’s diploma curriculum to juniors and seniors, one in every of few Hudson Valley colleges to take action. In 2020, SAT averages on the faculty had been 579 in studying and writing, and 588 in math, in contrast with 536 in every statewide.

The Montgomery Place Historic Estate, a former nation retreat of the Livingston household, is now a part of Bard. This summer time, the 380-acre grounds are open to the general public on Mondays. House excursions stay suspended.Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

The Commute

Residents who commute each day to New York City are uncommon. Those who go in sometimes usually take Amtrak from Rhinecliff, a hamlet in Rhinebeck, which usually presents 4 trains to Pennsylvania Station between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. Rhinecliff is about a 15-minute drive; the practice takes about an hour and 40 minutes, and fares begin at $23.

Driving to Midtown Manhattan takes about two hours, relying on site visitors.

The History

Behind a brick wall on West Market Street stands Maizefield, a late 18th-century home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The builder was David Van Ness, a Continental Army captain. His nephew, William Van Ness, a confidant of Aaron Burr, loaded the vice chairman’s pistol for the 1804 duel that killed Alexander Hamilton. (William will get name-checked within the musical “Hamilton,” within the tune “The World Was Wide Enough.”) Some accounts counsel that Burr hid in Maizefield, then a part of Rhinebeck, after taking pictures Hamilton. But extra proof factors to Burr’s mendacity low within the close by city of Kinderhook, on the property now often known as Lindenwald.

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