As anyone who’s abandoned the big city for the Hudson Valley can attest, making the transition to upstate living is no walk in the park. On the contrary, it’s all about adjustments. From navigating small town back roads instead of color-coded subway lines to finding the best local hiking spots instead of the top walking routes through Central Park, there’s a lot to consider when planning the move to the Hudson River region.
Mat Zucker gets it. As a former Big Apple resident, he moved to the Valley to begin his next chapter.
“My husband and I both worked in advertising in New York for decades,” he says. “At some point, we both craved something new, something different, something closer to healthy food.”
And so they moved. The pair bought a home in Tivoli, right on the border of Red Hook, and began to navigate their way through their newfound lifestyle. Their experiences are the basis for Zucker’s podcast, “Cidiot – learning to Live and Love Life in the Hudson Valley.” The podcast is available in the Apple podcast store or via Anchor, Spotify, or Stitcher.
Zucker came up with the name with a friend as a way to describe the group of city dwellers who dive headfirst into life north of New York City.
“I see ‘cidiot’ for us as more of a phase, on to grow out of as you become wiser, more acclimated, and more integrated into the fabric of the region,” he explains. He describes the podcast as a “candid and practical guide for others moving up from the city, choosing a town, making friends, and integrating yourself and your life into the beautiful Hudson Valley.”
With a variety of episodes currently available, Zucker begins his focus with the foundations of building a life in the region, advising on everything from choosing the right town to making friends. From there, he delves into managing a country home and getting involved in the local community.
Although the premise of the podcast centers around that group of people who move from New York to the Hudson Valley, Zucker notes that a much larger audience can benefit from it.
“There are three types of listeners I imagine getting value out of the podcast: first, folks like us who plan to move or who are starting their journey upstate and would love practical advice; the second are former cidiots – the thousands who have made the move years ago and enjoy hearing folks follow their trailblazing path and get a kick out of it…the third audience are locals who might benefit from new folks showing up or simply be sympathetic to what we go through,” he says.
All in all, Zucker is happy to share his experiential expertise with the Valley community at large. At the same time, he hopes to dissuade the notion that city visitors have a negative influence on the region.
“I don’t like the false choice of new versus old, farmer-versus-professional up here. I believe that the balance between what the Valley has been and what it’s becoming is fragile but also resilient,” he explains. “We’re all in this together and it’s a delicate culture to protect and evolve. I’d love to help build some bridges.”