Mystery Pizza Truck – still somewhat of a mystery

Exactly why should I be concerned about this wood-fired pizza truck??? (Earlier report here)

I discovered that it has its own blog: Brick Oven Diaries.

This stolen image shows that more progress is being made virtually.


image stolen from

Mystery Truck with Chimney – source of pizza?

This morning’s jog took me down to the South Bay, then along the Holcim roadway to 3rd St. From there I ran along the back side of LB Furniture to The Basilica. On passing the Basilica, I saw this aluminum step van rigged out with a chimney.


A well placed rumormonger informs (can a rumor be information?) that this is a wood-fired organic pizza truck. The black soot around the chimney suggests that it must have been fired up and tested out. From the outside, everything seems ready to go excepting the absent front bumper.

Where and when with the pizza??

BTW – watch out for the criminally high speed bumps along the LB Furniture building. I am sure that low riders like my Corolla will loose their oil pans on those things.

Seen in Hudson

For quite a while I have been enjoying the store front windows at 243 Warren St. A mysterious person has been changing the displays in these windows in response to the world outside them. Last night as Karen and I were walking home, I noticed that the windows had changed again. This time to blank white illuminated by the ever present two white lights. So, I walked across the street to take a picture. As I approached, a man walking his dog came up to the door of 243. I asked, “Are you responsible for the windows?” “Yes” came the response. So here I was, in a serendipity of the local, meeting the person responsible for these simple little statements about passing events. ( I hesitate to give his name. Perhaps he will give permission.) 

Turns out that what I thought to be blank is in fact his comment on the day as the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Below in reverse chronological order are the pictures I have snapped over the past year of his commentary.

Sept 11, 2011

September 11, 2011

Taste of Hudson 9/10/2011

Taste of Hudson 9/10/2011

Marriage Equality Act - NY - 06/24/2011

Marriage Equality Act - NY - 06/24/2011

Memorial Day 05/30/2011

Memorial Day 05/30/2011

Hello Summer May 2011

Hello Summer May 2011

Halloween and Vote - 10/30/2010

Halloween and Vote - 10/30/2010

Easter in Hudson 2011 – stores get dressed up

Hudson is famous for its parades and during the holidays its store window displays. Here are iPhone photos, un-retouched, from a stroll up and down Warren St.

Seen in Hudson on a Morning Walk

A few images from a morning walk.

I have taken hundreds of pictures of fire connections. Not sure why. Recently I have only added to this collection when I see a new use for them. Sometimes this is people perching on them. Sometimes they are holding up coffee, beer bottles, candy wrappers….


The City of Hudson clearly doesn’t believe in modern chemistry. Can’t think of the last time I saw so many dandelions.


My favorite stairs.


Maybe this is just part of a seasonal business’s normal cycle, but??

I know that this is a worn out topic here in Hudson. Nevertheless, I remain amazed at the bad taste of the county government to litter one of the best parks in the city with all of these signs. Why have a ark if you don’t want people to loll in the grass? Is the only purpose of this park to be a prop for war memorials? Why did they so proudly tout that a local builder had replaced the roof on the gazebo when it is almost never used? Strange thinking.

20110507-061301.jpg Comes to Hudson

The rumors about locating a new office in Hudson have been floating about for some time. Yesterday, Rob Kalin, the founder of, placed this notice on our local business listserv.

Hi all,

Please allow me to humbly introduce myself. I know many people here already, and hope to know many more. I’m the founder & CEO of Etsy (, which I started 6 years ago in my apartment in Brooklyn. My family is from New York (from Tarrytown up to Syracuse), and I’ve spent many a night in a lean-to amongst the Catskills.

Etsy currently employs 175 people, most of them in our Brooklyn office. As we continue to grow, it makes a lot of sense to me to open up an office in Hudson. I love the town, we found an incredible building (thank you Chris at the Cannonball Factory, and Theresa at Keystone for helping), and as everyone here knows — better than I do, I’m sure — there are so many great people. Denis at 711 is helping us with desks, too.

I started Etsy to create opportunities in the world — for myself, for small business owners, for people who make things, people who find things, and more. I love that we are be able to bring jobs to Hudson. Right now we’re working to get things setup. (As of this email, the building doesn’t even have heat! But that’s happening quickly.) Our plan is to start with customer support positions, and grow from there.

