Proprietor Profile: Christine Boeke
Westcott House B&B
24 N. 5th Street
What do you do, and how did you get to where you are now?
I run a small bed and breakfast in the heart of Hudson. I opened four years ago, which has little to do with a career in media marketing and copywriting for Newsweek and CBS but lots to do with having homes in resort/vacation destinations (Fire Island, Miami Beach and Tribeca). After 25 years of entertaining family and friends, it was an easy transition to make this a transactional relationship with my paying guests. Of course, the marketing, finance and planning all get tapped as I work on the Quickbooks or the website!
What do you love about what you do?
It’s about helping people create memories. Greeting the guests and making their stay in Hudson a wonderful and positive memory is so rewarding. I love to cook and guests get pretty elaborate breakfasts with a beautifully set table of china and crystal and the place settings are quite different every morning. I love telling them about the best places to eat or shop or hike and love the guests who want to take it all in and enjoy all the interesting, creative and natural beauty. I love guests who are inquisitive about how Hudson evolved. Since Warren Street can be a bit of Disneyland for grown-ups, I love the guests who want to see the whole picture and see their Hudson experience as more than a tic on their travel bucket list!
What’s the thing about Hudson that made you say, wow, I want to be here?
The juxtaposition of grit and great. I loved Miami in the eighties and nineties when there were still little Cuban coffee stands and apt bldgs from the thirties and forties and virtually no glam; Tribeca before 9/11 when there were a few diners and restaurants that had been mob hangouts and NO Starbucks and lots of artists and writers raising families. Hudson has lots of those vibes and a strong note of fabulousness right now and I love that. But I love this small business community working together to help ensure everyone’s success. I am concerned about many of our social and economic issues but I love seeing a core of people who care and want to apply their creativity or business experience to help address our shortcomings. It’s too good of a place to not be better!
What’s the most wonderful—or weirdest—thing that you’ve experienced in Hudson?
Weirdest — a guest showed up from London last summer for a wedding. I noted her phone’s area code was the same as my home town back in Indiana. Turns out that she and I were bridesmaids in the same wedding of one of my college friends back in 1984. That was wonderfully weird!
If there’s one thing a visitor has to experience before they leave, what is it?
Going down to the river! We’re a river town and crossing Front Street and walking up to Promenade Hill to get that first view never loses its shine for me! Better, walk along the river or have a picnic in the park.
What’s your favorite season in Hudson, and what makes it special?
Late summer. It’s hot and humid and the river flows slowly and the bugs are in the air and the evenings are long. The farm stands are full of the bounty of Columbia County and you can whip up wonderful meals with all the fresh produce or oven roast quarts of tomatoes and pickle fresh fruits and veggies and make jams and jellies from all the fresh berries. You can go apple picking or strawberry picking. You can love this season as it happens and love its memory all winter as you consume those delicious foods from your freezer. Spring is hope; Winter is sleep; but late summer is actualization, fruition, fulfillment.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend in and around Hudson?
I work weekends, so a full house of guests is perfect. An empty house on occasion is also perfect as then I get to do all the wonderful things I am suggesting to my guests! Art openings late Saturday afternoon and live music at Helsinki later. Going somewhere for brunch instead of cooking breakfast. Driving to Tanglewood for a concert or just sitting in my tiny little garden, doing nothing.
What’s your favorite event here, and what makes it great?
Until last weekend, I would have said WinterWalk as it brings out community and the joy and enchantment of holidays that reminds me of how children remember childhood events. After Hudson’s first Design Hudson, I have to say that, hands down, this new weekend tops my list. It’s the best of what Hudson can offer with art, design, fashion, food all creatively presented. It was beautifully and professionally executed; the turn out of our community was astounding. Everyone came and was impressed and left feeling proud and positive and hopeful of what Hudson can do and be.