A city that has experienced urban problems in an essentially rural setting, a city that calls itself “sanctuary” for immigrants, now offers another kind of sanctuary. Hudson and the surrounding region have seen huge growth in real estate as people migrate from New York City to Hudson and its environs.

Hudson is the No. 1 metro area in terms of the biggest change in net migration, according to a recent article in The New York Times. Out of 926 metropolitan areas reviewed in the recent Times article, Hudson and Kingston, in Ulster County, were the only two in New York state to make the Top 10 list.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought dramatic changes to the real estate landscape in Hudson. From Harlem to Hudson, the region underwent a social transformation of astounding proportions. People realized when they started working remotely, they didn’t need to be locked down in an urban setting where the pandemic was literally rampaging from neighborhood to neighborhood. They discovered that a move to Hudson offers the best of two worlds. If they need to travel to Manhattan, the Amtrak station is a short drive away.

Much of the appeal of this area has been the connections to nature, the outdoors and the culture of shops, the arts and cuisine that would remind any native New Yorker of Greenwich Village. It offers opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities that COVID-19 could not stop.

People leaving New York City and discovering Hudson have figured out they can participate in all of these outdoor activities by day and enjoy a fine meal and a glass of wine at night. They have reconnected with nature and a cultural lifestyle from which they were locked out in New York City.

But this influx is a step, big but localized. It is a bridge between the now of the coronavirus pandemic and the immediate future, whatever it may hold. This may be a momentary pilgrimage to a city that reminds New Yorkers of home with less traffic, more open restaurants and the fine arts. Hudson, king of the hill, top of the heap, needs to seize the moment.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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