One of the great pleasures of warming weather in the mid-Hudson is the enticement to stroll along the charming Rondout waterfront in Kingston, enjoying the new promenade, watching the boats go by and catching up with the latest phase of the neighborhood’s ongoing revitalization. The down side this year is that you can no longer sit on the creekside patio at Rosita’s, sipping umbrella drinks and pretending that you are someplace subtropical. The up side is that the former Mexican restaurant, which was in foreclosure, has been acquired by the Hudson River Maritime Museum, which plans to convert it into the Riverport Wooden Boat Building School.
The growing museum, which touts itself as “the portal to history along the Hudson,” opens for the season on Saturday, with hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s featured new exhibit, with interactive components, is titled “Hudson River Lighthouses: Past & Present.” Last year’s popular hands-on “Tugboats: Workhorses of the Hudson River” exhibit will continue for a second year as well.
The new lighthouse exhibit is timed to commemorate the centennial of the Rondout Light, just a short kayak paddle away where the Rondout Creek flows into the Hudson River. Not far downriver is the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse, the saga of whose restoration will be recounted by historic preservationist Barbara J. Ralston in a lecture beginning at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, May 6 in the Kingston Home Port & Education Center. Her talk will be titled “Scrape & Paint: The Story of Saving Esopus Meadows Lighthouse.”
Entry to the Hudson River Maritime Museum costs $7 general admission, $5 for seniors aged 62 and over and children aged 5 to 18 and free to children aged 4 and under, museum members and active-duty military personnel. For more information, call (845) 338-0071 or visit www.hrmm.org.
“Hudson River Lighthouses” opening, Saturday, May 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., “Scrape & Paint” lighthouse lecture, Wednesday, May 6, 7 p.m., $7/$5, Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston; (845) 338-0071, www.hrmm.org.