What if you could “skim” a region before you planned a visit? Instead of pouring over the travel guides and websites, you could take the SparkNotes approach to determine which attractions to explore in town.
That’s the idea behind A Walk With James. The passion project of Italian-born and New York City-based entrepreneur and real estate agent James Marcolin, A Walk With James is a combined website and video series that delves into what makes New York’s vibrant communities so unique.
Although Marcolin’s primary focus is on the neighborhoods of New York City, this summer he ventured north of the Big Apple to explore the sights and sounds of the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. The resulting two videos act as something of a teaser trailer for the respective regions.
“Considering all New Yorkers travel over the summer to ‘escape’ the heat, I thought to create a summer episode (in two parts because there was too much to cover) about my favorite areas: the Hudson Valley and the Catskills,” Marcolin explains. “I hope [the videos] inspire New Yorkers to spend more quality time for themselves in nature and in our beautiful Valley.”
Marcolin’s background in art history and fashion combined with his 10-plus year career in hospitality helped him hone in on which sites to focus on within the two upstate areas. Prior to filming, he spent time lining up which towns to film and deciding which visuals he needed to capture to best represent the region.
If the social media results are any indication, Marcolin’s dedication to the project was worth it. His video series (on the Catskills, the Hudson Valley, and New York City) has 25,000 total views as of press time. Marcolin himself is fast becoming something of an Instagram influencer as well, having amassed nearly 10,000 followers in the span of 10 months.
Thus far, Marcolin has released two Hudson Valley videos and 12 videos that spotlight the lifestyle, architecture, history, shopping, food, wine, and real estate opportunities in New York City’s many neighborhoods. Beginning this fall and running through April 2019, he plans to debut 15 more videos to complete his coverage of the Hudson River metropolis and touch upon neighboring Brooklyn and Queens.
As for future plans in the Hudson Valley, Marcolin dreams of one day living the lifestyle that sings its siren song to many a New York City professional.
“My dream is to have a farm-to-table restaurant in the Hudson Valley area with a farm house where I would live,” he says. “I want to dedicate the restaurant to my grandma, who educated me as a man with hardworking values. I believe that is a fundamental, back-to-roots philosophy that we all need to adopt and understand.”