Kingston reminded me of Bristol (PA, on the Delaware River) in that it is both quaint and ghetto. Prime gentrification time. Let’s blow this shit up!
They are both situated on rivers, near large metropolitan areas and have great quantities of Victorian architecture. Also lots of shirtless men, tattoo parlors and loitering preteens. But Kingston is much larger and has an actual “nice” part of town: the Stockade.
Greg and I picked up a couple of brochures at the Kingston Historical Society. One for the Rondout (nice area near the creek) and one for the Stockade (nice area up on the hill). In the 1600s the entire town moved uphill from the creek to escape the Injuns and built a high defensive wall around the entire town (the Stockade). The wall doesn’t exist anymore but all the current streets conform to the former boundary. It’s pretty neat. The Stockade area, which used to be all of Kingston, was the capital of New York until 1797. The Rondout used to be its own village.
Kingston is about 90 minutes up the Hudson from NYC. Houses are cheap. This is my current favorite. There doesn’t seem to be much going on in Kingston in terms of business and industry. Back in the day it was an important transportation hub for coal between NYC and PA.
We toured the Rondout area first. The Rondout has a main drag with some restaurants and an antique store and, of course, the Historical Society. Which had some nice exhibits (and some free buttons). The rest of the Rondout is hilly and full of delightful Victorians.
Then we went to the Stockade and did the walking tour. Greg wanted to do a tour of the State House but we didn’t have time. I encountered the word “tonsorial” for the first time and it does not have to do with tonsils.
Most of the people walking around the Stockade were older. There were a lot of empty storefronts. It was a Friday, though.