Leaving Germantown for Woodstock

  |  April 30, 2013

That’s what Germantown’s most famous resident, Sonny Rollins, did recently, according to the Wall Street Journal. “For the past 40 years I lived on the other side of the Hudson River in Germantown, N.Y., in a small farmhouse built in the late 1880s,” he writes in this first-person piece. His wife died in 2004, and Rollins has lived there alone since then, in a house that’s less suited for him as time passes. “Last year the farmhouse became physically uncomfortable for a guy my age,” he continues. “The staircase leading to the second floor was steep and dangerous—I fell there one time. The house also was drafty in the winter and spring. My feet get cold easily now and I needed to be warm, so it was time to move.”

He moved to Woodstock, he says, for the central heat in the house, but also because of the company of so many of his musician pals who live there — perhaps it’s a slightly easier town for aging in place. But the hilly west side of the river does have some disadvantages. “In Germantown, I had plenty of open sky and could see the stars at night,” he writes. “I also could see the Catskill Mountains across the river—where I live now in Woodstock. Now, with all the tall fir trees outside my new home, I can only see a patch of sky out my windows and a little bit of the moon.”

That’s all right, he says. Because, in addition to central heating, his new house has soul.

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