Michael Cook is the Fashion & Market Editor at OUT magazine, as well as co-owner of Clove & Creek, a curated mercantile located in the Hudson Valley region of New York State.
Where do you live and why do you love it?
I split my time between the Catskill Mountains and NYC – but have found a new home in Kingston, NY with the opening of my store Clove & Creek. Upstate NY and the Hudson Valley are magical places, filled with nature and creativity and such a welcome escape from the craziness of city life! The store in the Rondout, which is a unique neighborhood right on the Hudson River with tons of great shops and spots. My business partner Scott and I immediately fell in love with the area when we first visited and are so happy to be in such a wonderful location!
Favorite coffee spot/barista?
US – haha! Clove & Creek serves Parlor coffee (roasted in Brooklyn). It’s such a nice smooth blend and works nicely as a cold brew or a pour over. There’s also a fabulous place in Uptown Kingston (just a short drive away), Outdated, which has the most delicious maple lattes and scone sandwiches – it’s becoming a Saturday morning ritual.
Best food in the hood?
I’ve got a serious soft spot for Armadillo. It’s a TexMex joint that reminds me so much of where I grew up (a smaaaaaaaaall town in Texas). Not only is it nostalgic for me, but the food is delicious (the margaritas KILLER) and you’ll often spot Merle who owns it popping between tables just to say hi and check how everything is. It’s the perfect way to end the day.
Favorite spot for a cocktail?
Although they don’t have cocktails, Brunette Wine Bar is my absolute fav spot in the neighborhood. The owners Tracy and Jamie have created a sweet little spot full of light and charm where it is so easy to sip away the hours on their fine selection of wines and delicious small plates. I love to sit at their marble counter and see what new wines they have to offer (like orange wine…seriously, ORANGE! And it’s delish!)
Where do you find your go-to hostess gift?
Well, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say Clove & Creek, but the great thing about our little neighborhood is that the block really has the perfect collection of shops to make your hostess gift the one they remember. I’d probably start at Kingston Wine Co. to grab one of their expertly curated wines (the owner Michael has never led me astray and has an extensive knowledge of the wines in his shop) – the great thing about this wine store is every bottle is beautiful, so you really can’t go wrong. Then I’d pop over to our neighbor Hops Petunia, where Kelli makes the most beautiful and innovative floral arrangements — they are the perfect thing to show up with!
Best kept neighborhood secret?
The gazebo in Kingston Point Park. The park is just down the way, along the waterfront, and has stunning views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains beyond. The gazebo is nestled on a wooded hill and is the perfect place for quiet mornings.