Ellen’s Picks – Weekend of December 2 and beyond


All addresses are in Hudson, unless otherwise indicated.




Winter Walk!

This Saturday night, December 2, the Hudson Opera House/Hudson Hall annual holiday celebration, comes of age with the 21st anniversary of Winter Walk, Hudson’s largest, liveliest, and most colorful event of the year. – For one magical evening, Hudson’s unique, creative community and independent retailers transform Hudson’s mile-long historic main street into a winter wonderland full of music, performance, food, holiday cheer, and family fun.  Join the crowd of thousands comprised of Hudson and Columbia County residents, and visitors from outside the region, all helping to kick off the holiday season.

What’s new, you ask? At least one Santa will be seen playing the saxophone as usual, but the real Santa will be in his new location at Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House, attending to his business of checking up on small children and handing out gifts.

Santa and his elves are not the only ones who have been busy; Hudson’s creative artists have also been hard at work.  Artist George Kroenert’s colorful light sculptures can be seen in the Opera House windows.  Upstairs in the newly renovated performance hall, choreographer Adam Weinert’s new dance production, Rip the Nut, combines two beloved tales— the story behind Tchaikovsky’s familiar Nutcracker Suite, and Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle.  Guest artists are coming from NYC just for this occasion, and many students from local dance companies, arranged by Elena Mosley of Operation Unite, are participating.  The narrators for the performance include Antoine Geurlain, and Shanekia McIntosh. Starting at 5:15 pm, the performance will be repeated as a narrative loop, with each cycle approximately 25 minutes long.  You can drop in at any time.  No reservation necessary! – Hudson Hall, Hudson Opera House, 327 Warren Street

Ukrainian-born and now Hudson resident Maryna Bilak Haughton has designed and built a Ukrainian Winter Star sculpture/installation to be placed at the intersection of First & Warren Streets for Winter Walk. Based on a traditional Ukrainian symbol, the brightly-lit, three-dimensional wooden structure stands eight feet tall with eight lit rays emanating from the center.  Ideologically it is a symbol of order and the world creation, says Bilak Haughton.  It connects all sides of the world and indicates absolute balance, harmony and equilibrium.

Where’s the action?  It will be all around you, with a special children’s challenge below Third Street called the Where’s George the Gingerbread Man? Scavenger Hunt – Junior sleuths are invited to join the hunt by visiting shops and stores below Third Street during Winter Walk.  Pick up a passport at the Ukrainian Star sculpture at First Street, and collect stamps by visiting the shops and stores below Third to find “George.”  Once stamps are collected, the scavenger/hunter picks up a prize gingerbread man cookie at Dish Hudson, at the corner of First Street.

The live reindeer and llamas are absent this year, but baby goats and miniature horses will be seen in the 400 block. Take a peek in the windows of the houses in Santa’s Village in Seventh Street Park.   Just like the houses in Hudson itself, many have undergone rehab and restoration.  Three new houses have been added to the village.

Don’t forget the businesses and restaurants on Columbia Street and some of the side streets. Both the new, from House Rules Café, decorated for the night as Candy Land, and Lil Deb’s Oasis, occupying the space once known as Little  Debbie’s Restaurant, to the historic Vasilow’s Confectionery, filling your chocolate needs for generations.

For information on parking and traffic patterns for the night of Winter Walk, consult the map on the Hudson Hall website at www.hudsonhall.org, or call 518-822-1438.  If you are driving to Winter Walk, prepare to start early to find a parking spot.  Do not park in a private parking lot unless you have permission from the owner.

Dress warmly, wear your funniest hat and that holiday sweater you’ve been saving for a special occasion—This is the occasion! – Winter Walk begins at 5 and ends with fireworks from Promenade Hill at 8 pm.  See you there!

P.S.  While the fireworks signal the official end of Winter Walk, the merriment continues with several “after parties.”

A Dance Party with DJ Ted Patterson and Adam Wienert’s “Rip Van Winklers” will be at the Basilica (110 South Front Street) beginning at 9 pm (Suggested cover charge)

The Half Moon (48 South Front Street) hosts Botanica with DJ Ephraim Asili – Dancing, hot drinks, and mistletoe over every seat. (Cover charge)

Helsinki Hudson (405 Columbia Street) presents the Martin Sexton Trio beginning at 9 pm (A ticketed event)

Marine Penvern Atelier (701 Warren Street) hosts a Samba Bash with Erminia Apolinario



Saturday-Sunday, December 3

Films at TSL:

