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Exclusive | A Weekend on the Hudson Part Two

Exclusive | A Weekend on the Hudson Part Two

A few gay days in New York State's Hudson River Valley.

Tarrytown should be already marked on your map as a lovely getaway for the urbane gay or lesbian traveler. This charming village's MetroNorth station is right on the Hudson, and its thoroughfare is Main Street, featuring red brick buildings such the Tarrytown Music Hall and turn-of-the-century architecture. There are numerous gift shops, vintage furniture stores, and antiques galore. There are several caf?s such as Coffee Labs Roasters (7 Main St; 914-332-1479), a pet-friendly destination offering fresh, fantastic coffee.

There is a strong gay presence in Tarrytown that includes openly gay owners of some of the Main St. businesses. Christopher Brazil of Michael Christopher Antiques (23 Main St.; 914-366-4665) is one such owner who affirms a widespread gay population north of New York's five boroughs. His store is full of classic European antiques including a beautiful wood-inlaid men's vanity (the mirror is at eye level because, according to Brazil, "a man would never sit to groom himself" back in the 19th century.

Apt 28 (28 Main St.; 914-332-1110) is another great gay-owned and managed store featuring beautifully arranged vintage furniture, decorative and functional tchochkes, and fancy jewelry. Joe Hill, one of the owners and coincidentally an Out Traveler subscriber, designed the kitschy and oh-so-pleasant interior right down to the white distressed wood floors. His savvy and charming New York business partner, Bruce Weinberg, also loves the area for its charm and vicinity to midtown Manhattan.

Tarrytown borders the town of Sleepy Hollow, the famed location of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. A crazy Halloween destination given its famous (and seasonably appropriate) ghost story, Tim Burton made a film in 1999 about the headless horseman with Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane.

Irving's quaint farming homestead, known as Sunnyside (914-631-8200), is not only open to visits, but the tour guides wear period clothing (and some are even period height, the adorable 5'6 average). Irving, who traveled extensively in Europe as a writer and diplomat, lived and died a bachelor. While most historians gently deny that he may have played for our team the intrigue is not without some merit.

The best historic home to wrap up your trip before heading home has to be Kykuit, (914-631-8200) the Rockefeller estate. This billionaire family's beautiful and somehow subtly opulent home and gardens are surprisingly less ostentatious than, for example, the estates in Newport, Rhode Island. The interior of the mansion feels downright cozy, while the classical moldings and architecture are well juxtaposed by modern art.

The best surprise here is the basement art gallery. Nelson Rockefeller's collection of modern art includes works by Calder, Segal, and his favorite, Picasso.

Part One | Part Two

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Joseph Alexiou