Etsy HQ will remain in Brooklyn, and I hope to grow our Hudson office to 50 employees or more. Jobs at Etsy come with a salary, benefits (medical, dental, vision) paid for in full by the company (including family plans). We’ll be posting actual job descriptions soon. If someone you now is interested, feel free to email me directly.

Our plan is to grow things at a measured pace, so we’re not really broadcasting anything yet. This email is probably the most public statement I’ve made so far. I’m happy to answer any q’s via email, and thanks for reading.

I hope to see you ’round,


This is great news for Hudson. How do we get the word out to more entrepreneurs in Brooklyn about the opportunities for them in Hudson?

Authenticity in Hudson, NY

authentic |ôˈθentik| (abbr.: auth.)


  • of undisputed origin; genuine : the letter is now accepted as an authentic document | authentic 14th-century furniture.
  • made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original : the restaurant serves authentic Italian meals | every detail of the movie was totally authentic.
  • based on facts; accurate or reliable : an authentic depiction of the situation.
  • (in existentialist philosophy) relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life ((definition adapted from Dictionary Version 2.1.1 Apple, Inc.)

In part because of the vigorous discussion in the various “Signage” postings in the Hudson Business Coalition discussion group and other discussions I have had recently about Hudson, I have come to think that a major feature of Hudson is authenticity. Hudson demonstrates authenticity in all four senses described in the definition above. People who own businesses here, whether in antiques, art, music, and many more, do so from some central personal passion. Visitors experience this directly. Visitors must digest the experience and make it their own. And, many times businesses receive direct feedback about their passions from visitors and not in frequently new perspectives and information about their passions. Continue reading

Mayor Scalera’s “Naive or delaying LWRP passage?”

Mayor Scalera’s commentary, “Naive or delaying LWRP passage?” in today’s Register Star requires some comment. Here are my comments posted on the Register Star website.

First, Mayor Scalera mis-characterizes the potential uses of the waterfront as “recreational boating and perhaps some limited shipping….”. In fact, from my perspective, and from all of the people I have heard talk about the waterfront, the uses included recreational boating, cruise operations, hotel, restaurants, retail shopping stores, galleries, and more. These uses fit into a larger picture that the future of jobs in Hudson is tied to the extension of the city as an arts, antiques, entertainment, and history destination. This job creation engine has a track record in the city and an obvious future for growth with the addition of the waterfront as part of the overall destination package.

The problem is that none of that is possible with a large scale industrial use cheek and jowl with the rest of the waterfront. The choice we are facing is a trade off between a limited number of seasonal jobs hauling gravel (it was reported elsewhere in today’s Register Star that Calarusso only operates during non-winter months) or developing the track the city has been on for the past 10 to 15 years, becoming a destination for those interested in arts, antiques, entertainment, food and history. I want to place my bet with that development path.

A second point might be to point out that Mayor Scalera went to lengths to point out the Open Space Institute and Scenic Hudson would not support an eminent domain taking. That is not the only way in which those organizations might be involved. A simpler path is the old-fashioned one of buying the land in question.

As someone who has only lived in Hudson for a year and half of the twenty three years of the LWRP process, it seems wise to continue to get the policies right even at the cost of a bit more time.

Mark Orton

Book Review: Diamond Street – Hudson, NY: the story of the little town with the big red light district

Diamond Street by Bruce hallDiamond Street: The Story of the Little Town With the Big Red Light District by Bruce Edward Hall (Black Dome Press, Hensonville NY 1994 and 2005)

This is a fairly readable history of Hudson as seen from the other side of the tracks and from the corrupt office holders in city government and local police. Sheds new light on how Hudson has been dependent for a very long time on “weekenders” to support a significant portion of the local economy. the difference is that the current economy is not dependent on men’s interests in gambling, drinking and sex.

Lots of wonderful stories and much local color and geography. Somewhere a wonderful, marvelous in its excess, statistic appears that Hudson once had 76 bars packed into its 2+ square miles.

Book Review: Looking for Work: Industrial Archeology in Columbia County, New York

Looking for Work by Peter stottLooking for Work: Industrial Archeology in Columbia County, New York, The Emergence and Growth of Local Industry as Revealed in Surviving Sites and Structures by Peter H. Stott, Syracuse University Press, 2007

This is a comprehensive review of industrial sites in 18 towns and the City of Hudson in Columbia County. There is a narrative historical description of the industry in each town and more detailed descriptions of the 134 sites. A great resource for anyone interested in the history of Columbia County and industrial archeology in general. The author has earlier written A Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Boston Proper (MIT Press, 1984)

More information and to purchase here.