Greetings, from One Upstater to Another


Julian (center), with Philippe (right) and Michael C. Hall (left), who stayed in The Saint James for five weeks during the filming of his new film: Cold in July.

Dear Friends,

My name is Julian Lesser, I work as the Director of Sales and Product Development at Luminary Publishing, and I am now a full-time “Upstater”.

Moving from Astoria, Queens and settling down near the foothills of the Catskills was, for me, a decision that was organic and surprising. I went to college in the Hudson Valley at SUNY New Paltz, and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with my environment. After graduating, life brought me from the lush, forested landscape of New Paltz to the concrete jungle, and after moving to Astoria, I fell in love once again, this time with my partner Philippe.

Even after the city had absorbed me completely into its frenetic fold, I held on to the beautiful scenes of mountains, fields, and flowers that I had encountered during my college years. My eye wandered from the tulips in Central Park to the MLS listings of Ulster County, which is where I found The Saint James; a Kingston Victorian that began as our weekend getaway and is now my full-time home and continuously evolving renovation project.


The living room of the Saint James, in Kingston, NY

Funnily enough, it was Upstater, this delightful mélange of stories, FYIs, and gorgeous photos that filled in the holes the real estate listings left to our imaginations:

What is this neighborhood like?

Once we move here, where can we go to get a good cup of coffee?

Are we technically in upstate NY? Should we care?

I feel so connected with Upstater’s mission because both Philippe and I are living it. He does the weekending, I’m the relocator, and together, we are the creative team behind a fun and engaging renovation project, which I hope to tell you more about as we move into a new season of rebirth (and I roll my sleeves up for some serious spring cleaning).

Long story short, my journey in this beautiful and dynamic region has only just begun, and I look forward to bringing you along for the ride!

– J

About Julian Lesser

Julian is a lover of the Hudson Valley. Born and raised in the valley, he has made it his permanent home. Originally from Westchester, educated in New Paltz, employed both in NYC, and Kingston, which he happily calls home. Promoting and cultivating the beauty and culture of the Hudson Valley is both his passion and full time job. Reach out anytime @

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