This week in Faces of Kingston we speak to Tim McArdle, a well-liked family man of many hats who has been a part of the Kingston entertainment community and an area resident for many years.
Morgan Y. Evans: How long have you lived in Kingston?
Tim McArdle: I’ve lived in Kingston, N.Y. my entire life. I know this area and all it has to offer and I don’t know of many options I would choose over it. Some of my best memories of growing up here are of the Uptown area. It was a place where I would spend a lot of time with my grandmother’s sister as a kid. She lived Uptown and didn’t drive so we would walk to the Kingston Plaza, Wall Street and connecting streets and hit all the great shops including places like Britt’s, Cam-Bo-Rec, The Mohican, Nekos and Woolworth’s. As I grew older, the Uptown area really declined and became somewhat of a ghost town. Retailers were either beaten by, or moved to, the new Hudson Valley Mall at the time.
Did you ever used to go to the mall for Halloween as a kid?
Yes, I do remember going to the Hudson Valley Mall on Halloween a few times. I grew up in a small suburban neighborhood where I would get together with a few friends to trick or treat, but it was a small neighborhood so we would get one of our parents to take us up to the Hudson Valley Mall afterwards.
You have been involved in the years with music, comedy and film. What are some of your proudest accomplishments in those fields and are you currently continuing in any of those pursuits?
I had the pleasure of playing in a popular regional band called MHT (Me, Him and a guy named Tim) from 2001-2005. As drummer and lyricist for this band, it was a really great time in my life. In 2007, I transitioned to independent film when some local actors/filmmakers requested songs I had written to be used in their projects. I began to screenwrite short films and had success at a film festival with my first written work Four. I expanded my role by directing the next short film I wrote called Spin Slowly, which is now on Amazon Prime.
What did you learn from the process?
As an independent filmmaker, you have to wear many hats. It has been a great ride gaining experience in writing, directing, producing, casting, editing and acting. Feel free to call for a consultation on film projects, video/film editing, etc. at (845) 389-0755. I have had the pleasure to work with many talented cast and crew on set, most recently in our latest project, Alter Boy, which I was director, editor and co-creator. This latest project is a pilot for a series that we shot exclusively in Kingston in October 2018. It was a five-day production shot by a very talented camera crew out of Kansas City, Missouri. The rest of the crew consisted of skilled people mainly from Kingston, but also included crew members from New York City. We cast very seasoned union actors (mostly from New York City) that are continually appearing regularly in many Netflix and Amazon series. We had originally considered shooting a portion of the footage in Tivoli, Rhinebeck and New York City, but realized there is no better place to shoot film than Kingston. It has everything a cinematographer loves, especially exterior shots that include historic sites, beautiful mountains and the famous Hudson River.
When did you first become a sports fan? What keeps you invested in it?
TM: I have been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. My favorite sport has always been football and I played Pop Warner in Kingston as a kid. Unfortunately Coleman High School didn’t have a football program so my career ended at age 13. [Laughs.] I now have two kids that have participated in the many sports Kingston has to offer. I was born into a huge family of New York Giants fans and we never miss a down to this day. Baseball would be a close second. I played it most my life and my older cousins persuaded me, at a very young age, to be a fan of the best team in professional sports: the New York Yankees.
What is a part of Kingston no longer here that you miss? I often think about West Strand Grill shows, so much fun.
Ah yes, the West Strand Grill and the Downtown Underground; what a great place. Val and Cam would book our bands regularly and we considered it one of our home venues packing the place with friends and fans. If we weren’t there, but playing in Kingston, we were at Chic’s or Mariner’s Harbor with Sal Guido which always packed a full house and were very accommodating. If we weren’t playing, we were often out listening to other bands locally. My music and film career can be heard and seen by visiting www.tgmfilms.com.
Did you always expect to grow older here or have a family in the area?
I did, actually. I’m from a very large close family and many relatives are still in the area. My ex-wife is from Long Island, but we decided to raise our two beautiful children, Grace and Gavin, here in Kingston.
What are some favorite places of yours to go if you ever get any free time?
Yes, there is little free time, but if and when I have time I would say that my favorite spot in Kingston is Casa Villa. My friend Jose and his family have great food and drink and the regulars are like one big family. The Rondout section of Kingston offers beautiful water-side dining and Uptown Kingston is always nice to stroll through as well. There are so many new looks in the ever-changing Uptown area and it’s so refreshing to see it all come back to life so incredibly.