Only 20 years ago, the quirky cultural haven of Hudson, New York would have been an unlikely candidate to become a far north weekend colony of New York City.
This small city, about 125 miles north of Manhattan and just across the Hudson River from the bucolic Catskills Region, had spent decades in a steady slide, settling into a largely unremarkable and economically-depressed backwater by the mid 1980s.
But before that, in the early 20th Century, Hudson was known as a centre of prostitution and vice, and even earlier still, just after the Revolutionary War in the early 1800s, the city’s main industry – whaling – was one that would hardly appeal to most modern urbane sensibilities. Whales were hunted in the Atlantic Ocean and brought by ship up the Hudson River for processing, a grisly business that is commemorated today with a cheerful cartoon whale symbol on the city’s street signs.
But Hudson did not become a quirky weekend destination by ignoring its sordid history. In fact, Hudson’s seedy past seems to add to its appeal. Read more at BBC Travel.