A Media Collection Of Beacon Features In The News

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By Yvonne De Salle

Beacon is one of those little cities that might remind you of that one kid in high school: quiet, effortlessly cool, and always recycling. Over the years, Beacon has been assigned some nicknames (that Beaconites may or may not accept), including “The Tree City” (well, that was an actual designation), Brooklyn North (Gawd, no), and NoBro (worse… that’s way worse).

Nestled in the majestic sprawl that is the beautiful Hudson Valley, Beacon’s renaissance has not gone unnoticed. Beacon has had a series of high-profile mentions in national publications over the past few years. What follows below are some of the more notable commendations Beacon has received. As more get published, we will add to this list so that you can find them in one easy place. If you or your business got great press that included being in Beacon, and it’s not on this list (yet), let us know about it.

PS: If you’re reading these and thinking: “Gosh, my business could have been featured here!” then you’re right! Tin Shingle, a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog and our sister media company, agrees with you. Tin Shingle has an interactive Buzz Building Membership Program that teaches you how to pitch the media to make this happen. Just because the media says something is the best, doesn’t mean that they know about your business yet - so you should go out and pitch them! Just like several of these businesses have.

Travel + Leisure
A feature on Dia:Beacon. The contemporary art museum, which opened in 2003, was the springboard to Beacon’s revitalization. Travel + Leisure Magazine covers the artistic creation.
Read it here

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Parade
Parade Magazine refers to Beacon as “the Hudson Valley’s most exciting gem.”
Read it here

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Vogue
The Inn and Spa at Beacon gets a sweet review by none other than Vogue magazine. Vogue, you guysss…
Read it here

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Food & Wine

The illustrious Food & Wine magazine covers one of Beacon’s newest and most delicious eateries, Meyer’s Olde Dutch Food & Such.
Read it here

Food & Wine (again!)

Who knows food and wine better than Food & Wine? And who knows wine better than Artisan Wine Shop?
Read it here

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Budget Travel

Budget Travel names Beacon the NUMBER ONE coolest small town in America. Our eclectic and free-spirited vibe, combined with our spirit of community and delicious food, are things that stood out.
Read it here

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USA Today
The Hudson Valley Brewery nabs a mention in USA Today.
Read it here

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Cleveland.com

Beacon’s own Lenny Torres is signed to the Cleveland Indians, their third pick in the June baseball draft. A reward after years of hard work.

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REFINERY29
Media and Entertainment website Refinery29 sheds light on Dia:Beacon as part of their roundup of day trips around New York City.
Read it here

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The New York Times
The Roundhouse gets a lovely review from The New York Times.
Read it here

The New York Times (again!)
Beacon receives a real estate-based feature.
Read it here

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Business Insider
Kitchen Sink Food & Drink (same owners/brains as Meyer’s Olde Dutch mentioned above) and The Roundhouse are mentioned as two of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley.
Read it here

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The Travel Channel
The lucky journalist who spent 48 hours in Beacon had such lovely things to say. Those of you who’ve spent 48 years here are even luckier.
Read it here

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Condé Nast Traveler
An oldie but a goodie. 10 Things to do in Beacon!
Read it here

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Los Angeles Times
TBS’ comedy “People of Earth” was based in Beacon. They renamed Verplanck Ave. VANDERPLANK, ha ha.
Read it here

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House Hunters - HGTV
Former NYC house hunters, Richard Blakeley and his wife Lindsay Kaplan (as in the daughter of Richie Kaplan, co-owner of Max’s on Main), were looking to buy a home in Beacon and leave NYC. According to the episode’s premise: “She'd love a sprawling white farmhouse, but he loves Beacon's vintage charm and prefers a historic Queen Anne Victorian.” It’s a great episode!
Watch it here

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Boston Herald
Boston native John Krasinski picks Beacon’s own Natural Market to film the opening scene of the blockbuster hit movie “A Quiet Place.”
Read it here

There are more press mentions out there… If you don’t see it here, send it to us!

Artifact Beacon and Wares Closing Forever This Weekend - BUT…

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Don't freak out just yet over that headline: It’s true, two of your favorite artisan stores on the east end of Beacon near the mountain are closing this weekend, BUT they will be re-opening together later in September. Meanwhile, this weekend is your last chance to shop in each of their stores as they currently exist, so hurry in, and take advantage of 20% off at Artifact and Wares. Big sales!!

HIT UP THESE SALES LABOR DAY WEEKEND:
Help a little boutique (or two) out! Buy their stuff!
Artifact Beacon:
17 East Main Street (down the street/hill from Dogwood)
Wares: 2 Tioronda Avenue (the cute little house near the silos, just off Main Street)

Artifact and Wares Are Merging Into One Shop - On Main Street

Both shops were on the fringe of Main Street, situated as they were on East Main and Tioronda. Not being on Main Street isn’t the worst thing, but on the east end of Main Street near the mountain, it can be hard to feel a rush of foot traffic. So keep walking, people! Some of the cutest shops, galleries and eateries are located down here.

Artifact and Wares are merging into one shop to be located at 484 Main Street (the former Waddle n Swaddle spot, near the new yoga studio), and will be called Hyperbole. This new store brings together the owners Carolyn Baccaro, of Artifact, and her good friend Andrea Podob, of Wares. Says Carolyn: “Together, we're creating a unique shopping experience that connects independent, [thoughtful] artists with stylish and discerning customers like YOU.” Look for jewelry, art, clothing, vintage finds, and more at the new Hyperbole.

Fans of both shops are being directed to follow Artifact’s Instagram page, which will convert over to the new Hyperbole.

The former space of Artifact will be filled by new store owners, who are plotting their arrival as we speak.

