For almost three years, Vicki Jackson, longtime owner of Aphrodite’s Antiques on Main Street in downtown New Paltz, has been building up a second, more roomy antique shop in a circa-1888 brick building at 11 Milton Avenue in the hamlet of Highland. “New Paltz has always been so good to me and such a vibrant town, but when I saw this building up for sale I thought that it was the perfect place for me to expand my business,” she explained.
With the Twaafskill River literally running beneath her Highland building, it hasn’t always been easy for Jackson at her second location. “It was a state facility prior to my ownership and needed a lot of work,” she said. “I put in a new roof, new insulation, opened up walls, painted, everything and then, just when I thought it was ready to be unveiled, Hurricane Irene and then Sandy came literally flooding my shop in two feet of water.”
The entire sidewalk outside her business collapsed, and she had to wait patiently for the state Department of Transportation to repair it. “It took them a year, and before they were done, they got tired, or ran out of money or I don’t know what, but instead of putting in a guardrail between the sidewalk, the stream and my building they put up these large, ugly concrete walls! I put up a banner that said, “Behind these ugly concrete walls is a beautiful antique shop!”
She was ordered to take the banner down. “I thought it was funny, but some people don’t have a sense of humor, I guess.”
Jackson certainly has a sense of humor and a flair for antiques and fashion. Her business sense has made her a steady presence in New Paltz and now in Highland, despite the obstacles she’s had to face.
She is the subject of The New Paltz Times Meet & Greet for this week’s issue.
Business or Organization:
Aphrodite’s Antiques and Gifts (in both NP and Highland.)
Where are you from originally?
Bergen County, New Jersey
What makes this area so unique?
New Paltz is great because there are so many great attractions for people both locally and tourists. There is the rock-climbing at the Mohonk Preserve, the College, the funky atmosphere and vibrant community. In Highland there are some great new restaurants and shops as well as the Walkway Over the Hudson and the river-front. Both offer so much.
What do you like about this community?
The Shawangunk Mountains. It’s beautiful here. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of winter, but the other three seasons? I couldn’t love them more in this area.