Woodstock New York Still Attracts Artsy Songwriters

4 years ago

I had an opportunity to stop through Woodstock New York in upstate New York after a friend's wedding last month. Woodstock is most known for its wild rock and roll (and drug) parties and famous festival in the 1960's. It also has a historical past as far back as the 1800s, when it played host to numerous Hudson River School painters.

The Arts and Crafts Movement came to Woodstock in 1902, with the arrival of Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Bolton Brown and Hervey White, who formed the Byrdcliffe Colony. In 1906, L. Birge Harrison and others founded the Summer School of the Art Students League of New York in the area, primarily for landscape painting.

Ever since, Woodstock has been considered an active artists colony and today, you can still find numerous art galleries and locals doing everything from oil painting to pottery and beads.

The Town of Woodstock is in the northern part of the county, northwest of Kingston, New York and lies within the borders of Catskill Park.Those who are old enough to remember the Woodstock Sound-Outs were staged at Pan Copeland's Farm on the outskirts of the village (just over the Town of Saugerties line) from 1967 to 1970.

These featured folk and rock acts like Richie Havens, Paul Butterfield, Dave van Ronk andVan Morrison. Together with Woodstock's reputation as a summer arts colony, the Sound-Outs inspired the original Woodstock Festival's organizers to plan their concert in the town; however, the town turned down their permit and the "Woodstock Festiva"l was actually held almost 60 miles away at Max Yasgur's Farm in the Sullivan County town of Bethel. Today, it has remnants of its 1960's days, but feels a helluva lot more conservative. Shops, restaurants, cafes, and art galleries are strung through the main little town.

There's a quirkiness about the place which you can see from the heart motif, its history in arts and music and the umpteen stores selling everything from magical soaps and incense to jewelry and coffee. The below photos were taken in a fascinating little store called Candlestock that sells candles....lots of candles.

Shops and cafes line the main two drags.

The foliage was close to prime on that crisp fall afternoon and evening in late October. There isn't much to do in the town itself however the surrounding area is beautiful and there are some nice restaurants and cafes where you can take a breather on your way to New York City.

Woodstock is roughly a 15-20 minute detour and worth the stop especially if you have any connection to old fashioned rock and roll or are a wannabe hippie.


Renee Blodgett, Founder: Down the Avenue, We Blog the World, Magic Sauce Media

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