Time to update A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide!

Flora The Flower Shop Is Under New Ownership - Changing To Flora Good Times

This just in! Your favorite little flower shop on the west end of town, Flora, is under new ownership from the proprietress Corinne Bryson. Says Corinne of the new shop: “There will still be tons of plants and flowers, but I'm aiming to work with small local farms to get flowers during the growing season rather than imported flowers, and unusual plant specimens!”

Where does Corinne hail from? It is always interesting to follow the thread of a small business journey, tracing from where a business owner started, and how they got here, to Beacon. Corinne is originally from outside of Detroit. She’ll fill in the rest:

“I moved to Rochester, NY, 10 years ago to go to school for photography. I moved to Brooklyn almost seven years ago to pursue that career and tripped and fell into floral design and fell in love with house plants. My husband and I currently live in Brewster, where we’re working at filling our house with rare plants, hand-thrown ceramics and knick-knacks from our travels.”

Tripping and falling into floral design sounds fun. Let the opening of the shop begin! Flora Good Times will hold an opening day celebration on Sunday, September 1, 2019 from 12 to 5 pm. The shop is located at 197 Main St., Beacon, NY near the Beacon Bread Company.

FOLLOW UP: Wine and Liquor Store 7 pm Law Moves To New York State Liquor Authority For Public Comment

Pictured here are two wine stores in Beacon who support extending the open hours.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Pictured here are two wine stores in Beacon who support extending the open hours.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

A law that restricts wine and liquor stores to close by 7 pm, and to open for only one hour in the morning on select major holidays, has been moving toward being repealed, after years of resistance from local businesses upcounty who wanted to maintain the short hours, citing that stores who opted to stay open until 9 pm would cannibalize their business.

In a milestone never before reached by prior Dutchess County Legislators who attempted the repeal, it appears that the time is ripe for overriding the opposition. Proposed changes to the law are now before the New York State Liquor Authority, who needs to hear from the public on whether they want this law changed. The New York State Liquor Authority is holding a Public Comment hearing on Tuesday, August 27, at 4:30 pm at 1 Overocker Road in Poughkeepsie., and wants to hear from you before they make their decision.

In Prior Years, Attempts To Extend Open Hours Failed

Former Dutchess County Legislator Jerry Landisi attempted to change this law years ago, with Beacon Mayor Randy Casale’s support. It didn’t budge. This year, current Dutchess County Legislator (and Beacon resident) Frits Zernike authored a resolution to change the law, citing in a press release: "This allows individual businesses to tailor their hours to the buying habits of people in their localities, instead of the one-size-fits-some regulation we now have. Because you can stay open til 9 pm doesn't mean you have to. But the 7 pm closing time means everybody has to stop doing business at the same time."

2019 Saw The Most Success - Plus A Veto - To Extend The Hours

The 2019 attempt also had the support of Beacon’s mayor and city council; the Mayor traveled to the legislature meeting where the vote was passed 18-6 in April 2019 in favor of extending the open hours. However, the Dutchess County Executive, Marcus Molinaro vetoed that vote, declaring that not enough public awareness was made about the vote. Yet, in his memo announcing his veto, he said he supported the move to extend the open hours:

 

“I have no objection to this county requesting the New York State Liquor Authority consider extending the hours of operation for Dutchess wine and liquor stores. I support competition and a more open market place, and I want Dutchess County businesses to have the greatest opportunity to compete and succeed.

Restrictive State policies and outdated laws governing this industry have created an uneven playing field that should be addressed. Further, in many ways, the State Liquor Authority remains an institution rooted in the past, unable to keep up with the rapidly changing market, local needs, and the concerns of the State’s and Dutchess County’s residents. A better system would devolve authority and allow local municipalities with their zoning regulations to regulate the retail of wine and liquor for off-premises consumption. It is befuddling, at best, as to why New York has maintained this Prohibition-era regime, and I do not know how this County became the last in the state to enable extended hours of operation.”

 

The legislators voted again to override his vote, 19-5 in May 2019, moving the challenge to the State Liquor Authority.

What Will Happen Next?

Tune in after Tuesday, August 27, when the New York State Liquor Authority hears from the public. You could comment here or on our Instagram about this, but if you really want to make a difference, travel up to the meeting! Or according to the Poughkeepsie Journal, you can write in:

EMAIL
Secretarys.Office@sla.ny.gov
Include in the subject line: "Dutchess County Hearing."

LETTER BY SNAIL MAIL
Address your comments to the secretary's office at:
80 South Swan St. Suite 900
Albany, NY 12210

Monday Is The New Saturday For Local Shopping By Beaconites

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Monday is the new Saturday for local shopping in Beacon! Darryl’s Women’s Clothing Boutique is the latest boutique on Main Street to be open daily. Being open every day of the week is no small feat for a small business, as it requires staffing and effort. But it tends to be the ultimate goal for retail, as daily hours are easier for shoppers to remember, if they want to visit their favorite shops without remembering individual schedules.

Open Hours and Dia: Beacon - Breaking Of Reliance

In the olden days (like, up until about last year), stores in Beacon were mostly closed on Tuesdays because Dia:Beacon was closed on Tuesdays. The museum’s selection of Beacon’s riverside site launched the rebuilding of uphill, Main Street Beacon (which at the moment is in full swing). But with years of good press coverage, Beacon has grown as a destination town, bringing more foot traffic on different days, especially Monday holidays. Being that the weekend is naturally busy for a store, boutiques and restaurants would often close on Mondays as well, to recoup from the weekend and do paperwork and administrative tasks. That too has begun to change, with retail experimenting with opening on Mondays as well.

