25 More Things Every Hudson Valleyite Must Do!
Back in 2007, we told you about 20 local activities — from dining at the CIA to taking a swim in the Hudson — that help separate true Valleyites from the out-of-town tourists and weekend wannabes. But — we now realize — that list wasn’t half long enough. Here are 25 more can’t-miss Valley pursuits to spice up your late summer/early fall weekends
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2. Take in a show at the Bardavon
The Bardavon 1869 Opera House — New York State’s oldest continuously operating theater — is Poughkeepsie’s one-stop shop for cultural events of every stripe. A typical season (which runs from September through May) at the 944-seat theater includes concerts by headliners (look for Joan Baez this fall) who are usually booked into much larger venues. But you can also catch performances by established dance and theater companies; a Friday night classic film series; Saturday afternoon opera streamed live in HD from the Met; and five concerts by the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, which often feature top-shelf musicians (pianist Peter Serkin performs in December).
Admiring the ornate decoration in this 140-year-old building, however, is almost as exciting as watching the performers. The theater’s original interior was renovated in 1923, turning it from an opera house into a movie palace; the neoclassical/Italian Renaissance design elements from that era — including elaborate plasterwork and a impressive domed ceiling — are still present today. Installed in 1928, the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ is the only one in any theater between Manhattan and Albany that remains in its originally intended setting. Saved from the wrecking ball in 1976, the theater was subsequently added to the National Register of Historic Places; it has proven to be an architectural gem as well as a vital arts resource for the Valley — and well worth a visit.