The Square – Christian is the respected curator of a contemporary art museum. – His next show is “The Square,” an installation which invites passersby to altruism. But sometimes it is difficult to live up to your own ideals.  Christian’s foolish response to the theft of his phone drags him into shameful situations. – Meanwhile, the museum’s PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for “The Square.”  The response is overblown and sends Christian, as well as the museum, into an existential crisis. – Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. – In English, Danish, and Swedish with subtitles

78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene – In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho changed film history forever with its taboo shower scene.  With 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits over the course of three minutes, Psycho redefined screen violence, set the stage for decades of slasher films to come, and introduced a new element of danger to the moviegoing experience…..78/52 pulls back the curtain on the making and influence of this cinematic game changer, breaking it down frame by frame and unpacking Hitchcock’s dense web of allusions and double meanings.  The result is an enthralling piece of cinematic detective work that’s nirvana for film buffs.

Aida’s Secrets – A web of family secrets unravels in this moving documentary following a family fractured by war.  Two brothers, Izak and Shep, were born inside the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and separated as babies, never told of the other’s existence.  Nearly 70 years later, the discovery of family records leads the brothers to an emotional reunion with their elderly mother, Aida, who hid more from Izak and Shep than just each other.  In Hebrew with English subtitles

The Sacrifice – (1986) – A new restoration of famed Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s final film.  As a wealthy Swedish family celebrates the birthday of its patriarch, news of the outbreak of World War Three reaches their remote Baltic island and the happy mood turns to horror – In Swedish with English subtitles

Jane – Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen-footage that was tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of Jane Goodall, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.  Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Goodall, a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.

Schedule and tickets at 518-822-8448 or www.timeandspace.org – Time & Space Limited., 434 Columbia Street


Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3

The Annual Panto: The Little Mermaid – Written by the Pantoloons – Directed by Cathy Lee-Visscher –Tickets and information at 518-392-6264 or by email to [email protected] – Runs on weekends through December 10 – Fri/Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm – Ghent Playhouse, 6 Town Hall Road, off Route 66, Ghent


Saturday, December 2

Opening Day! – Hudson Farmers’ Market opens its Indoor Market for the month of December, closes for the month of January, opens again in February and will remain open through April. – 10 am to 1 pm, Former Elks Lodge at 601 Union Street (at Union and Sixth Street) – Information at hudsonfarmersmarketny.com

Winter Walk – Presented by Hudson Hall (Hudson Opera House) – A cherished Hudson event, celebrating its 21st anniversary – We’ve seen Winter Walk when the temperature was 60 degrees, and we’ve seen it in the rain, the slush, and the snow, and we remember the year it was postponed because of a blizzard that stopped all traffic.  General advice is to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes and your friendliest smile, and walk the walk with your friends, neighbors, and relatives.  (See Pick of the Week above for details.)

Martin Sexton Trio – A longtime favorite of Club Helsinki audiences, Martin Sexton returns with his trio to Club Helsinki Hudson to perform his singular blend of folk, soul, jazz, gospel and pop.  A native of upstate New York, Sexton emerged on the highly competitive Boston “new folk” music scene in its heyday in the early 1990s  By the end of the decade that saw him busking in Harvard Square and self-releasing a cassette album that sold 20,000 copies from his guitar case, he was headlining theatres, large clubs, and festival stages. “…Sexton has developed a fanatical following, which is why at his most recent sold-out concert at Helsinki Hudson, he had the audience in the palm of his hand before he even took the stage, and had them singing in unison, without him, by the second song he played.” – Information at 518-828-4800 or helsinkihudson.com –Doors at 6 pm, show at 9 pm – Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia Street


Sunday, December 3

The Perils of Mr. Punch — Modern Times Theater presents a puppet show for children of all ages —Information and tickets at 518-822-8448 or www.timeandspace.org  – 1 pm – Time & Space Limited., 434 Columbia Street

Columbia County Bail Fund (CCBF) – A celebration and fundraiser for the newly formed CCBF, established to help poor people pay bail, prior to any determination of guilt. The gathering provides an opportunity to learn more about the NYS bail system and how individuals can help. The CCBF Board president, Linda Mussmann, is joined by other Board members including IBM executive Craig Bender, NYU Professor Mark Dickerman, local attorney Cheryl Roberts, and criminal defense attorney Susan Tipograph – Information at www.timeandspace.org – Open to the public – 3 to 5 pm – Time & Space Ltd., 434 Columbia Street

