By Judy Garrison

Summer has always brought new faces to Main Street: first time visitors, people on the road, friends and relatives of local residents. This summer has been different. The shutdown of New York City, the subsequent shuttering of many offices and closing out of businesses, as well as the claustrophobic feeling growing on some city dwellers catapulted many to find temporary lodging in the country. And as we are all hearing, others are beginning to consider long term rentals or house purchases. The housing market is in fact booming! With some businesses offering remote employment for the first time, this move became feasible for those who wanted out of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The discovery or re-discovery of the beauty and slow pace of country life has made a full-time return to dense city living unthinkable for some of these folks.

Even with the Hotel lodging closed (we hear the Hotel will re-open soon with Derek Curl at the helm—can hardly wait!) the many Airbnbs that have sprung up in the hamlet and in wider Andes have been in huge demand.

And it shows. The activity on Main Street is delightful to watch: Young couples walking hand in hand, mothers and fathers with babies in backpacks, carriages and strollers, families with kids in tow, people of all ages jogging, biking, on scooters. The street is alive with movement!

Life here seemed a bit desolate during the Spring. Now Wayside Cider is open. Dragonfly55 is offering paninis, summer salads and smoothies in addition to its coffee drinks and has seating on the rear deck as well as the front porch; their multi-course Saturday night take-out menu routinely sells out. Russell at Rosalino’s is open again in addition to its take-out service; they offer the option of sidewalk seating and are continuing Wednesday night dinners. People crow about the generous and tasty General Store sandwiches and specials. Their themed barbecue/pizza/speedie nights with live music and toss games have been a big hit. The Saturday Farmers Market, the very popular Andes Pool, stores and artisan shop are open and swarming with people. HasBeens & Willbees, now only forward looking as Willbees, has opened on weekends. Wilson’s Bread, specializing in French breads, is scheduled to open September 5 at 143 Main. The shop, market and events at Dirty Girl Farm continue to draw folks in. The Thrift Shop is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-4 as long as volunteers step up. The Catskill Regional Harvest continues with its huge variety of local farm offerings and daily service socisl media communication.

And to greet passersby, some of the Anti-Rent War figures have sprouted up again in the yard at Ron Guichard’s real estate office. Yes, things are different: No Community Day or large celebratory and fundraising events this summer, but life goes on, and the new burst of youthful and creative energy we all see out there is invigorating to witness!~