About a 50-minute drive from downtown Albany and about 25 minutes from Hudson, Catskill offers a sleepy, small-town alternative to Hudon’s Warren Street and Troy’s expansive downtown.

Catskill has undergone a drastic transformation in just under two years. Main Street has long been home to The Community Theatre, a small movie house that screens first-run flicks, and now hosts a number of small arts and crafts shop, a thrift store, a record store, a cafe art space and a large comic book and gaming store.

There’s no doubt that The Lumberyard, a performance incubator that is set to attract international talent while also working with local artists, is the centerpiece of Catskill’s cultural renaissance.

Bridge Street Theatre’s 2019 schedule should attract theatergoers interested in the unexpected and innovative. Along with world premieres of plays such as “The Letters” by David Zellnik and “Better” by Michelle Carter, the theatre hosts cabaret and collaborations with theatre companies from around the country. 

Locals will tell you that HiLo Cafe has become a beacon for the small town–providing an early-morning and late-night hangout along with health-conscious snacks, salads, and beverages alongside an art gallery and performance space. Next door is Kirwan’s, a gaming shop that features video, board and collectible card games as well as a large selection of new comics

Just across the street, Magpie Bookshop’s dark wooden floors and solid benches offer an enveloping setting for browsing and sampling the store’s intriguing stock. The store offers a thick selection of fiction, history, biography, art, and cooking.

A block or so away, Spike’s Record Rack offers a selection of used vinyl full of gems for audiophiles of all tastes. A recent sampling turned up early pressings of records by Joy Division, Queen, Spoon and collectible records by Talking Heads and Rage Against The Machine.

Crossroads Brewing Co. on Water Street is a great place to grab a drink before seeing a performance at The Lumberyard at 62 Water Street.

The Rodney Shop (featured in our first issue) is a great place for children’s gifts and will speak deeply to enthusiasts of Japanese and video game culture.

You’d be remiss not to visit The Thomas Cole National Historic Site. The site provides a series of programs in the Hudson River School painter’s home and studios at 218 Spring Street. This winter, the site will host a series of Sunday Salons featuring talks by scholars from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Historical Society.

Here are a few events worth traveling for in February that are outside our normal coverage area: 

Lake George

Funky Ice Fest

Commit to the cold and explore a Frozen Forest, ice bars, art gallery full of hand-carved pieces, ice game tables, and other interactive pieces at this sculpture filled, bring-your-own vinyl, ‘70s-themed dance party.

@ Adirondack Pub & Brewery, Lake George Feb. 1 at 4 PM and Feb. 2 at 3 PM | Free


Winter Carnival 

Venture to Cooperstown to embrace winter fun, sled on the lakeside, ride a pony, roast some marshmallows, view handmade quilts at the village library, check out the wares of the local makers, or maybe run the 5K. Feb. 9

Northampton, MA

Bodies in Motion Festival Week 4

A wide array of dance workshops and performances that bring together some of the area’s most talented dancers. Visit apearts.org for tickets.


Hudson Jazz Festival

Live jazz by celebrated musicians, film screenings and workshops. Saturday’s solo piano summit featuring Kirk Nurock, Lynne Arriale, and Sullivan Fortner looks particularly intriguing. Visit hudsonhall.org for tickets and more information. February 15-17 at the Hudson Opera House