Parking On Mondays Also An Added Bonus!

Everyone knows that there’s essentially no parking to be found on the weekends. You can see our Guide For Free Parking to find your best bets for lots to park in. But no parking is a great excuse to walk, and walking Main Street is fun on the weekend. So many people to see, and shops to visit.

Parking on Mondays in Beacon is possible! More shops are staying open on Monday, and parking is a bonus.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Parking on Mondays in Beacon is possible! More shops are staying open on Monday, and parking is a bonus.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Yet, when doing a bunch of errands, it can be so much easier to park in a central spot. For businesses, that ease of access is a benefit of being open on Mondays! Pictured here are two parking spots open near Mountain Tops and Darryl’s on a Monday. As one of our readers, Rose Merando Story, pointed out, locals have been venturing out to shop on Mondays because there is more parking: “I've noticed the locals try to stay away from Main Street on the weekends because of the traffic and parking situation and they tend to shop on Mondays.”

Monday It Is

So, all you Beaconites reading this, venture out on a Monday and reward these stores with your purchase. It’s you who keeps them here! We all like window shopping, but if you want a pretty window to look at, you’ll walk through the door and get to know what is available inside. You will be SO surprised. Constantly.

Find This jacket at Darryl’s Clothing Boutique. It is one of many Fun, Frilly pieces - and often they have sales!

Find This jacket at Darryl’s Clothing Boutique. It is one of many Fun, Frilly pieces - and often they have sales!

PS: Can we discuss this jacket? Fundraiser Event Season is right around the corner, and Darryl’s Clothing Boutique will have your style. This jacket is easy to move your arms in, well-shaped, and 20 percent off the already on-sale price of $79. You do the math.

PPS: Darryl’s is a Sponsor in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping 🛍 Guide. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us!

It's Ready! New Deli Open At Key Food, Serving Buffalo Wings - And Did You Notice The New Parking Lot?

Left: The new deli, with all your favorite cheese and spread options back in the case.  Right: The new parking lot, with arrows to help keep people moving in the right direction.  Photo Credits: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Left: The new deli, with all your favorite cheese and spread options back in the case.
Right: The new parking lot, with arrows to help keep people moving in the right direction.
Photo Credits: Katie Hellmuth Martin

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You’ve walked through the doors of construction at Key Food.

You’ve walked around the usual checkout line to exit when new or moved walls were going up.

You’ve wondered what is going on behind the wall with all of the banging, and you heard that it was a new, bigger deli.

And now, the new deli is here and open! The team at Key Food has been scampering around, climbing onto the roof to hook things up and connect everything just so in order to bring Beaconites more food options for those who want to eat and run, or just eat and not cook.

The deli grew longer, a hooded kitchen was added to the back of it, and the crew is already cooking their own original Buffalo wings made in a secret sauce. Key Food is currently hiring looking to expand the deli staff!

This isn’t the first mega project the folks at Key Food have undertaken. Jb Said opened the Craft Beer Shoppe right next door, Junior and Co. opened Beacon International across the street, and the Smoke Shop and More was an addition as well.

What’s For Lunch/Dinner?

Buffalo wings at Key Food in their secret sauce. Blue cheese dressing available on the shelf nearby.

Buffalo wings at Key Food in their secret sauce. Blue cheese dressing available on the shelf nearby.

Hot prepared meals fill the warming rack at Key Food starting at about 12:30 pm. You can still get fresh rotisserie chicken that is cooked behind the deli counter, and now you can also get Buffalo wings in a secret sauce, chicken tenders, fried chicken, and a lot of other chicken options. Bottles of blue cheese dressing are conveniently located in the aisles of the store. You can keep an entire bottle back at your office fridge. No more worrying about asking for extra blue cheese and hoping it made it into the bag.

Sides are available, like crunchy broccoli salad, tabbouleh, potato salad, and other staples. Sandwich-wise, you can get egg salad, tuna salad, and of course, sliced meat sandwiches. Soon, the grill will be on and you’ll be able to get hot sandwiches. The menu is currently being taste-tested before becoming public.

Catering From Key Food

In addition to the new hot foods lining the case, Key Food Beacon has been quietly catering, working out their systems on friends and family in order to bring catering to you. Consider it in a soft beta launch for now. Foods like sesame chicken with broccoli and Middle Eastern chicken on Spanish rice were big hits, and make it into the rotation of take-out lunch items on the hot shelf. Watch their Facebook page for announcements, but better yet, come in to see what’s up. Don’t wait for digital! Show up for food.

New Helpful Arrows In Key Food Parking Lot

Our office here at A Little Beacon Blog is right across the street from Key Food. We sit at one of the trickier intersections on Main Street. There are worse intersections, but this one is pretty active with illegal U-turns, kids popping wheelies on bikes in the middle of the road, people driving the wrong way up South Brett Street, and cars pulling into the Key Food parking lot going the wrong way.

If you’ve never noticed before, the driveway on the left of the parking lot is the Entrance, and the driveway on the right is the Exit. Although there is a good amount of parking in the Key Food parking lot, there isn’t much room to maneuver two-way traffic, so it’s one-way.

To help everyone drive safely, Key Food had bright yellow arrows put down on their new parking lot paving job. A few parking spaces to the right of the front door were removed in order to make for better parking of the delivery trucks. As has been discussed at City Council meetings recently, Main Street is pretty narrow and congested with delivery trucks. Key Food now has a dedicated place for the trucks to park, making movement easier for everyone. See the picture of that cozy truck down below?

