It’s always amazing to me how quickly you can go from New York City to quiet, pristine, lush nature. On one of the last weekends of winter, a group of friends met on 15th & 8th under the hustle of city life blanketed blanketed by the sounds of cabs honking and the last few snowflakes of the season kissing my rosey cheeks. We piled into the car, cranked on some Chris Stapleton and headed north up the Hudson River until we reached that final winding road that led us climbing high top the waterfalls and forests until we reached our weekend sanctuary, Deer Mountain.
With only six rooms, this boutique lodge nestled in 168 wooded acres balances the historic rustic nature of the original building from the 1880’s with its modern luxurious updates and amenities. Even though the charming town of Tannersville, with its own set of restaurants, shopping and activities is at the base of Deer Mountain, the inn is set up so you don’t have to leave, if you’re simply looking for a restorative weekend to relax, like I am.
I love places like this. Charm, character, and no two rooms alike. I like a place that tells a story, that leaves an imprint on your memory that can only belong to that one place and when you revisit the moments in your mind you are quickly carried away in the currents back to a place and time with its own particular feel, smell, taste, and warmth. Deer Mountain will always sound like the laughter of friends, smell like a roaring campfire, taste like bespoke cocktails and feel like a special home away from home, where you can sink into bed at night knowing all the stars are watching over you in that clear mountain sky.
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As we begin to close in on the last weekends of summer I jumped at the invitation for a weekend upstate shared among friends. The cool mountain air, quiet afternoons for reading and home cooked meals filled my soul and recharged my batteries. We stayed in this amazingly redesigned Catskills home where nature was the framed art and dancing light our whimsical entertainment. Now the only problem I have is how to stop day dreaming of this peaceful place at the end of the road between tucked between a mountain and a creek…
This summer I have been reading photographer Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still. There are some books I read on my kindle and then some I have to physically buy so that I can mark them up, make notes in the margins and revisit or even research what I find among the pages. One of my favorite underlined parts so far:
“Because I am still that girl when it comes to developing film. There is nothing better than the thrill of holding a great negative, wet with fixer, up to the light. And, here’s the important thing: it doesn’t even have to be a great negative. You get the same thrill with any negative; with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good. And, when you get whatever you get, even if it’s a fluky product of that slipping-glimpser vision that de Kooning celebrated, you have made something. Maybe you’ve made something mediocre- there’s plenty of that in any artist’s cabinets- but something mediocre is better than nothing, and often the near-misses, as I call them, are the beckoning hands that bring you to perfection just around the blind corner.”
Continue reading “A Hudson Valley Weekend” →