On Saturday, the folks in my hometown got together for a little ceremony put on by the historical society. It was the big reveal of a plaque that was just installed along a small waterfall bridge, and all of the historical houses were open and we all wandered into each others houses. I’ll post pictures of it all soon. But during all of this it occurred to me that in all of my talking here about where I grew up, I’ve failed to show you any pictures of the darn place! So Sunday I went around and snapped a few for ya.
Here is your walking tour of the Village of Piermont, NY:
This is the toy store that my Grandma owned for 30 years or so. It is an institution if I do say so myself. I grew up working the register, wrapping presents, stocking inventory, writing out a million pricing stickers by hand.
Have I mentioned that I am an excellent gift wrapper? I’ve got mad skillz thanks to Buttercup & Friends. All of the toys are old fashioned and not like anything you’ll find in the big toy stores. And the kid’s clothes… don’t even get me started.
Grandma P. sold her store a few years ago to a local, but it still has a lot of her in it. It’s a bit more tidy now, which can be better or worse depending on how you view it.
This store just opened. It’s across the street from her store and I can’t quite decide what it is. It wasn’t open yet when I walked by so I couldn’t ask. But I think it’s a cross between a book store and a gallery, how cool is that?
And this may look unassuming from the outside, but these two restaurants–Xavier’s and Freelance Cafe–are otherworldly. Peter Kelly is the chef, and not too long ago he won on an episode of Iron Chef. My meal at Xavier’s a few years ago was one of the best I’ve had.
This is the community market. As you can see, it attracts bikers. The whole town attracts bikers on the weekend. They all come from New York City as part of a long loop that goes all the way upstate and there are so many of them that the locals can get a bit ornery about it. They kinda take over on the weekends so tensions can get high.
Things are exciting in small towns, aren’t they?
If you had a chance to read the article I wrote in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago, you’ll recall that I mentioned that I used to be taken care of by someone I called “Aunty.” Well this is her house and this is where all of the pastina eating went down.
And down the road a little further is this deli that we used to have an account at. My brother and I would roll over there and order some things and say “Put it on our account.” We felt very important. Then my brother would order a bologna sandwich on a white roll with mayonnaise. The bologna was about 2-inches thick. I still make fun of him for it.
Between Aunty’s house and the deli is the Silkmill. It’s called the Silkmill because it was once a silk factory and employed most of the people in the town. My parents bought it in the 70’s and spent their whole lives restoring it. Now it is five loft apartments and a pretty awesome place. I’ll tell you more about that later.
And then across from the Silkmill is a road that goes up and up toward Tulipwood, where Grandma P. grew up and where the rest of the fam now lives, and where I visit often so that I remember to keep it real.
So there you have it! My hometown. Now you know what the heck I’ve been talking about all these years.
Over n’ out.