7th Customer Appreciation Day Hosted By Key Food Beacon

This Saturday, August 17, Key Food is hosting their 7th Customer Appreciation Day. It is an especially big deal this year, as everyone made it through the store’s enhancements. From their invitation: “Come celebrate with us. We want to thank you for your business. Join us for a fun event for the community. There will be free food, free beverages, free snacks, music, kids activities, giveaways and much more. Thank you so much for all your support and we hope to see you all there.”

When you come to the Appreciation Day, pop across the street to the Pop-Up Shop happening at A Little Beacon Space for some vintage T-shirts and possibly video game playing!

See you there!

The Lady Barber Who Clips In Comfort To Transform - A Lucky Cut Turns No Hair Away

Photo Credits: Lucky Longo

Photo Credits: Lucky Longo

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When Lucky Longo first walked into a barber shop to get her short hair clipped and shaped, she was turned away. Barber shops tend to be run by men for men, and just as salons tend to be a hangout for ladies, the barber shops tend to be a hangout for manly men and dudes. Which usually results in a very gender-divided place on both ends of the spectrum that most people don’t think about, including owners who don’t make a conscious decision to exclude anyone when cultivating the culture inside of their salon or shop.

So, when thinking hair - which is a defining part of most people’s appearance - it’s just taking a moment to step back and look at the vibe of a hair establishment. All those years ago, after being turned away for a cut, Lucky left the barber shop confused. She had short hair. Wasn’t a barber a specialist in cutting short hair?

Getting turned away was the genesis for the seed of an idea to open A Lucky Cut, the quietly cool, “good vibes” barber shop on Main Street near the library. You may have wondered about the shop as you wandered by, but have never walked into because it is very seriously reserved as an appointment only, one-on-one establishment.

Maybe Edgy Hair Cuts And A Barber Concept Intimidate You

Photo Credit: A Lucky Cut

Photo Credit: A Lucky Cut

I’ll admit - I’ve been watching the hair cuts on A Lucky Cut’s Instagram come out. All of them - from the fades on the dudes, to the fade swoops on the little dudes, to the incredible short cuts, the head shaves to super-long layers to all out transformations from long hair to short.

But I was too intimidated to consider going in. Which, it turns out, is completely ironic and the opposite of what A Lucky Cut wants to put out there to the world. This was until Lucky Longo herself reached out to A Little Beacon Blog during June, which is LGBTQ month, to let us know that she is a barber shop who specializes in cutting the hair of transgender and gay people who otherwise are not comfortable going into a traditional salon or barber shop that may feel too girly or too manly to them. A Lucky Cut positioned itself as an in-between place that is very hip and cool and comfortable.

A-HA! I was intrigued - and still a little intimidated because the language and culture for trans life is new to me, so even asking the questions for an interview had to be carefully crafted so as not to offend - or so I thought.

But First… Before ALBB’s Interview, Listen To Kingston Radio’s Interview

Turns out, Kingston Radio also wanted to explore the gender-slanted salon and traditional barber shop experience, and interviewed Lucky on their show for the episode “Queer Hair Roundtable!” It’s a great listen that interviews three hair stylists who cut hair of everyone, where you’ll discover just how young the hair passion starts in a person, and what it may feel like for a gay or transgender person walking into a salon or barber shop, where gender probably wasn’t considered when building the brand, but is ingrained into the experience of that salon or barber shop, leaving some people feeling uncomfortable in the chair.

Meet Lucky Longo, Creator and Owner of A Lucky Cut

We’re going to let Lucky take it from here, in a Q&A style interview. Her voice is pretty real and her spoken word good to read, so you’ll be able to absorb it direct, not sliced and diced in quotes.

Q: You are known for cutting hair of transgender people. Is there a reason for this? Do they feel comfortable and safe with you, as opposed to a “traditional” salon, whatever that means?

LUCKY: Yes. I believe people come to me for comfort and safety. I have a very chill environment, and I try to create a safe space to share feelings. [This is a difference from your] non-traditional barbershop so people aren’t gawking at you during your cut. I am appointment-only, and I feel very sacred with that time. Private sessions make that helpful. During transitions, people are faced with new things like beards and hair loss, and I guide them, teach them, and talk about what to expect.

Some new styles are based around wherever their transition is bringing them. Even young and newly identifying people come to me for that “edgy cut,” something to make them feel good, almost as if they slipped on a new crown. I take my job very seriously for this topic specifically.

Q: “Edgy hair” (aka hair shaved on one side, long on other), what is that style? Where did it come from?

LUCKY: It comes from people being bold and wanting to have an identity. Sometimes it comes from people who have thick hair and they say “fuck it… I want half.” Sorry, I was projecting. I did that. But I had both sides shaved and grew it long. But shaved side is definitely edgy and fun and you can do stuff with it.

Q: Anyone can sit in your chair and get an amazingly styled cut. Man or woman. Long hair or short. Man transitioning to woman, or woman transitioning to man. Hair is in and of itself a major emotional piece to someone’s identity. You are working with someone in a journey, and you’ll encounter them again on their journey and things could be much different physically and emotionally for them. How do you help them feel comfortable finding themselves in your chair as you help with the crown (hair) part?

LUCKY: Oh wow. Everyone is so energetically different here. With what and where they are in their particular journey. It’s my job before I even begin to cut anything, to feel them somehow. I get deep fast so I can find what they want, hear what they need, and know how they want to be seen. I like when people bring photos. Even though people apologize usually at first, because someone teased them for it I suppose. But I love a photo to go off of. It’s just one more idea or clue to where I take it. I always hug everyone before they sit down usually.

Q: Did you always cut hair?

