Up the Hudson

Photo by Kiana Toossi

Photo by Kiana Toossi

 
 

Up the Hudson

 

Words and photos by Lizzy Cheshire + Kiana Toossi

 
 

The trip started on November 11, 2017—but really it had begun a few weeks earlier, when I had discovered that my art student, graphic designer, photographer roommate had not yet been to Dia:Beacon after more than a year living in New York City. I was appalled. Her birthday was coming up, and we'd both been wistfully discussing getting out of the city for a long weekend. Suddenly, it seemed like the universe was telling us to haul our asses upstate.

We decided that we had three vitally important tasks to accomplish in as many days: see Dia:Beacon (obvious, but important), take advantage of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, and drive. As two Los Angeles transplants, Kiana and I loved driving to the nth degree, and we both missed it terribly living in the city. Our whole lives, we had been kicking around the idea of going into business together, and Kiana had been secretly nursing the desire to start a magazine for just under a year. On our trip up the Hudson, we began to enmesh the two, and Break was born.

We caught the 5:32 Metro North from Grand Central and got off at Beacon, where we got an uber to our hotel in Fishkill. We could have planned it infinitely better--we almost missed our dinner reservation because we had to go out to Fishkill and back to Beacon to the restaurant. We also got drivers who were so excited to tell us about the prison we were driving past and play Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" on repeat--it was a super fun time.

 
 
Beacon train station. A few minute walk to Dia:Beacon.

Beacon train station. A few minute walk to Dia:Beacon.

 
 

Dinner was at The Roundhouse in Beacon. I love me a prix fixe. The food was incredible and the panoramic view of the low peaceful waterfall was offensively romantic. I told Kiana she was wasting this on me while her boyfriend was way out in California. She agreed.

The next morning we went back to Beacon for breakfast and museum shenanigans. Kiana and I make no secret of our absolute passion for diner food. One day, there will doubtless be an entire particle dedicated to our favorite diners. Probably multiple. But even diner food is ridiculously expensive in New York City, and so we try to reserve it for special occasions, or especially stressful moments (the morning that the Skirball Fire in Los Angeles put both of our families on evacuation notice was spent in our favorite booth at a nearby diner). 

We got breakfast at a delightfully mirrored diner in Beacon and walked through the town down to the museum. It was a superbly chilly morning, and neither of us were fully prepared for the wind, which was vicious despite the bright and beautiful sky. Down at the museum, we warmed up in the bookshop, where Kiana found mentions of her professors in typography books. We sat, admired, sketched, and photographed the museum for a couple hours before heading down to the train station and catching a train to Cold Spring. 

 
 
A diner we frequented during our stay–Red Line Diner.

A diner we frequented during our stay–Red Line Diner.

 
 

Cold Spring looks like it belongs on a movie set. We got off the train and walked up through trees that were still green and lush despite it being November. The main street is dotted with antique shops, general stores, and restaurants. It's abundantly clear that this has become the trendy weekend getaway from the city. After lunch at Hudson Hills Cafe (we wandered through a few antique shops as we waited for a table to open up), we walked down to the Cold Spring General Store where ridiculously beautiful, locally-made goods are sold at painfully high prices. It was getting really cold, but we headed down to the river as dusk grew nearer and took some photos to prove that we'd been there. Pics or it didn’t happen. 

After our fingers started going numb, we stopped in at the sweetest coffee shop, Rincon Argentina, for hot chocolate and churros. We caught the train back to Beacon and panicked upon the realization that we had forgotten the Zipcar fob necessary to unlock the car we'd reserved for the following morning. A few phone calls later we had canceled the Zipcar (without penalty), and decided that the Enterprise in Poughkeepsie was our best bet. By then it was pretty late and we started worrying there wouldn't be anywhere left open to grab dinner, but we shouldn't have worried. We walked across the street for burgers and shakes at the Red Line Diner in Fishkill, where Kiana began her sketches for the logo and branding of this publication. We sat in our booth for hours and had a Big Talk about what Break should and shouldn’t be.

We went back over the next morning for breakfast before going up to Poughkeepsie when Enterprise opened. There was some concern and a few logistical issues with the fact that we were 19—usually there was an approval process that took a few days for anyone under 21 to rent a car. But the staff there were incredible (we love you guys! special thanks to Pietyr!) and managed to get approval in less than an hour and hooked us up with Genoise, our trusty Hyundai. We made a quick stop to pick up water and a couple disposable cameras at a CVS and headed up Taconic State Parkway.

 
 
Lizzy in our beloved rented Honda, Genoise.

Lizzy in our beloved rented Honda, Genoise.

Kiana in our beloved rented Honda, Genoise.

Kiana in our beloved rented Honda, Genoise.

Pathway on a stop in Taconic State Park.

Pathway on a stop in Taconic State Park.

 
 

Our drive had two initial goals: to get back behind the wheel of a car (once again, we're from LA and taking our cars is like ripping off a limb) and to see the changing leaves. With no plan and a kick-ass playlist, we set our destination and took off. Our drive took us up to Taconic State Park, over into Connecticut through the town that Stars Hollow was based on, and back to Beacon, where we said our teary goodbyes to Genoise and got on our train back to Grand Central, ready to face the city again.

 
 
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Featured in Issue 01.

Break Journal