Everton Sylvester & Searching for Banjo – Presented by The Rogovoy Salon music, literary, and art series curated and hosted by cultural journalist Seth Rogovoy – “Combine roots-rockin’ reggae with slam poetry and you get Jamaican-born funk-poet Everton Sylvester and his band  Searching for Banjo, bringing their unique blend of spoken word and deep reggae grooves…Sylvester is a product of downtown poetry slams from their heyday at the Nuyorican Café. He began combining spoken word with music as a founding member of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials (BFE).  Sylvester and Searching for Banjo will perform tracks from their brand new album, as well as some BFE classics – Information at 518-828-4800 or helsinkihudson.com – Doors at 5 pm, Show at 7 pm – Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia Street


Next Tuesday, December 5

Helsinki Open Mic – Try out new material on the big Helsinki stage – Hosted by Cameron Melville and Ryder Cooley – Information at 518-828-4800 or helsinkihudson.com – Sign-up begins at 6:30 pm – Performance from 7 to 10 pm – Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia Street



Sanford R. Gifford  In The Catskills – Explores the work of the Hudson River School artist, Sanford R. Gifford – Curated by Kevin J. Avery, Senior Research Scholar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.  It explores the artist’s creative process and for the first time brings the original paintings to a venue just a few miles from the sites that inspired them. – Information at http://thomascole.org/events/ – New Studio Gallery, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring Street, Catskill

The Coffins of Paa Joe and the Pursuit of Happiness at Jack Shainman Gallery / The School – , Two inter-related shows at the gallery’s Chelsea location and The School, located in Kinderhook. –“ Serving as the centerpiece of the large-scale exhibition, The Gold Coast Slave Castles of Paa Joe honor the Ghanaian legacy of  abebuu adekai, or fantasy coffins. The ornate sarcophagi celebrate death and the afterlife, sculpted in the form of objects representative of the deceased and their interests….” –– Information at [email protected] – Open Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm – The School, 25 Broad Street, Kinderhook

Sheila Gallagher: Gone Here – The exhibition is described as “a meditation on healing and haunting, things that go away and come back—the recipe for concrete, the stories of the dead, crafts and cures—Gallagher draws upon diverse sources including Shaker gift drawings, Aesclipion temples of ancient Greece, and recent archeological findings of mass graves at Irish orphanages, to create an installation of dedicatory phenomenon, petition and remembrance.” – On view through December 23 – Information by email to [email protected] – – September Gallery, 449 Warren Street, # 3 (Third Floor)

Like and Unlike: Pamela Blum – On view through December 3 – The Carriage House will be closed for the winter months – Information by email to [email protected] or call 518-828-5907 – John Davis Gallery, 362 ½ Warren Street

8th Annual Self-Published Photobooks Exhibition  – Books by twenty photographers selected via an international competition juried by Paula Tognarelli, executive director of the Griffin Museum of Photography, and Karen Davis, curator at the Davis Orton Gallery – Includes hand-made multiples – On view through December 23 – Gallery hours: Sat & Sun from 11 am to 5:30 pm or by appointment – Information at 518-567-4056 or by e-mail to [email protected] – Davis Orton Gallery, 114 Warren Street

Hudson Valley Landscapes – On view through December 31 – Information at www.carriehaddadgallery.com  or call 518-828-1915 – Carrie Haddad Gallery, 622 Warren Street

Touched by Light: New Work by photographer Ellen Lynch – Featuring large-scale images of horses and landscapes illuminated by the sun, emphasizing the interplay of light and shadow. – On view through December 27 –   Information at www.EllenLynch.com or 208-390-9088 – Ellen Lynch Photography, 34A Main Street, Chatham

Survey Lens: Small Works by Peggy Reeves  – Also showing works by gallery artists – On view through December 31 – Information at 518-822-0510 or www.510warrenstrretgallery.com –   510 Warren Street Gallery, 510 Warren Street

Walnut Hill Fine Art Staff Group Show – Works by Elbert Perez, Bryan Zimmerman, Lorn Barnes, John Lebbeus MacArthur, Paige Simpson, Sarah Van Buren, Dave Cole, Jamie Israelow, Stephen Mallon, Nurya Chana, and Maude White – Information at 843-324-5614 or by email to [email protected] – Walnut Hill Fine Art, 551 Warren Street

SPOON – A winter group show of artworks and artists empathetic to each other – Featuring works by more than 20 artists – On view at Winter Walk, December 2 through February 4, 2018 – Information at 518-828-4539 or by email to [email protected] – BCBArt, 116 Warren Street

Holiday Small Works Exhibition and Sale – Over 60 contemporary artworks under 18 inches – On view through December 30 – Information at 518-828-2343 or visit www.slowart.com – Limner Gallery, 123 Warren Street

For more information on Columbia County events, visit www.columbiacountytourism.org

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