LUCKY: I studied graphic design at Pratt right out of high school and worked in animal hospitals during that time. I tanked miserably after three years and shit got too computery, so I went in hard with the vet tech stuff while living out in Brooklyn and tapped out emotionally and cut hair at night with dreams of getting out of the city. I apprenticed at night at Dickson Hairshop for two years then went on to the Barber Academy and moved out of the city. I did both for a long time, until one day I just said “fuck it” and traveled with Coal and cut hair all up and down the Hudson Valley, starting 100 percent in 2008.

Editor’s Note: Lucky grew up in hair salons, and declares them her comfort zone (as you’ll hear in Radio Kingston’s episode). But it took her a while to settle in to her permanent position behind the chair. Lucky did a lot of hair clippering during home visits. Some of her trans and gay clients were not comfortable leaving their homes to come into a traditional salon or barber shop. As is common with hair stylists, when Lucky left or moved, many of her clients followed her wherever she went. During Lucky’s travels up and down the Hudson River, she fell in love with Beacon and set up a hair salon in the old Beacon High School, which she describes as “a speakeasy private barbershop right inside of the old guidance counselor’s office.” Recently, she moved to Main Street, in the little brick building near the public library and Glazed Over Donuts.

Q: What was it like when your barber shop was in the old Beacon High School?

LUCKY: So good. I shared space with Mimi Longo, the musician, so between us there were always people in and out all day and we would hang hard even after work in our space.

Q: You describe yourself as a Lady Barber. What does that mean for someone visiting your shop? Do you do men’s hair only? Do you do women’s hair?

LUCKY: I am just not a man’s barber. I cut everybody’s hair. I exclude no one from my chair. It’s a place to create the safe space to become more you. So I really help try and embrace that feeling. There is no room for judgment there. It’s a predominantly men’s trade. But I like to make it known that I’m a woman just mostly for the other person’s comfort and preference. I have had men turn me down for a haircut when I am in a walk-in barber shop because I am a woman.

Q: What is the difference between a hair salon and a barbershop?

LUCKY: The million dollar question. Sounds so simple but it’s really very broad. The difference between the shops and not just the workers is, usually barbershops are walk-in and people come and go way faster than a salon, where [the client is] getting more services. Barbershops are usually predominantly full of men.

Q: As a lady barber, when you cut lady’s hair, do you wet it? Shampoo it? Blow it dry?

When I cut long hair on any gender, I don’t wash it. As a barber, I spray wet it. I blow dry it after. I don’t do blow outs or curls and shit like that. People are coming and paying for just a cut. Usually you’re paying more for that [extra styling stuff] anyway. Most people just go home and shower anyway.

Q: Can you trim long hair? Or do you just cut it all off?!? Just being real here…

LUCKY: Good question. And no way. I envy long hair. People think I just do drastic cuts only, but it’s not true. I cut all hair. Long. Short. Trims. Big cuts. Bangs. Beards. Sometimes people even apologize when they come in. Like, “sorry just a trim…” As if I’m bored. But I love my job. [I’m here to] make people feel good. Be more themselves. Whatever that is for them. No judgment.

Q: Continuing in my realness… What if my hair is too boring for you? Mine’s just long and straight (well… it’s confused between frizz/curl/straight). I don’t know what direction to go. But your cuts are intriguing.

LUCKY: I love what I do. And I love the opportunity to cut anyone’s hair. I know how long people wait for my appointments, so I don’t take anyone’s patience lightly. I know they waited to get to that chair. And if you want just a trim, I respect you for liking your hair enough to want it done right. [Edgy] or not.

Q: As a woman who wants to get short hair, do you think women in the same circumstances feel more comfortable in your establishment then with a traditional barber who tend to have men?

LUCKY: Oh, of course. That’s definitely the consensus! Usually the traditional barber cuts hard lines [that] aren’t long-lasting and don’t serve the softness of a feminine touch to a short edgy haircut that some women prefer. But nonetheless, whatever you want and whatever woman you are, any person just wants to be heard. And not assumed what they want.

From left: Kendra, Eileen, Lucky.  Photo Credit:   Monica Simoes

From left: Kendra, Eileen, Lucky.
Photo Credit: Monica Simoes

Q: You’ve gone “even more epic” by having two Beacon-famous stylists in your place - Kendra and Eileen - who do color. What does that mean for your lady barbershop? Is it a hybrid salon/barbershop?

Great question. It’s still a barbershop ‘cause it’s where I work. These ladies - I am lucky enough to just share my space with here and there. And they have their own clientele.

Q: Is unisex a word anymore? Mr. Bell’s storefront window says “unisex” on his storefront window, as women and men stylists have both cut all hairs there. Is there a new word now?

LUCKY: My mom was a hairdresser and I grew up in all her salons seeing that word. It feels old. I don’t know what word I wanna use. But I usually just answer “I cut all the hairs. Get in my chair.”

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Just for fun, click on the picture below to get to the speed video of her mom cutting Lucky’s hair.

a lucky cut mom.jpeg

Local/Global Travel Tech Company, ViaHero, Relocates To Beacon

As Beacon grows in the number of apartments available, the demand for office space also grows. From the City Council’s new requirements for developments to build a percentage of office space into their residential projects, to movers and shakers leaving and filling office space on Main Street.

One of the newest companies to hunker down on Main Street is ViaHero, a travel-planning platform where travelers can choose local residents to plan a personalized trip. ViaHero, which uses locals who live in the destination the traveler wants to visit, has been featured in Travel + Leisure, TechCruch and The Associated Press. ViaHero posted three jobs here at A Little Beacon Blog, looking for local talent in tech and marketing, so we wanted to learn more about them. We started by interviewing the co-founder, Greg Buzulencia.

Where’s The Office?

