Far from the Madding Crowd

Kicking off 2023 in Hudson Valley

I got my fill of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square over the last week, and was very grateful to have an opportunity to bring in 2023 in a town called Ghent – which is about 30 minutes away from Hudson for those in the know – in Upstate New York. I am really fortunate to have friends that have a stunning home in Ghent, and visiting them is truly getting away from the madding crowd in Times Square to end the year.

I decided to make a pit stop at Dia Beacon on my way in, and crossing it off my bucket list was a great way to end the last year. And then I made my way past signs for deer and horse crossings to get to Ghent –

And then, on the first day of 2023, I woke up to this view –

Visiting a Horse Farm

One of the best ways to explore any place is by walking, which luckily happens to be my all time favorite thing to do. The first walk was to a horse farm where I managed to make a couple of friends –

This farm – which I am fortunate to be able to visit with my friends as it is private property – has a beautiful sculpture to mark the place where horses are buried –

My all time favorite visit to this farm was on Christmas 2017, which happened to be a white Christmas –

Visiting Art Omi

After lunch, as everyone slept, I made my way to Art Omi, which is on outdoor scuplture and architecture park. The beauty of Art Omi is that it is open even when it is closed, and there was not a single person in sight for most of my visit. This was exhilerating and sometimes a little nervewracking, and the thought that whodunits often start this way did happen to cross my mind!

Here are some of my favorite pieces at Art Omi, with one called ReActor by Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley being at the top of my list. It is a habitable sculpture at the top of a hill which can rotate 360 degrees based on exterior conditions and its inhabitants. It is really unusual to find no one near it, and I managed to move it up and down but could not rotate it alone.

This is an Untitled installation made by Robert Grosvenor in 1968. I love how simple and effective it is, with the yellow making its presence felt despite it being a cloudy and overcast day.

Arcs in Disorder by Bernar Venet takes on a different shape depending on which side you see it from, though I am not sure if the pictures below show just how massive these are.

Eureka, 2000 by Brian Tolle looks like you stumbled onto a house in the middle of Art Omi, but it is just a single sheet made to look like the reflection in water of a slender ‘canal house’ of 18th century New York under Dutch influence.

Clench by Oliver Kruse began as a 3D software design that was converted into the piece below by pouring concrete into a mold to fill the negative space. While it looks relatively unassuming from the outside, the beauty lies in realizing that it is actually made up of interconnected spheres on the inside, and the openings are where the light filters in from.

Memorial by David Shrigley is a massive granite stone that has a personal shopping list carved on it. The one in Art Omi is below –

I dug through my old photographs as I rememeber one like this outside Central Park in 2017, and I managed to find a picture I had taken of it!

Sunset over the Hudson Valley

There was luckily no whodunit that emerged from my visit to Art Omi, and I returned to take in this sunset –

I could not have asked for a better start to the year with all that Upstate New York had to offer, especially with a stop at the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show before reaching home on the way back.


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Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.

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