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Road Trip: Woodstock


Last week I took a trip to Woodstock to interview a storeowner for our March issue. I’ve never been up there before and I, probably as do most first-time visitors, have always had this impression of Woodstock as a free spirit town, abounding with peace signs, hippies, burning incense, and tie-dyed …well, everything. Actually, I wasn’t that far off in my assumptions: I did see all of those things. And although I wasn’t there in 1969 for the famous Woodstock Festival that took place some 40 miles away (at a dairy farm in Bethel), it’s clear that Woodstock still retains a lot of what makes it so special — and continues to be a mecca for musicians, writers, artists, actors, etc. (The retro town has been home to superstars like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Ethan Hawke, and Uma Thurman — and numerous other lesser-known celebs.)

I have to admit; it took me a few minutes to adjust to the atmosphere up there. (I’m not accustomed to seeing longhaired grandpas with walking sticks — or storefront signs that read “Hippies Welcome Here.”) Once my initial “culture shock” subsided, I set out to explore my surroundings (read: shop). Before heading over to Hip E Living — a fascinating, new store that sells only organic, natural, sustainable, recycled, and energy smart products — for the interview, I stopped in a few boutiques on Tinker Street (the main drag) and on a couple of sides streets. I wasn’t really expecting to find much that would suit my style preferences, but surprisingly, most of what I saw was pretty mainstream, resembling a lot of what I’ve seen in Greenwich Village: shelves stuffed with unique, Bohemian-but-chic, brand-name apparel. And to my delight, virtually every store was having a huge sale! I found fantastic bargains on clothes and accessories, running the gamut from jeans to coats to jewelry.

So, if you’re from out of the area and are looking for a fun shopping-filled daytrip, or live close by and are in search of some great deals, head on up/down/over to this retail goldmine. Read on for a journal of my day out…

11 a.m. Arrive; park in free municipal parking lot

11:15 a.m. Grab coffee at Bread Alone Bakery & Café; take in the uniqueness of my surroundings

11:30 a.m. First Stop:

Woodstock Trading Post
7 Tinker St.
This store is perfect for those of us in our twenties. They have casual, trendy clothing and accessories, as well as Woodstock t-shirts and memorabilia. Designers include Free People, Junk Food, and Citizens of Humanity. They also have a great jewelry case full of sterling silver and costume jewelry, featuring local designers like Jody Soltonoff and Pam Older. I loved their selection of bags — and there was a bunch of big sunglasses — à la Nicole Richie — that were quite cheap (from $12 to $45). Right now they’re having a huge sale that will last until March.


12:15 p.m. Second Stop:

Woodstock Design
9 Tinker St.
I would say that this boutique is for the trendy mothers of the trendy girls shopping at Woodstock Trading Post next door (which are under the same ownership). They have a large selection of shoes — from ballet flats to waterproof leather boots, by designers like Re-mix, Santana, and Aerosoles — and tons of elegant (but modern) shirts and pants. There is also a huge rack of belts in all different styles and colors, and quite a few shelves of jeans, sporting labels like 7 For All Mankind and Adriano Goldschmied. You could pretty much create an entire outfit — for day, work, or night — out of the merchandise from this place. Other designers include Eileen Fisher, Velvet, and Rachel Pally.

12:45 p.m. Lunch at relaxing, European-style Oriole 9 (The Cuban Press was very tasty)

1:30 p.m. Third Stop:

Sanchia Playfair
20 Mill Hill Rd.
What a unique store! The owner, Sanchia, hand weaves everything here — mostly accessories (scarves, throws, and hats) and a small selection of clothing. All of her pieces are cashmere and silk and are very, very beautiful. If you stop in, you’ll catch her weaving one-of-a-kind treasures right in the middle of the store.

1:50 p.m. Fourth Stop:

43 Tinker St.
A visit to this sexy little lingerie store is quite refreshing if you’ve ever spent hours scouring the semi-annual sale at Victoria’s Secret. Here you’ll find nightgowns, bra/panty sets, babydolls, and robes, as well as undergarments for children and men, without the masses of aggressive shoppers and clusters of disorganized bins and racks. Brands include Mary Green, Vera Wang, Hanky Panky, DKNY, and Betsy Johnson.

2:20 p.m. Fifth Stop:

2 Rock City Rd.
I found this boutique to be similar to Woodstock Trading Post, but with more of a Bohemian flare: more earth tones and hippie-esque styles, like vintage-inspired jewelry and clothing. I liked their selection of tunics, which had a lot of fun prints, and the organic and Lucky Fish hand-stenciled t-shirts were also really cute — and soft. Designers include Pure Color, Wrangler 47, Sweet Pea, and Alternative Apparel. Bag, $39.99.

3 p.m. Time to head back to Rockland — what a fun day!

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