There’s something cozy about shopping in a small village setting, so when the holidays harken, many shoppers head to the Water Street Market, a “village within the village” of New Paltz. In between the creatively decorated antique shops, boutiques, and art shops, the market features cafes, restaurants, and wine bars to fortify shoppers and provide meet-up possibilities for seasonal merrymaking.
“Shopping here during the holidays is meant to be relaxing. We will give you personal attention, we will wrap your gifts for you, and we won’t make you feel like holiday shopping is a race or a contest.”–Rachelle Oldmixon, Maglyn’s Dream
nostalgia is the best gift
Decorations make shopping even more fun. At the market’s Antiques Barn, owner Walter Marquez adds nostalgic seasonal touches by displaying some of his collection of antique Santas. Altogether, he owns 1,500 antique Santas.
“I put up a small display of some of my collection, which
people come to see,” says Walter. “It’s a happy time of year.”
Around the holidays, Walter says shoppers often come to the Antiques Barn to buy distinctive jewelry, glassware, china, and smaller items imbued with the spirit of holidays past.
“We sell a lot of jewelry, one-of-a-kind items that make for a unique gift,” which customers prefer, “rather than going to the mall and getting something mass-produced.”
everything for the cheese lover
As the season approaches, Theresa Logan, owner of The Cheese Plate, stocks her shelves with hostess and Secret Santa gifts.
Whether the plan is to gift delicious cheeses or serve them at holiday gatherings, the shop now has 60 selections to choose from, including more American cheeses than ever, coming from California, Oregon, Virginia, and Maryland.
The Cheese Plate also offers gifts for aficionados, such as fondue and tapas pots, cheese knives, slicers, and graters. “Our gift selection this year is the best ever,” says Theresa.
“We have cheese boards made of wood, marble, and slate and all the tools to help you build the best cheese board for your holiday guests.”
shopping is meant to be relaxing
One factor that makes market shopping seem more intimate is that the store’s owners are generally present and ready to personally help customers, says Rachelle Oldmixon of Maglyn’s Dream, an American Arts gift shop.
“They want you to be satisfied with your finds and they want you to leave with a smile,” Rachelle says. “Shopping here during the holidays is meant to be relaxing. We will give you personal attention, we will wrap your gifts for you, and we won't make you feel like holiday shopping is a race or a contest.”
While the staff at Maglyn’s Dream may dress up in sparkly clothes and offer cookies on holiday weekends, the shop’s strongest appeal is the selection of one-of-a-kind or limited run items. Everything is handmade by artists.
“It makes each and every item in our shop special,” says Rachelle. Some of her holiday gift recommendations include casually elegant necklaces by Perfecto Glass Jewelry and crocheted hats, made by her mom and store owner Lynn Oldmixon and friend Maggie Havens, right in the shop. For the coffee lover on your list, consider hand
warmer mugs by Clay in Motion.“These mugs are perfect for chilly winter mornings,” she says. “Pick one (or four!) out, then pop over to The Mudd Puddle for a pound of coffee, and you have an instant hit!”
The market’s Mudd Puddle Coffee Roasters and Cafe is a good place to get caffeinated before checking off your holiday shopping list. And they serve a tasty lunch—from veggie-rich paninis to a decadent Grilled Nutella on cracked wheat.
hearty food to fortify your holiday spirit
After a day of shopping, plan to stop at The Parish for some hot, delicious gumbo and a specialty cocktail prepared by proprietor Matt Sweeney. The lively restaurant has a New Orleans-inspired menu that features such luscious Louisiana dishes as jambalaya and shrimp and grits, as well as drinks made with distinctive ingredients. “The Water Street Market has such a great vibe during the holiday season,” says Matt. “It has that ‘Dickens’ feel that really puts you in the holiday mood. At the Parish, we
embrace that holiday feel by offering seasonal cocktails and fare.” Matt recommends the restaurant’s Dickens Punch, a warm Applejack-based punch that is actually made from Charles Dickens’ own recipe. Too many gifts to buy and no time to sit down for a meal? Stop for a quick snack at the Kosiner Brothers Fry Shack or Hot Dog Cart for some new twists on an old classic, or Dohnut, rated by Yelp reviewers as one of the best spots in the Hudson Valley for donuts.
warm and festive
Theresa Fall of Jar’d, the market’s wine bar, finds that the Water Street Market has a special feel to it all year, but, especially during the holidays, the atmosphere is extra warm and festive. “The shop owners chip in and hang lights to give it a festive feel, and they stay open longer hours so people can get after-work shopping and snacking done,” she says. “It's a lovely spot to stroll outside and shop.”
After strolling, shoppers can warm up with a drink. Jar’d captures that holiday season feel by serving such warming drinks as eggnog, warm cider with pumpkin gin, and mulled wine (warmed red wine with cider, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, and oranges). With outside heaters on the enclosed deck, patrons can feel cozy even in December.
“All the shops here are locally owned, which is such an important factor; shopping and dining here directly supports the economy and community.”
–Matt Sweeney, The Parish
a boutique experience
You may not want to stop shopping until you visit every store in the market.
Himalayan Arts carries beautiful art, crafts, bags, greeting cards, clothing, scarves, books, and handmade jewelry from Nepal and India, as well as Tibetan rugs and singing bowls. With exotic items from all over the Himalayan region, a shopping trip here becomes a truly majestic and cultural shopping experience. In addition, the majority of the merchandise found here are aquired through Fair-Trade business.
Eden Boutique offers a curated collection of contemporary fashions and handmade jewelry inspired by the region’s natural beauty and designed to stand out from cookie-cutter mainstream style. Here, you’ll find unique accessories, as well as an elegant collection of women’s clothing. Step through the doorway from Eden into to their conjoined space The Men’s Shop at Eden, where you’ll find a fine collection of curated men’s goods.
A trip to the Water Street Market is a merry way to get your shopping off to a great start.
Water street market
10 Main Street, New Paltz