It feels beyond surreal to think that we’ve just celebrated our one-year anniversary here at
The Spruces. It probably feels surreal for you too because your 2020 was crazy just like ours. Plus, you’ve never even heard of us!
But we're here! Sort of...
Last January we packed up our house, our dog, and our lives in Chicago and moved to the Hudson Valley. We came to purchase a historic estate close to New York City, breathe new life into it, and turn it into a place to be shared with our community. It would be built on what currently feels like the magical concept of gathering socially in celebration. Target launch: Spring, 2020. Should be no problem.
We'd previously founded and run a non-profit arts and music venue in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago where I (Erica) worked at a cooking school and I (Chris) worked in marketing as we both worked together on fixing up our first historic property--Kimball House.
After a few years in Chicago, we started paying a lot of attention to Upstate NY and the Hudson Valley. We'd had some wonderful road trips in the Northeast, bouncing around between lobster rolls on the coast and great camps in the Adirondacks. Not to mention, the charms of "This Old House" that had enchanted us both since childhood.
Meanwhile we had friends living in this little place about an hour north of New York City called Newburgh. They had moved there a few years ago chasing the dream of affordable housing and an escape from the big city hustle. They sung this place's praises constantly but it wasn't until they started sending us links to real estate listings that our eyes really opened to the charms of this historic city. Crumbling Victorian mansions, ramshackle farms, and pre-Civil War-era estates flooded our dreams.
We swooned over the endless possibilities of incredible buildings lying in wait for a little love. We joked about packing it all in and moving to “the country.” We watched movies like Funny Farm, Baby Boom, Arachnophobia, and especially, The Money Pit, and for some reason we didn't interpret those films as cautionary tales. So we did it!
In January of 2020 we purchased a small, historic estate on five acres in the City of Newburgh, complete with a Victorian farmhouse, a classic little red barn, sweeping lawns, old-growth woods, and centuries of character.
We call it The Spruces because that’s what it’s always been called. When we bought the place, it came with a linen map of Newburgh from 1860 and, wouldn't you know, there was "The Spruces!" Can't argue with that. It's a lovely name for a lovely place. Not to mention the property is dotted with 200-year-old Norway Spruces--probably not a coincidence.
So we're here, sort of. Until such time as we can party and get to know each other in person, we'll be here working and preparing to welcome you all in celebration of weddings and anniversaries and birthdays and just making it through this last year. We've unpacked several houses and lives worth of art and furniture and treasures. We've cleaned and weeded and planted, and loved and laughed and cried...
And we're here and ready for 2021 and all the events that bring friends and families and communities together in celebration. We'll see you soon!