Saturday, August 6, 2011

Books in Kinderhook

A Meeting With the President

For some time, I've wanted to visit the hometown of Martin Van Buren, 8th president of the United States (1837-1941), in Kinderhook. Well, last month I finally got around to doing so. I drove out to the homestead, but discovered that it was "cash only," (and who carries cash any more!?) I only had enough for an orange soda, which I held off on. So I went back into town, where I discovered some other lovely places (bookish, of course). There I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting the historical society of Columbia County and its magnificent exhibits, and talking with the knowledgeable and friendly docents. There is also a fine little bagel and coffee place in town, which specializes in various flavors of cream cheese. And I ended my trip with a visit to the local book shop, Blackwood & Brouwer Booksellers, where I had a lovely conversation with one of the co-owners. So if you're ever in the area, please stop by and check these nice places out. The images here are part of the historical society's book shop, which is very informative and full of materials relevant to the area and its social, cultural, and political history. Of course, I did get a chance to fulfill that childhood dream of meeting with the president: well, a statue of the good Mr. Van Buren. And look, even his statue is holding some sort of bookish item!