Diane Meier

 

World Famous in Dutchess County

While I know I've mentioned them often and fondly, I don't believe I've ever written a blog about Hammertown Barn. And now I find them popping up this morning on Yahoo as a vendor to Chelsea Clinton in the Clinton Wedding story! It's a little like finding out that Miss Boulanger, the fabulous woman who gives you piano lessons, is world-famous Nadia Boulanger - a verification of all you thought on your own, but still a wonderful surprise.

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The Hammertown Barn location from whence Chelsea's pillows were proffered, is Rhinebeck, New York, the legendary Hudson River town of the wedding. My Hammertown Season of Second Chances book signing was in that very spot. And it is a town, in the words of the Michelin guide, very much worth the trip. There is a marvelous restaurant, nearly tangential to Hammertown, called Gigi's, and both embody the spirit of the region to a tee. From local goods to the foods of the farmers, growers and fishermen of the Hudson Valley. We were the branding/marketing/advertising agency that launched The Hudson River Club the first great restaurant in NYC to champion those very farmers, growers and fishermen, so this is a connection with great personal resonance for me.

There is a Hammertown outpost in the darling town of Millerton and also a Hammertown Barn location in Great Barrington, Mass, very convenient for those of you headed to Lennox and Stockbridge for the summer. And the mother of all Hammertown Barns - the one closest to Kent, and therefore, the Hammertown Barn in which we shop, the original barn in Pine Plains. If I had nothing else pressing (like running a business or finishing the next book), I think I would love to put my shoulder to the wheel in an even more concentrated effort to help to expand that Hammertown idea, as hatched by its founder, Joan Osofsky and her family.

Reflecting the joys and the challenges of her customer's lives, Hammertown is not bound by a price point or even a category of merchandise. It is truly a lifestyle store - from the proverbial soup to nuts. From food to furniture, bedding to baby's gifts, rugs to earrings and all the way to the occasional novel (mine), design book, cook book, or letter opener that Joan just knows will fulfill her customers. There is an innate sense of style and grace that comes from living in a part of the country that is not swayed so much by fashion or status, as by beauty and connection - and by the development of something we champion here at MEIER: a real sense of Authentic Style.

For those of you who have not ventured into a Hammertown Barn, there is the website, http://www.hammertownbarn.com. And it's great. But I urge you to hop a plane or train or bus, pile into your dad's Oldsmobile, hitch a ride, or buy a Bentley - but get yourself up to a Hammertown Barn. You'll see just what I mean.

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