As part of Birkenstock’s 1774 collaboration series, Document Journal meets 10 creatives making the Hudson Valley a kingdom of their own. Here, the Parisian tastemaker details the joys of stargazing and encounters with inchworms.
Discover the full Birkenstock 1774 collaboration series here.
Sarah Andelman’s beloved Paris boutique Colette was at its heart about the thrill of discovery; the feeling that here was something you couldn’t find anywhere else, yet here it was on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, irreverently displayed between crunchy IKEA Frakta bags and a row of collaborative Hermès Carré silk scarves. Andelman’s spontaneous approach to window dressing was a reflection of her own curiosity, a compulsion towards anything intriguing and authentic. Andelman closed Colette in 2017 and spends summers in the 1970s cabin she and her husband, Philip Andelman, renovated in Woodstock. (The couple’s son, Woody, is named after the town.) It was Philip that led her to discover the only reason New Yorkers own cars—to discover that just two hours north of the city is nature so magical you can forget the city even exists.
Andelman has been coming to the Catskills for a decade now. In previous years she would support the local community by stocking their art, music, and magazines in Colette. She still makes new discoveries constantly: ever-changing scenery, fresh perspectives, and one-of-a-kind tie-dye t-shirts that were popularized in the countercultural enclave where they’ve thrived ever since. “I wouldn’t say my sensibilities have changed,” she says. “But I get inspired by the people living here. Also by the nature and fashion. Maybe the tie-dye, and lots of sandals…there’s a big tie-dye trend right now, and it’s very present here.”
There’s no hickster irony in Andelman’s love of the psychedelic garments that won over Halston and Jerry Garcia: Colette released hand-dyed hoodies with wellness-oriented streetwear brand Advisory Board Crystals back in 2016, before Deadheads and hypebeasts were both wearing Dead & Company tour tees from Online Ceramics. (Philip, meanwhile, actually worked as the official tour photographer for the Grateful Dead during his sophomore year of college.) Finding peace and love in Woodstock probably wasn’t preordained, nor was it ever Andelman’s objective, it just shows what can happen when you keep your eyes open.
Document talked to the free-spirited Parisian about enjoying the moment, appreciating the unknown, and always wanting to discover more.
Document—Describe your perfect day in the Hudson Valley.
Sarah—Fresh scrambled eggs with crispy bacon. Swimming, walking, hiking, cooking, s’mores by the pit fire, and listening to music. Watching the stars…
Document—What is the first place you can’t wait to take friends?
Sarah—Westwind Orchards and the swimming hole we just discovered not far.
Document—Tell us about a close encounter with New York nature.
Sarah—We had a bear coming by our tools shack—we kept the trace of his claws
on the door. But, by far, my favorite encounter is with an inchworm—twice this summer. What a fascinating creature!
Document—Tell us something you learned while living upstate that you might otherwise never have known.
Sarah—That inchworms exist! That nothing makes you as grateful as the top of a hike; that deer are not as magical as they look.
Document—Describe your upstate community.
Sarah—Colorful, musical, happy, free.
Document—Where are you from? Did you grow up in more of a city or a small-town environment?
Sarah—I always felt like a Parisian, but I grew up just outside Paris. That’s why it’s all about the balance.
Document—Best place to find antiques? Best farmers’ market?
Sarah—I like The Mystery Spot in Phoenicia. We love the Montgomery Farm stand.
Document—What music do you like to listen to while upstate? What songs remind you of the Hudson Valley?
Sarah—My husband Philip plays always the best music, lots of Grateful Dead.
Document—Is there a person in your life you wish could accompany you here?
Sarah—I’m happy my mum discovered it and loves it too. We also had lots of close friends who came for our wedding and discovered the area.
Document—Where are the best places to hike, stargaze, or get into nature?
Sarah—Fawn’s Leap is one of the best swimming holes around. Sadly it has been corrupted in recent years by articles in just about everywhere. But, if you go during the week, you’ll have the place almost to yourself, with huge boulders and swinging ropes to jump from, along with a tasty sandwich from Circle W about a mile or two down the road. If you like your hikes grueling and unforgiving, but with maximum reward when it comes to the view, look no further than Devil’s Path, just off of Rt. 214. The good news is it’s short, the bad news it’s an ass-kicker. But that view…
Document—How do you feel when you return upstate after being away?
Sarah—So excited to discover something new, last was the Mud Club in Woodstock!
Hair and Grooming Mimi Quiquine at She Likes Cutie. Editor Austin Bailey. Sound Greg Francis. Color Oliver Eid. Photo Assistant Annabelle Snoxall. Production Liana Blum and Patch Ward.