Rosendale, NY is one of the hippest little towns in Ulster County. Located directly en 1:45 minutes via Trailways bus from NYC, Rosendale has the charm of an Upstate town seasoned with some Downtown flavor. Come visit Rosendale and see what the buzz is about. With so much to offer it is no surprise that artists and nature lovers alike have been inspired by Rosendale and are proud to call this charming little community home.
Rosendale is a great walking town with some fantastic restaurants, bars, galleries and entertainment venues packed together in the village. Right off the bus, cross the street to Market Market Cafe, a restaurant and musical venue with a lovely patio and garden and an impressive line-up of local acts. A short 5-minute walk takes you to Main St. where more great restaurants await like the Bywater Bistro whose outdoor seating backs the Esopus Creek which runs through town. The vegetarian friendly Rosendale Café also hosts music events and art, while the Roos Arts fine art gallery is just a few paces up the road. There’s a gourmet cheese shop (aptly named The Big Cheese) – so you know, if you come to Rosendale you’ll never have to worry about being without yummy cheese!, and an exceptional local bakery, The Alternative Baker, which specializes in everything from freshly baked artisanal breads to an amazingly tasty and diverse menu of gluten and sugar free items that are famous throughout the Hudson Valley with the gluten sensitive crowd. The internationally recognized Redwing Blackbird Theater and the Women’s Studio Workshop, which offers classes and artist-in-residence programs for women, both make Rosendale, NY their home.
Remarkably there’s also an independent, community-run movie house, the historic Rosendale Theater where you can see modern films in much the same way your grandparents did (as well as live shows). All over town the historic charm of the old buildings has remained unspoiled: The 1850 House boutique hotel offers up lodging in a building which has been a B&B nearly continuously since it was built, while the Red Brick Tavern now occupies a building which was once a hardware store and lumber yard dating from 1895. The quaint Rosendale Library dates back to 1876 and is housed in an old chapel made from Rosendale cement.
What is a friendly and artistic hamlet today is steeped in rich local history. For nearly 100 years, Rosendale was at the heart of American construction as the home of Rosendale Cement. Located in an area famed for it’s unique geological formations which supplied natural materials to make the super strong cement, Rosendale and it’s surrounding hamlets sprung up to meet the demands of a growing America in the early 1900’s. Rosendale cement was used in both the base of the Statue of Liberty and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, and was the primary type of cement used in America until after the First World War.
All of that production has left a legacy of structures hidden in the landscape which add to Rosendale’s unique character. Most notably, (and visible from the town center) is the 155ft Joppenburgh Mt. bridge, which is now a pedestrian walkway with a fantastic view of the Rondout Creek and the town far below. Travel east down Creek Locks Road to see the remains of an old canal and lock system which once connected Rosendale to the Hudson. Go deeper into the woods and find the ruins of old mines and caves, including the Widow Jane Mine, as well as multiple lakes and springs fed by natural aquifers.
Rosendale’s vibrant character comes to life through its community events. It is home to several yearly festivals including the 3 day Rosendale Street Festival (http://rosendalestreetfestival.ning.com/) in July, and the International Pickle Festival (http://picklefest.com/) in November. There’s a year-round farmer’s market to keep people coming together to share the area’s natural bounty in all seasons.
Read the New York Times article on Rosendale for a little more info.