Twin County TV viewers added a treat to these warm, early summer days Tuesday when Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie hosted “Today” from Nolita’s Cafe on Warren Street in Hudson.

Yes, this area has been visited by everyone from movie stars to former President Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton, but as we slowly recover from the threat of the coronavirus and its byproduct, a shaky economy, seeing Roker and Guthrie in our city was as reassuring as a visit from old friends.

“Today” has always had that effect on its audiences. From Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters to the present day, the show was a steady, entertaining two hours (now three) of news and interesting talk and guests.

Tuesday’s show, which marked the first time Roker and Guthrie had been together in person in more than three months, put a spotlight on the reopening efforts of local businesses, using Hudson as a model. Guthrie praised downtown Hudson’s beauty and said “Today” sought to highlight a quintessential rivertown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

For “Today,” it was a near picture-perfect morning. The location in front of Nolita’s Cafe was chosen for its hillside view of the Hudson River, production manager David Naggiar said. The First Presbyterian Church’s imposing steeple glowed in the early sun.

But it was the subject matter of the show that counted. In her opening remarks, Guthrie encouraged viewers to support the economic recovery of small businesses hit hard by the three-month closure. Later, she was joined by Home/Made Hudson owner Monica Byrne and Hudson Hall General Manager Sage Carter, both masked, who spoke about how the city’s business owners are banding together to navigate reopening and avoid business closures.

Carter was asked to participate in the broadcast after producers heard that she is involved in the Shared Summer Streets program, which will close certain downtown areas to cars on weekends starting Friday.

Thanks for coming, Al and Savannah. You helped show the ability of local business owners and the rest of the community to rebound from a double-barreled disaster. You showed up to put the rest of America on notice that small communities like ours will never give up.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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