ViaHero moved into The Valley Table’s old office, above the Beacon Pantry, in the Carriage Works building at 380 Main Street. (You’ll recall that Valley Table magazine recently sold to Hudson Valley Magazine.)

Says Greg of the move: “My co-founder and I started the company in Pittsburgh, and we knew that in order to grow, we needed to be in an area that had the quality of life that we had in Pittsburgh, but with access to a large tech hub. Rachel and I moved to Beacon when each of our spouses got job offers in the Hudson Valley and we moved the company to New York City when we made that shift in 2017. This summer we saw an opportunity to make a few hires in the Beacon area, after seeing there was a diverse talent pool here that is tired of commuting to the city for their tech jobs, so we made the leap and signed a lease for a new office in Beacon!”

When Did ViaHero Start?

ViaHero launched in April 2016 in Cuba. Since then, the company has expanded into 13 destinations across the world, “and we’re still growing!” says Greg. The idea behind ViaHero is that you have a local planning your trip, instead of someone (maybe a broader travel agent) who doesn’t know the area quite as well. “There's a lot of people who are frustrated with spending dozens of hours planning their trip only to find out that they fell into inauthentic tourist traps,” says Greg. “Our mission is to make it easy to broaden your perspective through travel. We allow people to do that by diving deeper into the culture. Plus, more of your travel dollars stay in the local community that you're traveling to.”

Look into the job postings by ViaHero, and see if you or a friend is a fit!

The Shop Dream In Plastic Changes Name To Zakka Joy - And Embraces All Caps!

Dream in Plastic rebrands to Zakka Joy. Same great store, different name. You’ll find the ever-changing curated inventory from the same owner, Jenny Zuko.  Photo Caption: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Dream in Plastic rebrands to Zakka Joy. Same great store, different name. You’ll find the ever-changing curated inventory from the same owner, Jenny Zuko.
Photo Caption: Katie Hellmuth Martin

When you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, pretty much all of your retail therapy dreams involved plastic. Charm necklaces, gummy bracelets, banana clips, you get the drift. And let’s be honest, plastic still is the foundation for a lot of what we buy. When Jenny Zuko opened her first shop in Brooklyn, NY, in 2007, naming it Dream in Plastic was a safe bet. Today in 2019, the name has become a liability. People dismiss the store’s contents as something they don’t want - plastic. What does a business owner do when her customers shift? She shifts with them, does a soul search, and rebrands.

Welcome Zakka Joy To Main Street - Same Great Shop, Different Name

“It straight up hurts our feelings when people sometimes dismiss us as a store full of single-use plastics and useless junk,” admitted Jenny in an email to her customers (of which I am one!). Dream in Plastic - I mean Zakka Joy - moved to Beacon in 2009, and is one of the veteran shops on Main Street, weathering many tipping points and being on the front lines of foot traffic that comes in - both legit, focused customers and wandering youth with backpacks who hover about the store, touching everything but buying nothing (why the empty backpacks?).

Dream in Plastic isn’t the only store to rebrand in Beacon. One of her neighbors, The Pandorica restaurant, went through a major rebrand when owner Shirley Hot transformed her Cup & Saucer theme to the Doctor Who show. She now attracts customers from all over the world.

What Is Zakka?

Photo Credit:    Zakka Joy

Photo Credit: Zakka Joy

According to Jenny: “Zakka (“Zah-kah”) is a Japanese word, for which there really is no English equivalent.”

In sum, Zakka means:

  • Seeing the beauty in something mundane.

  • Uncategorizable or miscellaneous things.

  • Everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance.

  • Humble, everyday objects that bring their users great satisfaction.

  • Things that accompany our everyday lifestyle spaces and provide an element of decoration.

  • Things mixed together with great variety.

Combine this word with “Joy,” and you have that precious moment of joy. “The shop really is about is that moment of happy (ahem, ‘Joy’) you experience when you discover that one thing (or ten): a pencil that you cherish, a pair of socks with your favorite animal on them, a toy to keep you company, a hand-poured soy candle, or the perfect gift for someone,” explains Jenny.

Zakka (thing) + Joy (the feeling when you discover the thing) = Zakka Joy

You’ll notice similarities in the old and new in the new logo. Still a cute shape in the name (originally a little cloud, and now an emoji-type smiley face). Where Dream in Plastic was in all lowercase, Zakka Joy’s logo stands big and bold in all caps.

What Will You Find Inside of Zakka Joy?

The smiley face from the logo grows inside on the wall.   Photo Credit:    Zakka Joy

The smiley face from the logo grows inside on the wall.
Photo Credit: Zakka Joy

Regulars of the shop know Jenny to have an ever-changing collection of inventory, from walls of cameras to walls of socks. In recent years, her collection of paper stationery and kitchen goods has grown. There is not an official stationery store in Beacon. There used to be - down on Jenny’s end of town - but that store closed long ago. (I still have several very pretty file boxes I purchased from that shop!)

While not a full-blown stationery store, Jenny’s addiction to paper is very much alive right now, with her large collection of journals, planners, and party decorations. Her art supply collection is growing as well, with charcoal pencils, funky erasers, highlighters that smell like strawberries and peaches, and some of the best rolling pens you have ever used. Impress your friends or even the ladies at the DMV with a pink pen carried in your purse (like I did!). It’s real easy and cheap retail therapy.

Inside, you’ll still find the pusheens you love, and collection of stuffed animal keychains. You will definitely find stickers and figures from the famous artist (who now lives in Beacon!) Tara McPherson.

