This past Saturday we attended the 20th annual Movable Feast, a fund-raising event for the Hudson Opera House, a historic building in Hudson, New York that is in the process of restoration, and houses exhibit and performance spaces. The Opera House also has art, music and theater programs for children and adults.
HOH website: http://hudsonoperahouse.org/
As always, the festivities began with wine and hors d’oeuvres at the Opera House, all donated by local businesses.
After nibbling and chatting with old and new friends, we moved on to dinner. Dinners were hosted by 16 volunteers at their homes or businesses. We had a lovely dinner at the home of architect Peggy Anderson, a spectacular two-story loft building directly behind the Opera House. Her good friend Darren Norris, visiting from Brooklyn, prepared a meal of Persian specialties.
We started again with cocktails – a special concoction following the Persian theme – and began to introduce ourselves to the other guests and the three rambunctious but well-behaved dogs. There were four couples and four singles, with assigned seats at a long trestle table. Architecture, graphic design, medical, real estate and non-profit administration (and one lone lawyer) were the dominant skill sets in attendance. The first course was a pumpkin soup with pomegranate infusion. The main course was a duck stew with a sauce of ground walnuts and spices served with wondrously aromatic rice with a crust and mixed greens.
The idea is to return to the Opera House at around 9 or 9:30 for dessert, but this time, as has sometimes happened in the past, dessert was served – a selection of Persian pastries accompanied by cognac. The conversation was so engrossing, the space so embracing, and the dogs so entertaining that we did not leave until almost 11, and thus did not return to the Opera House.
Standing on Peggy’s upper deck (which had just gotten its railings!), one could see the transformation in Hudson wrought by institutions such as the Opera House. Every neighbor’s house was bright with lights and activity, vanquishing the gloom and fear of the past. One of our friends, who runs a B&B in Hudson, remarked that he stumbled upon a traveler sitting on his front porch, hoping there was a room available. The last available hotel room in Columbia County that weekend was in Chatham, and the gentleman was sent on his way.
In the past, the Movable Feast has been held in April, but was moved this year to October to accommodate a shift in the date for the Opera House Gala. Attendance was not as robust, but it was quickly noted the number of competing events and benefits (John Waters at Basilica Hudson, for example) that have made Hudson such a thriving hive of cultural buzz. We are very happy to remain loyal to the Movable Feast.