What’s New, Woodstock?

  |  May 12, 2014

Woodstock Village Green

We’re certainly no strangers to the legendary arts colony in Ulster County. We travel into town quite frequently for one reason or another, so we definitely have a feeling for both its strong suits and its not-so-great parts. There’s a dichotomy in Woodstock between the town’s strong artistic roots and its encouragement of the Bohemian lifestyle, and its issues with being an affordable place to live. For the week ending May 7, Trulia.com puts Woodstock’s average listing price around $584,000. Compare that to its neighbor, Saugerties, which, for the same week, has an average price of $336,000. Now, Saugerties and Woodstock are different places, granted. Saugerties doesn’t have the same name recognizability or artistic reputation that Woodstock claims, and Saugerties combined population of town and village is about triple Woodstock’s population, but they’re both walkable villages that draw both tourists and weekenders alike. But back to Woodstock’s issues with affordability. Some may recall the controversy of Woodstock Commons, an affordable housing complex from RUPCO (here’s an NYT article about it from 2011) that eventually did move forward, but not without rampant NIMBYism from many in Woodstock.

Other issues we’ve heard tell involve drug abuse, particularly heroin, among the younger population. In fact, heroin has become such a problem in Ulster County that area police officers have started carrying overdose kits with Naoloxone. Parents have long complained about a dearth of opportunities for young people around Woodstock, but one certainly can’t discount the existence of the Woodstock School of Art and the Paul Green Rock Academy, both down the road on Route 212, both with a number of programs available for kids and teens with scholarship opportunities.

That doesn’t mean that Woodstock is all gloom and doom, not at all. There are lots of places to take great yoga, art, dance, and music classes. Speaking of music, Woodstock seldom lacks in a live performance somewhere like the Bearsville Theater, Wok-n-Roll, Woodstock Playhouse, or up at the Byrdcliffe colony. There are decent restaurants that cater to all kinds of eaters from gluten-free to vegan, such as Oriel 9, Yum Yum Noodle Bar, Joshua’s, and the Garden Cafe. There are museums, art galleries, tons of shops (most of them touristy, heavy on the tie-dye), a nice public library, swimming holes, hiking, and no shortage of outdoor activities. The other thing that Woodstock has is a good crop of beautiful properties. We decided to take a look at what’s new(ish) on the market this week, and there are some dramatic lovelies available. Bonus: All of them are on more than an acre of land.

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About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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