Here comes Hudson

So, Saturday was a train trip up to Hudson in upstate New York to run a Tool Box workshop with members from Nancy Castaldo’s Eastern New York SCBWI chapter. But first we had to get there …

It was an early morning rise for these holiday people, a taxi ride to Penn Station and then we joined the queue for the Amtrak. It would have been helpful to have directions to the track and when we finally joined the right queue, after directions from the gate attendant, we then joined another queue directed by the same attendant. But it didn’t stop there!

Amtrak story 1: The train left on time and 5 minutes into the trip – in a tunnel – the train shut down, only emergency lights lit the carriage, and then when the conductor announced that we might have to be towed back to the station we were thinking that my day with the Eastern NY crew would be off. Thankfully, a nail file was found (true – that is what we heard),  the engines started and the journey resumed 20 minutes after shutdown! It was a gloriously beautiful trip by the water’s edge – well worth the little tension of the breakdown. There were scattered enormous buildings perched on the side of the river, many bridges, and the train track running right by the water’s edge.

Watch your step!

Watch your step!

And then we arrived at the cute little town of Hudson. No time to check out the buildings and the local sights as we were running close to time. It was straight to work and time for a Digital Toolbox Workshop. And Nancy’s members were great fun, asking questions, taking notes, listening to each other, adding comments, sharing thoughts – and listening to me speak about the digital side of book creation and being a book author or illustrator. Lots of fun! And as for the apple cider donuts that Nancy provided … it’s enough to make me come again! Just love those donuts! Then the four hours were done and my workshop was over. But we had not finished … then there was the curious book signing. It was curious, not because of the books being signed but because of the location at a store called the Spotty Dog. This store isn’t just bookshop. It is also serves beer and stocks artist supplies. What a strange mix, although i guess if a coffee shop can be in a bookshops then so can ale! There were lots of people there … but not many for the book signing … Lots of beer flowing through ye olde taps though!

An early dinner at the Red Dot with Jennifer Laughran and Nancy’s husband, Dean. Lovely food – we had calamari and fish and chips and the restaurant, well this one is pet friendly. We observed oversized cats washing while perched on the dining chairs and horse sized dogs occupying lots of floor space. Then, with food quickly consumed, it was the time for the two hour train trip back to New York City.

Dinner

Dinner

at the Red Dog

at the Red Dog

Amtrak story 2: We made it just in time to the station (we misread the ticket and thought it left 10 minutes later) … and then came the announcement. The train was delayed and was due to depart an hour after scheduled. So Nancy, Bini and I sat at the station all the while being serenaded by the music being emitted by nearby Indian festival. Finally the announcement came and the train was due to arrive so we farewelled Nancy and then perched behind the yellow line trackside!

Amtrak story 2A: Then another announcement from the station attendant – that there was a computer glitch and the train was STILL at the previous station! sigh! Back to the railway seats – which were getting very uncomfortable by now! Eventually the train arrived, we boarded and made it all the way back to Penn Station – 2 hours later than scheduled! Would have been nice to know what happened and why we were late but at least we made it back!

At the station

At the station

SO – that was the Hudson Day … Just a delight with Nancy and her crew. Thanks heaps Nancy! We had fun!!!

 

2 Responses to Here comes Hudson

  1. I enjoyed your informative & dynamic workshop tremendously, Chris! It was fascinating, entertaining & most helpful! Thank you for all your tips, and incredibly useful info. Enjoy the rest of your trip! Cheers, Imogene Drummond

    Imogene Drummond August 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm Reply

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