It’s Real - The Instagram Has Changed

The name on the storefront has changed, and the handle in your Instagram has changed from Dream in Plastic to @zakkajoyny. Don’t worry, if you already followed Dream in Plastic, you don’t need to do a thing to follow the new shop online. If you don’t follow, why not? Hop to it for frequent doses of joy.

There’s a party to celebrate the name change on Second Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 6 to 9 pm. Remember when the shop used to have artist display on Second Saturday? Now the store itself is on display. Go give Jenny a high-five for all the work she has done to recreate her shop, which is always recreating anyway.

Is Beacon Open On The Fourth Of July? Here's A Short List

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Holidays are tricky for shops and restaurants. On a holiday, most people who have salaried jobs have the day off - or a paid holiday - and take to traveling. To places like Beacon! But people who work usually part-time jobs for small businesses also want the holiday off. So it can be hard to find employees to work on the day. And if you’re the business owner like me, there isn’t such thing as a paid holiday. We just work all the time, LOL.

A reader wrote into A Little Beacon Blog today to ask about whether stores and restaurants would be open. Sometimes holiday weekends - especially Monday holidays - can be very busy in Beacon. Remember Presidents’ Day weekend a few years ago?

Meanwhile, the business owners in Beacon were asking themselves the same thing in a Facebook group. We caught a few answers, and then social media went dark as Facebook and Instagram decided to break for today and not work. Thank goodness for blogs and newsletters (ahem)!

The Short List Of Shops And Restaurants Who Will Be Open or Closed On Thursday, July Fourth

We checked in with all of our retail sponsors who advertise in A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide or Restaurant Guides:

OPEN!

THE CRAFTY HAMMER
$5 Wood Block Painting Projects
Open July 4, 11 am to 3 pm
Great for kids who like to dip paint brushes into many colors of paint - under supervision of The Crafty Hammer’s team of trained staff. Also great for adults who like coloring - The Crafty Hammer has stencils you can use, and free-form is welcome too! As is coloring outside the lines. Stop in for this Fourth of July-themed project.
BONUS! Free snacks and beverages with your $5 wood project.

We are awaiting confirmation on Darryl’s Clothing Boutique. They are usually open on Thursdays, but we aren’t sure either with the holiday!

The movie theater will be open, if you need to cool off.

[UPDATED 7/4/2019] Also open will be Beacon Pantry, Trax, Mountain Tops, Bank Square Coffee, Blackbird Attic, Utensil, and most likely several others! Have fun out there, and please no U-turns in the middle of the street!

the beacon pool 2019.jpg

The public Beacon Pool is open! Anyone can go. Day passes are $5, $3 for kids. Season passes are still available to buy. You can bring your own food, but you must eat it outside of the fence. This is to help prevent bees from gathering inside the pool area.

The Declaration of Independence is being read down at City Hall. This is the big municipal building at the entrance of Main Street and Wolcott. If you’re walking up from the train, you’ll walk right by it. The reading starts at 11 am. Find details in A Little Beacon Blog’s Event Guide.

For more ideas of Things To Do This Weekend, subscribe to A Little Beacon Blog’s newsletter to be sent a list of highlights each week. And click on our Event Guide that is always being updated. The Crafty Hammer is a proud sponsor of that guide, which helps makes keeping it up to date possible. If you’re driving around and are considering moving to Beacon, click on our Real Estate Listing Guides for Featured Listings of homes, apartments and commercial spaces available.

CLOSED

These stores and restaurants are closed on Thursday, July 4, but will spring back into action on Friday, going into the weekend!

SHOPS

RESTAURANTS

After Thursday, all of these folks open back up on Friday!

As for the rest of Beacon shops and restaurants, get the entire list in A Little Beacon Blog’s guides on each. There you will find addresses and phone numbers! We make it easy for you to call and find out the who’s who of being open.

Happy Independence Day!


Grand Opening! The Crafty Hammer Opens Saturday, June 29, With Wood Projects and Designer Cookies

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Looking for a sweet? The Crafty Hammer’s Grand Opening and Ribbon 🎀 Cutting with Beacon’s Chamber of Commerce is this Saturday, June 29, 2019, and there will be power-drill shaped cookies!! Those will make great fuel for the two days of DIY woodworking workshops for you to enjoy.

Look for blocks of wood you can stencil and paint, as well as other crafty hammer challenges. The Crafty Hammer is located at 4 South Chestnut Street, across from Rite Aid, in the former purple yoga studio spot. What was once purple is now brown - for wood!

The Crafty Hammer is a proud sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog’s Classes and Events Guides, and it is with their support that we are able to publish events you love!

Beacon Fine Jewelers Moves Next Door

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

When a store is no longer in the spot you’ve seen it in for years, your first thought might be that it is simply gone. Looking right next door is actually not a thought that occurs to some people. Like when Beacon Barkery moved next door a couple of years ago. Such is the case with Beacon Fine Jewelers, who for years occupied a corner spot on Main Street, where they could hang a store shingle, as well as have another sign on the side of the building. That side sign has been replaced by their new neighbor, Edward Jones.

Run by a father/son team from Newburgh, Beacon Fine Jewelers can do most anything you need with your jewelry. They have their workshop in the back, and fire up and pound out many designs, including these little cutie copper critters we featured last Christmas. More of those critters are showing up in the storefront window, so do drop in to see more of them, and the other projects Beacon Fine Jewelers are working on.

Pink Optical Closes Beacon Location

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The pink bench outside of Pink Optical that matched its geraniums has cheered its last tush. It was carted off down the street last week to its new home, as Pink Optical closed its Beacon location. It was known as “The Eye Candy Store” for designer frames from Betsey Johnson, Prada, Versace, Tom Ford, and other clothing designers who expanded to include eyewear lines.

Pink Optical came into town shortly after Luxe Optique opened up shop about five blocks west on Main Street. The big difference between the two is the lines of eyewear carried by each shop. Different brands were carried in each - Luxe Optique carries handmade frames from designers who specialize in only designing eyewear. Pink Optical may have had stronger competition from deep-discount online glasses stores.

If memory serves, Pink Optical replaced Get Frosted Cupcakery. Before they closed shop, A Little Beacon Blog interviewed Get Frosted’s owner Karen, which is a good read if you’re interested in why businesses start up and what factors into closing their doors.

Wishing Pink Optical the best as they are off to new pastures! Not sure where those pastures are, but chime in if you know!

pink optical faces.jpg

Alvin Bell Sr. Turns 85 - Awarded "Unofficial Mayor Of The City Of Beacon" For Service To Beaconites

Alvin and Shirley Bell opened their salon after Mr. Bell’s job as a pressman disappeared when the Nabisco factory closed. That factory is now the Dia: Beacon.

Alvin and Shirley Bell opened their salon after Mr. Bell’s job as a pressman disappeared when the Nabisco factory closed. That factory is now the Dia: Beacon.

Mr Alvin Bell Awarded Unofficial Mayor Certificate 85th Birthday.jpg

If you need a dose of inspiration to continue, and to follow your own path, here is the story of Alvin and Shirley Bell to inspire you. We have written about Alvin before, but here’s a recap to remind you: Mr. Bell moved to Beacon from Virginia in search of a job, and found one at Beacon Piece Dye, and then moved on to be a pressman at the Nabisco factory (now the Dia: Beacon art museum). According to his interview in the Highlands Current: “I don’t want to brag, but I worked my way up to become the top pressman. I made $15 an hour and later with overtime as much as $40,000 a year. When Nabisco closed, I opened my barber shop.”

When that Nabisco job was downsized, Mr. Bell was 54. His wife Shirley was doing hair, and he himself actually wanted to open a salon. As a youngster in Virginia, Alvin cut the hair of his friends and family, as he revealed in the Highlands Current article, when he wasn’t tending the tobacco fields with his family. “It was like a miracle; cutting hair just came back to me.” Mr. Bell opened Main Street Beauty Salon on Main Street, and has been operating his unisex barbershop for 30 years, with different barbers and stylists operating from it with him.

Love Your Work; Work Your Love

Loving your work makes a difference. As he stated in the article: “Tobacco was backbreaking but there’s nothing hard about being a barber. People are good. It’s one of the best trades in the whole world… I have as many white customers as I do black customers. Men and women. People know my work; I’m good. I even do traditional hot towel, straight razor shaves. My hands are still smooth.

“I’m also a very spiritual person; I’m a deacon at Springfield Baptist Church. A lot of brothers and sisters come here and we get right into Scriptures and the Bible. And we talk politics and baseball. I’m a Mets fan.”

Mr. Bell Honored By Beacon’s Mayor Randy Casale

Upon turning 85, Mr. Bell was honored by Beacon’s Mayor, Randy Casale, with a Certificate of Recognition as the Unofficial Mayor of The City of Beacon. Said the Mayor in a letter:

Mr Alvin Bell Letter From The Mayor 85th Birthday.jpg

“I would like to wish you a very happy 85th birthday! For 85 years you have been the unofficial Mayor of the City of Beacon. Your barber shop has served Beacon residents in an exemplary fashion for nearly three decades. This community is grateful to have such a friendly and helpful role model. As a good friend of Pete Seeger, I know you have a good heart. Your children and those around you are blessed to learn from you every day. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the City of Beacon.”

One of Mr. Bell’s clients opened his own shop in Beacon as well. To read more about Mr. Bell, see our article here.

Abscission Barber Shop Moves Across The Creek - Near Dogwood

The new storefront of Abscission Barber Shop, at 25 East Main Street.  Photo Credit: Chris Fontakis

The new storefront of Abscission Barber Shop, at 25 East Main Street.
Photo Credit: Chris Fontakis

Scoops come from everywhere. One evening in March 2019, while at an Open House for an elementary school, a parent approached me with a hot tip: “Hey - I got some scoop for you! Abscission has moved!” This indeed was a hot tip because Abscission, located on Beacon’s east end near the mountain, has been a trusted barbershop in Beacon for a long time.

Justin sits in Alvin Bell’s chair on Main Street in Beacon. Justin has since opened his own shop, Abscission, which just relocated to the mountain side of town.   Photo: Beacon Free Press, Don Worthy

Justin sits in Alvin Bell’s chair on Main Street in Beacon. Justin has since opened his own shop, Abscission, which just relocated to the mountain side of town.
Photo: Beacon Free Press, Don Worthy

A young man named Justin opened up shop on the east end of town. He used to get his own hair cut by Mr. Bell, whose barber shop is an anchor point on the other end of town near BJ’s Soul Food. In fact, Mr. Bell and Justin were featured in the Beacon Free Press in 2001 for a story on Mr. Bell’s endurance when he created a new career as a barber. Now Justin has his own shop, and endurance of both barbers in Beacon is strong.

Abscission was on a corner lot on Main Street, and is now across the street from Mr. Mozz, that storefront near Dogwood that you might always wonder about (we’re going to do an article on it!). Abscission is now located in the strip of shops that is down the block from Dogwood and next to the laundromat and Artifact Beacon.

What’s in the name, Abscission? Says owner Justin: “I opened up the dictionary looking for shop names and it was the first thing I came across and thought it was meant to be.”

Justin hard at work, clipping hair in his new digs.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Justin hard at work, clipping hair in his new digs.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin